A case for benching Jeff Carter?

Avalanche D Kyle Quincey might be the top scoring blueliner in fantasy -- for this week, at least.

Avalanche D Kyle Quincey (pictured here in his Kings gear) might be the top scoring blueliner in fantasy -- for this week, at least.

First things first: If you’re in a weekly league and you own any Blackhawks, Kings, Predators or Avalanche, get them in your lineup.

Those four teams play four times this week. The Flyers, by contrast, play once. So chances are even a borderline fantasy player like Kings RW Justin Williams will have a better scoring week than a stud like Flyers C Jeff Carter. Williams plays four times, Carter plays once.

Of course, you can disregard this if you play in a standard rotisserie format. But if you’re in a weekly league where your only chance to set your lineup comes Monday — jump aboard the Kings, Blackhawks, Predators and Avalanche. And all season long, you should refer to the Forecaster column by ESPN.com’s Sean Allen. Each week, he breaks down which teams play the most and least. He also looks at strength of schedule.

Our recommended pickup among the four teams playing four times is Avalanche D Kyle Quincey, who has scored in every game this season. He boasts a 1-4-5 line after four games (including three power play points), not to mention a +2 and eight shots on goal.

In a majority of leagues, Quincey is yours for the taking. He is owned in only 31.2 percent of ESPN leagues and 41 percent of Yahoo! formats. Whether or not he is a fluke doesn’t really matter in weekly leagues — you just want him because he is hot and he is playing four times, starting with today’s 1 pm tilt at Boston. (By the way, Bruins D Dennis Wideman is doubtful to play.)

Besides, whether or not Quincey is a fluke is an open question. Rotowire has its doubts: “He could make for interesting early trade fodder because he quite simply won’t be able to keep this pace up (and the team he plays on isn’t exactly the freshest bunch of guys). Someone may bite and you could end up with a sweet — and more stable — return.”

I’m much more optimistic about Quincey’s long-term value as a No. 4 defenseman. He is only 24 years old and he is coming off a solid 4-34-38 season on a sub-.500 Kings squad. Those 38 points included 27 on the power play (two PPG, 25 PPA). For good measure, Quincey added 150 shots on goal and 63 penalty minutes. Those are rosterable numbers, my friends.

photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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