At the beginning of each season there are a few players who produce above their ability. Poolies have to decide whether or not that player is for real or simply on a hot streak. There are currently a handful of players who have been performing beyond expectations, some since the beginning of the season and others who may just be on the aforementioned hot streak. Who is real and who is not? I will discuss who can keep it up and whether or not these players can be of value in a salary cap league.
Brad Marchand – It feels kind of strange to include the pesky Marchand on this list after his incredible breakout roto-season, but I was one of those GM’s who sold "high" in the off-season citing an inevitable trip back down to earth. Apparently he didn’t book a round trip and Marchand’s production has sky-rocketed in the new season. Marchand is on pace for 35 goals, 70 points and 140 penalty minutes. He’s also in the top portion of the league with a +24 and should hit in the vicinity of 200 shots on goal season’s end. Marchand has been one of Boston’s most consistent players and the style of game he plays earns him his minutes, which bodes well for continued production. I never would have told you Marchand could hit 70 points in the NHL, I still don’t know if he will, but 60 points and 30 goals with the peripherals that he adds gives him fantastic value.
Is he worth it in cap league? – Hell yes he is. With one more year left at $2.5 million, Marchand provides great value this year and next. His points may fluctuate as other more offensively talented players join the organization, but he’s
Jannik Hansen – There has been question as to whether or not Hansen has any value as a fantasy player. As an avid Canucks fan I am one of the first to tell you no, not in a typical roto-league, at least.. He is a great third liner who brings energy, grit and the occasional goal. All of a sudden he’s on pace for 24 goals and 46 points. Whoops. Now, I don’t think these numbers are something he will maintain as injuries to Higgins, Raymond and Booth contributed to an increase in ice-time and role. Hansen even saw some time with the twins (though very short) as Vancouver reunited Kesler and and Burrows, a time in which Hansen potted four points.
Is he worth it in a cap league? – His $1.35 million cap hit suggests he can slide into your lineup easily which gives him value as a depth player. Hansen, though, isn’t a top-six forward. He can score and can make a great pass, but he is best suited as a third line checker who brings energy and never takes a night off. He can produce in spurts but a lot of that will rely upon his role and ice-time. Hansen’s ice-time has been spent mostly with the Sedin’s, Kesler, Higgins, Malhotra and Cody Hodgson. The key name in all of this is Hodgson who is Hansen’s regular pivot on the third line. Hodgson and Hansen have spent over 25% of their even-strength time together and have combined for nine points. Hodgson is a huge upgrade in terms of offense for that third line. I definitely see a boost in Hansen’s production, but not to the 45-50 points he’s on pace for. I’d happily label him as a 35-40 point player, but one with low peripherals. Anything more would be a bonus.
Joffrey Lupul – Lupul is a player I’ve never had any desire to own. A player who has jumped from team to team is a warning sign alone. The fact that he’s never play