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Oilers Fantasy Hockey Forecast - 11/15/2011

by Travis Knee / Edmonton Oilers
It feels good to be home! At least that's what the Edmonton Oilers must be thinking after a long six-game road trip saw them drop the last three games to original six teams. It certainly was a difficult stretch of hockey for the Oilers as they battled their way to a 2-4 overall record on the trip.

The Oilers now get two games at home this week as they host Ottawa on Thursday night, then follow that up with the Blackhawks on Saturday night. The Oilers will be looking to get back on track in these two games and will need production from more parts of their lineup. They currently sit second in the Northwest division with a record of 9-6-2.

The lack of secondary scoring is starting to rear it's head for this years Oilers. A number of talented players on both ends of the ice are failing to put up points for Edmonton. This makes things tricky for fantasy players as they try to decide who to pick beyond the Oilers top-six. With a number of players looking at long slumps to start the season, one has to figure that something will give any time now.


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No more than one hour following the completion of Thursday's game vs. Ottawa, the newly introduced salaries for all our highlighted players will take effect. At this time all remaining players salaries will be reset to their real cap hit values. Going forward, only the three highlighted players will have their salaries adjusted each week.  

Here are this week’s salary amendments:

RYAN SMYTH ($4M > $5M)

Ryan Smyth continues to be the leader for the Oilers all over the ice. With five points (4G, 1A) in the last four games, Smyth now leads the Oilers in scoring on the season. He was great on the long road trip and should continue to be as the Oilers look to rebound from three straight losses.

Smyth's 17 points have him ranked in the top 20 in the league for points and his 10 goals have him in the top 10 in that category. His 232 total fantasy points now have him leading the team; by that fact alone he should be a top fantasy pick. The real value with Ryan Smyth is that he is consistent. Ryan brings it every night for the OIl and his stats so far are a reflection of that.

Heading into these next few games Smyth should remain a top option for fantasy players despite the high price tag. At this point in the season, if there is one player you should pay 5 million for, it's Ryan Smyth.

The Oilers captain cooled off during this past road trip recording only two points in the last five games. With nine pionts (3G, 6A) in 17 games overall, Horcoff is starting to come back around to point totals that were probably more expected of him when the season began.

This being said, Horcoff still has has value in the faceoff circle and his 162 fantasy points still rank him high on the team. Horcoff will continue to see some powerplay time and can also be seen playing on one of the top two forward lines at any given time.

Coming down to a 4 million salary is probably getting Horcoff closer to his true value. This next little stretch should help fantasy players decide how to pick Horcoff.

SAM GAGNER ($2M > $1M)

Sam has yet to find his stride since returning from an early season injury. Gagner has yet to score a goal and has only managed two assists in 11 games. 

Playing outside the top-six and getting limited powerplay time is hurting Gagner's stats as well as his fantasy value. He has only 54 total fantasy points, ranking him near the bottom of the team.

Players should continue to keep an eye on Gagner to see if he can find some offense. He is a talented forward and If he does show signs of coming on, he becomes a steal at 1 million.


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