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.
Life as a fantasy hockey owner is no picnic.
Constant roster juggling is inevitably followed by digging through the waiver wire, which is followed by a slew of (ridiculous) trade proposals, which inevitably is followed by more roster juggling.
Carl Hagelin of the New York Rangers has exceeded expectations from a fantasy standpoint so far this season. Is now the time to sell high? (Photo: Getty Images)
Enter consistency, the Advil for fantasy hockey owners. It's that one characteristic that's so hard to come by year in, year out, even for the most (seemingly) reliable of players. That's what all fantasy owners strive for, the knowledge that your guy will get your couple goals, few assists, PIMs, hits and shots in a given week and throughout the year.
If you can find it, more power to you. Bask in the glory. But even with a healthy dose of consistency, the out-of-nowhere streak(s) often make the difference between victory and defeat, both in the short and long-term.
With that, here's a look at some players who rode a wave of success in the past several games and a "buy" or "sell" projection as to the likelihood of that success continuing.
Things have been going pretty well for Carl Hagelin these days, and fantasy owners have likely been feeling the impact since Feb. 7. From that date on, Broadway's Swedish winger has been a tour-de-force. Hagelin scored goals in four straight games, including a two-goal night, before failing to do so Tuesday against Montreal, where he still managed to get an assist. His five-game point streak has given him eight points, including two multi-point nights. In the same span, he's never gone below an even rating (the streak dates back to Jan. 31). Throw in the 21 shots on net and you get a stat sheet worthy of a first-round pick. But beware, buyers. The same guy who's been hot of late began the 2012-13 campaign pointless through seven games. Owned in 28 percent of Yahoo! leagues, Hagelin could be a nice complementary get, but given history, the hot is likely to cool down sooner rather than later.
(Update: Hagelin's streak snapped Thursday, when he went pointless and finished with a minus-1 rating and three shots).
Brayden Schenn has quietly impressed this season, demonstrating a healthy second-tier balance of reliable, consistent point production and stretches of hot play. Through 18 games, Schenn has not gone pointless in more than two games. Seemingly, anytime the puck is not going in or he's not making things happen for teammates, Schenn is able to flip the switch and get back to being successful. Such a 2012-13 resume has led him to a five-game point streak, which was halted Thursday against Florida. Nevertheless, in those five games, two goals and four assists joined his season totals. While his PIMs and shots haven't been as high as one might like, Schenn has thrown his body around with 41 hits on the year, most of which have come during less effective scoring stretches, showing that when he's on, he's producing and when he's off, he's finding other ways to produce. Both great characteristics for fantasy owners.
The Nashville Predators have collected points in five consecutive games. Not surprisingly, so has forward Colin Wilson. In that span, the former first-round selection scored twice and added five helpers. Not too shabby, especially for a player owned in 20 percent of Yahoo! leagues and initially ranked No. 364. This time of year, for deep leagues, Wilson is just the kind of guy you might be inclined to search for and pick up. But don't dive in blindly. Even during this stretch of solid play, Wilson has only thrown five shots on net. In five games. He's also a minus-3 in the past two games. That's not exactly the kind of production you want to rely on.