This is the perfect time of year to start hunting for potential trades in your Yahoo fantasy hockey league.
The sample size of games is still relatively small, but many fantasy owners could be frustrated by the lack of production from some of their top draft picks, meaning you may be able to get them for a bargain.
Erik Karlsson — San Jose Sharks
After a horrible outing on Sunday where Karlsson registered a minus-4 rating and was on the ice for all five of the Sharks’ goals against in a battle against the Ottawa Senators, the Swedish star has now been held pointless in three-straight games. Limited to just one goal and eight points through 11 games, Karlsson has performed below his standards.
But there are reasons to believe he’ll get back on track soon.
After the team visits the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night, they’ll complete a five-game Eastern road trip before heading back home for six-consecutive matches. Getting back to the friendly confines of the SAP Center should help San Jose regroup, including EK65.
Brayden Point — Tampa Bay Lightning
After missing the very beginning of the year recovering from hip surgery, Point appeared to be completely fine when he tallied two goals and three points in his season debut against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Since then, however, the talented centre has scored just three points in the following six matches.
Missing some time in training camp and game action due to surgery, Point is still getting up to speed with the rest of the team. Despite a slow month of October, I expect him to return to form in November.
Taylor Hall — New Jersey Devils
Prior to the start of this season, Hall hadn’t played a game since December of 2018. So his slow start (1G, 6A) to the year could be due to his lack of recent game action.
Additionally, Hall has been affected by the team’s struggles at centre. Nico Hischier was off to a slow start before getting injured, and naturally, there has been a bit of an adjustment period for rookie Jack Hughes.
Hall has put forward some encouraging results lately, notching four points in his last four games. Couple that with Hughes looking increasingly comfortable, and we could be seeing the start of a pretty terrific tandem.
On the flip side, some of the owners in your league may be enamoured by a surprisingly hot start. But as I mentioned earlier, one month is a pretty small timeframe to judge someone’s performance.
James Neal — Edmonton Oilers
If you want to believe Neal is the real deal in 2019-20, feel free. Just know that not everything that rhymes is true.
His 10 goals have many thinking that maybe he’s turned back the clock. The truth, however, is that he’s been extremely lucky so far.
Right now, Neal possesses an otherworldly 27.8% shooting percentage. His career mark is just 11.9%. Another sign pointing to the lack of sustainability of his numbers is the fact that seven of his 10 markers have come on the man advantage.
You have two options with Neal; you can ride the bull until it bucks you off, or trade him away. I recommend the latter.
Jake Muzzin — Toronto Maple Leafs
Muzzin may arguably be the best player on the Maple Leafs to start this season, but you shouldn’t rely on him to be the high-end defensive star he’s been during the month of October.
For starters, the blueliner is on pace to score 57 points this season. He’s never recorded more than 42 points in a campaign.
Secondly, there is no clear path for the defender to get onto the power play. With Morgan Rielly and Tyson Barrie in the mix, Muzzin will likely never get a real chance to work on the PP.
If presented the option right now, I would flip the streaking Muzzin for the slumping Barrie.
Anthony Mantha — Detroit Red Wings
I don’t think Mantha is a bad player and I think he’ll finish the season with solid numbers.
When you look at the top-20 fantasy performers right now, though, his name is up there, but I don’t think it will be that way for long.
Mantha’s production is heavily inflated by his four-goal outing against the Dallas Stars earlier this year. Those count as fantasy points, as they should, but outside of that game, he has just three goals and five assists in 11 contests. See if you can get someone in your league to bite on his somewhat misleading production thus far.
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