High-priced players such as Buffalo Bandits transition player Mark Steenhuis might not be worth their salary cap value in the 2013 NLL Fantasy Game. (Photo: Bill Wippert)
Week #4 of the 2013 National Lacrosse League regular season consists of seven games around the league with three games being played on Friday and Saturday in addition to a Sunday matinee. Four teams (Toronto, Calgary, Washington, and Minnesota) play back-to-back games this weekend.
Fantasy managers shouldn’t forget they can choose which game their players have scored by clicking the “Choose Game” link on the “My Team” page. With so much action going on, there are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to fantasy. Here are some players to consider buying or selling this week:
Toronto (Goaltender $19) – It’s hard to believe that Toronto’s starting goaltender Nick Rose was still only a backup until he was traded to the Rock midway through last season. He has been playing absolutely lights out so far this year with a 9.33 goals against average and .830 save percentage through three games. Rose also currently leads the league in saves with 137 and all fantasy scoring, including runners, with 84 fantasy points.
Shayne Jackson (Minnesota $12) – The Minnesota Swarm will be back in action this weekend after a bye week. First round draft pick Shayne Jackson had an awesome professional debut two weeks ago with three goals, an assist, and five loose balls for 19 fantasy points. He’s still valued very modestly so, like fellow first rounder Mark Matthews on the Edmonton Rush, Jackson is a good buy-low player to grab now before his price takes off.
Curtis Knight (Edmonton $13) – Here’s another rookie that has been putting up good numbers in fantasy so far. Knight has nine points (4+5) already this season and currently leads the team with three power play goals. The fact that he seems to be the one taking shots on the power play is a good sign for his fantasy owners. What’s more, he has only taken nine shots this season and scored on four of them. That’s a pretty awesome shooting percentage! Imagine what he could do if he were to start shooting even more.
Jeff Moleski (Washington $7) – Moleski is currently the top fantasy scorer among all defensemen with 27 points. He has put up good numbers in all three games this season thanks to his contributions in the loose balls category. He remains a solid buy.
Rory Glaves (Rochester $2) – One strategy that some fantasy managers use is to spend as little money as they can on defense, and load up the more high scoring positions like forward. At just two bucks, Glaves ranks as one of the cheapest options out there. Even at his low cost, Glaves does produce rather consistently albeit at an average of only two fantasy points per game. He had thirty fantasy points last season in 15 games played and has maintained that average this year with five fantasy points in two games.
Dan Dawson (Rochester $24) – “Dangerous” Dan Dawson hasn’t been very dangerous in fantasy this year. He averaged 19.6 fantasy points per game with Philadelphia last year but currently averages just 14.5 fantasy points per game with the Rochester Knighthawks. Dawson’s real life numbers are also down. He had 103 points (25 + 78) last year but is currently on pace for just 64. It’s only been two games so Knighthawks fans shouldn’t panic, but if you are going to spend this much money on one player, you’re better off going with someone who scores goals like John Grant, Jr. as Dawson is more of a setup guy.
Mark Steenhuis (Buffalo $19) – Last week against the Rochester Knighthawks it seemed like Steenhuis was being used more on defense than offense. The Bandits would gain the offensive zone and he would head off to the bench. Steenhuis rarely had the ball and only ended up taking two shots all game – an uncharacteristically-low number for him. He’s currently on pace for just 85 shots this season which would be his lowest total since 2006. With the addition of Dhane Smith, Aaron Wilson, and Shawn Williams on offense, the Bandits might be trying to utilize Steenhuis differently this year. If so, he isn’t worth dropping nearly 20 bucks on in fantasy.
Luke Wiles (Buffalo $19) – Wiles has started the season on a cold streak. Two goals in three games is not very “Wiles-like.” So far this season, he has put up just 25 fantasy points. Compare this to Jeff Moleski from the Washington Stealth who has 27 fantasy points and costs just $7 and you’ll see that Wiles, normally an all-star player, is currently not worth the hefty investment required to put him on your roster. His value has decreased the last two consecutive weeks so I’d stay away from him.
G – Minnesota ($17)
D – Matt Beers (Washington $6)
D – Chris Corbeil (Edmonton $7)
T – Cameron Holding (Colorado $6)
T – Joe Walters (Rochester $8)
F – Mark Matthews (Edmonton $17)
F – Shayne Jackson (Minnesota $12)
F – Cliff Smith (Washington $11)
F – Kevin Crowley (Philadelphia $22)
Team Value: $106