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Fantasy Hockey Gauntlet - Week Fourteen: Tyler Seguin, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Pekka Rinne

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

Kevin Shattenkirk has been leading a parade of Blues celebrations this year - Photo Credit
Kevin Shattenkirk has been leading a parade of Blues celebrations this year - Photo Credit
Rick Osentoski-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.

Before I review my last set of recommendations, I'd like to give a special shout out to Team Canada who won the gold medal at the World Junior Hockey Championship shortly after my last piece. It was a hell of a tournament and here in Canada, we're all proud of our boys for bringing home the gold again since our streak of five straight ended in 2009.

As for the recommendations... Lets start it off with the big hits. Colin Wilson and Mathieu Perreault were great, scoring eight and seven points respectively over the last two weeks and taking around twenty shots each. Both returned top 20 value over the last two weeks, great additions if you made them. Mike Fisher was also quite good, returning top 60 value and contributing in all categories. Craig Smith, Troy Brouwer, Mark Scheifele, and Johnny Gaudreau were all meh with marginal contributions (I though Brouwer was going to do better after he scored the winner in the Winter Classic for us). Michael Raffl never showed up and was subsequently taken off the top line with Claude Giroux and Jacub Voracek and Andrej Sekera fell off the end of the Earth. Michael Hutchinson was only meh, starting in four of the seven games, winning two and having a 2.72 GAA and 0.907 SV%, but I still think he is a player to own (I just can't recommend him as he's over 50% now). All in all, pretty good given the Christmas break and how that can change momentum for a player, making these recommendations difficult.

In the snake draft league - This was Made in Kariya - I've put together a couple good weeks in a row and continue to move up the standings. I'm up to fifth now and I now find myself with a 17 point cushion above the non-playoff competition. Now I'm setting my eyes above me and looking for a first round bye (top two seeding), where I only trail second place by 3 points (it's awful tight in that pack). The auction draft league - Don't Toews me bro! - I picked up a win and solidified my third place standing for the moment. I'm six points behind first and second and I'd really like that first round bye. There is a 27 point cushion between me and the non-playoff teams, so I'm feeling good there. Overall I went 4-1-1 last week and I'm now 42-26-9 in head to head matchups on the year. My matchup winning percentage is 0.604 for the year among all leagues versus my category (points) winning percentage of 0.555.

Week Fourteen (January 12-18):

4 Game Week: Arizona, Buffalo, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Washington, Winnipeg
2 Game Week: Calgary, Chicago, New Jersey
All other teams at 3 games

This last Saturday marked the halfway point in NHL games played this season and similar to how I did a quarter point review of our best and worst fantasy assets, I will look at the mid season winners and losers of fantasy hockey.

Top Forward:

Quarter Mark Winner: Jacub Voracek - RW - PHI (94% owned)
Runner Up: Vladimir Tarasenko - RW - STL (93%)

Mid Season Winner: Jacub Voracek - RW - PHI (94% owned)
Runner Up: Tyler Seguin - C/RW - DAL (100%)

As long as Jacub Voracek remains at the top of the points leader board, it's tough to knock him from this position. After all, points influences most of a players fantasy hockey value. He's lighting it up, what else is there to say about the guy? with 50 points in 42 games and having recorded points in 31 of those games, he's been a consistent force for your team. He's only gone back to back games without scoring a point once this season.

No knock against Vladimir Tarasenko, but I feel he's falling down the ranks and one Mr. Tyler Seguin is on the rise. He's leading the NHL in goals, second to Jacub Voracek in points, and second to Alex Ovechkin in shots. He has recorded 15 multi-point efforts already this season, so nothing is out of reach when he's on your team. I think he may finish the season as our number one ranked player and he's coming on hot.

Top Defenseman:

Quarter Mark Winner: Mark Giordano - D - CGY (97%)
Runner Up: There really was none.

Mid Season Winner: Kevin Shattenkirk - D - STL (97%)
Runner Up: Mark Giordano - D - CGY (97%)

Remember when Mark Giordano was so good that no one could catch up to him in voting? Well he's still good, but a drop off by the Flames in the second quarter has seen his contributions diminish as well. Kevin Shattenkirk now reigns supreme in the land of defenseman and is being helped significantly by an average Alex Pietrangelo. Shattenkirk has taken over the top powerplay unit duties and currently leads the NHL in powerplay points. While Giordano has recorded points in 29 of 43 games to Shattenkirks 23 of 42, Shattenkirk has one point more and the superior plus/minus, penalty minutes, and of course powerplay points. Giordano is your guy if you want consistency, but Shattenkirk has overtaken him for the purposes of this award.

Top Goaltender:

Quarter Mark Winner: Pekka Rinne - G - NSH (96%)
Runner Up: Marc-Andre Fleury - G - PIT (99%)

Mid Season Winner: Pekka Rinne - G - NSH (96%)
Runner Up: Marc-Andre Fleury - G - PIT (99%)

Guess what? We saw absolutely no change here. Pekka Rinne is still running away with the wins total and GAA/SV% numbers and Marc-Andre Fleury is making up for it by running away with shutouts. I'm giving it to Rinne still as I value the stats that he has advantage in over Fleury's shutouts which I see as a bit more up to chance. The other reason is that Rinne has played 36 games compared to 33 for Fleury. This may be a disadvantage later on if he gets tired, but for now I love that Rinne is almost always in the net and giving your team a chance to pile on the stats.

