This is a new feature we'll be running every week or two for the remainer of the season.
One of the big factors you need to keep an eye is who's playing with who.
With the help of the excellent Fantasy Hockey 911 we'll give you some names that are being significantly impacted by who they are playing alongside of.
Dainius Zubrus / Jamie Langenbrunner
We'll be honest with you... we really hate this guy (two seasons of 38 and 40 points will do that) but seeing him lining up alongside of Zach Parise and Travis Zajac might just change that. He has four points and a plus-4 in his last two games and has played around 20 minutes per night. Don't forget he picked up 52 points 60 games with the Caps in 2006-07 so Zubrus being good isn't outside the realm of possibility. We're hearing rumours the Devils will be moving him back to C (and therefore a checking line) because they lack the depth up the middle. Tough to do if DZ is playing so well.
With no points in five games Langenbrunner's owners are hoping Zubrus falls flat on his face and Jamie gets the call to the top unit again. He's still getting some PP time (and lots of shots) but playing alongside of Brian Rolston and Dean McAmmond isn't a good thing.
It was only one game and Robbie didn't pick up any points but we like the look of him centering the #1 line with Bailey and Okposo on his wings. He's picked up 13 points in his last 17 games so there's plenty of hope for the former 1st round pick. John Tavares was on the 3rd line in the game so things could change quickly.
The Pens continue to look for some help for their big guns... and playing Staal as the #2 C and Malkin on the wing is their idea de jour. Sounds like this could change quickly as rumours are floating the Pens are pushing hard for some W help. Bump up Staal a few notches...Geno tends to have that effect on his linemates.
Check out Hecht's monthly totals so far : 3, 4, 8 and then 11 in January... he's actually been almost useful recently. If he sticks on the top line with Tim Connolly and Jason Pominville his February might be even better. Warning: He's not getting much PP time so temper your expectations.
Bryan Little / Maxim Afinogenov
The Thrashers were looking to shake things up and broke up the Maxim-Ilya duo this week. Bryan Little got the call to the top line and picked up two goals (his first in eight games). The Thrash really want to get Little going but we can't see Afinogenov and Kovalchuk playing apart for any length of time (assuming Kovalchuk isn't traded).
We've been talking about JJ's big promotion a lot on FHS. He's been playing with Staal and Whitney (until he gets traded) and he's been hot, hot, hot (14 points in 11 games). He's on pace to pick up a career high 58 points. He's getting lots of PP time so jump on board and hope the streak lasts.
Another guy we've been recommending... kinda. He's not going to rack up the points but playing ES minutes with our boy Stamkos and St. Louis he's bound to chip in a few here and there (10 points in January). Downie's value comes from his massive PIM potential (57 in January).
His PP time isn't very good... but playing with Kaner and Tazer can make a fantasy owner forget about that. 11 points in 15 January games shows he has some talent and can help those of you in deep leagues.
Phil Kessel is good... but we'll take Jarome Iginla any day. Their first game together was a bust as Calgary was shut out but Stajan's value definitely rises if he can stick on a line with Iggy.
Yeah he sucks but he takes a ton of shots and has the potential to play at a 60 point pace. He played alongside Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne in his first game as a Duck. His new linemates may be old, but they are much more talented than what Blake was playing with on the Leafs. He's worth a flyer if you ask me.