FANTASY MONDAY: Players to Buy Low

Matt SitkoffCorrespondent IOctober 13, 2009

CHICAGO - MAY 22:  Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks on against the Detroit Red Wings during Game Three of the Western Conference Championship Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 22, 2009 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks won 4-3 in overtime.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Trades are a big part of a fantasy team.  You could be trading strengths for weaknesses, trading for a player whose stock is down, or trading a player who stock is up.  This week I will give you some names to target in trades while their stock is down, and also give you my waiver wire pickup of the week.

1.)  Jonathan Toews Blackhawks C:

Only one point in the first four games has fantasy owners pulling their hair out.  Let their impatience be your gain.  Even though Toews has 124 career points, this third year center is a notorious slow starter with only 17 career points in 24 games played in October. 

Package a second tier center that you took in the fifth to sixth round who is good and gets power play time, and a player off to a hot start that you picked off the waiver wire, and reap the benefits.

2.)  Pavel Datsyuk Red Wings C:

Coming off a very disappointing playoff (9 pts in 16 GP), Datsyuk has seemed to continue this slump into the first couple of games this season.  Only now he has lost his linemate, Johan Frazen, to injury.  This will cost some fantasy owners to panic and put the three-time 30 goal scorer open to the market.  Jump on this proposition. 

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With the injury to the Muler, Datsyuk will see more time with Henrik Zetterberg which, while not good for the Red Wings, is good for fantasy.  Package your top center with a second or third defenseman and it will be worth the risk.

3.)  Evgeni Nabokov Sharks G:

No, he is not the dominant goalie he has been in the past, basically because he has played an astounding 234 games since the lockout.  Since the Russian net minder has given up a league high 15 goals in the first five games, owners will look for a quick upgrade.  Jump on this offer. 

A warming thought is he will not bring the same stellar numbers in GAA or save percentage, but he will be effective in wins and the elusive shutouts (20 in last three years).

Waiver Wire Pickup of Week: Ondrej Pavelec Thrashers G:

In a 10-12 team, league goaltending is at a premium, so take a flier on the Thrashers rookie goalie.  The Czech mate is owned in less than 10 percent of leagues and, with the injury to Kari Lehtonen, he has ascended to the top spot in the Thrashers net. 

The 6’2’’ former 41st overall pick will not light up the wins column, but already has a .913 save percentage and 3.00 GAA in three games.  Pavelec has also proven he can win in pressure situations leading the Chicago Wolves to a Calder Cup Championship in 2007-08. 

Now, it is his turn to make an impact for the young Thrashers and for your fantasy team.  Why take a chance on a backup who doesn’t play every day?  Instead take a chance on a starting goalie with a good pedigree playing for a bad team.

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