Ryan Getzlaf vs. Eric Staal

steve laidlaw




Think of the single most stressful moment you have ever experienced. I bet it involved the guilt of eating a chocolate bar, the anticipation of pain from a needle, the uncertainty of going in for a first kiss and the total fear of going skydiving all rolled into one. This moment is known as the Centerman Plunge and it happens at your fantasy draft every year.


Some thrive in this moment and others crumble at the sheer thought of it. You might plan for this moment days ahead of time. Others plan for weeks, and some even plan all year. Most will spend more time on this than they do planning their wedding. No matter how long you spend stewing about it though, everyone knows they will have to take the Plunge eventually, and I'll bet you are ever so pleased I reminded you.


The decision to make the Plunge is not an easy one. Centermen are truly the Sirens of the fantasy world. They are so talented and so seductive but if they lure you in entirely they can ultimately cripple you. Sometimes you are lucky enough you can draft a Crosby or Stamkos and be done with it. Otherwise you are left with a serious debate. Can you afford to miss all "the can't" miss talent up the middle?


When you take the Plunge is not even the biggest hurdle. You also have to decide who to take. There is a commonly held belief that you cannot miss at the beginning of a fantasy draft. In general it is true, but the fact remains that whomever you decide to take the Plunge on, it will impact the way you draft the rest of your roster.


With that in mind consider this week's edition of Cage Match before you take the Plunge at your next draft.


Out of the delectable menu items that the center position has to offer, I've selected Eric Staal and Ryan Getzlaf to battle this week in a classic East Coast/West Coast battle we may even see in a Cup Final one of these years. So without further adieu, let's get it on!


I often see people making the mistake of rating Getzlaf way higher than Staal. This has merit in points only pools where Getzlaf's per game production has been way greater than Staal's but Cage Match really isn't about points only pools. It's about debating value in a standard Yahoo! 6×4 league.


In those leagues the game between Getzlaf and Staal, which was very close to begin with, gets even closer. As food for thought here are last year's numbers as well as a four year average for these two (since Getzlaf broke out four years ago).


Four Year Avera