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The Stock Exchange: Buy or sell Marleau, Vanek?

By Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

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The Stock Exchange: Buy or sell Marleau, Vanek?
In this week's edition of "The Stock Exchange," Sergei Feldman explores whether or not Patrick Marleau and Thomas Vanek can keep up their hot starts.

The grind of a fantasy hockey season is just that: A grind. When you consider all the details, big and small, all the nuances and all the possibilities, you're still left with roster setting and juggling, trade offers and rejections and day-to-day focus and attention. But ain't it great?

To get fantasy hockey owners to where they want to be, NHL.com fantasy insider Sergei Feldman brings you his weekly piece highlighting various players who have increased or decreased their value after each week and suggesting which players to buy or sell moving forward. In the end, you'll have a clearer picture of the marketplace and be in perfect position to enhance your fantasy hockey portfolios.

At this point, the freshness of it all has whittled away. Very quickly, the fantasy hockey season is in full swing, and with no shortage of topics riddling the minds of fantasy owners everywhere.

Since last week, contracts have been signed and injuries have mounted. In between, the players who make or break your weeks have shined or faded. So with that, let's examine the current fantasy marketplace.

(NOT SO) SUPER STARS

Alex Ovechkin
Left Wing - WSH
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 3
SOG: 22 | +/-: -3
You rejoiced when learning of your draft position and sensed victory was a formality when you made your first selection, right? But now you're wondering what it all was for. But fret not, folks. Alex Ovechkin, Corey Perry and Rick Nash will make it all worthwhile.

In the case of Ovechkin, his first four games were forgettable -- no goals, one point, minus-1. Sure, after the aforementioned dry spell he's amassed goals in two of his last three games, but he threw two shots on goal in two of those games. What's more, in two of the three games he dished out two or fewer hits and was a minus-2. However, giving up should not be an option. Ovechkin is a shift away from exploding and you won't want it to be against your team after trading him away.

The same could be said of Perry and Nash, two more examples of studs who have underachieved thus far. Perry was a top-10 fantasy option in standard Yahoo! leagues but currently is 230th. Nash is still in the top 30, but his one goal in seven games is tough to swallow for owners, considering the talent around him with the New York Rangers.

Despite the struggles, trust your stars. Even a 48-game season is a marathon and not a sprint. Time will heal most fantasy wounds.

Stars will align: Buy.

SUBBAN’S IMPACT

Vanek and Marleau have taken the League by storm from a fantasy standpoint thus far. But will they keep up their torrid pace? (Photo: Getty Images)

P.K. Subban signing a two-year deal with Montreal meant a great deal to the fantasy-hockey landscape. The offensive-minded blueliner has 21 goals in his first two full NHL seasons. No doubt noticeable each shift, Subban has not yet played under the system of new Canadiens coach Michel Therrien. In a more defensive-oriented scheme, Subban's fantasy value remains a question mark. With no immediate timetable for a 2012-13 debut, it's also important for fantasy owners to consider the eventual impact on fellow blueliners Andrei Markov, the 32nd overall fantasy player (4 G, 8 PTS, 4 PIMs 10 SOG) and Raphael Diaz, the 50th ranked fantasy player (8 A, 6 PPP, plus-1).

An injection of talent is a good problem to have -- but perhaps not immediately.

P.K. is A-OK: Sell.

LEADING THE WAY

What goes up must go down, right? Try telling that to Patrick Marleau or Thomas Vanek. Both forwards are doing damage around the League for the San Jose Sharks and Buffalo Sabres, respectively. And both players have shown no signs of slowing down.

Marleau and Vanek are the League's top two goal-scorers and point-producers. As impressive as their starts have been in terms of numbers, the consistency with which said numbers have been accumulated has been uncanny. Marleau recorded multi-point games in his first six games before going pointless in his seventh game. As for Vanek, he has points in all six games he's played, including a pair of five-point games. It will be hard to average two points per game or more throughout the season, but these players are here to stay.

The Dynamic Pacesetters: Buy.

NHL.COM FANTASY HOCKEY COVERAGE
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