This week has been really weird. By that, I mean the league has been lit up by those who you would actually expect to light it up. Malkin, Giroux, Stamkos, Benn, Crosby—the big names have pushed all those sneaky squeakers back down the charts. That’s good for those who drafted as they were expected to, but it’s less so for those in need of a good, low-cost playoff pickup. I will find you a couple of low-lying gems, though. Don’t you worry your pretty little trackpad.
PICKUP OF THE WEEK:
Michael Cammalleri - Cgy - C,LW - 45% owned with 23+14=37
For the most part, Cammalleri has been riding the top of Yahoo! leagues’ list of Transaction Trends since he got hot last week. If somehow you haven’t noticed, Cammalleri’s produced 9 goals and 14 points over the last 10 games. He’s also only failed to post a multi-point night once in his last 5 games, collecting a ridiculous 11 points over that span. It’s no secret that Cammalleri can score, but such work as this is undeniable and Cammalleri should be grabbed in most leagues. I know he plays for Calgary of all teams, but he has found his points game, skates top power play minutes, and fires shots on goal like a pitching machine. Look, it’s like this: as soon as your annoying friend/leaguemate sorts your free agents’ stats by the last 14 days and sees that Mikey C is #1, he or she will tell you all about it, and it will be in the worst way possible. Check and see if he’s out there. Do it for Future You.
SHALLOW LEAGUE FREE AGENTS and TRADE TARGETS (owned in over 50% of Yahoo! leagues)
Wayne Simmonds - 77% owned with 24+30=54
Let me just begin here by saying that Wayne should be owned in every league that counts penalty minutes and also probably every other league ever created, ever. Alright, I might be exaggerating, but it’s only because I had the pleasure of playing against Wayne Simmonds this week and, yup, he really did a number on me. This week alone, Simmonds has 5 goals, 7 points (3 PPP), a +3 rating, 9 PIMs, 12 shots, and 7 hits. More than that, Wayne’s got 40 points in his last 43 games. He’s known to pay penance in the sin bin pretty often, but he should also score 30 goals this season if he stays hot. Get in my past, Wayne, you’ve done enough.
Alexander Edler - Van - D - 53% owned with 6+13=19
This is less a must-add right now and more a secret nod, because while Edler has points in his last 3 games, he’s also been a disappointment for most of the season. But the points are there, and he’s also been great for PIMs (10 in last 5 games) and shots (18 in last 5). If you count blocks, you should also know that he’s gotten in front of the puck 111 times in 53 games. Edler is a guy with a lot of potential, and let’s hope that Vancouver has learned how to score again in any kind of lasting way. If Edler’s on the rise, he should be grabbed in many leagues. Just do a little thinking first.
MEDIUM-DEPTH FREE AGENTS and TRADE TARGETS (25-50% ownership in Yahoo! leagues)
Michael Cammalleri - Cgy - C,LW - 45% owned with 23+14=37
See above ∆∆∆
Gustav Nyquist - Det - C,RW - 44% owned with 21+17=38
Yawn, I know this is old news, but come on and take a look at young Gus Nyquist. Again! Seriously, I’m not going to tell you everything I could because I know you’ve already heard it all, but, like, come on: with 38 points in 45 games, Nyquist is almost a point-per-game player. And that’s with a sushi bar conveyor belt of linemates. It’s clear he’s got the stuff, and he’s run with the ever-increasing load of responsibility Babcock’s put on him. So that’s it. For form’s sake, Gus has 5 goals and 6 points with 14 shots in his last 4 games. That, and 6 goals with 10 points in his last 8. Looks like he just popped another goal in the 1st period of tonight’s game, too: his 26th. [2nd period edit: 27th goal]. Yawn.
Ondrej Palat - TB - LW - 31% owned with 19+30=49
Palat is another rookie probably worth owning in the league you’re in. For one, he’s a +27 on the season. If you’re like me, you’re still trying to figure out how to be +1 over a week, even. That alone would be the stuff to make him worth owning in most leagues if he played on the blue line, but Palat’s also a point machine, especially over the last few weeks. He’s been playing on the 2nd line with Valtteri Filppula and Ryan Calahan, and has put up a stunning 5 goals, 12 points, a +6, and 16 hits in his last 8 games. He’s 23 years old, what have you been up to?
DEEPER LEAGUE FREE AGENTS (25% ownership or less in Yahoo! leagues)
Chad Johnson - Bos - G - 18% owned with 16 W, 2.04 GAA, and .925 SV%
For the next couple weeks, Boston’s been stuck with a schedule fraught with back-to-backs. Sucks for them, sure, but it’s good for anyone looking for a couple of great goalie spot-starts. Chad Johnson, who, besides being behind the league’s hottest team, happens to have been incredible in his own right and can help you out with that sweet quality-over-quality goodness he’s been serving lately. I mean, buddy’s won his last eight starts. All of them. It helps that Boston just won’t lose, no matter how much I really, really want them to.
Alec Martinez - LA - D - 5% owned with 9+6=15
Alec Martinez wasn’t worth a look for most of the season. Recently, though, Marty’s heated up and been given a spot on the Kings’ 2nd power play unit. That doesn’t sound like anything that great until you realize that in his last 10 games, Martinez has picked up 5 goals and 8 points, and that 5 of those points were with the man advantage. He’s also been a +4 over that span with 17 shots and a helpful 20 hits. He’s worth an add in deeper leagues, for sure. And I don’t know, that kind of production could help even less-than-deep leagues in a playoff pinch.
THE MIDNIGHT SPECIALS (5% ownership or less in Yahoo! leagues)
Nicklas Jensen - Van - LW,RW - 2% owned with 3+2=5
With Alexandre Burrows suffering from some kind of "not good" hand injury—the guy upstairs sure has been chucking darts at Alex’s headshot—and Daniel Sedin returning from his own injury, it wouldn’t be crazy to guess that Jensen will get top line minutes with the Sedins. I know that they’ve only been creepy, pale, goateed versions of their old selves lately, but Henrik found a bit of chemistry with Jensen and Burrows last week, and so here’s hoping that he can keep that going with his bro. Since being called up from the AHL to join Vancouver’s top line 7 games ago, Jensen has picked up 3 goals and 5 points.