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Fantasy Hockey Talk: Do You Have a Team That Makes the Grade

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October is right around the corner and you know what that means.  Halloween!  No, actually I’m talking about the NHL Hockey Season.  More importantly Fantasy Hockey Season.  Fantasy Hockey is like Fantasy Football, except its not Football.  No, seriously it is for “die-hard” Hockey Fans.  Fans who enjoy playing their favorite players in the “top tier” Leagues.  And you guessed it, yours truly plays Fantasy Hockey.  So let’s get right to the “meat and potatoes” of it.

Does your Fantasy Hockey Team make the grade?  Listen the most enjoyable part of playing Fantasy Hockey is starting your favorite players but also winning in one of many Top Tier Leagues.  Your Fantasy Team needs to have a subtle balance between Offense and Defense.  But what you really need is some good goaltending.

Goaltending is a skill position where each win contributes points for your Fantasy Team.  It is something you will need in this “Hard Core” type Fantasy Matchup.  The other players in your League will most likely be sporting the best of the best.  So don’t get skittish in drafting a Goalie a little bit early.  I’m thinking Round 3 to Round 4.  Hey, this isn’t some laid back Fantasy Football slouches, these guys are “serious”.  Pick up a high valued Goalie and thank me later!

Overload on Forwards.  It is something that is an easy way to figure out.  Forwards give you Goals and Goal = Points.  Your Fantasy Team should have more than enough Forwards on it.  Check out the high valued Forwards available and put together a roster with them.  What you want are real playmakers.  Like Brad Marchand, Sidney Crosby, and Steven Stamkos.  I know Stamkos is on the list but don’t be afraid to pick up the top valued players in the 1st Round of the Draft.

Pick up a “Mid Ranged” Defense-man a little later in the Draft.  Listen you will want as many Forwards as you can get in the Draft, wait a little bit before pulling the trigger on getting a high valued Defense-man.  Ice Time is an important stat to look for, expect to see lots of Ice Time from your Defense-men.  I’d say start to look for Defense-men in Round 6 to Round 8 of your Draft.  These guys Value Scores are way lower than Forwards.  But remember your Fantasy Team needs to be balanced as you’ll be facing some “Hard Core” Fans.

Power Play Minutes and Scores contribute to your overall Points, pick up Players on PP Lines.  This is one of those Fantasy Stats that only Die Hard Fans will look at.  Look at Defense-men to give you this Stat, they are the ones with the most Ice Time.  If you don’t know how to figure this Stat I’d say look at the Team that they are on.  If they are one of those Power Play happy Teams, ahem Boston, then go pick them up.  I know that I had a chance to pick up Tory Krug, don’t be like me pick up Krug.

If you paid attention to my Drafting you might notice that I didn’t include the Utility Position.  It’s simple, play a Forward it this spot.  If you’ve been drafting accordingly, you should have plenty of them to rotate around as your Utility Player.  Typically the Utility Player is in because of injuries to your other player.  No worries here, if you’re picking Forward heavy, then you should have plenty of players to play.

As I said before Fantasy Hockey is for Die Hard NHL Fans, so do yourself a favor, and if you’re a newbie and follow these Drafting suggestions.  If all goes well, by Round 12 you should have a decent Fantasy Hockey Team that makes the Grade.  Will you make a breakthrough with a Top Tier League?  Maybe.  Just stick with the players that you know and love after Round 14, ahem Bruins, you should be OK!

I'm a self published writer and illustrator. I follow Football, Baseball, Hockey, Basketball, some Golf and some eSports.

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Fantasy Sports

Fantasy Football Talk: Who Is Injured This Week

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Your favorite player gets on the Field for the beginning of the game.  It seems as though he will have a big Sunday.  Then on the opening drive he gets hit and falls awkwardly on his shoulder.  Bam!  He just got injured and is out of the game.  What do you do now!  Yes that’s right I’m talking about Fantasy Football.  More importantly, I’m talking about Aaron Rodgers going out for the Season on a broken collar bone.  Yikes, not another huge injury!  Haven’t we had enough of these.  I mean really every week someone goes down.

