The Top 10 'buy-low' players in fantasy hockey today
Last week we looked at the top 10 sell-high players. Now it’s time to flip it around and look at the top 10 buy low.
The trick for buying low is all in the timing. It’s too late for some players. Mark Stone is a great example. A few weeks back, I wrote a top 10 list about players you can safely drop. Someone in the comments mentioned dropping Mark Stone. I replied that Stone goes on really hot stretches for 30 to 40 games. Stone has gone on a hot streak with 18 points in the past 14 games since I wrote that. Your window to buy low on him is closed. Same with Sean Monahan, who had eight points in 22 games to start this year but now has 11 in the last nine. You should have bought low on them weeks ago.
The window is also closing for some of the players below so you may have to act fast. Here are the top 10 buy-low players.
10. Evgeny Kuznetsov
Kuznetsov has 17 points in 30 games. That’s a huge disappointment for most fantasy GMs. But he also has eight points in his last seven games. So Kuznetsov is a perfect example of a player whose window to buy low is closing. He does need to shoot the puck more as he’s on pace for 142 shots. But that could be because he’s on a regular line with Alexander Ovechkin, who has never met a shot he wouldn’t take.
It’s difficult to pinpoint why Klingberg is having such a rough season. The minus-seven is understandable considering who Dallas has manning the nets. But just two goals and 15 points for Klingberg? He’s playing 23 minutes a night and he’s easily the team’s power play quarterback. And yet he’s not getting any points. Try to take advantage of an impatient fellow GM if you can.
8. John Tavares
Last year I called Tavares one of the biggest disappointments of the year with about a month left in the season. He then had 20 points in last 19 games. That gave him 70 points, but it was too late for most poolies. This year Tavares has nine goals and 23 points in 31 games. He just doesn’t scream elite with these point totals. Don’t overpay for Tavares as he’s only hit 75-plus points twice in his career, but it may be one of the best opportunities you’ll ever have to get him.
Duclair is having a horrible season and his power-play time is almost half of what it was a year ago. He’s even been a healthy scratch. But that’s exactly why he’s a buy-low candidate. You need to have faith that he can turn it around, even if that will be on another NHL squad. Let’s not forget that Duclair is just 21 years old. I wouldn’t worry about his poor season. I would try to profit from it.
Bjugstad is the top exhibit about for those who don’t believe in the fourth-year breakout rule. Bjugstad has just one point in 13 games after missing the start of the season with a hand injury. His overall power play time is way down, he’s not shooting the puck enough (on pace for just 87 shots) and he’s a minus-seven. But Bjugstad was on the top power play the last game and has started playing regularly with Jaromir Jagr. And he’s taken 12 shots in the last four games. I think he was still working out the rust from his injury and I expect him to bounce back.
5. Joe Thornton
The 37-year-old Thornton is always a buy-low candidate any time he is struggling. Last season is proof of that as he had just 16 points in the first 29 games. People started to say he was washed up. He then had 66 points in his last 53 games. But he’s another where the window to buy low is closing. He has seven points in his last eight games, but just 20 on the season. You know there’s a good chance he’ll finish with 70 points, instead of the 51 he is on pace for.
Sometimes there’s a real problem with some fantasy owners giving up on a player way too early. I know some fantasy GMs are fed up with MacKinnon’s lack of elite production for a former number one draft pick. But although he’s now in his fourth year in the NHL, he’s still just 21 years old. And he spent his first three year having Patrick Roy coach him. That would slow anyone’s development. There’s still lots of time for him to turn it around.
3. Ben Bishop
You may need some patience for this one. This would be a long-term plan as Bishop probably won’t be a number one goalie again until next year when he’s in Las Vegas or Calgary. Bishop will be fortunate to even reach 25 wins this year, much less the 35 to 40 wins we’ve come to expect. His GAA and SV% are also way off his career average. Now is the time to put Bishop in your long-term plan.
It’s a little surprising that Bergeron has nine goals and is on pace for just 24 points. He’s on the top power play unit and plays regularly with Brad Marchand (who has 27 points and nine in his last 11 games) and David Pastrnak (who has 19 goals). Bergeron is just not getting the puck luck. His shooting percentage sits at 3.9, way below his 11.3 per cent last year. But he’s still taking as many shots as ever.
1. Anze Kopitar
Kopitar right now is on pace for nine goals and 44 points. Do you honestly believe he’ll finish that low? Of course not. That’s what makes him a perfect buy low. Even if you think he’ll hit 60 points, that puts him at 45 points in the last 51 games. That’s excellent value (a 72-point pace) depending on how cheap you can get him for. His shooting percentage is just 5.4 per cent versus his five-year average of 12.5 per cent. The time is ripe to try to snipe him from a fellow fantasy GM.
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