NHL Season Ahead: Week One Fantasy Players to Watch

Chris WilsonContributor IOctober 14, 2008

First for a surprise, the Leafs beat the Red Wings—WHAT!?!?

The Red Wings weren't at their best, but who put money down on Toronto for this one? For sure I wouldn't have. I don't think I'd put money on the Laughs this season at all.

Anyway, here's my list of fantasy hockey players to keep an eye on after Week One:



Aaron Voros (NYR)

Three goals and four assists so far this season—half of his point total from last year already, in five games compared to 55. I don't think he'll keep it up, so he'll stay on waivers, in my leagues at least.

Brandon Dubinsky (NYR) *Sleeper alert*

Three goals and four assists in five games. I don't expect him to keep this pace, but he will be a valuable fill in for the head-to-head rosters, and, if he keeps it up, be worth a start for a while in the roto leagues. I now expect about 30 goals and 42 assists from him this season, making him climb my charts quite a bit. 


Andy McDonald (STL) *Sleeper alert*

Six assists in three games, and he will keep that pace up. Andy will find the stride he had a couple years ago and once again reach over 50 assists—my guess would be over 60.

He'd be a great pickup for head-to-head, where you can switch players in and out day-to-day, but I don't think he will crack the roto league, as he will not score enough goals to be there.


Filip Kuba (OTT) *Sleeper alert*

Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza, and Daniel Alfredsson own this team, but who is tied for the Seantors' lead in points right now? Filip Kuba, with four assists. He will keep this up all year in Ottawa, making him worth a fifth defenseman spot, or even cracking the top four on your roster, depending on your situation. 


Sergei Kostitsyn (MTL) *Sleeper alert*

That's right—Sergei, not Andrei. Sergei can't possibly keep up this pace—two goals and two assists in three games—but he will put up so great numbers for anyone looking for the ultimate sleeper.

Don't confuse him with Andrei. Andrei will get more points this year, and is most likely owned in your league. Sergei would be an interesting pickup—especially now while he's on fire, which will not last much longer. If you own him, sell high in a couple weeks. Expect 18 goals and 28 assists out of him this year—25 goals and 36 assists, tops. 



Petr Budaj (COL)

Eight goals given up on 39 shots so far this year. At the start of the year, I would've said he's a No. 2 goalie if you have weak goaltending—but, at this point, he'd be down to No. 4 for me.

Don't expect a lot out of him this year. He will end up splitting starts with Andrew Raycroft, and neither are good enough to keep the other from getting a full number of starts from Colorado. Stay away from both!


That is all for now. Later this week: team and playoff predictions.

See you soon!