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Fantasy Hockey Gauntlet - Week Five: Derek Stepan, John Gibson, and Steve Downie

Troy Langefeld runs the fantasy hockey gauntlet for week five of the NHL season!

Stepan is back to help your fantasy team! - Photo Credit
Stepan is back to help your fantasy team! - Photo Credit
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

If you missed out on the early entries into my weekly series, you can find it all right here: Fake Teams Fantasy Hockey. A quick recap of last week's article: most of my suggestions did alright, although none of them were game breakers for you. Nikita Kucherov, Mike Ribeiro, and Radko Gudas did basically just as we expected with consistent efforts. Jiri Hudler and Kris Versteeg were the two best picks of the group. Toby Enstrom didn't do anything special and Jiri Tlusty disappeared again right as I endorse him. I expect some streakiness with Tlusty, but he'll be fine over the season. Ben Scrivens was terrible, but you knew that might happen and Michael Raffl got hurt so I'm playing a mulligan on that one. Anze Kopitar was alright, but not the level we expect out of him. He may still be a buy low target and Taylor Hall's situation remains unchanged - go try and get him.

The snake draft league - This was Made in Kariya - had a fairly close week. There were no blowouts and the standings remain tight. I managed a tie with the team in first, our matchup was a seesaw back and forth and I'm alright splitting the points. I now find myself tied for third in the standings and am matched up against one of the two teams I'm tied with this week. The auction draft league - Don't Toews me bro! - also had a tight week. There is a bit more separation in the standings than the Kariya league, but it's still tight. I won my matchup by a slight margin which is disappointing as I had a large lead for most of the week and it fell apart over the weekend. Still, I'll take the win. I'm alone in third place in the standings and am hoping to make up some ground on the leaders with a good week. Overall last week I went 4-1-1 in all my leagues - another successful week gone by. Hopefully I can continue this success going forward for the remainder of the year.

Week Five (November 10-16):

4 Game Week: Arizona, Boston, Carolina, Dallas, Minnesota, Montreal, New Jersey, San Jose, Winnipeg
2 Game Week: Detroit, Philadelphia, Vancouver
All other teams at 3 games

You should go and get NHL Center Ice (if you haven't already done so) to properly enjoy the season's slate of games; trust me - it's worth the money and maybe you can get a discount now since the season has already started.

Waiver Pickups:

Nick Bonino - C - VAN (45% owned): Don't look now, but the second line for the Canucks actually has a bit of scoring punch. Bonino is centering the line and has been heating up in the last few weeks. Will it continue? I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if he gets more than 50 points this year. Sneaky value.

Contributes in goals, assists, plus/minus, and shots
Can hurt you in penalty minutes, and powerplay points

Sean Monahan - C - CGY (32%) and Johnny Gaudreau - LW - CGY (31%): While I'm scared to recommend any Flames player - both because they're terrible and I'm worried about team bias - Sean Monahan and Johnny Hockey have been lighting it up in recent weeks. These kids can lose it at any time, but we have to like what we see for now. FYI - Little Johnny is battling the flu apparently so check in with his status before adding him.

Contributes in goals, assists, powerplay points, and shots
Can hurt you in plus/minus and penalty minutes

Derick Brassard - C - NYR (26%) and Derek Stepan - C - NYR (53%): Derick Brassard is on a bit of a role on the top line with Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis in the Big Apple, but it might be Derek Stepan that we're all more interested in. While Stepan has only played two games since his return from IR and hasn't played on the top line yet, that is his typical spot in the lines. Watch for him to take the top line pivot role for the Rangers shortly. See if you can get him off of anyone before it happens and reap the rewards later.

Contributes in goals, assists, and powerplay points
Can hurt you in plus/minus, penalty minutes, and shots

Jori Lehtera - C - STL (21%): With the recent injuries to TJ Oshie (IR) and David Backes (since returned), the Blues had to become creative with their line combinations. It was at that point that Lehtera joined Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko on the top line and they have been dynamite since. Lehtera remains the one widely available piece of the group, but he shouldn't be.

Contributes in assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, and powerplay points
Can hurt you in goals and shots

Cody Franson - D - TOR (26%): Franson is getting top pairing minutes while also getting substantial time on both the top and second powerplay unit with the Maple Leafs. This sounds like something that interests you? Opportunity is everything and right now Franson is benefiting from it. He was one of my deeper picks in my preseason draft kit and I'm glad to see that he's doing well now (and making me look alright it the process).

Contributes in assists, plus/minus, and powerplay points
Can hurt you in goals, penalty minutes, and shots

Roman Josi - D - NSH (44%): I'm not sure why Josi doesn't get more love as he is a consistent number four or five defenseman. He plays on the top defensive pairing and second powerplay unit, so there is plenty of opportunity for him. And he helps in basically every category which is awful nice to have. He should certainly be above 50% ownership.

Contributes in assists and plus/minus
Can hurt you in penalty minutes

Steve Downie - LW/RW - PIT (24%): I don't like to endorse penalty minute guys, but here is the second one of the year that has my backing. Downie is a player that can rack of consistent sin bin minutes for you while also not killing you in other categories. His ability to contribute to all categories, even if some only slightly, gives him more value than most people realize.

Contributes in penalty minutes
Can hurt you in powerplay points

John Gibson - G - ANH (41%): Yes Gibson is on IR. But if your IR slot is open, go and add Gibson now. Gibson is the goalie of the future for the Ducks and they want to give him the reins. When he returns, he could be a top 10-15 goalie for the remainder of the year. Stash and wait.

Cam Ward - G - CAR (30%): Ward looks to have wrested the starting role away from Anton Khudobin for now and has posted relevant numbers in the last five games. He's risky and this is a fluid situation, but keep an eye on him if you're need of easy and available starts.

Keith Kinkaid - G - NJ (0%): Cory Schneider has started every game this year so the chances of Kinkaid getting much playing time are slim, but the Devils play in two back to back sets this week which at least gives him the opportunity to possibly get some playing time. Only make the add if you are desperate as there is absolutely no guarantee that he gets any playing time.

Hopefully there is enough here to help you through the week, but if not, here is a preview towards next week.

Week Six (November 17-23) Preview:

4 Game Week: Arizona, Montreal, New York Rangers, St. Louis, Tampa Bay
2 Game Week: Colorado, Minnesota, Ottawa, 
All other teams at 3 games

My NHL Schedule:

The NHL Schedule has not been revised for anything since last week but can be found here: 2014-15 NHL Schedule . Don't forget to change the time zone to your appropriate time zone. The one thing I ask of you is that you do not take my schedule and use it for your own personal gains. Please do not sell it, you can direct people here to find it, but do not sell it.

I'm new to the twitterverse, but I'd love to hear your feedback and questions. Follow me on Twitter @HockeyGauntlet for more of my thoughts and all of your fantasy hockey needs.