It’s another week of NLL Fantasy-related anxiety for the ILIndoor staff — well, maybe not for Teddy Jenner who has somehow been able to lean on The Force in his decision making, which has him ranked 16th out of the nearly 2,800 fans competing in the league’s online fantasy challenge.
So maybe Jenner should be writing this column each week. Sigh.
OK, regardless of my own results in the first two weeks, which have been less than impressive considering the time I’ve spent analyzing this stuff, it’s Week 3, and things are a bit clearer now that we’ve got a couple weekend’s worth of results to chew over. It’s a bit more obvious who has not lived up to his price and who has over-performed for his value.
While some teams have played two games and others just one, you have a lot more to work with this time around than last weekend. So who is worth the investment? Which players should be avoided? It’s tough to point to anyone in this league as being a under-performer. But the world of fantasy is one of hard knocks, and when it comes to this realm, you can’t let your own preferences or hopes come into play — you need guys that produce points and provide you with value. No other way to put it.
Here’s another look at some high-risk and low-risk dudes for this coming weekend.
Casey Powell, F, Rochester Knighthawks, $23 – Heck, are we even sure he’s playing this weekend? We all know what he’s capable of. But can he produce big points this weekend, his first weekend back, if he plays, on a team with a lot of different weapons? He won’t need to be the only shooting, so how many fantasy points will he really produce for you? We’ll have a much better feel for what CP’s production will be like after he and Dawson have a few runs on the opposite side of Jamieson, Powless and Walters. For now, you might invest elsewhere.
Mark Steenhuis, F, Buffalo Bandits, $23 – If he is in the penalty box for a good chunk of the action, it hurts your investment in him as a fantasy owner. He’s capable of doing a lot for his team, but you might be able to spread your cash around a little more effectively. But he’s going to have big nights, though, for sure. Is it this weekend? A fierce competitor, he’s bound to start clicking soon. But at $23, you have to really be confident that he’s going to give you a return you’re looking for.
Luke Wiles, F, Buffalo Bandits, $20 – Wiles broke loose for about 18 fantasy points per game last season. He’s not there yet in 2013. To be fair, the Bandits looked vastly different against Minnesota compared to their performance against the Wings. Wiles’ 16 points in two games leaves something to be desired as a fantasy team manager. I gave Luke a sample of some cool new mesh, so I’m waiting for him to weave it up and go to work. For now, he feels like a high-risk grab. He could go either way. High-risk picks can produce high returns, but can really hurt you depending on the night. Choose wisely.
Cliff Smith, F, Washington Stealth, $11 – No secrets here regarding Mr. Smith. Probably no more productive guy at a value price in the player pool than this guy right here. Until Smith’s shows us that he’s not going to consistently put up healthy points for this high-flying Washington club, you’ve got to strongly consider him for your roster. 46 points in two weeks from a guy priced at $11? Sign me up. The Stealth aren’t going to do anything to stop him from producing at this rate. It’s up to other teams. Until they figure him out, Smith might be the steal of the league right now.
Matt Matthews, F, Edmonton Rush, $15 – Not many rookies step into this league and get to take 12 shots in their first outing, but that’s what the Rush bench let Matthews produce in his first game in the league (resulting in 18 fantasy points). With Matthews clearly in the driver’s seat of that offense already, he’s likely to increase his production over time and make me wish I’d picked him as my preseason Rookie of the Year. At just $15, he’s probably the most bargain-priced of any team’s top initiator. Why not get in early? He could help drive your team’s value up.
Kevin Buchanan, F, Philadelphia Wings, $12 – Talk to anyone who knows anything and they’ll tell you: Buchanan shoots the $#!^ out of the ball. Saw it in person last weekend in Philly. He was just oozing confidence while ripping some long-range bombs. It’s not only exciting to see him playing with swagger, it’s on a team that people were dogging heading into the season (myself included). At $12, you’re probably going to come close to getting at least that value, considering that he scored three times on six shots. While he might not put up 22 points every night, he’s a great value at this price. Expect him to go up.
Curtis Dickson, F, Calgary Roughnecks, $15 – Dickson continues to feel like a bit of a steal at this mid-range price, considering he is capable of high-range production. Sure, his 17 fantasy points against Toronto weren’t all that crazy given his price. But you’ve got to think he’s on the upswing after his first couple runs in this league. He’s got more weapons around him, which should only help. As Calgary develops, expect Dickson’s production to go up.
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