Top 20 Slow Starts

Tom Collins


Although it may feel like we're still early in the season, it's already time to take stock of what's happening with your fantasy squad.

Some teams have already played 12.5 per cent of their season's game, which would be the equivalent of 10 games in the usual 82-game season. That's generally a good benchmark of when you should start getting worried.

While we're still dealing with small sample sizes, a shorter season means you cannot wait as long to make moves. A few bad weeks early gives you a lot less time to try to catch up.

Below are 20 players who are struggling this season. If you own any of the players on this list, I wouldn't recommend panic-dropping them, but you need to keep an eye out to make sure they bounce back. However, if you're looking to buy low, these are some of the players worth targeting.

By the way, because of the difference in the number of games played between teams, don't just look at a player's ranking on Yahoo, ESPN, CBS Sports or whatever provider you use to figure out if a player is struggling. Dallas and Florida have only played two games, and Carolina only three. The players on those teams will be ranked significantly lower than players that have played six or seven.

First, here are the “runners-up”. These guys didn’t crack the Top 10, but are in definite need of a mention…

Pierre-Luc Dubois: One goal in five games, plus a couple of benchings before the trade to Winnipeg.

Max Domi: Zero goals and two assists in six games, but could move up to the top power-play unit to replace Dubois.

Tony DeAngelo: Zero points in three games and has been a healthy scratch for a couple of contests because of defensive issues.

Charlie McAvoy: Still contributing in multi-cat leagues, but just one point in five games.

Mika Zibanejad: Two points in five games way off last year's pace.

Jason Zucker: Zero goals and one assist in six games as linemate Malkin is also struggling

Evgenii Dadonov: One goal and one assist in five games.

Nikita Gusev: His assist on Sunday was his first point in five games.

Anthony Beauvillier: Zero goals and one assist in five games. 

Carter Hart: The destroyer of sticks has allowed at least four goals in each of his last three starts, and has a 4.18 GAA and a 0.880 SV % on the season.

And now for the Top 10…

10. Josh Bailey

Many fantasy general managers were hopeful that Bailey could continue his scorching-hot playoffs into the regular season, but instead, he's struggled. After leading the Islanders with 20 points in 22 postseason games, Bailey has one point in five games to start this season. His role or linemates haven't changed, but it's infuriating considering he doesn't contribute in other fantasy categories. If he's not getting points, he's worthless in your fantasy league.

9. Alexis L