Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: Why Patrick Marleau is a stud, Taylor Hall is a dud

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Dobber launched his fantasy hockey website

 DobberHockey back in 2005 and has been Puck Daddy's resident fantasy hockey 'expert' since 2009.

Raise your hands if you’re surprised by who is leading your fantasy league right now. Now put your hand down in case someone is watching. But the reality is, the standings are a bit of a shocker in a lot of leagues for the simple fact that the Pittsburgh Penguins stars, the Anaheim Ducks stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning stars are underachieving in a big way. You’re starting to see the market correction finally begin, but for the most part these players are killing fantasy owners that clustered much of their strategy to building around those three NHL squads. So far, my preseason projections are looking like the weakest in several years. I can only take solace in the fact that I’m in the same boat as all the other prognosticators.

I ran a report on Frozen Pool that ranked the top roto players of the last three weeks. Then I filtered out every skater except for the rookies. It’s easy to figure out which rookies have been good after eight weeks of the season. But keeping an eye on those who have been stepping up of late also has value.

Dobber Hockey
Dobber Hockey

Notably absent – Jack Eichel, who has just three points in his last 10 games.


These fellas are wielding a hot stick. Take that into consideration when you go after them in trade talks...

Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks (4-2-4-6, even, 0 PIM, 7 SOG, 3 PPPts) – His shots are way down this year and he’s not going to help you in hits or PIM, but Keith can put points on the board. And as long as Patrick Kane continues to Gretzky his way to an Art Ross, Keith will march up the defensemen scoring race.

Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators (3-3-2-5, plus-2, 0 PIM, 16 SOG, 1 PPPts) – We’re still early enough in the season that a couple of a big games gets a disappointing player’s production right back on track. Forsberg had 11 points in 21 games to kick off the campaign. A week later, 16 in 24 isn’t so bad.

Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks (5-4-4-8, minus-1, 2 PIM, 15 SOG, 6 hits, 4 PPPts) – Usually, Marleau starts the season with a red-hot 20 games and then tails off the rest of the way. Looks like he shifted that hot-scoring window back about 20 games. Must be his linemates. (Hint: it’s not his linemates)


Somebody wake these guys up – their fantasy owners are counting on them...

Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers (6-0-1-1, even, 10 Hits, 27 SOG, 0 PPPts) – Hey, at least Jordan Eberle has…three points…this year. Well, as long as Matt Hendricks and Mark Letestu pick up the slack…

Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks (6-0-1-1, plus-1, 4 PIM, 3 SOG, 1 PPPts) – We all know that Big Joe isn’t so big on shooting the puck, but come on. Three shots in six games? I consider Thornton a heavy buy-low target in points-only formats.

Mats Zuccarello, New York Rangers (6-1-0-1, minus-3, 4 PIM, 9 Hits, 5 SOG, 1 PPPts) – Zuke’s numbers are just falling back to earth now. At this point, his current pace is about where it should be – rather than the inflated figure we were looking at last week.

The Wire...

Mostly short-term grabs here, but as always some potential steals...

Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers (2%) (2-2-2-4, plus-5, 2 PIM, 7 SOG, 1 PPPts) – It’s interesting to see that Couturier’s portion of Philly’s power play is up to a career high 32.4% on the season. His offensive zone starts are 44.76%, also a career high. And his 5on5 SH% is very low at 4.76% (usually around 8% for him) – which indicates he’s due for more.

Mikkel Boedker, Arizona Coyotes (21%) (17-8-9-17, minus-2, 0 PIM, 46 SOG, 5 PPPts) – My managing editor at DobberHockey Steve Laidlaw and I made a small effort to get Boedker noticed yesterday. We only helped boost his usage up to 21%. A point-per-game, dual-eligible winger is sitting right there people – make the move! Why is the movement to get John Scott into the All-Star Game having more success than our movement to get Boedker picked up in more than half the leagues?

Marcus Johansson, Washington Capitals (16%) (5-2-5-5, plus-5, 2 PIM, 12 SOG, 1 PPPts) – Having his centerman switched from Nicklas Backstrom to Evgeny Kuznetsov wouldn’t have been considered an upgrade two months ago, but Johansson is showing a lot more chemistry with the Russian.

Jamie McGinn, Buffalo Sabres (1%) (3-1-3-4, plus-2, 8 Hits, 6 SOG, 2 PPPts) – I have about as much faith in McGinn for the long term as I do in John Scott as a 3-on-3 specialist, but I’ve seen McGinn go on these hot runs over the years. A worthy two-week pickup.

Elias Lindholm, Carolina Hurricanes (4%) (5-1-4-5, plus-3, 12 Hits, 17 SOG, 1 PPPts) – Most fantasy owners dropped Lindholm by the time he reached the 19-game mark (two points). His luck seems to be turning now.

Michael Del Zotto, Philadelphia Flyers (8%) (3-1-2-3, 12 SOG, 8 Hits, 12 SOG) – I feel like I’m recommending the sticking of needles directly into the eyeball here, but since Mark Streit went down with an injury MDZ has five points in nine games, as well as 24 SOG and 25 Hits.

Cody Ceci, Ottawa Senators (1%) (7-0-4-4, plus-3, 2 PIM, 17 BLKS, 10 SOG) – Only recommended for leagues that count blocked shots as a stat. Young Ceci may have been rushed quickly into the NHL, but once he arrived he has been carefully eased into things. Still probably two or three years away from being used regularly on the power play, he’s learning the defensive side of the game at the NHL level (is out there for over 43% of Ottawa’s PK time).

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