And there it was again, that familiar twinge of angst and turmoil over whether or not to accept a proposed offer that probably does make my team better, but it sacrifices the comfort in not having to root for direct opponents.
Currently, between the two teams I care most about this season, I have five players that also compete in my Rangers' Atlantic division. In addition, I have several more players whom I more or less described as high-risk just because of their home city in my previous article. Mix in the the fact that this year's scoring leaders are a bit screwy, Keith Aucoin is numerically more valuable than Phil Kessel through the first 20 of 99 days of the season and you have yourself a conundrum or three.
But what if this is just an anomalous year? What if this is the year where Daniel Winnik continues to outpace John Tavares and Alex Edler over Sidney Crosby and that's just the way it will be? What can you do as an owner do to help combat anomalies?
First, the angst of owning a rival's player needs to be thrown out the window. Yes, this is an anomalous year and you have to stick to not just what you know but what you believe. Yes, I believe that Matt Moulson will be more valuable than both Sedins combined this year because reasons X, Y, Z.
Second, who's in prime position to capitalize this season? The growing trend, one I'm surprised the Penguins don't employ more frequently, is to load up with a super line during even strength. The Rangers, Oilers, Stars (prior to Whitney's injury), Bruins, Senators, Sabres, Bolts, Hawks, Canucks and Ducks all form a hero-line with their top three offensive threats. Some like the Sabres and Rangers only win when they succeed, while others like the Hawks and Canucks have found additional ways. Of course some teams like the Bruins and Ducks have recently mixed up their top-six, but that doesn't seem like a lasting trend given how dominant they can be with all three on the same line.
Herein lies the trick though: teams like the Bruins, Hawks, Ducks, Oilers and Bolts are deep enough for two dynamic scoring lines. If/when they split, you want the David Krejcis, Viktor Stalbergs, Daniel Winniks, and other No. 6 forwards getting time with all-stars and future hall of famers — and that's nothing new. That's standard year-to-year regardless, but this year's compressed schedule has simply made them more valuable.
So get out there and mine for the hot players you can ride, the cold stars you can scoop up for tier-two career year performers, and drop the guys who just ain't cutting it and don't have enough trade value because we don't trade picks.
There are 110 players ahead of Henrik Sedin's 14 total fantasy points in the IceHL EAST, 109 in the WEST currently on the free agent wire coming into Thursday night's games. You tell me which is the anomaly.