Bowens1984 Loudmouth Report
Fantasy Feud is offering Olympic Hockey this year so be sure to get your teams in before noon on Wednesday.
The top 4 teams this year should be Canada, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. I will be focusing most of my picks on these 4 teams as they should have the most goals scored as well as most games played. Keep in mind there is a 4 player maximum per country, no stacking!
Before we get started the RG twitter in me wants to list the injuries, do NOT use these players: Stamkos, Henrik Sedin, Franzen, Koivu, Flippula, and Gaborik.
Canada is the favorite and easily has the most talent/depth but that might not be a good thing for fantasy purposes. With so many players that could score and ice time being split, Team Canada could be the Denver Broncos of this tournament. Think of it as how you would approach the Broncos, you know they will score but so many options, one week it could be Decker with Welker invisible, the next week it could be Demaryius with Knowshon sprinkled in leaving Decker and Julius out in the cold, some weeks everyone scores. This Canada team will be like that.
Projected top line of Crosby, Kunitz, and St. Louis offers some value with Kunitz at 115, Crosby is the best player on the team (the Peyton Manning of Team Canada) but you have to pay at 155, St. Louis has replaced Stamkos and due to not being on original roster he is not in the player pool.
Sharp, Toews, and Carter round out the 2nd line, Carter at 82 is a strong value while Sharp is at 112, Tioews could have a great tourney but its difficult to pay up at his 141 price tage when Sharpie at 112 could score the same amount. Benn, Getzlaf, and Perry should be the 3rd line with Marleau, Tavares, and Nash rounding out the forwards. Perry could be a nice gamble but risky at a high price of 130. Benn, Marleau, and Nash are in the mid 80s and are more of a value risk than anything on this deep roster.
As far as defensemen which are basically punt plays in a contest like this that is scored only on goals and assists, Keith and Doughty should be the top unit and are at 87 and 73, Doughty is the value with Shea Weber at 77k as another option. Beware of PK Subban who is a stud in NHL but likely to be limited in ice time for Canada due to their depth.
Russia has as good a chance as any to make it to the gold medal game. Their top line features stud Ovechkin who should be the top player in this tournement, his price of 143 is reasonable for the NHL’s leading goal scorer. Malkin is at 147 also pricey but the 3rd man on this line is Semin who is at a great value at 102k. Semin is a player to target as this line should put the puck in the net.
Kovalchuk is a guy that left a bad taste in the mouth of NHL fans especially in New Jersey, after signing a massive contract he returned to play in Russia, because of this he is an excellent play. Kovi has been playing on the Olympic size ice (larger than NHL) all season, which should prove an advantage, not to mention he should have something to prove. For 119K he will be on all my rosters. Kovi will be paired up with Radulov, another player who is used to the large ice and another strong value at 86K. The center on this line should be Datsyuk but be careful, he is banged up and for 128K that’s just too much risk for my liking. Other skaters to consider from Russia are Tarasenko and Anisimov both fairly cheap.
On defense Markov is a solid punt option to free up some cap at 71K, other defensemen expected to get action are Voinov for 60, Belov for 25 and Nikitin for 35, those last 2 are great options as punts as well.
With everyone talking about Canada and Russia and obviously team USA being the home favorites for most of you reading this blog, I’m going to go with Sweden as the team to capture the gold medal and a team I will be targeting heavily in my line ups.
There are 7 players to really look at, their top 2 lines plus their #1 defenseman. Lets start with the value play Eriksson should be on the top line and is priced at 80K, he will skate with Backstrom and Daniel Sedin. I like Backstrom at the 120 price tag, Sedin at 138 is too much, especially with Ovechkin sitting at 143 only 5K more.
The 2nd line has a ton of talent, Steen is at 123K, Landeskog at 97K and Zetterberg at 130K, I’m fading Zetterberg only due to being the most expensive so it makes more sense to me to play Steen instead, the thinking could be that way for a lot of people so Zetterberg could end up low owned and certainly has the talent to put points on the board.
The top defensive player in the NHL is Karlsson, an elite talent that can score with the best of them, he is priced at 107 which is high compared to other defensemen but still could pay off in comparison to what the other top forwards in this tournament cost.
Steen, Backstrom, Eriksson, and Landeskog are the 4 I am using but any combo of the 7 mentioned should prove to be rewarding.
Hopefully I am wrong but I see the United States losing in the Bronze Medal game to the hometown Russians. They do bring a good amount of mid range value and if they get hot again like in 2010 they should pay off nicely.
The line that really clicked in 2010 was Patrick Kane, Dustin Brown, and Ryan Kesler, Brown is only at 81 and Kesler at 86, Kaner is from my hometown Blackhawks but his 135K price tag is too much, I’ll probably go Kesler from this trio.
The all Minnesota line of Parise, Backes, and Oshie should see plenty of ice time and are all priced moderately well, Parise at 117 is not bad but Kovi at 119 seems like the better play. Oshie and Backes aren’t bad fillers depending on how much you have left but I prefer the similarly priced Landeskog to either of them.
More of the same for the line of Kessel, van Reimsdyk, and Pavelski, all good players but for their price tag just not the way I will be spending my salary cap.
As far as punt options on defense the top 4 is expected to be Suter, Carlson, Shattenkirk, and McDonagh.
I don’t expect a huge scoring onslaught from the United States but for a cheap entry fee toss in 4 Americans and get your flag out and start those USA chants.
If you are looking for some off the board picks that aren’t on those top 4 teams, the top line for Finland will be old man Selanne, Barkov, and Granlund, all priced in the mid 70s. Toss one of those guys in there if you need some cap relief. The Czech Republic has a few gamble options, Michalek, Krejci, Voracek, Hanzal, and Jagr. Hossa, Chara, and Vanek have the skills but not the teammates in this one, big gambles for any of those 3 but they are the best players for their respective countries and should see a ton of ice time.
Good luck with your Olympic hockey teams Grinders, I’ve missed the interactions on the RG twitter feed and I know Ethan has missed my daily emails, rumors that he cried himself to sleep for months after I switched careers.