As the Oilers get ready for game five of this 2011-2012 season, things are looking pretty good in Oil country. The exciting come-from-behind victory over Nashville on Monday night has the team at 2-1-1 for the year. Oilers fans have been treated to contributions from key veteran players, as well as tremendous skill from the young core of the team.
The past week saw the Oilers play the Wild, Canucks and Predators, taking three of a possible six points in the process. The week also provided many highlights that should get fantasy players excited about the year ahead. Ryan Smyth
's winning goal on his own bobblehead night, RNH's first NHL hat-trick and Shawn Horcoff
's three assist night against the preds are some of the highlights from the past three games.
As we move forward, there are definately some trends that are starting to develop. In a fantasy pool that considers all aspects of the game, players must fight the urge to look soley at offensive production. Hits, shots on goal and faceoffs should all be considered if you want to succeed in this type of fantasy hockey. As we see with the players in focus this week, balance is the key! Game LeaderboardSeason LeadersPlayer StatsNot a member? Sign up!TONIGHT AT 11:00 PM
No more than one hour following the completion of tonight's game vs. Calgary, the newly introduced salaries for all our highlighted players will take effect. Here are this week’s salary amendments:SHAWN HORCOFF ($6M > $7M)
It's been a productive few games for the Oilers captain. Shawn Horcoff
skates into this edition of Fantasy Forecast as the team's fantasy points leader. With 69 total points, Horcoff seems to be getting it done in all areas of the ice.
With Horcoff it all starts in the faceoff circle. He is the team's go-to-guy on the draws, and he hasen't dissapointed. Having won 62% of his draws so far this season, Horcoff might just be revealing his secret weapon when it comes to putting up fantasy numbers.
Add this to Horcoff's three assist game against Nashville on Monday night, and we are starting to see an attractive stat line to start this 2011-2012 season. Horcoff is seeing his share of powerplay time and is palying a regular shift with former linemate and friend, Ryan Smyth
. This combination should continue to make Horcoff an attractive option for fantasy players. TAYLOR HALL ($4M > $6M)
Hall comes roaring into Fantasy Forcast this week as the team's second leading scorer on the year. Following his goal last night against the Predators, Hall now has four points in as many games and continues to pick up steam. Hall's 60 fantasy points have him ranked third on the team to this point, a total that seems assured to rise.Taylor Hall
is an offensive leader for the Oilers and through four games this season he has been flying. Hall's stat sheet shows not only that he is putting up points, but also that he is the team leader in shots on goal, and is dishing out his share of hits as well.
Hall always seems to showcase his terrific skillset as he tears up the ice, making him a true fantasy powerhouse for players to consider. RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS ($4M > $3M)
We end this week's forecast with the "Nugent-Hopkins paradox" that seems to be at the forefront of this young NHL season. The rookie forward has his name all over the scoresheet for the Oilers to this point, so why the drop in salary? Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
is the Oilers leading scorer through four games(4G,1A). In the time since our last Fantasy Forecast, Nugent-Hopkins has recorded his first NHL hat-trick vs. Vancouver, then turned around and recorded his first assist against Nashville. So all should be great in fantasy land, right? Well, not really.
There is a glaring stat that continues to haunt Nugent-Hopkins, keeping him from being the fantasy power that he would otherwise be, faceoffs! A closer look at his stat line will show a -26 in faceoffs, thus limiting his fantasy points to 35, good for only 6th on the team. If Nugent-Hopkins can't find a way to correct this issue, he will surely be caught by more players in overall fantasy points. Thus he remains just an average option for fantasy owners at this point.