NHL Fantasy Files: Week 10

Josh KyrzakosAnalyst IDecember 4, 2007

IconWhy is Dany Heatley a better fantasy player than Daniel Alfredsson?

Their point totals are the same, they even play on the same line—but Heatley gets nearly twice as many penalty minutes as his teammate.

Christopher Neil and Sean Avery are highly-valued goons because they chip in the odd point here and there.

But what about the flipside—what about the scoring forwards who take more than their fair share of penalties?

Fantasy managers don’t notice the player who gets 60 points and 60 minutes, but they will boast about the guys who get 100 points and 20 minutes—or vice versa.

This week I recommend buying low on some five-tool players who can help you in all typical five-by-five rotisserie categories.

Buy Low

Maxim Afinogenov (BUF – RW)

There is no better low-buy candidate in the NHL right now. With only four goals in 24 games, Afinogenov is off to the worst start of his career.

Having averaged 1.01 points per game over the last two seasons, he's sure to see his numbers climb.

On December 1st, the winger had a huge weight lifted off his chest when he scored a goal and notched an assist.

If Afinogenov's on your league's free-agent list, now might be the time to scoop him up. If he’s owned in your league, chances are his owner is very frustrated with him—and his market value will be well below his actual value.

Make an offer, but don’t give up too much for him. It can’t hurt.


Sandis Ozolinsh (SJ – D)

On a team loaded with highly-touted defensemen, it’s an aging recovering alcoholic who has stepped up to lead the pack.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Christian Ehrhoff, and Matt Carle all sat near the top of the Sharks defensive depth chart to start the season.

Meanwhile, Sandis Ozolinsh started the season in the NHL's substance-abuse program after pleading guilty to drunk-driving charges in June 2006.

With five points in his last eight games, Ozolinsh is now regarded as the veteran leader on a revitalized Sharks power play. With the talent surrounding Ozolinsh, expect his power-play success to continue.

Bill Guerin (NYI – RW)

Bill Guerin hasn’t gotten a point in over a month.

After a terrible November, Ted Nolan has rejiggled his lines, and Guerin now finds himself on the second line with Josef Vasicek and Ruslan Fedotenko. With any luck, the new combination will click and give Guerin the spark he needs.

As a bonus, the grinding forward also has more penalty minutes than games played over the course of his career.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/Brushback/GuillaumeLatendresse.jpgGuillaume Latendresse (MON – RW)

Guillaume Latendresse has potted three goals in the past three games.

Since joining Saku Koivu and Christopher Higgins on the Canadiens' top line, Latendresse has been a solid fantasy contributor.

On top of the three goals, he’s also chipped in eight penalty minutes over the same span.

This big winger has been criticized for his lack of footspeed, so he resorts to using his stick to try and slow down his opponents. Coach Guy Carbonneau can’t be happy about his frequent trips to the penalty box—but we sure are!

In his last season in the QJMHL (2005-06), Latendresse finished with 83 points and 105 penalty minutes in 51 games. Expect the penalty parade and point streaks to continue.

Jaroslav Halak (MON – G)

Cristobal Huet has been lights-out this season. Carey Price is the future Patrick Roy.

So why am I recommending picking up Jaroslav Halak, the No. 3 goalie on the Montreal depth chart?

Easy: Huet has a pulled groin, and Price has the flu. Now's the perfect time for the Canadiens to showcase Halak to potential trading partners.

Several teams around the NHL are looking for goaltending help. Los Angeles, Tampa, Pittsburgh, Colorado, Washington—and surprisingly, Calgary—could all be in the mix.

Even if a trade doesn’t happen, Halak will still post solid numbers for you this week playing for the red-hot Canadiens. 

Joakim Lindstrom (CLB – C)

Ken Hitchcock is the new sheriff in town. He’s taken that ragtag group of players on the Blue Jackets and turned them into a respectable team.

The Blue Jackets are still struggling to find a No. 1 center. Sergei Fedorov is past his prime, Michael Peca is a penalty-kill specialist, and Gilbert Brule has never lived up to his potential.

Enter Joakim Lindstrom. In 22 AHL games this season, he’s tallied 11 goals and 13 assists.

AHL success doesn’t always translate to NHL success—but at this point, the Blue Jackets are willing to give the kid a shot.

In a nine-game cup of coffee with the team last year, Lindstrom only managed one goal—but this year he should be given more ice time and more opportunities to score.


    Hamilton Traded to Canes in Blockbuster

    NHL logo

    Hamilton Traded to Canes in Blockbuster

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Kings Sign Ikya Kovalchuk as Russian Returns to NHL

    NHL logo

    Kings Sign Ikya Kovalchuk as Russian Returns to NHL

    The Associated Press
    via Daily News

    Kovalchuk Signs with Kings After Playing in Russia

    NHL logo

    Kovalchuk Signs with Kings After Playing in Russia

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report

    NHL Draft Results: Trades and Late-rising Prospects

    NHL logo

    NHL Draft Results: Trades and Late-rising Prospects

    Chris Roling
    via Bleacher Report