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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sleeper Picks For Your Fantasy Hockey Pools (Part 1)

Part 1

Sleeper Picks For Your Fantasy Hockey Pools:

Now that the season has started in the NHL, it has also started for Fantasy hockey. I pick two players from each team that I feel are sleeper picks that you can use your extra slot on, if you have one, that is.

Also, I will pick one player who would normally be a good pick who might suffer this year, due to circumstances against his will. These are the "avoid me" picks.

Anaheim
Sleeper Picks:
(1) Francois Beauchemin - the departure of Mathieu Schneider means good things for F.B.
(2) Chris Kunitz - scores a lot of points and PIM for a guy not named Getzlaf or Perry
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Todd Marchant - plays a lot of tough minutes against tough opposition and isn't getting any younger

Atlanta
Sleeper Picks:
(1) Colby Armstrong - generally a good offensive player, expect him to come into his own as a player this year
(2) Jason Williams - a rebound year in a relatively poor division
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Kari Lehtonen - this guy can't stay healthy enough to help your pool

Boston
Sleeper Picks:
(1) Chuck Kobasew - his game without the puck is improving, which means good things for a pool that counts +/-
(2) Dennis Wideman - sound defensively, able offensively, and puts in his PIMs at a moderate pace
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Tim Thomas - as much as I love Thomas, this year will see Manny take the #1 job

Buffalo
Sleeper Picks:
(1) Craig Rivet - though not outstanding, he's solid in all respects
(2) Toni Lydman - see Craig Rivet
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Teppo Numminen - how many games is he going to play this year?

Calgary
Sleeper Picks:
(1) Curtis Glencross - the biggest off-season mistake by the Oilers... damn you Curtis
(2) Todd Bertuzzi - suprisingly dependable in the +/- column and scores a lot for a sleeper
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Wayne Primeau - doesn't do a whole lot of anything, really

Carolina
Sleeper Picks:
(1) Cam Ward - a bit underrated, the team around him could be better, still in the top 5 in wins for NHL goaltenders last season
(2) Tuomo Ruutu - could see top 2 line duties and more consistent linemates
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Joni Pitkanen - be prepared to be disappointed, Canes fans

Chicago
Sleeper Picks:
(1) Duncan Keith - this defenseman quietly had a great year in 2007-08
(2) Patrick Sharp - often ignored on a team that features some of the best young talent in the NHL
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Martin Havlat - with Kane, Toews, Seabrook, Keith, and Sharp to choose from... why pick Havlat who won't even play?

Colorado
Sleeper Picks:
(1) Darcy Tucker - won't score a lot, but won't hurt the PIM column either
(2) Wojtek Wolski - breakout year
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Andrew Raycroft - Colorado's chances will be worse the moment Raycroft has to take over for Budaj

Columbus
Sleeper Picks:
(1) RJ Umberger - playing top line minutes in a more exciting division will unleash the inner Umberger
(2) Jakub Voracek - if he makes the team... early candidate for Calder Trophy
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Raffi Torres - if he can stay healthier than Modin, it will be considered a successful year for Raffi

Dallas
Sleeper Picks:
(1) Steve Ott - scores some points and is willing to do the dirty dance to the penalty box
(2) Matt Niskanen - just keeps getting better
(3*) Brad Richards - not really much of a "sleeper" besides the fact that nobody is talking about how great he will be in Dallas...
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Joel Lundqvist - don't waste a sleeper pick on this guy...

Detroit
Sleeper Picks:
(1) Mikael Samuelsson - he gets fired up when he needs to be
(2) Ty Conklin - he will steal the starting job from Chris Osgood
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Tomas Kopecky - his chances will suffer with the advent of Marian Hossa

Edmonton
Sleeper Picks:
(1) Sheldon Souray - he may not repeat the career numbers he put up in MTL a few years ago, but he will still be a mean, nasty, PP quaterbacking, big-hitting, fighting machine (now that he's healthy)
(2) Kyle Brodziak - with increased responsibilities, expect Brodziak to get better
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Steve Staios - "not so" steady Steve has the potential to hurt your +/- more than he will help it

Florida
Sleeper Picks:
(1) Shawn Matthias - a potential breakout year
(2) Keith Ballard - don't expect him to run away in the points column, but he will be reliable in the +/- and PIM respects
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Wade Belak - why, oh why would you pick Wade Belak

Los Angeles
Sleeper Picks:
(1) Jarret Stoll - bouncing back from concussion problems is hard, but watch the faceoff and PP specialist regain his form in the environment of semi-anonymity of Los Angeles
(2) Patrick O'Sullivan - a good young forward who will improve his +/- this year
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Jason LaBarbera - the season does not look good for Jason

Minnesota
Sleeper Picks:
(1) Mikko Koivu - I don't know why this guy doesn't get more attention!
(2) Owen Nolan - he doesn't put up big numbers but he backchecks like a demon
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Derek Boogaard - not enough people are willing to tussle with Derek to make him effective

Montreal
Sleeper Picks:
(1) Patrice Brisebois - with the departure of Streit, expect him to get more minutes - and more points
(2) Georges Laraque - Georges will be a busy boy in his hometown. Expect him to rack up more than just PIM
Avoid Me Pick:
(AV) Guilliame Latendresse - if I had to bet one player struggling in Montreal this season, it would be Guy on the grounds alone that the Kostitsyns, Higgins, Kovalev, Tanguay, Higgins, Koivu, Plekanec, and Lang are all ahead of him

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1 Comments:

Blogger Travis said...

Joni is gonna rip that shit up in Carolina.
Sutter could be a sleeper as well...

October 6, 2008 at 2:52 PM

 

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