Dobber checks in every Monday to force-feed you the latest fantasy hockey trends. The founder of DobberHockey.com and a columnist for The Hockey News website, he long ago immersed himself into this rollercoaster world and is unable to escape.
Well look who's back. It's Ovie!
Again I defer to Frozen Pool for this one. This time I ran the "Roto Rater" tool, which looks at the stats representative of a combination of average and standard deviation to that average over the last two weeks.
It gives more of a weighted look at how each player has done against his peers both in his position, and across the NHL.
On top — Alex Ovechkin. A spot that he usually hogged for much of his first few years in the league. Here is a look at some of the rated stat rankings (a negative number indicates that he is below average in that category over the last two weeks):
These fellas are wielding a hot stick. Take that into consideration when you go after them in trade talks...
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators (11-4-11-15, plus-14, 2 PIM, 48 SOG) — Everyone knew Karlsson would be a star. And most poolies figured that he would give them at least 50 points this season. The fact that he's on pace for 77 just past the midpoint of the season - nobody saw. He was plus-5 on Sunday. Plus-5. It would take Ilya Kovalchuk years to do that.
Dennis Wideman, Washington Capitals (13-5-9-14, plus-4, 4 PIM, 30 SOG) — In the 10 games that Mike Green has played this season, Wideman picked up at least a point in all 10 of them. You would think he would do better without Green in the lineup, but he's pretty much producing no matter who is on the ice.
Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes (5-3-6-9, minus-1, 0 PIM, 20 SOG) —Looks like the old Eric Staal has returned. Too bad that ugly plus/minus monkey on his back hasn't been told yet.
"Sell High" pick of the week: Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks. I don't think his value is going to get any higher than it is right now. The production is going to continue, but will the health? Let's see — 10, 8, 25, 17. Those aren't the numbers on the sweaters of the other four guys on his power-play unit. Those are his games missed in the last four seasons. To believe that this year's number will be "zero" is as much a pipedream as a Michael Frolik goal.
Somebody wake these guys up — their fantasy owners are counting on them...
Luke Adam, Buffalo Sabres (9-0-0-0, minus-2, 2 PIM, 15 SOG) — Don't worry — when Ville Leino returns to the lineup all will be — I'm sorry, I can't finish that with a straight face. Adam is doomed for this season. I think he'll finish in the high 30s for points unless the Sabres send him to the AHL before that.
Kurtis Foster, New Jersey Devils (6-0-0-0, plus-1, 0 PIM, 11 SOG) — The Kurtis Foster experiment is over in New Jersey, though it may take a few more games before the Devils admit it. So where to next? Columbus?
Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild (6 GP, 1-5-0, 3.54 GAA, 0.890 SP) — Backstrom owners are in trouble. Not just because of the poor numbers, but the Wild are suddenly fighting for a playoff spot and there is a hot, solid netminder as the No.2. Eventually coach Mike Yeo will be forced to go with the hot hand, in which case Backstrom may not see as many starts as you thought.
"Buy Low" pick of the week: Ryane Clowe, San Jose Sharks. The Sharks play more games going forward than any other team in the league. So Clowe is undervalued because he has played so few games. Last season he had a run of eight points in 14 games and another run of five points in 13 games. So his current run of 13 points in 24 games doesn't bother me in terms of expected end-of-season results.
Mostly short-term grabs here, but as always some potential steals ...
Erik Condra, Ottawa Senators (5-1-4-5, plus-7, 2 PIM, 10 SOG) — Love this guy's handle. Perhaps because I was a big Peter Bondra fan and the names sound similar. He's got some of Bondra's streakiness, too. He's playing with Kyle Turris and a red-hot Daniel Alfredsson and for that reason alone he'll continue his hot play for a little while yet.
Tom Wandell, Dallas Stars (4-1-4-5, plus-5, 0 PIM, 7 SOG) — "Magic" Wandell, like Condra, is a late draft pick and late bloomer. He had one great season in Sweden, but that is the only season we can really get a lock on — before the NHL he bounced around leagues more than a '90s Edmonton draft pick. At the NHL level, he's been a dependable fourth liner with some offensive upside, but he's never been used in that role. That hasn't changed, I wish I could say different. But he's producing right now and at worst he'll give you some temporary help in the plus/minus department.
Derek Dorsett, Columbus Blue Jackets (6-0-1-1, even, 30 PIM, 5 SOG) —It's obvious which category this guy will help you with. The good thing about his recent penalty run is that he's been getting them every game, not all at once. And the domino effect of the Jeff Carter injury will see him with better linemates, which will see to it that he tops his career high of 17 points by March. That's a nice little bonus for a one-category wonder.
Raphael Diaz, Montreal Canadiens (7-0-6-6, even, 2 PIM, 5 SOG) — There are a lot of parallels between Diaz and countryman Mark Streit. He's not at that level yet, but you'll see flashes of offense here and there.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Phoenix Coyotes (12-2-6-8, plus-1, 4 PIM, 21 SOG) — He's been seeing a lot more ice time and responsibility with Adrian Aucoin being in and out of the lineup. OEL is starting to show why he was the No.6 pick of the 2009 draft.
Jason Williams, Pittsburgh Penguins (21 points in 25 AHL games) — The Penguins are waiting to recall him because if both Dustin Jeffrey and Arron Asham return to action, they may not need him. But I think he'll get that phone call and he'll see some good ice time. With both Jordan Staal and James Neal sidelined, the Pens will look to their veteran AHLers for some offensive help much like they did last year with Brett Sterling (who went on to post five points in five games during his cup of coffee with them).
Jordin Tootoo, Nashville Predators (20-6-10-16, plus-2, 36 PIM, 57 SOG) — The Wheel of Offense in Nashville has landed on Jordin Tootoo, so ride the hot wave before they spin the wheel again. The Predators are notorious for spreading out their scoring and rotating the hot streaks through different lines week by week. We're at the midpoint and Tootoo already has his career high.
For more fantasy hockey tips, take a gander at DobberHockey. And while you're at it, follow Dobber's fantasy hockey musings on Twitter. For midseason help in your fantasy league, get some second-half projections, prospect info and more in Dobber's sixth annual Midseason Fantasy Guide.