Every time this happens I feel for the players, the coaches, the owners, and the fans.  It’s just not what you want to see.  And frankly I thought that Aaron Rodgers would be able to dodge the “Season Ending Injury Bullet”.  But sadly he wasn’t able to.  He went out of the game on the first drive which meant, you guessed it, no Fantasy Points.  Now I cannot completely explain to you how huge this injury is for Fantasy Football.  So I’ll keep it simple.  It turned the Packers Team into a Questionable Playoff Team.  They were tops in the NFC in my opinion.  It’s just sad what happened.

Week 7 is now on our doorstep with Thursday Night Football and, you guessed it, you need your picks for the week.  The first thing to look at are the Teams with Bye Weeks.  This weeks Teams with Byes are: Houston and Detroit.  Yep no Deshaun Watson and no Matthew Stafford.  QBs are getting hard to come by and this week is no exception.  Hopefully you planned ahead and had a back up but if not here are my picks.

QBs to start for Week 7 pick up Alex Smith QB for Kansas City, if he is available.  If not you should be able to pick up Carson Palmer, he is available in most Leagues.  Last week he had an outstanding 20.9 Fantasy Points on 283 Yards and 3 TDs.  He has had a slow start but now with Adrian Peterson on the Team everyone has to be concerned about the run.  This has really opened up the Field for him.  Expect him to play well against the LA Rams on Sunday.

RBs that make my list to start this week are Jerick McKinnon, and Alvin Kamara.  Both should have good games on Sunday.  They were on my list last week.  McKinnon is coming off a 19.9 Fantasy Points Week.  Not too shabby!  Kamara is more of a solid RB2 as he is rushing behind Mark Ingram. This week he is projected to have 10 Fantasy Points.  Which is solid for a RB2.

WRs that are my picks this week are Devin Funchess, Allen Hurns, and Danny Amendola.  These guys get targeted each week and although risk/reward is significant they are one play away from a serious break out.  I have Hurns and so far I have been a bit disappointed in what I might get out of him yet he is still a solid Flex option.  Amendola is a no brainer if you need a WR/Flex.  He is a play maker for the Patriots and he keeps the “Chains” moving.  You just know if Tom Brady has a big game so will he.

TE to pick up Week 7?  Get Cameron Brate TE for Tampa Bay.  You can thank me later!  This is a guy who is having a great Season.  He is highly targeted and a reliable player.  Last Week he had 13.6 Fantasy Points on 6 Receptions for 76 Yards and a TD.  How about that!  He is averaging 10.4 Fantasy Points a week and is still available in some Leagues. He better than a replacement, start him!

For D/ST I’d go with Dallas.  Hey they’re playing the 49ers, go figure!  For Kickers if I need one I’m going with Greg Zuerlein K for the LA Rams.  He is a solid go to and is available in most Leagues.  Last week he scored 11 Fantasy Points  on 3 PATs and 2 FGs.

That pretty much wraps up my picks for the Week.  You know I’ll be watching Kansas City vs Oakland on Thursday Night Football at 8:25 pm on the NFL Network.  I gotta see how well Alex Smith plays, my pick for my Fantasy Football Team for Week 7.  Stay Healthy my friends!

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Fantasy Football Talk: Who Are You Playing This Week

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Patriots

It’s that one day in the week where you are scrambling to find a replacement for that great Tight End that just got hurt last Sunday.  Yup I’m talking about Fantasy Football.  More importantly I’m talking about Wednesdays in Fantasy Football.  It is the day where you get some of the early injury reports for your players. Sadly it is the day when you find out that great player that you have on your Fantasy Football Team is out for the year.  Yup we have all been there.  Hey it happens!  Last year it was Adrian Peterson for me.  Luckily Matthew Berry had a funny Blog that week, which lifted my spirits.

