Fantasy Hockey Stock Report: Risers and Fallers

by Daniel Dobish on March 19, 2013 @ 18:03:37 PDT

 


Once again our fantasy focus comes from the Southeast Division, as two centers from that group are worth pouncing upon if you need help at the position. On the flip side, there are a handful of veterans who are just not cutting the mustard, and fantasy owners simply need to cut bait. With the condensed schedule and time running out for owners to make a move toward the fantasy postseason, the time is now to get rid of dead weight and get players on your roster that are producing, even if they do not have the names most casual fans are familiar with.

Risers

Alex Killorn center, Tampa Bay Lightning

Killorn has been fairly productive lately, posting two goals and five assists in nine games in the month of March. He has enjoyed skating alongside dynamic scoring right wing Martin St. Louis. Killorn might take on more responsibilities, especially on the power play unit, with center Vincent Lecavalier (foot) out for a while with a broken bone. Killorn has played at nearly a point-per-game clip in March, and if you're in need of a No. 3 center, or No. 5 or 6 fantasy forward, you certainly can do worse.

Brooks Laich, center, Washington Capitals

Brooks Laich, Washington Capitals

The time is now to get in on Laich. He suffered a groin injury in November playing overseas with the Kloten Flyers of the Swiss National A league during the lockout, and he is just ready to make his season debut. Laich will initially start out on the fourth line, but it won't be long until he assumes his spot on the top scoring line alongside left wing Alex Oveckhin and center Nicklas Backstrom. Head coach Adam Oates has been searching for someone to skate with the two, and the spot has been a turnstile of late. Laich will likely take a handful of games to knock off the rust, but he should be added now while available in nearly 90 percent of all leagues. His widespread availability won't last long.

Patrick Wiercioch, defenseman, Ottawa Senators

Senators head coach Paul MacLean plugged Wiercioch onto the power play unit in early March and the move immediately paid dividends. The former second-round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft has been on fire, potting four goals with an assist, plus-1 rating and 25 penalty minutes (PIM) in the past seven games. Two of his markers have come on the man advantage, as he has jumped into the action nicely, and does not look out of place. Those in fantasy leagues which discourage bad behavior might want to go another way, but if you're in a pool that rewards PIMs and you need a rearguard, Wiercioch is definitely worth a look while he remains hot.

Fallers

Danny Briere, right wing, Philadelphia Flyers

Briere has been awfully streaky this season. It took him a while to make his way back after offseason wrist surgery. Then there was some rust to knock off. He finally started to resemble himself by mid-February, posting three goals and nine points in an eight-game stretch from Feb. 16 to March 2. However, the bottom has once again dropped out, and there is little reason to hang onto him. He is scoreless in seven straight games with an abysmal minus-10 rating, and he has failed to light the lamp in 13 consecutive games dating back to Feb. 18. His fantasy ownership has tumbled to 70 percent, and that is still way too high given these recent results.

Erik Cole, left wing, Dallas Stars

Sure, Cole was able to score a goal Monday against Calgary, but it was just his second goal and point in nine games since being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens in late February. His ice time (TOI) continues to hover around the 15-minute mark, and he is just not generating much in the way of offensive chances. Perhaps it will take some time for Cole to jell with his new teammates, but time is running out and there is just no room on a fantasy roster for a guy who posts a point every five games or so.

Travis Zajac, center, New Jersey Devils

Zajac started the season with goals in back-to-back games, and that might be his only highlight of the year. It has been an extremely rough stretch lately, as he has now gone 10 games without a marker dating back to Feb. 24. He has also managed just two assists in the past 15 games since mid-February. The offense has dried up, and his TOI is starting to do the same. The New Jersey coaching staff is not trusting him, so why should fantasy owners? His fantasy ownership dropped about 10 percent in the past week to the 55-57 percent range.

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About Daniel Dobish

Daniel is a Hot Off the Wire Analyst who joined the KFFL staff in 2010. He is a veteran of the fantasy industry dating back to 1999, with stops at CBSSports.com, The Sports Forecaster, OPENSports.com and RotoExperts.com. His work has also appeared on NFL.com and Yahoo.com. Daniel was named the 2011 Fantasy Golf Writer of the Year, 2011 Fantasy Racing Writer of the Year, and he was nominated for the 2011 Fantasy Hockey Writer of the Year. Daniel lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.

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