Oilers Fantasy Hockey Forecast - 11/23/2010
Bargain hunting, quick-hits & more in this week's Forecast
Player salary adjustments have put an interesting twist into the system, and so far the response has been excellent. The careful roster selections have proven beneficial for some, which has created a unique dynamic to an already close race.
Last like week, all the previously adjusted salaries have been changed to their original numbers with some new players entering the spotlight this week.
After a few weeks of fairly significant changes, the adjustments have been scaled back slightly to give everyone a bit of a breather in what has proven to be a grueling 82-game Fantasy Hockey schedule. To reflect the tone of success from the previous few weeks, we have another bargain player ready to be taken this week and pay dividends to those that select him.
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If there’s one thing we can take out of the results of the past few weeks, it’s that the scaled-back salaries have provided some excellent bargain opportunities for you to cash in on.
Last week, our featured bargain was defenceman Tom Gilbert. The puck-moving blueliner responded with several solid performances, capped with one of the better nights of any Oiler against the Anaheim Ducks Sunday night.
Due to Gilbert’s struggles over the last little while, many owners were likely a little concerned about giving him a chance. For those that did, excellent choice.
We have another featured bargain player this week that we’ll get to in a moment.
DEVAN DUBNYK ($1M > $2M)
With Nikolai Khabibulin nursing a sore groin, Devan Dubnyk has been anointed the Oilers’ starting netminder in the interim. Following a tough shootout loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, Dubnyk responded in style with a 38-save performance against the Anaheim Ducks.
While Dubnyk has had an inconsistent start to his young career, the opportunity he has now could be the most vital component to the weekly success of Oilers Fantasy Hockey participants. With 25-points gained in Sunday’s win, Dubnyk will provide solid goaltending at an incredible price; giving you more flexibility to make changes elsewhere if you so desire.
Of course, we couldn’t leave it at that. Dubnyk is, naturally, a tremendous bargain. Just to spice things up, we’re going to add to Dubnyk’s cap-hit and lock him in with a marginally increased $2 million salary.
SHAWN BELLE ($1M > $2M)
We’re going to refer to this change as the Theo Peckham clause.
Belle has acquitted himself nicely into the Oilers lineup and is developing some excellent chemistry with partner Kurtis Foster. Belle has been given the unique opportunity to play in all situations and log a decent amount of ice-time for a player fresh into the organization.
In addition to some excellent defensive play and bonus time on the powerplay, Belle is the beneficiary of a physical edge that could do wonders for his Fantasy point totals.
Belle’s inclusion into your lineup would be a wise decision. The increase to $2 million in salary could potentially cause some issues for the salary cap, so plan accordingly and try to make room for this mobile defenceman.
SHAWN HORCOFF ($6M > $4M)
Captain Shawn Horcoff is your bargain of the week, and his selection could result in one of the bigger point increases to date with his addition.
While Horcoff didn’t have a stellar week, it was once again another solid exhibition of his redeveloped confidence in the early portions of the 2010-11 season. Horcoff has played well and has firmly situated himself in the upper-half of the standings.
Regardless of his performances, a $6 million cap-hit is hefty and most certainly difficult to work around with such a limited budget. This week, however, we’re giving you the opportunity to select him at a discounted rate. For the next seven days, he will only cost you a very manageable $4 million and should provide some excellent numbers in the process.
If you’re looking to a player that will deliver for the right price, he’s your guy. Perhaps we’ll see even more from the veteran centre as the chemistry between he and his linemates continues to develop on a daily basis.
- If you’re looking for a dark horse this week, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take Ryan Jones into consideration. The gritty forward is playing increased minutes with further confidence being shown by the coaching staff. With four goals on the season, he’s one of the team’s leading goal-getters as well. With a workmanlike game that brings plenty of hits, blocked-shots and lots more, his $1 million cap-hit could make him a prized selection.
- Stay away from Magnus Paajarvi for the time-being. The skilled Swede is struggling and, as a result, has been relegated to the fourth line. While this position in the lineup likely isn't conducive to proper development, it wouldn't be unreasonable to see him sent to Oklahoma City in the near future.
- Watch out for Taylor Hall this week. Not only is his confidence growing by the second, but his chemistry with linemates Jordan Eberle and Shawn Horcoff has completed an impressive trio of offensive talent. $4 million is no doubt an investment, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Hall have another strong week.
- How about Ryan Whitney? His 17 assists are fourth best in the NHL among defencemen. Even more amazingly, his climb to the top is now complete as he tops Nikolai Khabibulin on the leaderboard for the first time this season.
Author: Ryan Dittrick | edmontonoilers.com