Now that the Holiday Fantasy Gift Picks articles are behind us; it is time to focus our attention on the New Year. Therefore, Lew’s Clues will be offering a series of New Year’s Resolutions for NHL Fantasy Owners.
Repeat after me:
I, [your name here], resolve to do the following in 2016 to be a better Fantasy Owner as per Eric Lewandowski; writing under the pen “Lew’s Clues” for Rotowire.com.
Resolution #1 – “Lose Weight”
It just wouldn’t be right if we did not begin with the most popular resolution of them all…the resolution to lose weight. No, you don’t need to hit the gym or drink those green smoothies or whatever that putrid looking algae slime is that people are drinking like it will cure them of all ailments. However, you do need to work on getting rid of the muffin tops on your roster.
How? Here are some dieting tips for those who need to make changes for strong strides in 2016.
Drop the deadweight. You know –the players you have been faithfully coddling on your bench. If your caterpillar has not turned into a butterfly yet; be a winner and make the tough choices. Let go of the extra pounds in favor of players who are sweating their skates off and producing. Do your homework, your research, your analytics. Or let Lew’s Clues make some suggestions that are absolutely tough love. To make it easy on your stomach; we will start with just two suggestions that should bolster your outlook for the rest of the 2016 Fantasy Hockey Season.
First, if you have Zdeno Chara on your active roster – bench him.
Alright, you have opened five of your six presents for the 2015 Holiday Season. These gifts are players who will take your NHL fantasy team from mediocrity or mockery to the top! As always, the players chosen for you were based on immediate availability on most waiver wires. We have no time to wait for a trade to go through…you need to start winning or maintain your winning ways all the way to your league’s championship!
Centers are one of the toughest positions to find on a waiver wire. Even the likes of Frans Nielsen are owned by almost 80 percent of fantasy owners in CBS leagues.
This center will literally assist your five prior gifts.
The veteran Komarov is hot and on a roll having scored 10 goals and tallying eight assists in the past 20 games. This puts the unexpected Komarov at the top of the Leafs’ stat sheet for goals and total points. The left-winger has 24 points this season thus far, two less than his total for the entire 2014-15 campaign. The Estonian is confident and letting the rubber fly putting 42 shots on goal in the past 20 games. Extra goodies are in your stocking with Komarov having scored four power play goals and one “shortie.”
Do you find yourself bottom feeding your league standings with the Holiday Break coming upon us?
You are in luck. Lew is in the holiday spirit and in a giving mood!
Every night this week, I will “gift” you a player who can turn that season around toward the playoffs! Five nights — five positions: Goalie, Defenseman, Left Winger, Right Winger, and Center.
Be forewarned. These picks are not for the feint of heart. These picks are–most likely available– high risk reward picks–to lift your fantasy hopes for the New Year!
One player per position. Please add your own suggestions and comments at the end of the article! No time for trades here either. These “gift picks” are based on their likely immediate availability on most free agent wires.
The NHL regular season puck drop was on October 7th – Lew’s Clues Lessons #1
The stars of October have been twinkling in Dallas. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin lead the league in points with 17 and 16 points respectively in 11 games. Boston’s David Krejci is holding the third place for points with 15. If you have Benn and Seguin on your fantasy team then you are probably in first place as well. If you have one of the dynamic duo players – try to trade for the other to complete the pair!
The Dallas Stars’ team success in October has been eclipsed by the Montreal Canadien’s going undefeated in the first nine games of the regular season. Dallas currently has 18 points while Montreal has 20; but the Habs have played 12 games and Dallas 11. Mark your calendars for December 19th when Dallas takes on the Montreal Canadiens in the American Airlines Center in Texas.
Unfortunately for fantasy owners who do not have team goaltenders; Lindy Ruff has not named Antti Niemi or Kari Lehtonen as the uncontested number one goalie – instead the duo is 1A and 1B and like Forrest Gump’s mother said about a box of chocolates, “You never know what your going to get.” That said…Niemi has carried the bulk of the work load in net with 6 wins and 1 loss. Lehtonen has 3 wins and 1 loss. Handcuff both on your roster if possible.
Carey Price continues to prove that he is the best goaltender in the league this season with 7 wins, two shut-outs, .936 save percentage, and a 2.01 GAA. You don’t have to worry about Price splitting time with Mike Condon. However, Price is currently dealing with a lower body injury that will keep him out for at least one week into the November schedule. Condon is a solid backup who won all three games he has started. Time to take Condon off your bench or grab him off the waiver wire if possible.
Every year, I like to do a recap of the Blue Jackets’ draft picks, both to get a better sense of the prospects coming into the system of the team on my beat as well as honing my own prognosticating skills. Two years ago I pegged third round pick Oliver Bjorkstrand as a potential steal and noted that Marko Dano (27th overall) was a better selection than Kerby Rychel (19th overall), and both of those predictions are looking pretty good so far, especially after Chicago insisted that Dano be the centerpiece of the Brandon Saad trade. My full writeups on the Jackets’ 2013 and 2014 draft classes are on the old Rotowire blog if you want to take a gander. Now, it’s time for 2015: