Fantasy Hockey 201: The Turkey Trot

There is a time where we just become brutally cruel and it is especially this time of year where we do so. Any small bit of fantasy morsels err news is scrutinized so heavily that you would think the TSA is patting you down in a back alley.

Okay, maybe not but it most certainly can feel that way.

If you are in the fantasy playoffs, you are there for a reason. That reason could be many or just one simple one that your team was just that damn good. What becomes more crystal clear is that barring major injuries, what you ride to the dance is what will drive you home.

The turkeys this week focus more on ones that will hurt in categories they are supposed to help you in because my god, at this point, big shifts will not happen and concentrating on the small picture first can help the big picture later. If only life in general was this easy.

We did some long, hard research on this and even consulted some of the big wigs in the industry (most notably Darryl Dobbs, Scott Cullen, and Jeff Angus) because the stakes really are getting that high. This is the playoffs after all. Even if you are in a Roto league, there are only three weeks left as well. Either way, it is put up or shut up time. No there is not any pressure at all.

First, we are going to surprisingly go over the “Turkeys” you will not see this week. After all, Alexei Kovalev has actually lifted himself out of fantasy purgatory at least temporarily. Even Dion Phaneuf with his three point night last night will not be on this week’s inglorious list of players who have disappointed fantasy squads so.

Who else did you expect on this list? Let’s get rid of those suspects as well.

Now, even Alex Semin and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals have heated up considerably and Nick Backstrom (broken left thumb) can not be considered a “Turkey” because he is injured sadly but truth be told he has killed more fantasy rosters this year than maybe even Sidney Crosby. That sounds like a crazy statement but most everyone figured Backstrom for near 100 points. He is clearly nowhere near close. At least with Crosby, one has an idea that even though he has skated three straight days without setbacks, that he is not a fantasy option at least till your playoff fantasy leagues, if you are in any of course.

We will even be nice and not put Dany Heatley in the turkeys this week because he is suspended for two games along with Brad Marchand as well. Actually Marchand was saved by the suspension and he would have been listed as he has really gone South for fantasy owners.

This week “The Turkeys” decided to go for style points so the fantasy GM does not have to.

What is presented below is our three turkeys as always but each has a bit of a different fantasy meeting. It may be the first week in awhile that we had two turkeys from the same NHL team. This honestly is quite rare but both were worthy as they have killed fantasy teams for the past several weeks now.

The temptation became too much to bear and well here they are……..


Our turkey scratch award winner for this week goes to…..

Michael Ryder (Boston)

Why? Well it is simple. The guy is hardly on the ice because of his play. Toss in a couple healthy scratches and a one point stretch in six games and this is looking a lot like how last year ended for Ryder. The sad thing is he has more talent than this and yet just goes on these journeys or funks as most would call them that often drive fantasy owners batty.

Basically when it all goes South on Ryder is goes past Mexico and maybe to South America. The words “DROP HIM” cannot be uttered fast enough to describe this fantasy free faller who may just be out of Boston come next year if GM Peter Chiarelli is smart.

OUR NO Assistance award winner this week is…….

Tomas Kaberle (Boston)

Like we said it is rare to see two teammates on this list but it was much deserved as Kaberle has just not quite done what he was supposed to from a fantasy perspective. Actually he has helped Boston in other ways (including stopping potential game winners from going in the net) but we deal in fantasy reality here and he is just not assisting your fantasy team right now. Two points in his last 12 games is just not going to get this done at all and really there seems no offensive breakout likely to come anytime soon for the talented defenseman who has fallen on hard times as far as the stat sheet in Boston.

Maybe someone can show Kaberle some old Ray Bourque tapes on how to rack up assists. Because at this point, Kaberle is a fantasy liability and not many thought that would happen once he was traded. But, at least his plus/minus is pretty good.

OUR TEAM TURKEY award winner this week goes to…….

The Colorado Avalanche – WHY?  They are still so bad they have no relevance…NONE!  At least Ottawa has Craig Anderson and a couple decent offensive options.

It feels like Colorado has nothing going for it and I almost do not care if Mr. Erik Johnson finds himself again. Even when they play relatively well to start (up 2-0 against Vancouver last night), they end up just fading away (lost 4-2 by the way). The entire organization has hit the skids and it is mismanagement as much as injuries so just stay away and far away for the foreseeable future.

Next week we will present yet another twist including some more “Dishonorable Mentions” and as something new, the Anti-Turkey? Stay tuned for that and good luck in your fantasy leagues this week.


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