Edmonton Rush rookie Mark Matthews, the first overall pick of the 2012 NLL Entry Draft, could be a good "buy-low" candidate this week in the 2013 NLL Fantasy Game. (Photo: Dale MacMillan)
As with the start of any new season in the National Lacrosse League, there were a lot of surprises last week. Some big name players didn’t put up what fantasy owners expected them to while several lesser-known guys exploded for over 20 fantasy points. The season may be just beginning but falling behind in fantasy is the last thing you want to do. Here are some players you might want to consider buying or selling for Week 3:
Mark Matthews (Edmonton $15) – Matthews was a good buy last week and still is. The #1 overall draft pick had an excellent professional debut against the Toronto Rock with five points (3 + 2) and 18 fantasy points. He is a very affordable $15 and has a lot of potential to go up in value.
Cliff Smith (Washington $11) – Smith had just 36 fantasy points all last season but he has already surpassed that total with 46 points in just two games. One good game could be written off as a fluke performance but two in a row could indicate that Smith is in for a breakout season. At this point, you can’t afford not to put this guy on your fantasy roster. His value has already nearly doubled since the beginning of the season and will only continue to rise if he can keep this up.
Bob Snider (Washington $16) – Bob Snider played defense last year but is listed at transition this season. One would think this would indicate he would have more opportunity to score points but thus far Snider has yet to register even an assist. Still, most of his fantasy value comes from the often overlooked loose balls category. As the Stealth’s main faceoff guy, he scoops up enough LBs to rank him among the elite at the position. Bob had 202 loose balls last season and currently leads the league with 30 this year. He faces the Edmonton Rush this weekend which is a good matchup for him. Edmonton had the lowest faceoff percentage in the league last year winning just 35.8% of their draws.
Kevin Buchanan (Philadelphia $12) – Buchanan had six points (3 + 3) for a total of 22 fantasy points in his debut with the Philadelphia Wings. This is the same level of production as Kevin Crowley who scored 23 fantasy points but costs $22. Buchanan is a tremendous value at this low price tag and with Dan Dawson now playing for the Rochester Knighthawks, there are some big shoes that need to be filled.
Cory Vitarelli (Rochester $15) – Vitarelli was one of the biggest sleeper picks last year when he put up nearly 30 goals. He picked up right where he left off with a hat trick in the Knighthawks’ season opener two weeks ago. The Knighthawks have a star-studded lineup and Vitarelli could be someone that defenses forget about covering. Look for him to match or even surpass his point totals from last season.
Dane Dobbie (Calgary $19) – Dobbie is coming off suspension and should be ready to play in this weekend’s game against the Colorado Mammoth. That being said, it may be better to avoid him when it comes to fantasy. He faced the Mammoth just once last year and did not have a very impressive showing, scoring just one assist.
Casey Powell (Rochester $23) – Powell missed the Knighthawks season opener two weeks ago against the Stealth. At first the team said he was still sore and they wanted to be extra cautious and rest him for the home opener this upcoming weekend. Then they said Casey actually missed the game because he had the flu. I wouldn’t trust him being in the lineup this weekend enough to potentially waste $23.
Blaine Manning (Toronto $15) – Manning has started the 2013 season on a cold streak with just eight fantasy points in two games, including zero points against the Edmonton Rush. He missed a lot of last season due to injury but even when he was on the field he wasn’t putting up the numbers many fantasy owners expected. Keep Manning out of your fantasy lineup until he can produce points with consistency.
G – Washington ($17)
D – Matt Beers (Washington $6)
D – Scott Self (Buffalo $7)
T – Joe Walters (Rochester $8)
T – Kyle Hartzell (Philadelphia $4)
F – Mark Matthews (Edmonton $15)
F – Johnny Powless (Rochester $15)
F – Kevin Crowley (Philadelphia $22)
F – Cliff Smith (Washington $11)
Team Value: $105