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Fantasy Hockey Analysis

Fantasy Hockey Scouts: The Fantasy Five - Week #12

#1 Give 'em a Look

Following last season's disappointing performance and with only 20 points so far this season, Brian Rolston is probably available in a lot of leagues right now but with 7+6=13, a plus-7 and 46 shots in his last 12 games, you could do a lot worse than adding this guy to your team right now. Last year was a write-off (only 32 points & 174 shots) as Rolston never clicked with coach Brent Sutter but he's back with his old buddy Jacques Lemaire now and in the three seasons prior to last year (all under Lemaire) Rolston averaged 32+35=67 with 296 shots. The shots are there so far this year, as he's on pace for 284, and we think the points won't be far behind.

Others worth a look: David Backes (StL – C/W), Joni Pitkanen (Car - D), Marc-Andre Bergeron (Mtl – D) and Tuukka Rask (Bos – G)

#2 Give 'em the Boot

We're not really sure what's happened to Nicklas Lidstrom this year and quite frankly we don't care, as the bottom line is he's not helping anyone's fantasy team right now. This doesn't appear to be just a slump as we're about 40% through the season and things aren't getting better as he's posted only 0+4=4 and a minus-5 in his last 15 games. Not sure if age is catching up with him or if the Wings overall struggles have hit him hard but he deserves to find a spot on your bench or right off your team asap.

Others worth a boot: Scott Gomez (Mtl – C), JP Dumont (Nsh – W), Alex Tanguay (TB – W), Joffrey Lupul (Ana – W) and Matt Gilroy (NYR – D)

#3 Injury Concerns

Last week we recommended you drop Jason Spezza for his less-than-awesome play, well if you hung on to him for another week to see if he'd pick it up then you were rewarded with goals in back-to-back games before he went down on Monday night with a torn MCL and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. So now it's definitely time to say goodnight to Spezza as with the compact schedule he'll probably miss in the neighbourhood of 30 games. Ottawa is looking to replace Spezza with Jesse Winchester... we suggest you aim a little higher.

#4 Crease Conflicts

This one has really been heating up lately as Johan Hedberg has started seven of the past 10 for the Thrashers and is making a push to steal the #1 from Ondrej Pavelec. This is very surprising from Hedberg as you have to go back to the 2001/02 to find a season where he posted a sv% above .900 and he's never had a gaa below 2.50 but he's blowing those numbers out of the water right now with a 9-4-0 record, 2.33 gaa & .927 sv%. We're not sure Hedberg is really considered the #1 yet but Pavelec has struggled lately and Hedberg has been racking up the wins, so ride him while he's hot and prepare yourself for the rollercoaster ride when/if Kari Lehtonen gets healthy and is thrown into the mix.

#5 Hit the Links

Interesting Article by Jeff Angus over at DobberHockey.com about taking advantage of the attention that is paid to the World Juniors tournament. The article is a little old and while there are parts that made us frown, it's the overall concept that we want to point out, as fantasy hockey GMs tend to put too much weight on what they see in small doses on TV. While the WJC is great for checking out the young prospects, it's such a small sample size and a lot of times the competition can be inferior, so don't get sucked into overrating a prospect based on a few games.

Fantasy Hockey Scouts

Each week the scouts from Fantasy Hockey Scouts will give you a quick blast of five things to keep an eye on in fantasy land...

Check out what the experts have to say at FantasyHockeyScouts.com.

It's a fun and free read that covers all aspects of fantasy hockey! Great work guys!

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