Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fantasy Update: Villains

When I saw this photo on Point Blank today, I had two thoughts: The Islanders should have won a lot more games in the first half with Sylar in goal. And how did he get hurt?

My goal here isn't really to paint the Islanders as villains. But if you have been counting on any of them for fantasy production over the last while, you may think them a dastardly bunch.

As the team nose-dived in the standings, much of their worthwhile fantasy production also plunged to insufferable depths. Some were held down or held out by injury. Others hit Tailspin Road because their linemates hit the IR Express.

With only three wins since the beginning of December, are there no heroes left in orange and blue tights? Let's have a look.

When we last visited the Coliseum of Justice about five weeks ago, Mark Streit, Doug Weight, Trent Hunter, and Bill Guerin had been carried over in the Player category. Despite the Islanders' inability to post more than a goal or two per game recently, you can continue to hold onto these players. And I say this despite the fact that Hunter was dropped in my league on this very day. Here's what they can do for you.

Mark Streit—Simply put, just play him and don't worry about it. Streit was recently the NHL leader in points by a defenseman and will represent the Isles at the All-Star Game with distinction. As of this writing, he still leads the league in power play points by a defenseman. And just for good measure, Streit is only a -3 on a team with no active plus players (Kurtis McLean doesn't count) despite acquiring 21 of his 34 points with the man advantage.

Doug Weight—Obviously Weight hasn't been doing anything for you lately. But if you were able to stash him in an IR slot, know that he skated today and should be back within two weeks (one of which has no games scheduled). Despite missing time, Weight is still only two off the team lead in points. He should continue to be very productive in assists and on the power play. Of course, keep an eye on his opportunities when he comes back as Scott Gordon has vowed to use his young players in expanded roles the rest of the way. And there's always the chance that a trade will come Weight's way and that could alter his production significantly.

Trent Hunter—Hunter is actually on the bubble here. Believe it or not, since we last did this in the middle of December, he has not registered a goal. In that time, he has managed only four assists. At 11-15-26, he's not that strong of a play anymore. But Hunter does still have a decent shot total at 118, and he's 20th in the league with 111 hits. Note that Hunter is currently recovering from a hand injury suffered in practice.

Bill Guerin—You can also see the downward trend in Guerin's stats. Last time, he was in the top ten in shots on goal. Entering tonight's action he was down to 20th. During this dry spell for the team, he does have three goals and nine assists. At 14-18-32 he may be a marginal play in some leagues, especially since he's added only six PIMs in the last five weeks or so.

I'll have to leave it at that for the moment, but check back later for news on specialists and fantasy prospects Kyle Okposo and...YANN DANIS?!

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