Wednesdays in Fantasy Football usually implies an long look at Players that are Available on Waivers.  Wednesdays are the day of week before the next week begins, on Thursday Night.  For those of you who like to set your line ups early, Wednesdays are the day to plan ahead.  Listen its not as big as Sunday Mornings.  Lets face it everyone is Questionable till Game Time on Sunday.  But it is a day to grab that one Player ahead of the rest of your League.

Its Week 6 already and that means that there are several Teams that have Byes.  This week the Teams not playing are: Seattle, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Buffalo.  Yep no Russel Wilson, no Dez Bryant, no A.J. Green, and no LeSean Mccoy.  Time to pick up some replacements for them.

Injuries are also plaguing the NFL.  Seriously, it would be nice if we went one week without a Season Ending Injury!  The big news as I hinted at earlier in this blog is that TE Charles Clay is out for multiple weeks.  Not only that but WR Odell Beckham Jr. will be out with a broken ankle, possibly Season Ending Injury.  It’s so disheartening to hear about injuries like this.  But that is Football for you!

Rob Gronkoswki will be coming back from a Thigh Injury and Tom Brady has a Shoulder Injury that he is working off.  Both are set to play Week 6 against the New York Jets.  Thank goodness for that bit of good news!  I’ll still be watching them closely as I’m sure many other people will.  But lets get back to some of the replacements for the week.

I picked up Ed Dickson TE this week.  He is a solid pick and if you are hurting for a TE he is available in most Leagues.  Last week he got 17 Fantasy Points from 5 catches and 175 Yards.  Pretty good, no pretty great!  He is filling the spot that Greg Olson left for the Carolina Panthers.  He is doing a nice job of filling it.  Look for Cam Newton to throw to him on Thursday Night Football.

For QB I’m still leaning hard on Deshaun Watson.  He had 35.5 Fantasy Points last week, from 5 TDs.  But maybe he isn’t available to you?  Then I’d go with Jacoby Brissett QB for the Colts.  Yeah he had an INT last week and he didn’t throw any TDs.  But listen he had 314 Yards in the air and he ran for a TD.  His Fantasy Value can only go up!  Pick him up if you are needing a replacement, for the week.

For RBs I’d look into getting Alvin Kamara, now that Adrian Peterson’s gone, or Javorius Allen.  But let’s say that they have already been picked up.  Then I’d go with Jerick McKinnon RB, he had 20.6 Fantasy Points last week.  He looks to be a solid Receiving Back for the Vikings and he is available in most Leagues.

Wide Receivers always have a risk/reward attached to them and this week I’m looking at Will Fuller V WR for the Texans.  If I want to take that chance with him.  If you just want someone for the week I’d pick him up.  Last week was one of his best outings with 2 TDs and 57 Yards.  That’s 18.2 Fantasy Points.  This week he is projected to get 7.3 Fantasy Points and he is available in most Leagues.  Hey that’s not to shabby!

For D/ST I’m picking Washington.  They will be playing the 49ers this week, need I say anything more?  No they are no Jacksonville, but like Jacksonville they have had an up and down Season.  They should be available, and hey it’s just for one week!

For Kickers I’m picking Ka’imi Fairbairn for the Huston Texans.  If Houston keeps scoring then he will keep scoring.  Oh yeah and he is averaging 9 Fantasy Points! I like the Kickers that I drafted but if the need should arise I’d pick him up for one of my Teams in a flash.

That about rounds out my picks on a Wednesday.  Wait till Thursday and Saturday for the latest on injury reports and so on.  Things will probably change again, for every Fantasy Owner.  It’s like the shifting Sands of the Sahara out there in the Football Universe.  You see a Player practicing one day and then he is out the next.  Let’s all hope for one week without a Player getting seriously injured.

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Fantasy Sports

Fantasy Hockey: Something is Bruin in Fantasy Hockey

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It’s almost here, Opening Night for the NHL, and things are getting exciting for Fantasy Hockey.  If you haven’t got your self a Team yet, you have until Thursday.  Yep, that’s right the highly grueling and extremely challenging of all Fantasy Games is back!  And I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve been looking forward to it.  More importantly, though Bruins Hockey is back!  They have a lot of players who will have huge impacts on Fantasy Leagues.  So Let’s look at how well the Bruins Players are projected to score this year in Fantasy Points.

