Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Neutral Zone Wrap: Finding Fantasy talent

by | Rotowire.com
  •  

In case you haven't been following lately, outdoor hockey remains the popular trend. The lure of vacant sports stadiums is just too tempting for a professional, revenue-seeking organization like the NHL. But the players can also claim a stake in this venture. Many of them practiced in the open when they were kids and long for the day when they can suit up in a real game under similar conditions. What a better sensation than playing under the elements with everything winter has to offer, just like nature intended. And if you were at Dodger Stadium Saturday night, those conditions include high 60s and zero precipitation. Just like Winnipeg in January.

With this topic in mind, let's present the top five fictional locations where pro hockey action could be hosted:

5. Middle-Earth. You're fine as long as you don't ask anyone the best way to acquire a ring.
4. Kokomo. That's where they want to go. To get away from it all.
3. Emerald City. No, not Seattle.
2. Wonderland. Everyone would be in trouble if they tested for questionable substances.
1. The Death Star. At least players can't complain about scoring when the nets are two meters wide.

But that's enough fun as we're allowed in one column, so here are five actual locales Fantasy talent can be discovered (Stats as of Monday January 27):

Despite Sunday's debacle in the Bronx, the Devils have been making headway in the East. Besides Jaromir Jagr's obvious contribution (44 points at 41), offseason acquisition Cory Schneider (4-0-2 in his last seven, allowing no more than goals per outing) has been the main reason for their resurgence. Injuries have always haunted Ryane Clowe but he's useful (11 in 10, including four power-play points) when healthy. No real worry concerning Adam Henrique (12 in the last month). Maybe you forgot about Damien Brunner during his absence (five in five before, immediate three-point night) but he deserves another look. And despite his storied career, there isn't much left for Dainius Zubrus to prove -- or provide (two in 16), for that matter.

Damn, these Lightning are pretty good; now imagine how much better they can be when Steven Stamkos returns. This system is stocked so deep at forward the might have to trade a few pieces just to provide adequate playing time. Late last season, this column touted Tyler Johnson (16 in 16, with a hat-trick Saturday) as one to watch. It's amazing to think Ondrej Palat (five in three, plus-7) is only 22, watching him act like a veteran. Alex Killorn (two in six, minus-4) has slowed a touch but stays serviceable. The future is bright for Nikita Kucherov (three in six) but wait for more minutes (averaging between 13-14). Matt Carle? Too erratic (one in six after nine in seven). Sami Salo? Too fragile (one in 11, gone six with various problems).

Nashville proceeds on their mediocre ways, as they sit with a non-losing record (at 23-23-8) but somehow remain last in the Central. No matter what he did in one game (four goals on Friday), resist temptation from taking Eric Nystrom (11 points in the other 50). Better to focus on the likes of Craig Smith (16 goals, 15 assists in season three) or Nick Spaling (five in five, second PP role). After months of teasing, perhaps Roman Josi (eight in seven) can maintain his current pace. Ranger castaway Michael Del Zotto (11 in 45) will somehow have to surpass one of four talented defenders to earn a power-play role. While the wait continues on Pekka Rinne (hip infection, indefinite return date), the alternating carousel of goalies has landed on Carter Hutton (won four in a row before giving up five Sunday) and ex-Edmonton property Devan Dubnyk (unimpressive in two appearances).

(NOTE: Speaking of imaginary places, Nashville is not the name of Rick Nash's future theme park and resort.)

Don't knock the Leafs for being erratic, as long as they exhibit exciting hockey. Everyone's friend of complacency, Nazem Kadri (seven in six, 14 PIM), possesses too much talent to falter. Remember Mason Raymond (four in six) used to be an integral part of the Vancouver offense. Nikolai Kulemin (also four in six) has picked up his game but don't get overly excited about it. Even when he returns from the sidelines, David Clarkson (eight in 36, 51PIM) isn't worth your consideration. While Jake Gardiner (four in nine since being scratched) continues to falter on the defensive end, Morgan Rielly (four in six, with two PPAs) looks to be the better long-term option as a Fantasy blueliner.

While things appeared promising to start the season, Calgary has predictably fallen off the pace. Just when you thought you could trust one of their netminders, Karri Ramo (14 goals allowed the last five) and Reto Berra (surrendered five or more in two recent starts) secure the awful status quo. Outside of Jiri Hudler (team-leading 40) and the woozy Michael Cammalleri (concussion, see you again soon), picking attack options isn't an easy task. One would assume Mikael Backlund would step up but that hasn't happened yet (although five in 10 isn't terrible). Keep an eye on youngsters Lance Bouma (three in five) and Joe Colborne (one in 10, minus-9), as each have been handed special teams assignments. And in case you didn't hear, Kris Russell is excelling (three in three) as if he never missed a month.

