Glass half-full or half-empty?
That was the general theme of last week’s column, when we looked at disappointing players where fantasy general managers could still hold on to some optimism that things will turn around. While researching that column, however, I found it’s tough to be optimistic about everyone.
There are plenty of players that, no matter how hard you look, you can’t find any reasons to be hopeful. These are the worst. At least with the players on last week’s list, you can point to ice time, shot rates, linemates, power-play time or a host of other reasons that make you confident in those players.
For the 10 players on this week’s list, there’s almost no optimism for any type of rebound. That’s not to say it can’t happen, but there would have to be major changes in the player’s deployment for why they could bounce back from their tough start.
10. Max Comtois
I don’t know how much the average fantasy general manager was expecting from Comtois, but those who had hoped for an improvement from last year’s 82-game pace of 49 points are shaking their heads. He’s been a healthy scratch and his numbers have been getting worse as the season moves along. In his first six games, he finished with fewer than 14 minutes just once. In his last seven games, he’s been higher than 14 minutes just once. Just break down the stats even further between the two sets (not including Sunday night's game, which he missed with an upper-body injury):
First six games: Zero points, 12 shots, 11 hits, 2:29 power-play TOI, 15:15 TOI
Last seven games: One point, seven shots, five hits, 1:47 PPTOI, 11:41 TOI
Those have to be concerning numbers, and unless he magically starts getting ice time again, he’s not worth owning in any league except for deeper keeper leagues.
9. Justin Schultz
Schultz could be the Vaclav Prospal of this generation, in the sense that he alternates good and bad years. If that was the case, then he was due to have a good year this season, but if anything, he’s become even more disappointing with two points in 14 games. He’s averaging 16:58 per night, down from 19:01 a night than last season and easily the lowest of his career. His power-play time has also dropped. He’s averaging one a shot per game and doesn’t contribute in any fantasy category. There is no way he should be on any fantasy roster in any league.
8. Tyler Johnson
In the preseason, Johnson was centering the top line of the Hawks with Patrick Kane. That lasted a whole three games of the regular season before he was shifted to the third line. Another few games later, and he suffered a neck injury in a game against Carolina. He’s now missed seven games since with the injury and Covid protocols. The Hawks have won four of seven games since Johnson has been out of the lineup and their last three in a row. It will be hard to put him back in a top role when the team is rolling.