Bruins Forwards who are highly scored.  Brad Marchand tops the list with a score of 239, that’s what his total Fantasy Points were last season.  This season he is projected to have a very good 226 Fantasy Points.  He should be a quick pickup for any Fantasy League.  I picked him up for my Team and I expect him to have some good games.  Hey, he is a real playmaker, of course, he will be a great pickup for your Fantasy Team!  He had 39 Goals and 46 Assists last year.  Yeah, that’s about tops in the NHL.

David Pastrnak is next in line as the Starting Forward Position for the Bruins.  He got a new contract during the offseason to play for the Bruins and boy all of us fans are happy about that.  Last year he scored 198 Fantasy Points, not too shabby.  He had 34 Goals and 36 Assists which is second highest on the team.  Look for him to have another standout year.  He is projected to have 209 Fantasy Points this year.  I also picked him up for my Fantasy Team and you should too.

You can’t say Bruins without thinking of a player like Patrice Bergeron.  This is a guy who continues to give the Bruins his best year in and year out.  Last year he snagged his fourth Selke Trophy.  With 21 Goals and 32 Assists, he is a solid player.  Last year he had a lower score than he typically has with 144 Fantasy Points.  He is expected to have a better season with a projected 175 Fantasy Points.  He is a good player to pick up for Fantasy.  His Ice Time alone will give you an impact on your chances to score Fantasy Points as he is up there at nearly 20 minutes.

David Krejci is somewhere at 5 or 6 on the Bruins stacked Line.  He is another solid player to have on your Fantasy Team and you know what?  He only gets better.  Last year he scored 145 Fantasy Points with 23 Goals and 31 Assists.  This tied his career high in Goals!  Like I said he is solid.  This year he is projected to have 158 Fantasy Points.  I have him and I am starting him on my Fantasy Team.  Overall I’d say pick him up but look for him a little later in your Draft before picking him up right away.  There are a few better risk/reward players out there.

Bruins Defense-men who are highly scored.  Torey Krug tops the list with a score of 135 Fantasy Points last year.  He had 8 Goals and 43 Assists, which is really good for a Defense-man.  What standouts more were his Shots on Goal which was 208.  That right there is fantastic for a Fantasy Owner.  It’s exactly what you want to see from a player.  Plus his Ice Time is great at over 21 minutes.  This year will be challenging for him as he is dealing with a fractured jaw.  Poor guy!  If he stays healthy he is expected to have a projected 133 Fantasy Points.  Right now he is listed as out but if he is able to play and available I’d pick him up for my Fantasy Team.

You can’t think Bruins Defense-men without thinking Zdeno Chara.  This is a guy who plays with power and heart.  He is a Power Play Icer.and should easily fit into your Fantasy Team.  Last year he scored 75 Fantasy Points.  I know its not huge but listen for a Defense-man you want someone who will play a lot.  And his 23 minutes on the Ice average is just rock solid.  He will soak up plenty of Ice Time for you and give you a well-rounded Fantasy Team.  I don’t have him on my Fantasy Team but he is definitely on my Watchlist.

You can’t help but think of Bruins Goalie Tuukka Rask when you’re talking Fantasy Hockey.  He is a guy who has never had his save percentage dip below .915.  Pretty impressive!  Last year he scored 72 Fantasy Points with 37 Wins out of 65 Games Played.  He had a .915 Save Percentage and 2.23 Goals Allowed Average.  He has had four consecutive years of over 30 Wins.  Let me tell you he is tops in Fantasy Hockey because of this.  I have him on my Fantasy Team and he is my go-to Starting Goalie.  I’d say pick him up early in your Draft if you really want him on your Fantasy Team.  He is a hot pickup!

That pretty much rounds out the Bruins Players to look for in Fantasy Hockey.  Opening night is Thursday, October 5th at 7 pm at the TD Garden where they will be facing off against the Nashville Predators. Don’t Poke the Bear, Go Bruins!

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