Finding Value on the Island, Natural Hat Trick for Faksa, plus more…
The 2017 version of the Islanders is definitely not the juggernaut with Bossy, Trottier, and Potvin of the early 1980s, but you can’t call this team the Island of Misfit Toys anymore. These Islanders entered Tuesday’s action third in goals for per games played, and they helped their cause with five more goals on Tuesday against the Canucks.
John Tavares and Anders Lee each scored a goal and added an assist. With 16 goals, Tavares trails only Alex Ovechkin and Nikita Kucherov in the goal department. If you combine Lee’s 13 goals this season with his 34 goals from last season, Lee is a top-10 goal scorer over that span. He should be owned universally if he isn’t already.
Another Islander who is also approaching universal ownership is Josh Bailey. At least we can now say he is beyond ownership of “a few weeks” or “as long as he’s on the Tavares line.” Only Steven Stamkos has more assists than Bailey, who is tied for second with two others with 23 assists. If you’re worried that Bailey’s value will disappear if Tavares signs elsewhere this offseason (TO – gasp!), remember that the Isles also have that Mathew Barzal kid scoring at a point per game on their second line. More on that second line with Jordan Eberle and Andrew Ladd in this week’s Lining Up.
We’re approaching the end of November and Nick Leddy has been one of fantasy hockey’s top value picks. I don’t know how this could happen with a defenseman with back-to-back 40-point seasons, but on average Leddy was drafted outside the top 50 among defensemen in Yahoo leagues. I knew this and picked him in one of my leagues, while a friend who lives in New York drafted him in my two other leagues. Leddy is currently tied for second among blueliners with 20 points, even though he was held without a point on Tuesday in spite of firing five shots on goal.
If the Islanders can find some upper-echelon goaltending, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the competitive Metropolitan Division. Maybe they could bring back Battlin’ Billy Smith.
Just when you thought Loui Eriksson had disappeared from the fantasy landscape, he has nine points in 13 games.