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Fantasy Hockey Milk and Cookie Awards

nhl logoEarlier this week, I distributed some stinky, grimy, and clunky lumps of coal as fantasy hockey awards for the underachievers of the 2014-15 campaign thus far. I’d be a Grinch if I didn’t also bestow some tasty¬†accolades for the fantasy plays that have made you look like a genius. Here’s a list of the players who have returned a reindeer’s ransom in value. These are the Fantasy Hockey Milk and Cookie Awards.

1) Jakob Voracek, F, Philadelphia Flyers

It pains me to write this. I passed on him in my standard 10-team league because he here me real bad last year. He has clearly had a lurch in his development and is clicking on all cylinders with Claude Giroux. He is among the leaders in scoring and has shown that his is capable of multiple point games on any night. While his value might be baked in by now in Draft Kings and Fan Duel, he has been a great play so far and there is no reason why he won’t continue his production going forward.

2) Filip Forsberg, F, Nashville Predators

It has been a while that opposing team had to worry about the offensive explosiveness of any Preds line but the Neal-Ribeiro-Forsberg line has been just that. He was giving a tonne of value in daily leagues and if you were quick on the waiver wire, he probably gave you¬†huge boost with is white hot November. The market has probably adjusted appropriately for playing him in Daily leagues and I’d be a bit worried that some regression is around the corner but, wow, what a terrific start for Forsberg.

3) Mark Giordano, D, Calgary Flames

He wasn’t exactly a sleeper as the Flames #1 defenseman, but who would have predicted a point-per-game pace to his game and a +15. That type of consistency made is mid-to-upper market daily price well worth it. The entire defensive corps for the Flames could gets its own batch of cookies (how many cookies could 7 d-men eat?) as T.J. Brodie, Kris Russell, and Denis Wideman have been key catalysts for an offense that has sputtered in recent years. Clearly, Bob Hartley likes to activate the back end, especially in the transition game and Giordano has been a beneficiary.

4) Frederick Anderson, G, Anaheim Ducks

While his daily price was fairly indicative of his value, he had been lower than several other higher priced backstops producing a much slower clip (e.g., Lundqvist, Varlamov, Rask). In standard leagues, his value came from the fact that few knew he’d be getting the workload he’s had. Gibson’s injuries and demotion has led to 17 straight starts behind a quality Ducks team. Unlike someone like Bobrovsky, he doesn’t have to be Vezina-like and steal games. He just has to be decent. He’s been more than that if you’ve been using him regularly in your daily plays, where getting the goalie right is massive.

5) Vladamir Tarasenko, W, St. Louis Blues

If you are a Blues fan, you must be beaming over the offensive weapon Tarasenko is growing in to. St. Louis, under Ken Hitchcock, has always focused on defense first. This has hurt the value of guys like T.J. Oshie and even David Backes who could likely put up bigger numbers in a different system. The Schwartz-Lehtera-Tarasenko line has simply dazzled with speed, precision, and creativity. For a stretch in November, they were often over 50% held in daily leagues because they were that good for very cheap. Tarasenko is still offering value but this has taken hit with Schwartz’s injury woes. But with this line intact, I’d expect him to keep piling up the points.

Honourable mentions:

Here’s my All-Star team of candidates just missing out on making the list. Johnny Gaudreau (W, Calgary Flames), Tyler Johnson (C, Tampa Bay Lightning) Nick Foligno (C/W, Columbus Blue Jackets) Sami Vatanen (D, Anaheim Ducks of Might), T. J. Brodie (D, Calgary Flames), Pekke Rinne (G, Nashville Predators). Johnson and Foligno were tough calls.

That’s my list, who’s on yours?

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