Weekend Fantasy Hockey Planner

December 16 6:44pm
Gary Wilson

Who’s Hot

Pavel Datsyuk (DET)
After a very slow start, Datsyuk has predictably gotten his game back on track with 8 points in the last 4 games. He’s back over a point a game for the season.

Erik Cole (MON)
My favorite player in the NHL is red hot for the Habs, with 6 points in 4 games. He now has 12 goals on the season, putting him on pace for 30 this year. The last time Cole netted 30 goals, he lifted the Cup.

Wayne Simmonds (PHI) and Scott Hartnell (PHI)
Someone had to step it up with Giroux out of the lineup. Simmonds now has 6 points in the last 4 games, including goals in 4 straight games. Hartnell just wrapped up a 6 game goal-scoring streak.

Matt Carle (D-PHI)
Carle is likewise doing his part to compensate for the lack of Pronger in Philly. He has 5 points in the last two games. Expect him to log cloase to 27 minutes a night at this point, giving him ample opportunity to keep up the pace.

Tomas Kaberle (D-MON)
I wrote this guy off two weeks ago, following a stretch of 1 point in 11 games, including a healthy scratch. In the last five games, he has 8 assists. Apparently, he’s more comfortable in a Montreal jersey.

Pekka Rinne (G-NAS)
After a horrible run of losses, Rinne has caught fire. He’s won four straight games for the Preds, and is chipping his GAA pack down near 2.5.

Who’s Cold

Dallas. Yes, it’s cold in Dallas.
After a fantastic start to the season, it was looking like Eriksson could challenge for the Rocket Richard. Something changed mid-November. He now has just 1 goal in the pas 13 games. He’s without a point in five straight. The Dallas woes aren’t limited to Lou. His center, Jamie Benn has a similar storyline. Just 1 point in the last 7 games, after a promising first quarter. On defense, Sheldon Souray’s cold streak now stands at 15 games and counting.

Corey Crawford (CHI)
Two weeks ago, Crawford was among the league leaders in wins with 12. He hasn’t added to that total since Dec. 2nd. Over his last several starts, he was benefitting tremendously from a Hawks offensive surge, as he was allowing close to 4 goals per game. Emery has the hot hand right now, putting Crawford on the bench for the time being. The Hawks have a tradition of changing number 1 goalies about this point in the season, and Emery is certainly capable of holding that position. Tough times for Crawford.

Thomas Vanek (BUF)
Vanek came back from the opening week in Europe with aspirations of leading the league in goals, having been there 8 times in the first 10 games. Lately, he’s struggled to put points on the board. He has just 2 in the past 6 games.

Jhonas Enroth (BUF)
Miller’s head injury set the stage for Enroth to go on a run and earn some fantasy points. It just didn’t happen. He dropped 3 straight games, averaging 3 goals against. Now, Miller is back and Enroth is starting to look like just another average backup on a struggling team.

Drew Doughty (LA)
Doughty is certainly leading the running for most disappointing fantasy option this season. He has just one lousy assist in the last 14 games, despite logging over 25 minutes a game. This one is hard to explain.

Who’s Hurt

The concussion epidemic is sweeping across the NHL, particularly hitting some of the top fantasy options out there:

Jeff Skinner (CAR) – concussion – out indefinitely
• Milan Michalek (OTT) – concussion
Chris Pronger (D-PHI) – concussion — season (and possibly career) are over
Claude Giroux (PHI) – concussion
• Sidney Crosby (PIT) – concussion

Other ailments have some players in doubt this weekend:
• Mikko Koivu (MIN) – questionable for Saturday (leg)
• Jodan Staal (PIT) – questionable tonight (lower body)
• Daniel Sedin (VAN) – missed Thursday with a back injury

On the good news side of the injury front:
• Taylor Hall (EDM) – returned Thursday and scored two power play goals
• Mike Green (D-WAS) – finally skating with the team, still no word on a return date

Value Picks of the Week

Here are some guys currently undervalued on Fanduel that you should cash in on in the short term:

Richard Bachman (G-DAL)
Filling in while Lehtonen continues to recover, Bachman has made the most of the moment, going 3-0 to start his career, including a shutout. He’s priced nicely at a mere $5,300.

Valterri Filppula (C-DET)
Filppula is quietly putting together a career year for the Wings. He recently went on a stretch of 12 points in 8 games. He could crack 30 goals for the first time this year. A nice center option at $6,400.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (C-EDM)
Despite running away with the Calder this year, and challenging for the scoring lead among all players, the rookie remains underpriced at $6,400. 19 points in the last 13 games.

Taylor Hall (LW-EDM)
Now that’s back in the lineup, it’s time to cash in on this value pick. He’s priced at just $6,100, despite producing a 3.4 FPPG.

Mason Raymond (LW-VAN)
He missed most of the season so far, but has been solid since returning. The Vancouver winger costs you $5,800 this week.

Gary Wilson also runs and writes on Landshark Hockey.

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