Most Disappointing Forward:

Quarter Mark Loser: Anze Kopitar - C - LA (99%)
Runner Ups: Jeff Skinner - LW/RW - CAR (73%) and Thomas Vanek - LW/RW - MIN (74%)

Mid Season Loser: Matt Duchene - C/LW - COL (94%)
Runner Ups: Jeff Skinner - LW/RW - CAR (73%) and Thomas Vanek - LW/RW - MIN (74%)

Thankfully Anze Kopitar woke up as I really like him as a player and was disappointed to have to write about him at the quarter mark. Corey Perry would own this if he hadn't missed so many games. I'm trying to keep injury and illness out of the equation, but he's certainly been a disappointment this year as well. Unfortunately Matt Duchene is now on my shitlist. As a guy who was often an early third round draft pick, he has really disappointed with only 26 points after recording a 70 point season a year ago. We were all expecting him to continue to grow or at least to maintain this year. He's only recorded points in 19 of the 42 games he's played and only recorded multi-point efforts in 6 of them which makes him a risk to play every night. I don't know if this is a lost season for him and the Avalanche or not, but they have one of the best fantasy playoff schedules (if you only use weeks 23/24 - it's a terrible week 22 if you use it) in the league, so he might be worth inquiring about if an owner has gotten fed up with him.

Jeff Skinner and Thomas Vanek maintained their runner-up status here and I see this as a lost season for them both. They may be the biggest disappointment by seasons end, but for now they aren't as Kopitar and Duchene had far more expectations laid upon when they were drafted.

Most Disappointing Defenseman:

Quarter Mark Loser: Matt Niskanen - D - WAS (70%)
Runner Ups: Alex Pietrangelo - D - STL (96%) and Christian Ehrhoff - D - PIT (67%)

Mid Season Loser: Matt Niskanen - D - WAS (70%)
Runner Ups: Alex Pietrangelo - D - STL (96%) and Oliver Ekman-Larsson - D - ARI (95%)

There are plenty of other defenseman who could take this with their absence from the rink, but Victor Hedman, Zdeno Chara, and Ryan McDonagh a pass due to their being away for extended periods of time. Matt Niskanen still holds the top spot as he's still only recorded 13 points in 9 of his 41 games played. That is atrocious for a guy that many were relying on as their number two defenseman. The worst part is that he's not even making up for it in other aspects of the game, as his plus/minus, penalty minutes, powerplay points, and shots are also lacking. Really he's just been no good. I didn't draft him this year in any leagues (for which I'm very grateful), but I think he can be safely dropped in many leagues. His potential will keep him ownable, but I'd expect ownership closer to 50-60% is closer to where it should be.

Alex Pietrangelo is doing fine with his assist total, but for a number one defenseman on many teams, the lack of production in other categories has many feeling quite disappointed. Oliver Ekman-Larsson is the exact opposite as he is scoring goals, recording powerplay points, and taking shots, but his assists (and therefore point totals) are severely lacking when compared to other top end blue liners. He has more goals (11) than he does assists (8) and his plus/minus is atrocious. Disappointing from a guy that many felt was going to take a step forward this year, myself included.

Most Disappointing Goaltender:

Quarter Mark Loser: Mike Smith - G - ARI (55%)
Runner Up: There really was none.

Mid Season Loser: Mike Smith - G - ARI (55%)
Runner Ups: Kari Lehtonen - G - DAL (90%), Sergei Bobrovsky - G - CLS (93%), and Tuukka Rask - G - BOS (99%)

Mike Smith is the runaway leader in terms of just terrible goaltending this year and has lost his job to journeyman Devan Dubnyk at times this year. It's officially a lost season. The fact that he still gets some starts keeps him rosterable in some leagues as starts are hard to find, but he's really doing no favours when he does. He's been terrible.

Kari Lehtonen and Sergei Bobrovsky haven't been as good as we expected based on years past either, but the big surprise for me is how much Tuukka Rask has struggled this year. His numbers are down all across the board and I think he makes a great trade target in most leagues as he is simply too skilled to keep playing this poorly. He was definitely affected by the injury trouble the Bruins had along the blue line this year and as they continue to return to health, I expect that Rask will finish the season strong. He is after all the reigning Vezina winner and one of the best goaltenders over the last few years.

Week Fifteen (January 19 - February 1) Preview:

Please don't forget that week 15 includes the All-Star break (five day layoff) and will therefore extend over two calendar weeks.

6 Game Week: Pittsburgh
5 Game Week: Arizona, Calgary, Chicago, Columbus, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, Philadelphia, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington
3 Game Week: Buffalo
All other teams at 4 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.