Monday, February 2, 2009

First-Half Fantasy Phenoms! Part I: The Forwards

It's coming on crunch time for those of you Fantasy Hockey GMs and poolies. In my next series of posts, I will review some key performers thus far in the season and provide some insight that might just put you over the edge in your league or pool.
First up: The First-Half Fantasy Phenoms. The following are guys that obviously had the potential to be top performers, but have reached that next level to elite status with their play this year. They have also made the person who have drafted/picked them look like a genius! Chances are if one or more of the following guys is on your fantasy team, your team is looking good heading into the stretch run.
Forwards (The Hockey Spy's Top 10 Key Forwards):
  • Marc Savard: Not sure where he went in your draft, but this guy is constantly underrated. "The Catalyst" currently sits tied for 4th in league scoring with 61 pts in 51 games and is an astounding +28, especially for a player for the better part of his career known as a liability in his own end. While always gifted offensively, Savard seems to really finally "get it" now and plays a complete game - a major reason for the Bruins rise to dominance this season. A very surprising stat brought to my attention at states "The Catalyst" is actually 5th in total overall scoring since the lockout. Overlook him no more!
  • Zach Parise: I thought he could be a PPG player this season, but the super-skilled Devil has broken into the league's elite and is currently tied for 6th in league scoring with 58 pts in 50 games.
  • Patrick Marleau: While many forecasted a somewhat of a rebound season for the swift-skating forward after a dismal '07-08 campaign, not many foreshadowed this kind of a season. With 53 pts in 48 games and a +22, Marleau has reaffirmed himself amongst the games elite.
  • Jeff Carter: I, like many prognosticators, have been waiting for Carter to breakout for the past few seasons. He is finally putting it all together and is second only to The Great 8 (Ovechkin) in goals, with 32 in 49 games.
  • David Kejci: High Five if you drafted Krejci. This '04 2nd round draft pick has exploded on the scene this season currently tied for 11th in league scoring with 53 pts in 51 games and a brilliant +26. The center of the "Peach Fuzz" line (along with fellow breakout players, Milan Lucic and Phil Kessel) has been dynamite and displays uncanny hockey sense.
  • Mike Cammalleri: The Flames off-season acquisition took a while to acclimatize to the Flames, but has now cemented himself on Iginla's opposite wing. He sits tied for 17th in league scoring and is one of the hottest goal-scorers in the league at present time with 11 goals in his last 7 games.
  • Devin Setoguchi: The young Sharks RW has translated an effective playoffs last year into a breakthrough season this year, scoring at close to a PPG clip.
  • Phil Kessel: The highly skilled, speedy winger is finally living up to the hype. The kid's a trooper having previously battled testicular cancer, he's also recently battled through a bought of mononucleiosis earlier this year. He's had the longest point-scoring streak in the league this season at 18 games.
  • Louie Ericsson: The talented swede is another breakthrough young gun. The Dallas Star winger is 7th in the league in goal-scoring with 24 tallies in 48 games.
  • Bobby Ryan: Still considered a rookie, the 2005 2nd overall winger is finally producing at the big show, and at a PPG click at that. He didn't get recalled until November, likely due to cap issues. I was amazed that in last year's Hockey News Prspect issue, they had Ryan listed under poor draft choices made by the Ducks. I thought that was extremely premature. Ryan gets the last laugh - as do the Ducks!

On deck...dmen and goalies...

Stay Tuned...As well, keep checking back for an upcoming article on Trade Speculation.

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