The biggest and brightest from the past week in Fantasy Land, as voted by FHS writers.
Three Stars of the Week:
3rd Star, from the Winnipeg Jets, numero 33, Dustin Byfuglien... raise your glass and set sail for Buff's awesome bottom line this week: four games, five points (all assists), plus-3, four PIM, 15 shots and two PPP. After three years of relative promise, his ship really came in last season, and you'd have to be drunk not to call him a top three fantasy defenseman now. The big guy missed some time this year, but over 82 games, his stats prorate to 15+45=60, 101 PIM, 278 SOG and 21 PPP. I'll drink to that, even if his minus-22 pace does rock the boat a little. FHS Votes: 2 thirds.
2nd Star, from the Anaheim Ducks, numero 1, Jonas Hiller... four games played, three wins, one shutout, .961 SV%, with a bedazzling 0.98 GAA, and Hiller's recent turnaround has been so drastic, it's enough to give a fantasy GM vertigo (here we go again...). Since January 1, dude has lost only three times in regulation, versus 14 wins, with shit-your-pants peripherals of 1.79 and .932. If you were patient, welcome to what you've been waiting for. If Hiller is indeed over his health issues, he should still have a nice long shelf life as a player - he may be 30 years old, but he's played only 230 career games thus far. FHS Votes: 1 first, 1 second, 1 third.
1st Star, from the Ottawa Senators, numero 19, Jason Spezza... over the course of two consecutive nights this week, Spezza leapfrogged over six players in the points standings - players with names like Datsyuk, Sedin, Stamkos and Giroux - to claim second overall in this year's scoring race (temporarily). And no, it's not December, it's mid-February with only 22 games to go for the Senators. But on behalf of me and every other Spezza owner out there, let me apply the reverse reverse double reverse jinx now for even mentioning his apparent durability this year. It's some dark magic I'm messing with there. So what did Spezza do this week? Oh, nothing, just 3+4=7, plus-5, 2 PPP, 2 PIM, and if you had him benched because the Sens only played twice...well, you probably won't do that again. FHS Votes: 2 firsts, 1 second.
Honourable Mention: Evander Kane (4 GP, 3+3=6, plus-5, 6 PIM, 16 SOG), Blake Wheeler (4 GP, 1+7=8, plus-4, 2 PIM, 13 SOG), Alex Pietrangelo (4 GP, 0+5=5, 2 PIM, 11 SOG, 3 PPP), and Martin Brodeur, Corey Crawford, Roberto Luongo and Joey MacDonald, all of whom went 3-0 with four goals allowed for a GAA of either 1.30 or 1.33, and a SV% between .947 and .956. True story.Rookie Star of the Week: Adam Henrique (NJD) with 1+3=4, plus-3 in three games and we're getting tired of writing his name down for this award. Henrique is averaging 18:19 TOI/G this year, and 47.88% (thanks Dobber's Frozen Pool) of that time has been spent with Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise. Break out the cliches, because that is nice work if you can get it.
HM: Ryan Ellis (3 GP, 1+1=2, plus-2, 2 PIM)
Breakout Star of the Week: David Desharnais (MTL) with 1+4=5 and three PPP in three games. Dude has come out of nowhere to score 44 points in 60 games, and in doing so has usurped the 1C spot from Tomas Plekanec, who before that took it from Scott Gomez after Gomez retired a couple of years ago.
HM: Joey MacDonald (see above and below)
Breakdown of the Week: As an owner of Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams, Dustin Brown and Mike Richards, I really enjoyed Michael Benedicks' entry this week, so here it is. "Can we nominate a team? If so, I nominate every player (outside of Jonathan Quick) on the LA Kings. They got shutout in both of their games this week and at this point I think Steve Mason and Ilya Bryzgalov could shut them out without breaking a sweat. Disgusting". Could not agree more.
Free Agent Star of the Week (less than 50% owned in Yahoo! leagues): Joey MacDonald (24% owned) with three wins in three games, .947 SV% and 1.33 GAA. If only Jimmy Howard was actually out the original 4-6 weeks, J-Mac would be the hottest goalie to own in fantasy land.
HM: David Perron (32% owned, 4 GP, 1+2=3, plus-2)
FHS: Thursday Night Live! Star of the Week: Congratulations to tzuu for coming out on top in this week's FHS: Thursday Night Live! over/under/pick ‘em competition. Tzuu could do no wrong, or at least could always do some right. He wasn't skunked once, getting the winner and over/under right on an impressive four of seven games, and getting at least the winner OR the over/under right on the remaining three games, for a total of 11 points. Worth noting that the real difference maker here was his selection of Vrbata for the GWG bonus point. Way to go Tzuu! Watch for tomorrow's post asking for your picks for this week's TNL blog.
HM: Timbits56 finished a close second at a delicious but fattening 10 points.
Check out our past Fantasy Stars of the Week here.