Now that the Oilers Fantasy Hockey season is a few weeks old, I'm assuming most of you have had the opportunity to tinker with your lineups and explore a variety of combinations as we progress week-to-week. By now you probably have a reasonable idea of who your targets should be and the rationale behind your important roster decisions. Is that true?
Good. Now let's kick it up a notch.
Just when you were getting comfortable with the process and, perhaps, your place in the standings, we decided it would be fun to throw everyone a bit of a curveball before heading into this week's action.
First of all, don't panic. It's a reasonable change that we hope will increase the interactivity of the game and bring a different level of sophistication to your game-night roster choices. Game LeaderboardSeason LeadersPlayer StatsNot a member? Sign up!
This all-important shakeup revolves around player salaries. To make things a little more difficult for you to ice a $20 million roster, we've decided to make some changes to player salaries over the next week.
After all, our goal here is to challenge everyone. It's not only a battle between you and your competitors, but with the system as well. Can you adapt to the sudden changes? Are you willing to make some difficult personnel decisions in hopes of having a breakout week? It's time we find out.
WHAT ARE THE CHANGES?
The Fantasy Hockey Forecast is trying a new approach this week. Rather than advising based purely on player talent, we've now decided to introduce a new element to the game as the salary cap becomes a more integral component.
Some players will be getting raises based on hot play over the past few weeks, while others will be receiving paycuts due to some cold play or untimely injuries.THEO PECKHAM ($500,000 > $3M)
Young defensive powerhouse Theo Peckham has been doing a lot right over the past few weeks. His efforts aren't going unnoticed either, with the hard-hitting blueliner receiving a significant raise as we begin a new week.
Peckham has been a wise inclusion in your lineup since the beginning. A small cap-hit combined with great performances in nearly all statistical categories have made him one of the most valuable players on the entire roster.
As a result, we've decided to up his cap-hit to a healthy $3 million for this week. While Peckham will likely continue his hot play, you now need to make some more difficult roster decisions in order to fit all the players you want under the salary cap.
ANDREW COGLIANO ($1M > $3M)
Andrew Cogliano seems to have arrived. Perhaps the concoction of some new line combinations helped kickstart his offensive production, but whatever the case, he's starting to look like that the Cogliano that Oilers fans want to see; a fast-skating, net-driving complement to the team's offensive game.
In addition to some strong five-on-five play, he's been the beneficiary of some extra time with the man-advantage and and even a regular shift on the penalty kill. With his confidence and responsibility growing exponentially, Cogliano could be poised to have another strong week.
His salary will also be bumped to $3 million to make your roster decisions a little more difficult. If Cogliano continues to play well, the extra investment could be a wise move as we progress through the week.
SHAWN HORCOFF ($6M > $4M)Shawn Horcoff
has been one of the Oilers' best forwards throughout the young 2010-11 season. Unfortunately for the team's top centre, he suffered a minor leg injury in Sunday's win vs. Chicago. At the moment, the injury seems minor and shouldn't keep him out long-term, likely making him available for the remainder of the road trip.
While Horcoff has had a strong season, his $6 million cap-hit is a heavy investment for a team that can only be composed of a $20 million total. While Horcoff has generally been solid this season, his Fantasy point totals have suffered a little bit over the past few games.
With uncertainty regarding his injury status in addition to his recent dip in points, we decided to give everyone a little incentive to include him this week. His $6 mllion cap-hit will be reduced to a more manageble $4 million, as this could potentially provide some more flexibility moving forward.
That having been said, don't set your lineup too early with the inclusion of Horcoff. Make sure to stay abreast of any last-minute line alterations due to his injury status.MONTHLY WINNERS
Now we get to everyone's favourite part. While bragging rights are definitely an important aspect of the Fantasy Hockey fame, the real prizes are always a nice touch. Two players in particular will be receving some Oilers swag in recognition of their October efforts.October - Top Point-Getter: slim2001
jumped out to an early lead with an amazing performance on opening night vs. Calgary. He has participated in all the games played so far, giving him an undeniable edge moving forward amongest the leaders. With a total of 969 points in the month of October, he is our monthly winner in this category.October - Top Average Points: go_oil_09
has set an impressive pace with his average point per game numbers in the month of October. With an average of 121.13 (nearly 12 points ahead of second place), his numbers could yield an impressive season-long comeback on the way to the top. Nevertheless, his average totals didn't let him down, as he easily cruised to victory in this category.
On behalf of the entire edmontonoilers.com staff, I would like to say congratulations to each of our winners! Both slim2001 and go_oil_09 will receive a signed 8x10 of one of their favourite Oilers players. We will be in contact with both of you shortly to arrange the delivery of your prizes.
A reminder to everyone that montly prizes will be handed out throughout the regular season, in addition to the year-end prizes at the conclusion of the regular season. With a greater discrepancy in point averages, combined with some slight changes that have introduced this week, there's plenty of time for everyone to make their move and challenge for the top spot in one of our winning categories.
Not to mention the glory. Oh, yes, the glory. SEASON STATISTICS Top 10
This is a big week in Oilers Fantasy Hockey. The first set of prizes have been awarded and now there's a palpable energy around the Fantasy Hockey world as many have developed the undeniable taste and and drive for success.
Study the changes. Study the players. But most importantly, study the Fantasy Hockey Forecast. It could be your most important decision of the week.
Good luck, everyone!
Author: Ryan Dittrick | edmontonoilers.com