As Week 2 is just about in the books, I figured it would be a good time to examine both some over-performers as well as under-performers and try to provide some insight as to what to do with said players. I find it's such a delicate balance at the start of the season between being vigilante and optimizing your fantasy team and being outright destructive and overreacting to small sample sizes. Sometimes patience can be a virtue, but other times if you are too slow to make adjustments, you could find yourself on the outside looking in come playoff time. First let's start off by looking at a couple players who in my mind are overachieving.
Tyler Bertuzzi (DET) – LW/RW
4 GP: 5 G, 1 A, 6 PTS, 10 SOG, 3 Hits, 3 Blocks, 18:41 ATOI
Let me start off by saying I think Bertuzzi has a ton of potential and he certainly could have a very high fantasy ceiling one day. If you need evidence of that, look no further than the Detroit Red Wings' opening night where he potted four goals against the Stanley Cup champions. On the flipside though, Bertuzzi is nearly 27 years of age and it seems like we have been waiting for his breakthrough for years now.
Things become even more dicey when you add in the fact that he has decided not to get his COVID vaccinations, and therefore will not be eligible to play in any road games versus Canadian teams. That's eight games out of the season he will simply earn you zeros across the board. On top of that, Detroit is still in the middle of a rebound and are already without the services of Jakub Vrana for the foreseeable future due to a shoulder injury.
I know he definitely became a sexy waiver wire option after his four-goal performance versus Tampa, but I'd rather take my chances on a player like Jordan Kyrou from the St. Louis Blues. He may not be as flashy as an option right now, but through his opening games I think Kyrou has looked great and the Blues team is in a much better place than the Red Wings at this current point and time. Detroit has a lot of young players and the up and up, but for now I will take a pass on Bertuzzi.
Erik Karlsson (SJ) – D
5 GP: 2 G, 4 A, 6 PTS, 9 SOG, 3 Hits, 6 Blocks, 21:04 ATOI
Karlsson’s ownership in Yahoo leagues has soared the past few days as he has opened his season off by getting points in four consecutive games. While it's great to see the 31-year-old Swede get off to such a great start, I don't think it's reasonable to see any sort of return to form for a once top-tier elite NHL defenseman. Between various injuries that have hampered him over the past few years, to his team finding themselves in a rebuild/re-tool situation as of late, Karlsson's time in San Jose has been mediocre at best.
First and foremost, as has been the case since coming to the Sharks, Karlsson's fantasy production gets cannibalized by fellow D-man Brent Burns. On paper, having two high-end caliber offensive defensemen seems like a viable tactic, but I honestly think it kind of killed the careers of both these guys. Maybe killing their careers is a stretch, but it certainly has cut back on both of their fantasy productions.
Entering this season, Karlsson finds himself on the second pair, and has averaged nearly six minutes less ice time than Burns