Fantasy hockey is not nearly as fun as fantasy football. There’s not as much thinking or planning involved. It’s pretty much between getting good goalies and good skaters. It doesn’t matter what position a skater is, because you rely on all of them for the same thing. Unlike football, you don’t really need to analyze positions. All you care about is the numbers. You can’t really predict everything. All you can hope for is for someone to be “good value”. Who on the Philadelphia Flyers will provide that value?
You know that Danny Briere and Claude Giroux will lead the team in scoring, barring injury of course. They are the top 2 centers and will have the most playing time. Behind them, everyone is a question mark. Can Scott Hartnell hit 30 goals again? Is Pronger capable of 35+ assists and a solid +/- number/ Can Bryzgalov have a high sv%? There’s a lot to consider before taking certain players. Judging by historical figures, we don’t have anyone that’s going to explode and battle for the league scoring title. What makes this analysis a bit tougher is not knowing the line combo’s. Still, the question is, which players will still put up good enough numbers to be worthy of drafting?
Scott Hartnell - He doesn’t create his own shot. He doesn’t have a ton of talent. His success is generated from hard work and taking advantage of opportunities. 30 goals is a stretch for him, but low to mid-20′s is a realistic expectation. His assists will be in that same range, maybe even lower. Of course, if you’re in league where PIM’s is a positive attribute, you can count on Scotty.
Jaromir Jagr - Does anyone have a clue what he can really do anymore? No doubt he’s still talented and can more than just hack it. But can he hold up through the end of the season, when fantasy playoffs roll around? I think that when it comes to player of his caliber, something close to .8 ppg is a realistic expectation. Over a full season that’s about 66 points. That might be a bit more than many people expect from him. If he can generate those kind of numbers, that makes him a pretty good sleeper pick.
Brayden Schenn - Despite a handful of NHL games, he’s essentially a rookie. He’s got a ton of expectations, but he’s got to prove himself. If you want to take a flyer on a Flyer (funnier than ANYTHING on last nights VMA’s), might as well grab him in one of the final rounds. Worst case scenario you can drop him and grab another free agent that is having and unexpectedly good season. Or maybe we get lucky like the Carolina Hurricanes and he lives up to the hype and has a Jeff Skinner-like season and gets you 30+ goals.
Matt Carle - He’s a good player, but his production comes with a catch. If Pronger is healthy, they’ll most likely be paired together. And when he’s with Prongs, he’s a much bigger threat. He still won’t score a ton, but he’ll be more involved in the rush and will add to his assist totals. Not to mention that his +/- will elevate a bit too.
Andrej Meszaros - He’s got a good shot and should have had a few more goals last season. Regardless of whether or not Pronger is in the lineup, he proved worthy of getting a ton of ice time. 35+ points is a realistic expectation from him, as well as a solid +/-. He’s not going to be very sought after probably, so you can probably get him pretty late as well.
Wayne Simmonds - I’m expecting a career year out of him. That doesn’t mean huge numbers, but something better than his best season of 16 goals, 24 assists, and 116 PIM’s. He’s still got a bit of a bruisers role, but there’s a bit more talent around her for him to work with. He should get very close to 20 goals, and the penalties should be up there as well.
Jakub Voracek - He could be this season’s Nik Zherdev. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. may Lavy will understand that we need offensive talent in the lineup, regardless of how it affects the D. If that’s the case, then Voracek will get a decent amount of playing time and should definitely get about 25 goals. Or, he’ll get stuck in the doghouse for not playing the system and will be worth nothing to a fantasy team.
Chris Pronger - If he’s really healthy, put him down for 50+ points. They way he passes the puck out of his zone after a turnover is pure beauty.
JVR - Honestly, I’m clueless about him. A lot of the insane roster moves were made because management believes he’s ready to take the next step. To me, that means he owes us at least 75 points. He’s got the physical tools to do it. He just has to want it enough, every night, to get the job done. He can become a really dominant player. But last year, he played like a ghost until he was benched. After that, his play improved. Why did he let that happen? Why did it take such a drastic move to motivate him? Maybe he really is going to be a full time power forward. Or maybe he will be a bust. I still don’t have a feel for it.
Ilya Bryzgalov - He’s hoping for 40 wins. So are we. I think his W-L record is what’s hardest to predict. If he plays 70+ games, then he’ll probably get the 40 wins. Otherwise, I’m not so sure. I’m really cautious because with so many new players, I don’t know how quickly this team will gel together. I’m not exactly expecting a hot start out of the gate. At least now when we go to shootouts, I have a lot more faith in the Flyers. He 4-5 last year, and 8-5 the year before. The Flyers had a total of 7 wins combined between all goalies in that span.
You never really know who will have a breakout year, or who will be a complete bust. That’s what makes it fun. I hope this helps. Although honestly, if I wasn’t in a very deep league, Outside of Giroux, Briere and Bryzgalov, I’m not sure if I’d really go for anyone else. I’m just not sure this team will score as much as they have he last few years. Still, the info. above should be helpful for deeper leagues.
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Tags: Andrej Meszaros Brayden Schenn Carolina Hurricanes Chris Pronger Claude Giroux Danny Briere Fantasy Hockey Fantasy Playoffs Ilya Bryzgalov Jakub Voracek Jaromir Jagr Jeff Skinner JVR Matt Carle NHL Nikolai Zherdev Peter Laviolette Philadelphia Flyers Scott Hartnell Wayne Simmonds