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: LW/RW Steve Sullivan, Predators.
Ownership: 8 percent Yahoo!, 3.7 percent ESPN.
Optimism: Sullivan is a point-per-game machine when healthy, with generous doses of penalty minutes and shots on goal to boot. He has started slowly but scored twice vs. Montreal on Saturday and tallied another goal vs. San Jose on Tuesday. Now is an ideal time to add the slick veteran with a whopping eight 20-goal seasons on his resume. By the way, the Predators have won three in a row on their current home stand.
Skepticism: Sullivan, 35, has not played more than 70 games in a season since 2003-04. Also, his position eligibility changes from Yahoo! (LW) to ESPN (RW), so your ability to roster him may depend on your depth at a specific position in a specific format. Ideally, he’d be eligible at both positions in both formats, but the fantasy gods are not always kind.
Player: C David Legwand, Predators.
Ownership: 6 percent Yahoo!, 0.9 percent ESPN.
Optimism: Where there is pedigree, there is fantasy potential. Yes, Legwand has underperformed (statistically speaking) for the second overall pick of the 1998 draft. But the Preds are hot and so is he: In his last five games, he has two goals and three assists. This includes a one-goal, two-assist gem vs. San Jose on Tuesday night. Though Legwand only has eight points, his career low .063 shooting percentage suggests he’s been the victim of bad luck — and that he’s been in position to post gaudier totals.
Skepticism: Legwand, 29, has not sniffed the power play, with only one PP assist in 19 games. That is not what you want from a fantasy center. And make no mistake: You should not view Legwand as a permanent addition to your roster. But if you need a one-game stopgap, now is the time for him. He’s hot, and he’s at home.
Player: RW Niclas Bergfors, Devils.
Ownership: 18 percent Yahoo!, 5.9 percent ESPN.
Optimism: His last seven games: three goals, five assists, five PPPs (two goals, three assists). Call him the anti-Legwand: If you want help on the PP, grab Bergfors.
Skepticism: In fantasy terms, Bergfors, 22, is feast or famine. His saucy November numbers include two dud efforts, on Nov. 11 vs. Anaheim and Nov. 16 at Philadelphia. In each of these contests, Bergfors did not even manage one shot on goal. For that reason, Bergfors is also a viable spot starter, but still too wet behind the ears for permanent rostering.
photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons