Is Ryan Kesler worth $4 million in Canucks Fantasy Hockey?
Looking at the immediate picture, this past week wasn’t a friendly one to the Vancouver Canucks.
Looking at the big picture, it was a great week.
The Canucks were in action twice over the past seven days, finishing 1-1 in those contests. Vancouver went into Calgary and was waxed through two periods trailing 5-0 before showing a lot of heart to fight back with three straight goals.
Twenty-four hours later the Canucks played a full 60 minutes for the first time this season handing the Minnesota Wild a 2-1 loss.
It’s been a slow start for this locomotive, but it finally appears to be eyeing top speed.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
If it felt like there wasn’t much hockey this past week, again, it’s because there wasn’t. Vancouver began the week with four non-game days before heading to Calgary to face the Flames on Friday and returning home to host the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.
In terms of fantasy hockey production, the game against the Flames had the makings of a horror movie before the Canucks rallied with three goals in the third period. Rick Rypien and Christian Ehrhoff were two of the goal scorers and they finished first and third in fantasy points with 19 and 15. Henrik Sedin had two assists to finish second in fantasy points with 18.
Despite only scoring twice on Minnesota a night later, Vancouver produced six players with 15 fantasy points or more, including Ryan Kesler who led the team with 36 thanks to a goal, a game star and a gaggle of other stats.
Kevin Bieksa (24), Mikael Samuelsson (19), Roberto Luongo (17), Mason Raymond (15) and Alex Burrows (15) were other players who put up big points.
WE HAVE A WINNER
It seems ties aren’t just good father’s day gifts anymore as for the second time in the first six games of the season, there was a logjam atop the leader board.
Victory916, timbo76, billkambc and Kesssy17 all rode the Rypien, Sedin, Ehrhoff express to success, finishing with 115 points apiece.
There was more than bragging rights up for grabs during Saturday’s TELUS Game of the Week and some savvy picking from crosby87 ensured that there was one winner and only one winner.
crosby87 had 128 points, two better than gurps at 126. The difference? crosby87 bought Henrik Sedin and Ryan Johnson, who combined for 19 points, while gurps spent that $5 million on Roberto Luongo, who had 17 points.
This isn’t the first time this season buying Luongo has lead to heartache as the Canucks netminder has only been on one of seven teams that have finished first overall thus far.
Kesssy17 is currently the season leader with 807 points through seven games.
Click here to check out the leaderboard, it's a jumble of 4,158 fantasy fanatics.
THE WEEK AHEAD
It’s a busy seven days for the Canucks as they play four games in a week for the first time this season.
The action gets going Monday with Vancouver in Edmonton, the Canucks then travel to Chicago prior to returning home to face Toronto and Edmonton back-to-back over the weekend.
Instead of going game-by-game, here are five players that can do you no wrong for fantasy production so far this year. Feel free to buy any or all of them for Vancouver’s next four games, if you can afford to. These are the only four players over 100 fantasy points through seven games.
Henrik Sedin, $4 million – Hank’s production has remained consistent since losing brother Daniel as a linemate, so much so that he’s on a five game point streak with three goals and seven assists in that time. He leads the Canucks in points with 11 and in fantasy points with 147. He’s expensive, but clearly worth it.
Mikael Samuelsson, $ 2 million – Easily the best bang for your buck in Canucks Fantasy Hockey, Samuelsson is tied with Ryan Kesler for second in team scoring with seven points and he is also on a five-game point streak with three goals and three assists. Samuelsson has 103 fantasy points to sit fourth on the team.
Willie Mitchell, $3 million – On some nights, Mitchell is the only defenceman worth owning because thus far he’s been lights out on defence and has been contributing offensively with two goals and two assists. That has translated into 115 fantasy points, an average of just over 16 a game. That’s what I’m talking about.
Ryan Kesler, $4 million – Three games into the season Kesler was struggling offensively with only one assist and a minus-3 rating. Since then he’s been red-hot with three goals and three assists in four games to sit second in team scoring with Samuelsson with seven points, he's also great for fantasy points with 115.
LW Daniel Sedin (foot) missed Vancouver’s last game and is expected to be sidelined a few weeks. RW Guillaume Desbiens was called up to fill the void, although he was sent back to Manitoba after one game.
D Sami Salo is currently sidelined with pain in his right knee. A timetable for his return hasn’t been set.
RW Jannik Hansen (broken hand), RW Pavol Demitra (shoulder) and D Mathieu Schneider (shoulder) are on the injured reserve list.
While I claim to be the Canucks Fantasy Hockey swami, the man with all the answers and a crystal ball as clear as they come, this is very self-described. Most of my picks are backed by stats, while others come from the gut. Use with caution!