Fantasy hockey is a lot like the stock market. Just like stocks, players in the NHL see their fantasy value rise and fall throughout a season. Of course, they could care less about their fantasy appeal, so long as they finish the season hoisting the Stanley Cup.
However, fantasy enthusiasts do.
We are almost a week through the month of February and a handful of guys have been making a fantasy impact as of late, whether negatively or positively. The aforementioned players will please or upset fantasy owners, depending on who you own. If you are experiencing a bit of misfortune in your fantasy league, try to obtain one of the rising talents because I believe they will continue to climb the ladder.
Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes: He may only have three points in seven games this season, but watch out for Faulk. The 20-year-old returned to the lineup after dealing with an upper body injury and appears to be set to be a big part of the Hurricane’s first power play unit. Logging big time minutes (23:03 per game), Faulk has the offensive upside to make a relevant fantasy splash. Not to mention he will see time on the man advantage with Eric Staal and Alexander Semin.
Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins: Kunitz was an appealing option during fantasy drafts, but has really emerged quicker than people expected. He has six goals and six assists on the season, including a four-goal performance on Sunday against the Washington Capitals. Playing on the team’s first line with Sidney Crosby is assuring enough, but also joining Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and James Neal on the first power play unit? I’m sold.
Brad Boyes, New York Islanders: Boyes has been solid to start the year, but could be poised to explode after being promoted to the Islander’s top line with John Tavares and Matt Moulson. Tavares, a tremendous all around player and Moulson, a born goal scorer immediately make Boyes an appealing fantasy option. Whether this is a permanent assignment is unclear, but Boyes has the offensive upside to stay on this top line. He scored a career high 43 goals back in the 2008 season.
Tyler Myers, Buffalo Sabres: I personally thought Myers was going to break out this year, but I have been dead wrong so far. Through 10 games, he has just one point and a minus-7 rating. He is also playing on the first unit with red hot Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville and still isn’t producing, which is alarming. Head coach Lindy Ruff has been known to bench players who aren’t performing, so Myers better get it together.
Alex Goligoski, Dallas Stars: Back in February of 2011, Goligoski was traded by the Penguins for James Neal and Matt Niskanen. Now? He is a healthy scratch for the Stars. “Alex needs to get back to Alex’s level,” said head coach Glen Gulutzan. “Pretty cut and dried.” The fact that he is being scratched is heavily concerning. Maybe this move will light a fire under Goligoski, but fantasy owners are forced to stay away.
Shan Doan, Phoenix Coyotes: Doan (as well as the Yotes as a whole) is struggling to start the 2013 campaign. He has just four points (2 goals) through 10 games played. The Coyotes are severely lacking offense depth, which hurts Doan’s chances of putting up numbers for fantasy rosters. His 17:33 time on ice per contest is also disheartening, drawing the conclusion that age is catching up to him.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy hockey/football columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.