Martin St. Louis has been able to survive without Steven Stamkos
The season roars toward the holiday roster freeze which is this week. Fantasy lineups are at their thinnest, players are being suspended left and right, and now elite players are slumping all over. It will be a back and forth week with the usual bunched schedules Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Therefore, now is the time to go "Between The Lines".
Lead Us Forwards…
Christopher Higgins-Ryan Kesler-Michael Santorelli (Vancouver) — This trio led the week in points? Yes they did. Santorelli and Higgins had a half dozen points each while Ryan Kesler found his way on the score sheet four times. Vancouver has been hot of late and this even strength specialty line just happened to be rolling in the fantasy gold. Week 12 features some tougher opponents so I would temper their expectations at least a notch or two.
Patrick Kane-Patrick Sharp-Andrew Shaw-Jonathan Toews (Chicago) — Here was a first power play unit that was cranking on all cylinders in Week 11 with a dozen points. The two Patrick's combined for 20 points as they wreaked havoc on their opposition. Jonathan Toews had seven points while Andrew Shaw set up the table for the big three. Grit and muck is needed on a four forward power play unit. Their line production numbers were off the charts and in Week 12, they might just be altered a little with Bryan Bickell coming back, but not much.
Peter Holland-Joffrey Lupul-Mason Raymond (Toronto) — Mason Raymond will go down as the best free agent signing of the 2013 frenzy at this rate. Consider that Peter Holland was a refugee in Anaheim and this line becomes more of a surprise with their 11 points as a trio. Their frequency values indicate they are a patch unit (16.3% EV, 21.3% PP). With injuries and suspensions taking grip, Toronto received five points from Holland and Raymond with four from Lupul. They could still see a little fantasy action in Week 12 but this is Toronto so be careful for what happens next.
Tyler Johnson-Martin St. Louis-Ondrej Palat (Tampa Bay) — Martin St. Louis could produce points in a phone booth. This line found its way to a double digit week despite being shutout in New Jersey over the weekend. Their bounce back in Detroit was more impressive. This line even strength has produced 16% of Martin St. Louis's total points (5 out of 31). Tampa is 7-6-3 without Steven Stamkos but to the surprise of few, St. Louis is right around a point a game. Nothing slows him down no matter who the linemates are.
Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook (Chicago) — It is not a surprise that these guys are back on top of the list with six points as a duo. Seabrook and Keith overall actually had 11 points during Week 11 as Chicago had that one clunker against Toronto but just keep producing at a heck of a rate. Anytime Chicago plays can be huge potential for fantasy owners so having one or both as far as this top pairing is immensely beneficial. Their power play and shorthanded frequency is insane and their impact is such a rise over even their career bests. Ride the hot streaks while you can into Week 12 and enjoy.
Erik Gudbranson-Dylan Olsen (Florida) — The youngsters seem to be doing just alright as Dylan Olsen has been and continues to be quite the surprise. Gudbranson lowers the boom while Olsen gets the points. It sort of went that way. Gudbranson chipped in with a couple points and a ton of hits while Olsen had three points and so many chances. They just seem to be the perfect compliment for a team that was sorely needing a youthful infusion that works. While Week 12 is uncertain, their ice time is rising even despite Brian Campbell nearly playing 31 minutes a night last week.
Roman Josi-Shea Weber (Nashville) — So hey, the Predators top defensive pairing is back. Their five points when paired together was a pleasant surprise as Shea Weber had one of his best weeks of the year so far. Weber and Josi had three points each while playing some of the toughest competition out there. The questions remain though. Can Roman Josi stay healthy and can Shea Weber be more consistent? Time will tell in Week 12.
As always you can follow me @ChrisWasselTHW and thanks again for reading. Good luck this week and enjoy your waiver wire shopping looking for those last minute combinations!