What more can we say about Capitals defenseman Mike Green? With two goals in last night’s 5-4 shootout loss in New York to the Rangers, Green tied an NHL record for defensemen with goals in seven straight games.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer scored two goals, leading Anaheim to a 3-1 home win against Calgary.
Of course, two-goal games are precisely why Green and Niedermayer are No. 1 fantasy defenseman. You’d have to surrender tons to obtain either one in a trade.
But if you lack the depth to swing a trade for Green or Niedermayer, there are more affordable ways to bolster your defense. Specifically, you can tap the free agent wire for three other defensemen, all of whom also had superb games last night. Call this trio the Boring Name Brigade: Tom Gilbert (Edmonton), Paul Martin (New Jersey), and Brendan Bell (Ottawa):
- Gilbert (three goals, 27 assists, +4, 14 PIM) notched three assists in Edmonton’s 7-2 route at home vs. Montreal. Gilbert is no fantasy slouch, having scored 13 goals with 20 assists last season. This season, he now has 27 assists, ranking 10th among all defensemen. No, he doesn’t do much in other categories, but if you want him he’s likely yours for free: he’s owned in only 16 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 15 percent of ESPN leagues.
- Martin (four goals, 15 assists, +13, 28 PIM) tallied three assists in the Devils’ 4-2 home win vs. the Islanders. Martin has always been the very definition of a No. 4 fantasy defenseman, steady in all categories but dominant in none. At this juncture, his +13 is particularly appealing, and if you need +/- help it makes him a preferable pickup to Gilbert. Martin is also yours for the taking. He’s owned in only nine percent of Yahoo!, 33.4 percent of ESPN.
- Bell (four goals, six assists, -6, 14 PIM) had two assists in Ottawa’s impressive 3-1 win in Buffalo. He now has four assists — three of which were PPP — in his last four games. Incredibly, Bell has zero percent ownership in both Yahoo! and ESPN. Yes, Gilbert and Martin are preferable pickups, but Bell is no fluke. He scored three goals in January and belongs on all fantasy radars, if not rosters.