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Lauri Korpikoski
Coyotes' Korpikoski Sidelined
Lauri Korpikoski, LW, ARI
12:56 AM
News: Lauri Korpikoski (mouth) remains sidelined, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports.
Analysis: Lauri Korpikoski could practice later this week and hasn't been ruled out for the coming weekend, but he's not a candidate to play Monday against the Sabres.

Peter Holland
Leafs' Holland Remains Sidelined
Peter Holland, C, TOR
12:52 AM
News: Peter Holland (lower body) could return as soon as this weekend, Paul Hendrick of Leafs TV reports.
Analysis: That said, Peter Holland is effectively ruled out for the team's next two games, with a return either Saturday against the Bruins or Sunday against the Sens now considered plausible.

Chris Kunitz
Pens' Kunitz Ends Goal Drought
Chris Kunitz, LW, PIT
12:51 AM
News: Chris Kunitz tallied a power-play goal in Sunday's 3-2 shootout win over the Sharks.
Analysis: The first-period tally gave Chris Kunitz his first goal since Feb. 25 and his first point in 13 games. Though he has three 60-point campaigns on his resume (including a career-best 68-point output just last season), Kunitz makes for a tough activation at the moment while he remains stuck in a prolonged offensive slump.

James Reimer
Leafs Turn To Reimer On Tuesday
James Reimer, G, TOR
12:49 AM
News: James Reimer is slated to start Tuesday's game against the Lightning, Paul Hendrick of Leafs TV reports.
Analysis: The Leafs will stick with James Reimer, who made 22 saves in Saturday's 4-3 overtime win over the Senators, an effort that helped Toronto end a seven-game losing skid.

Sergei Bobrovsky
Blue Jackets Go With Bobrovsky On Tuesday
Sergei Bobrovsky, G, CLB
12:42 AM
News: Sergei Bobrovsky is slated to start Tuesday's home game against New Jersey, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports.
Analysis: Sergei Bobrovsky, who will look to help the Blue Jackets extend their winning streak to seven games on Tuesday, has won his last five turns in that span, while allowing 11 goals in the process.

James Wisniewski
Ducks' Wisniewski: Points In Three Straight
James Wisniewski, D, ANA
12:38 AM
News: James Wisniewski notched an assist in Sunday's win over the Devils, giving him three straight games with a helper.
Analysis: James Wisniewski had a healthy scratch sprinkled into the streak, but he's nonetheless beginning to make an impact offensively for the Ducks. However, he remains without a goal in his 10 games with the team.

Seth Jones
Preds' Jones Claims First Goal Since Feb. 10
Seth Jones, D, NSH
12:34 AM
News: Seth Jones found the back of the net for the seventh time this season in Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Flames.
Analysis: After noticing a surge in his production in January and the early part of February, Seth Jones has since reverted to his normal disappearing act on the score sheet. Sunday's goal was his first since Feb. 10, and he hasn't made up for it in the assist category with only four helpers in his 24 games since that time. Keep him parked on the bench or send him to the waiver wire in season-long formats.

Kari Lehtonen
Stars Roll With Lehtonen
Kari Lehtonen, G, DAL
12:33 AM
News: Kari Lehtonen is on track to start Monday's game against the Flames, NHL.com's Mark Stepneski reports.
Analysis: Kari Lehtonen has won eight of his last 10 games, though he has surrendered 13 goals over his last four outings. He' face a Calgary team is coming off a 5-2 triumph over the Preds on Sunday.

Michael Ferland
Flames' Ferland Bags Game-Winner Sunday
Michael Ferland, LW, CGY
12:31 AM
News: Michael Ferland tallied the game-winning goal in Sunday's 5-2 victory over the Predators.
Analysis: It's the first career NHL goal for Michael Ferland, who has accrued only three points in 21 games this season. His unstable role in the Flames lineup and his third- or fourth-line standing on the occasions he does play don't make Ferland an attractive fantasy option.

Jordie Benn
Stars' Jordie Benn Out Monday
Jordie Benn, D, DAL
12:29 AM
News: Jordie Benn is dealing with back soreness, Mark Stepneski of NHL.com reports.
Analysis: As a result, Jordie Benn will miss his second straight game Monday against the Flames, with his status for Friday's contest against the Blues uncertain, as well.

 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings