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Fantasy Sports Not Just for Fans

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues
Chris Mason is a big fan of fantasy football and baseball, but fantasy hockey?

“It’s too tough,” he said.

With his schedule during hockey season, it’s easy to understand why he doesn’t have time to play. The offseason, however, is a different story. When he has time off, he finds himself checking his fantasy baseball team daily.

“You kinda feel like you’re a general manager, you get to trade players, you’re always trying to make your team better,” he said. “It’s just kind of a different view and it makes watching sports a little better, too.”

Tough guy Cam Janssen stays away from fantasy sports completely, but recently figured out why his buddies call him before a game to ask if he thinks he’ll get a bunch of penalty minutes later that night.

“They want fantasy points, those scumbags,” Janssen joked.

Thousands of fans seek out the smallest possible advantage to win their fantasy week, so we’ve compiled a list of Blues players that will positively impact your fantasy squad, along with some sleepers who might help in the near future.

Fantasy Picks

Brad Boyes – The Blues forward scored a career-high 43 goals last season and is on pace for a repeat of last year. Although he’s slowed down a bit lately, Boyes still has 14 points in his first 13 games, including 8 goals, and remains the team’s biggest offensive threat. Plus, he
Paul Kariya is off to a great start, scoring 15 points in his first 11 games this season. If available in your league, Kariya would make an excellent addition to your fantasy team.
has Mason’s endorsement as a fantasy stud: “Goals, points, he’s kind of got it all as a fantasy player,” Mason said.

Paul Kariya – Kariya scored just 16 goals last season, but still finished tied for the team lead in points with 65. This year, Kariya is off to a fantastic start and is second on the team with 15 points through the first 11 games. He left last week's game vs. Anaheim with an undisclosed lower body injury, but the injury probably isn’t serious enough to avoid adding him in your league…if he’s still available.

Andy McDonald – The Blues center is starting his first full season with the team after a mid-season trade sent him to St. Louis last year for Doug Weight. The 31-year-old center is first on the team in scoring with 16 points and offers great playmaking ability. While his goals are down, McDonald remains a great fantasy option if you’re looking for assists.

Keith Tkachuk – The 36-year-old power forward isn’t showing any signs of his age. Tkachuk leads the team with 9 goals this season (7 on the power play) and is more determined than ever. Walt is approaching the end of his career and has yet to hoist the Stanley Cup, so he is determined to win now, which makes him a great asset for any fantasy team. In addition to goals and power play points, Tkachuk can be a good source of penalty minutes for your team.

Manny Legace – While an injury has kept him out of action recently, Legace has returned and should get the bulk of the starts the rest of the season. Before the injury, Legace was 4-2 with a 2.94 goals against average and a .902 save percentage. The 35-year-old goaltender went to the All-Star Game last year and was dominant at times for the Blues.

Fantasy Sleepers

Lee Stempniak – The West Senaca, NY-native surprised many people with his performance in the 2006-07 season, scoring 27 goals in his first full year with the team. Since then, Stempniak has struggled to regain his scoring touch, but showed a lot of promise in the preseason while playing with McDonald and Boyes. A knee injury kept him out of four games this season, but Stempniak remains one of the club’s best sleepers and has played well recently.

 Fantasy on Blues TV
Did you know you can get fantasy hockey updates on Blues TV? Launch Blues TV and click the Fantasy Channel to get updates from around the league designed to improve your fantasy hockey performance. Plus, if you haven't already, sign up to play fantasy hockey.
David Perron – Perron made the club out of training camp as 19-year-old last year, and while his stats weren’t quite fantasy worthy, Perron brings a year’s worth of experience to the table this season and is expected to contribute more. If he gets hot, he’ll be a worthwhile addition to your roster.

T.J. Oshie – Oshie dominated games at the college level, scoring 142 points (59 goals, 83 assists) in three years at the University of North Dakota. He has just four points in 10 games this season, but he skates hard every shift. Once the pucks start going in the net, they’re not going to stop. Oshie will be out with a high-ankle sprain but could be a good fantasy sleeper when he returns.

Patrik Berglund – The Blues are benefiting from having such a big body up the middle in Berglund, who the team drafted in 2006. The 6-foot-4 center has gotten off to a slow start but has heated up recently. Blues coach Andy Murray said he has had his best practices recently as a pro. If Berglund begins to excel, he might be worth a good look in your fantasy hockey league.

Chemistry Builders

Janssen suggested that if you’re looking to build your fantasy team’s chemistry, you might want to consider picking up Yan Stastny and Jay McClement.

“They’re great players, they don’t get that many penalty minutes, don’t get that many points. They’re pretty much useless in fantasy,” he joked. “But what they bring to the locker room and on the ice in a real game is unbelievable, and you need to have it. They’re the best at what they do.”

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