We've just about reached the point of no return, at least in my book. As I stated a few weeks ago, I tend to give players a 12-15 game trial every season to prove themselves. If they've performed at a high level for those 12-15 games, I have reason to believe they can continue to perform at that level for at least most of the remainder of the season. If they've struggled and disappointed in those 12-15 games, I usually start to think this might not be their season.
Of course, players will prove my benchmark wrong. Claude Giroux
's 2013-14 season got off to an abysmal start when he went without a goal in his first 15 games. We all know what happened after that.
There will be Girouxs this season. At some point players like Anze Kopitar
, David Backes
and Gabriel Landeskog
should turn things around. But for lesser-known players, the 12-15 game benchmark usually has worked for me. This is your chance to start gauging what you can expect from a player this season.
St. Louis Blues
sensation Vladimir Tarasenko
is the perfect example. Tarasenko's been the hottest topic in fantasy hockey this week and is the No. 2 overall fantasy player in Yahoo leagues. Will he remain a top-10 player? Maybe. But he's the type of player that has proved to me he can carry this hot start throughout the season. I'm a believer.
Let's have a look at some other hot topics in fantasy hockey right now.