Every Thursday, the Genius will list three players to monitor for fantasy relevance. As a rule, the players will be owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo! and ESPN leagues.
Player: D Andy Greene, Devils.
Ownership: 1 percent Yahoo!, 1.1 percent ESPN.
Optimism: With D Paul Martin (broken left arm) and D Johnny Oduya (lower-body injury) on the shelf, Greene has led the Pitchforks blueliners in minutes in the last three games — and he is skating on power plays too. He has one goal and four assists in his last four, including three PPPs (one goal, two assists).
Skepticism: A breakout year at age 27? In his three previous campaigns, Greene has never played more than 59 games or tallied more than 10 points.
Player: LW/RW Todd Bertuzzi, Red Wings.
Ownership: 13 percent Yahoo!, 7.0 percent ESPN.
Optimism: We all remember the Bertuzzi of 2002-03: 46 goals, 51 assists, 144 penalty minutes, 42 PPPs (25 goals, 17 assists) and, as if all that weren’t enough, 243 shots on goal. In last night’s 9-1 romp over the Blow Jackets, Bertuzzi tallied one goal and one assist (PP) and led the Wings with six shots on goal. It was the third straight game in which he’s taken at least five shots. With 50 shots on the season, Bertuzzi, 34, is on pace for a career high 250 shots. At bottom, he can help fantasy owners in that category. His track record suggests he can help in a few others. As a bonus, in Yahoo! formats he is eligible at RW and LW. (He’s only an LW in ESPN.)
Skepticism: Can he stay healthy? The last time he lasted more than 70 games was 2005-06, when he had 71 points (25 goals, 46 assists), 32 PPPs (12 goals, 20 assists), 200 shots and 120 PIMs.
Player: C Patrice Bergeron, Bruins.
Ownership: 24 percent Yahoo!, 19.9 percent ESPN.
Optimism: With 12 points (six goals, six assists) and 45 shots in 17 games, Bergeron is showing shades of the breakout star he appeared to be in 2005-06, when he launched 310 shots on goal and totaled 73 points (31 goals, 42 assists) in 81 games. He is the team’s leading scorer and play-maker with C Marc Savard (foot) still mending and C David Krejci (swine flu) having just returned to action Tuesday.
Skepticism: He has only one point on the power play. If Savard and Krejci return to form, he may not get a big special-teams opportunity in the second half of the season.
photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons