Frozen Fantasy: Invest Low

Frozen Fantasy: Invest Low

This article is part of our Frozen Fantasy series.

Did Santa bring you a guarantee the NHL season would continue this year?

Me neither.

Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, I think every hockey fan sent in a request to the big jolly man. And we're all still holding our breath.

Look – it doesn't mean he's not real. He just can't make a miracle THAT big.

The games on Dec. 27 are all PPD. My gut says there will be more, whether it's now or over the next month or so. Omicron is horrible; too many people will get sick. Or worse.

I've already lost a week in one league because I didn't get enough goalie starts. Things are already messy. And that will continue – these games will be made up, so some future weeks will be insanely loaded.

As someone smart once said, it'll all come out in the wash. But it won't make the next while easy.

Deep breath. Don't sweat it, especially if your league can't change its rules. Everyone is hurting. You can try to wait it out and see if the scars are only superficial. Or try to dig in and gain a little.

I err to the latter. Gain now in the face of adversity means greater gain in the future. Invest at the lowest point and your gains will ultimately be compounded.

Let's take a look at who I've been eyeing this week.

Jake Bean, D, Columbus (4 percent Yahoo!) – Columbus got a steal when they got Bean

Did Santa bring you a guarantee the NHL season would continue this year?

Me neither.

Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, I think every hockey fan sent in a request to the big jolly man. And we're all still holding our breath.

Look – it doesn't mean he's not real. He just can't make a miracle THAT big.

The games on Dec. 27 are all PPD. My gut says there will be more, whether it's now or over the next month or so. Omicron is horrible; too many people will get sick. Or worse.

I've already lost a week in one league because I didn't get enough goalie starts. Things are already messy. And that will continue – these games will be made up, so some future weeks will be insanely loaded.

As someone smart once said, it'll all come out in the wash. But it won't make the next while easy.

Deep breath. Don't sweat it, especially if your league can't change its rules. Everyone is hurting. You can try to wait it out and see if the scars are only superficial. Or try to dig in and gain a little.

I err to the latter. Gain now in the face of adversity means greater gain in the future. Invest at the lowest point and your gains will ultimately be compounded.

Let's take a look at who I've been eyeing this week.

Jake Bean, D, Columbus (4 percent Yahoo!) – Columbus got a steal when they got Bean for a second-round pick. He's become a top-four defender who has already matched his career mark of 12 points in just 28 games, a mark he set last year in 42. Bean is on a 35-point pace and might block over 100 pucks. He should be on a lot more rosters.

Laurent Brossoit, G, Vegas (11 percent Yahoo!) – Brossoit isn't putting up great numbers this year, but he plays on a strong team. And we still have a long season ahead of us (I hope). Goalie starts have never been more valuable, so a guy on a good team is almost as good as gold.

Casey DeSmith, G, Pittsburgh (5 percent Yahoo!) – Like Brossoit, DeSmith's numbers are nothing special, but the Pens will compete for the postseason and every team needs at least two twinetenders to see them through. DeSmith may not get many starts, but maybe he will. And goalie starts are a rare beast right now.

Lars Eller, C, Washington (14 percent Yahoo!) – This one is simple. With Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov sidelined with COVID, Eller is the top pivot in the U.S. capital. And that means he's skating with Alex Ovechkin. That's a recipe for fantasy success.

Brandon Hagel, LW/RW, Chicago (3 percent Yahoo!) – Hagel is an analytics darling – his strong play and versatility have lifted him into the league's best all-around players. I'm not kidding – the numbers don't lie. Hagel also has five assists in his last four games. His contributions in other categories are rather benign, but you need every ounce of protection you can get with COVID protocols crushing rosters. And those analytics will keep Hagel rolling every game he's eligible to play.

Kasperi Kapanen, LW/RW, Pittsburgh (25 percent Yahoo!) – Kapanen hasn't exactly been a great fit with Sidney Crosby – he has just two goals in his last nine outings. So the imminent return of Evgeni Malkin is like a gift from Santa. He and Kapanen have had reasonable chemistry and the Pens will invariably juggle lines to fire up the team. Kapanen could get a sweet boost and soon.

Jack Roslovic, RW/C, Columbus (4 percent Yahoo!) – Roslovic was starting to warm up before he entered COVID protocols a week before Christmas. He and Max Domi had started to click, and he produced five points (two goals, three assists), 33 FW and 14 SOG in six previous games. Columbus faces one of the hardest schedules going forward – they're going to have to beat a lot of top teams to get into the postseason. Domi and Roslovic will be key in that.

Matt Roy, D, Los Angeles (14 percent Yahoo!) – Roy munches minutes, fires pucks, throws hits and blocks, and has also been picking up assists of late. Like five in his last six appearances. So when you add on 14 SOG and 15 each of hits and blocks, Roy brings solid category coverage even if the scoring slows. He really should be rostered in a lot more leagues.

Jonathan Toews, C, Chicago (39 percent Yahoo!) – Toews has really struggled to get back up to speed this season, but he's starting to warm up with three goals, an assist and 66 FW across the last five outings. And with four games this week, Toews can help if he's kept the fire burning, at least a little.

Back to investing low.

What's the worst thing that can happen? The Mike Hoffman I dump comes roaring back and I end up with Lars Eller? I'm OK with that.

Are you?

Until next week. Enjoy the World Juniors while it lasts. My favorite time of the year.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janet Eagleson
Janet Eagleson is a seven-time Finalist and four-time winner of the Hockey Writer of the Year award from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. She is a lifelong Toronto Maple Leafs fan, loved the OHL London Knights when they were bad and cheers loudly for the Blackhawks, too. But her top passion? The World Junior Hockey Championships each and every year.
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