I’m a little behind on the mid-season recap from hockeyville to here. And where is here, exactly? First place is mine almost entirely on the shoulders of Ovechkin not unlike the Caps tenuous hold on second place in the Metropolitan Division.
The only difference being I have way more depth on my fantasy team then the real Caps can provide. Tis a shame too, I had such high expectations for the Caps season. However, that depth in fantasy needs to hold up because 1 through 4 are pretty tight, five through 9 are pretty tight, and then ten, eleven and twelve are hanging out all alone at the bottom far from everyone.
Only two moves to speak of so far for me in a very quiet first half (quiet for me, not for the league, which is surprisingly more trade heavy than the last two years it feels like). Considering much of the core of my team has remained the same the last few seasons and most of the guys are in fairly peak points in their careers I think the consistency I’m experiencing is to be expected…
So, I made what might seem a daring move of Moulson & Fleishman for Okposo & Landeskog pretty early on.
Originally, more-or-less I was using Ovi at RW with Kessle and Marleau at C most of the time, so my six forward slots on my best days are Ovi/Kessle, Marleau/Kopitar, Parise/Moulson and then the hot hands would pull the three or four of open use positions when they aren’t filling in for whomever isn’t playing on a given night. The threat here was moving two left wings on a trade would heavily deplete the left side thus in theory mean having to swing either Ovi or Marleau to the left to pair more often with whomever is remaining and reshuffle deck more often which could go several different ways, none of which I really loved.
The initial trade request was Moulson & Flash for RW Semin and C Brandon Dubinsky. The team offering was only was skating three LW with Montreal’s Pacioretty as their backbone plus Landeskog and Rick Nash. If the waiver wire weren’t so light on available LW this trade would never happen but of the top say 50 or so LW are all locked down (unlike at center where there’s a few guys with T30 points that are sitting on the wire). Trades were the only way to upgrade which was pretty much what I expected might happen when we increased roster size.
I couldn’t take the offer as was presented but their right side featured in addition to Semin and Okposo, Boston’s Bobby Ryan and Philly’s Wayne Simmonds plus Chicago’s Ben Smith, so I countered I didn’t need a center and would prefer to swap Semin for Okposo and pick up Landeskog to replace Dubinsky so it didn’t leave me with a void at LW, while leaving his RW depth rudimentary unchanged.
My thought being Landeskog and Dubinsky were about equal in production so that switch was fair and didn’t go after Nash who I’m sure they perceived as being a potential higher value in the position. Although Semin can put up huge numbers but wasn’t at the time (and I’m familiar with his skill set from his Caps days making me leery of him), Okposo and Moulson were more evenly matched in value at the time so that seemed more fair to me. I’d be betting on Okposo’s upside versus whatever hit Matt might take moving to Buffalo.
If the bet on Okposo was good in his landing huge RW numbers so far, Landeskog is actually better in some ways. Have I mentioned before the East Coast bias in this league? Yeah, I probably have, which is why I have some of the players I have and how I pull off a trade like this. Flash may lead his team, but Landes is much more formidable in generating fantasy points overall and is on par or better with what Moulson is doing making Landes a straight replacement for Matt and under my revised alignment Ovi/Okoposo, Kessle/Kopitar, Marleau/Parise or Landeskog (while Zack is out) making his inclusion on my team actually better on the left side than it was before despite losing two LW.
Now, if only my goalie prowess were as good! The only waiver wire move I made was Giggy for Raanta as backup goalies. Raanata plays slightly more, pulls a better win/loss ratio and similar overall GAA and Save Pct even though backing up a cup winning Corey Crawford probably leaves a lower upside than a young firebrand in Varlamov, but as a third goalie its a chance I’m willing to take for a few extra points on the board considering Crawford’s not been foolproof thus opening the door for Raanata. At least taking the chance on Mason has paid off. Howard’s been alright, he’s still above average but I cannot help but wonder if I still shouldn’t have held Price back when I had the choice between the two.
highlights by listed NHL.com position:
RW(LW) Alex Ovechkin (Wash) #1 Goals (#1 PPG), T3 Points, #1 SOG, #30 S%
*** RW Kyle Okposo (NYI) T3 Points, #7 Goals (T20 PPG), #3 Assists, #16 SOG, T25 S%
RW Jordan Eberle (Edm) T10 Points, T19 Goals (T20 PPG), T4 Assists, #12 SOG
RW(D) Brent Burns (SJ) T20 Points, T12 Goals, #19 SOG
C(RW) Phil Kessle (Tor) T3 goals (T2 PPG), T10 Points, #30 Assists, #1 SOG
C Anze Kopitar (LAK) #18 points, #20 goals, T20 Assists, #28 SOG
C Mikhail Grabovsky (Wash) T26 Assits, T28 points, #14 S%
C Nathan MacKinnon (Col) T12 PPG, T19 SOG
C(LW) Patrick Marleau (SJ) #5 goals (#1 PPG), T10 points, T20 Assists, #2 SOG
LW Gabriel Landeskog (Col) T11 Assists, T16 Points, T17 Goals
LW Zach Parise (Min) T7 Goals, #19 Points
LW Chris Higgins (Van) T21 Goals, #28 Points
D Dustin Byfuglien (Win)
D Keith Yandle (Pho)
D Jason Garrison (Van)
D Alex Pietrangelo (StL)
D Justin Faulk (Car)
D Marek Zidlicky (NJD)
G Jimmy Howard (Det)
G Steve Mason (Phi)
*** G Antti Raanta (chi)