Wednesday, September 9, 2009

CLS Fantasy Guide, Part 3: Category Kings

I get the feeling one of Burrows' or Backes' seasons was too good to be true.

Many leagues have specific, largely predictable categories that tend to be dominated by the same general group of players. In fact, some players are only useful IF those categories are included. The following list is meant to give you a quick guide to guys who can help you win certain categories.

Power Forwards (Great PIM with very good points) Note: Guys like Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are elite power forwards. This is for the slightly less obvious set. [Slightly]

Brenden Morrow: almost too good for this list, but don't forget him.
David Backes
Alex Burrows
Scott Hartnell
Milan Lucic: Just don't get too sucked in by the Looch buzz. He's good but not Cam Neely just yet.
Steve Ott
Sean Avery
Chris Kunitz (a little lower on the PIM scale but Crosby potentially could give a really nice points boost)
Bill Guerin
Todd Bertuzzi: Not a fan of the guy, but he does tend to put up nice PIM and the occasional assist. Worth a look until they start charting defensive acumen.
Tuomo Ruutu

PIM only

Daniel Carcillo: Kind of a dope, but now is the PIM leader two years in a row.
Shane O'Brien
David Clarkson
Chris Neil
Jared Boll

Beasts in the faceoff circle (based on total wins, percentages, likeliness of continued success)

Rod Brind'Amour
Shawn Horcoff
Mikko Koivu
Manny Malholtra: would get even more if he took more faceoffs
Henrik Zetterberg: the thing that makes Henrik Z especially interesting is that you can get FW from a winger spot with him
Antoine Vermette
Joe Thornton

Hank Zetterberg gets points, SOG, FW, a good plus/minus AND typically is a LW/C. Awesome!

Guys who could be highly ranked next year with just a slight improvement in FO%

Jonathan Toews
Sidney Crosby
Jeff Carter
Mike Richards
Eric Staal
Jason Spezza

Highly probable SOG leaders

Alex Ovechkin (528 last season, 150 more than Eric Staal!!!): If SOG are a category in your league, Ovie's a no-brainer for No. 1 ... but that's another topic entirely.

Eric Staal (372 in 08-09; 310 in 07-08)

Zach Parise (364 in 08-09): experienced nearly 100 more SOG in the last year, could shoot even more next year.

Henrik Zetterberg: a perennial SOG source

[consult last year's top lists for some of the more obvious choices]

Unexpected SOG

Jason Blake: borderline useless with SOG

Dion Phaneuf: more than 250 SOG for the past two seasons

Patrick O'Sullivan: perhaps his meaty SOG totals might actually turn into points next year.

Mike Green: his offensive output is unmatched and he missed 14 GP.

Olli Jokinen: high SOG totals and he will play a full contract year with Jarome Iginla. Not bad.

Brian Rolston: Nearly 300 SOG in 2007-08. Could be poised for an improvement, even if it is only really in the SOG category.

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