Do not let fantasy studs pass you by holding onto players that are not producing. This week we look at some players that need a big weekend or should hit the waiver wire soon. So let’s break down the Weekend Warriors of could be fantasy studs to watch out for.
Teams with 2 games this weekend: Thrashers, Sabres, Flames, Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, Predators, Devils, Rangers, Senators, Blues, Sharks, Lightning
Forwards to watch:
Tim Connolly, Sabres C: The talented but often injured Connolly is coming off a year that saw him play 73 games and become a fantasy start with 17 goals and 65 points. This season the 29-year-old has only three points in the first seven games and it is not because he is not getting the ice time playing 16:19 minutes a game with 3:35 of that coming on the power play. The veteran is owned in 97% of leagues and was benched last week, with two games against the Senators and Devils this weekend if he doesn’t produce should be benched by your fantasy team.
Jamie Langenbrunner, Devils W: The Devils captain has continued his late season slump last season into this season. The 35-year-old is a -4 and has only four assists in the first seven games, which is one goal in his last 19 games played. Langenbrunner is playing on a line with Patrik Elias and Jason Arnott, with those line mates he should be producing as both of those players have nine points combined on a team that is struggling to score. The veteran is owned in 95% of leagues and has games against the Sabres and Rangers, two tough goalies this weekend and needs to start producing or he will start being released.
Simon Gagne, Lightning W: SThe big off-season acquisition for the Lightning has yet to score a point and is a -8 in his first six games in Tampa. The former 40-goal scorer stock is dropping with the recent injury that has slowed line mates Vincent Lecavalier. With two games against the Thrashers and Predators this weekend, if the scoreless draught continues so will the decline 94% ownership of this talented forward.
Defenseman To Watch:
Jay Bouwmeester, Flames: How is this guy owned in 100% of leagues? I am guessing the answer is because he use to be a fantasy stud in Florida but has a dud in Calgary. In 82 games last season the 27-year-old had only 29 points and was a -4 this season he has no points in six games. The kid plays over 26 minutes a game, which is way too much ice time to not be producing. The Flames face the Blue Jackets and Sharks this weekend and as the slide continues for the team so should the ownership of Bouwmeester.
Erik Karlsson, Senators: The former first round pick burst onto the scene with 26 points in 60 games last season and big things were expected with the addition of Sergei Gonchar. So far the 20-year-old has struggled one point in the first six games and worst off a -4. The 15th overall pick of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft is still seeing time on the second power play unit and has back-to-back games against division rivals Buffalo and Montreal. Karlsson needs to start producing or his ownership will continue to fall like it has the last couple of weeks from almost 50% to 28%.
Erik Johnson, Blues: The former first overall pick had a career year last season with 10 goals and 39 points but so far has yet to see any production with one assist in the first five games. This is one player who should not worry fantasy owners yet, but with two games against the red hot Blackhawks and Penguins this weekend the scoring draught could continue. The 22-year-old has now been moved to the second power play unit as Carlo Colaiacovo has taken over his top spot and this hurts his fantasy value.
Goalies To Watch:
Antti Niemi, Sharks: With all the controversy this off-season that this Stanley Cup goalie caused it was important for the goalie to come out sharp with his new team. That has not been the case as in his first three starts with the Sharks the 27-year-old has giving up 11 goals and a .879 save percentage. The team has back-to-back games this weekend so expect Niemi to get into a game this weekend and needs to prove his worth as he is owned in 95% of leagues.
Antero Niittymaki, Sharks: The other end of the Sharks tandem has been playing like the number one goalie he was paid to be before Niemi became available. The 30-year-old won in his second start by stopping 29 of 31 shots against Colorado, a good offensive team. The Finnish goalie is only owned in 27% of leagues and again with back-to-back games this weekend against the offensive challenged Oilers and Flames expect Niittymaki’s ownership to sky rocket by next week.
Cory Schneider, Canucks: With the much publicized struggles of Roberto Luongo has brought Cory Schneider name to attention to fantasy owners. The former first round pick and AHL goaltender of the year has a win in his only start this year. With a game against the Wild this weekend, a team that has given Luongo fits, shown in his six goals against last start in Minnesota, expect Schneider to get the nod. Luongo is a top notch fantasy goalie and will be fine this season but keep an eye on Schneider for the team will look to start Bobby Lou less this season and give this capable backup some fantasy value.
Fuente: Fantasy Knuckleheads