Based on last week's article, if ice-time and SOG are any indicators of fantasy success, this week's column will be a good complement in identifying a few trends moving forward. We'll take a look seven lucky advancers as well as seven unlucky decliners to help you get through that mid-season lull.
At 80 percent Yahoo! owned, Backes probably won't be available on your waiver wire if you're playing in a competitive league. What you will probably need to do is see if you can acquire him through trade. I'd probably sell hard on the fact that the Blues are in the bottom-third of the league in offense (2.64 goals per game), then I'd drop the 'they're tied with Calgary, (25th overall), in terms of power-play efficiency, do you really want to hang on to him?' What you will have in the back of your mind is that he's averaged 20:42 overall and 2:38 with the main advantage, along with 20 SOG during the last two weeks. Those numbers should equate to a 70-75 point pace if he continues to be given that opportunity.
Following along the same lines of strong pickup candidates, there's probably not a lot of downside in trying to make a pitch for Stastny. He registered 22 points in 24 contests when Chris Stewart was in the line up prior to his hand injury and just 15 in 18 when Stewart was out. During the injury lull, the Avs' second line of Matt Duchene, Milan Hejduk and Tomas Fleischmann really took over the offensive duties, leaving Stastny to toil with two-way guys like David Jones and T.J. Galiardi. Now that he has his wingman back, look for Stastny to boom once again. If they ever find a quality LW to complement the duo that line could be unstoppable.
The Oilers are still going through their growing pains, but there's still a few diamonds in the rough available from the Edmonton roster. Penner's finding his ice-time spiking as he's averaged 19:28 during the last six contests (3:07 on the PP). At a salary cap hit of just $4.25 million, he could be a cheap bargaining chip for contending GM's to try to acquire at the trade deadline. The Rangers, Preds, Coyotes, and Avs could use someone of Penner's talents for a scoring role. So look to acquire Penner now as a pre-emptive strike for Feb. 28.
With injuries decimating the Blues' line up, Sobotka has seen an increase in responsibilities during the last two weeks. He's currently lining up alongside