Oilers Fantasy Hockey Forecast - 12/07/2010
Value players' salary adjustments highlight this week's Forecast
Even without the services of Ales Hemsky, the Oilers have developed some line chemistry that’s paying off in spades. Ryan Jones has stepped up in Hemsky’s absence and has performed admirably alongside Sam Gagner and Magnus Paajarvi.
With good vibes flowing and the goals coming with great regularity, the team looks poised to continue its winning streak as we progress through this season-high, six-game homestand.
Due to the fact that the Ducks and Oilers do battle this evening, we thought we’d try something a little different with this week’s Forecast; a final opportunity for pre-scouting, if you will.
All salary adjustments will be made immediately following tonight’s game, meaning that each participant will have the advantage of seeing this week’s highlighted players well in advance of making selections for the next game.
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This week, we’ve highlighted three players that could very well be the most important contributors on your roster. In addition, they also happen to be excellent value options, as securing results with a lower dollar rate certainly helps to separate your lineup from the pack.
SAM GAGNER ($2M > $3M)
On a team that now features three young rookies sharing the spotlight with an already young core of offensive talent, 21-year old Sam Gagner could likely be considered a veteran of the NHL with the overall improvement and maturity being showcased in his game.
While the team is currently enjoying a four-game winning streak, Gagner is on an impressive run of his own; a five-game point streak that has seen him produce seven points and be one of the team’s most dangerous offensive weapons.
Gagner has been making a steady charge all season long and has now secured a firm position in the top ten. For the balance of the season thus far, he has been a tremendous value at only $2 million. But with a recent surge and consistent defensive play, the skilled forward has earned a raise for the coming week. Although the jump to $3 million could perhaps take him out of the category of a value pick, you're sure to receive excellent results with the addition of Gagner to your lineup.
RYAN JONES ($1M > $2M)
While Ryan Jones is known for his consistent effort and energy, he was likely considered a darkhorse to step up and fill the void left by Ales Hemsky. It would be unfair to expect that of Jones, but he’s brought his own crash-and-bang style and offensive talent to a line that needed a suitable interim replacement.
The gritty forward has now recorded six goals on the season, including two in the last two games to help lead the Oilers to victory. Jones is one of the more unique Fantasy Hockey players because of his expertise in other areas. Jones is a tremendous physical presence, excellent shot blocker and much more. The addition of an offensive spark has only helped to up his Fantasy point totals over the past week, as he looks to continue his hot play throughout this homestand.
With confidence riding high, Jones will receive a raise this week due to his tireless effort and results that have ultimately done the talking. While a raise to $2 million still keeps him as valuable selection, you’ll have to make some difficult decisions elsewhere if you’re up near the cap.
GILBERT BRULE ($2M > $1M)
Along with the weekly raises, pay-cuts are inevitable. After showing glimpses of an offensive turnaround, highlighted by a two-point performance against Ottawa last week, Brule has gone silent in the team’s past three games.
While Brule’s overall offensive production has been below expectations, the energy forward has still shown great chemistry with linemates Andrew Cogliano and Dustin Penner. The chances are there, plenty of shots are being taken, and his faceoff numbers are a nice addition to an already solid selection.
With Brule providing those underlying numbers, it might be a good opportunity to slot him into your lineup and hope that his offensive game picks up. With a decrease in salary to only $1 million this week, this is excellent opportunity to select an integral value player.
With this week’s theme focusing on value picks, take some extra time to assemble a team that features some of the week’s darkhorses. Particularly if you’re looking to make a big jump in the standings, a roster dedicated to variety could pay off in the long run.
Author: Ryan Dittrick | edmontonoilers.com