The NLL Fantasy Buy/Sell column for Week #5 highlights certain players such as Buffalo's Chad Culp and Minnesota's goalies who could be good buy-low candidates while other overpriced players should maybe be avoided. (Photo: Bill Wippert)
It’s already Week #5 of the 2013 NLL regular season with another full list of games on the docket this weekend. The only team not playing is the Philadelphia Wings so make sure you remove any Wings players on your roster. This week’s advice column covers a huge goaltending change in Colorado, an underpriced rookie that has been performing at an elite level, and one of last season’s 100-plus point scorers finding himself struggling to justify his high fantasy cost.
Minnesota (Goalie $18) – At first glance, the Minnesota goaltenders might seem overpriced considering they have just 56 fantasy points and cost $18. Compare this with Washington’s goalies who have 62 total fantasy points and cost only $16. Aren’t they the better deal? Well, not really. Minnesota has only played three games while Washington has already played five. The Minnesota goaltenders score at a much higher rate with 18.66 fantasy points per game (Washington averages 12.4). Tyler Carlson and Evan Kirk put up a similar average last year as well with 18.5 fantasy points per game.
Cory Vitarelli (Rochester $15) – The Rochester Knighthawks have surprisingly struggled to produce on offense this season despite having a star-studded lineup. One player who has not suffered these struggles is Cory Vitarelli. Even with last week’s poor showing from the Knighthawks, Vitarelli had a good fantasy performance with 18 points. If he can still put up 18 points when Rochester isn’t doing so hot, he should be even more valuable once they get things together.
Bob Snider (Washington $17) – Bob Snider is currently the second highest scoring transition player and may be undervalued at just $17. He is a face-off specialist that scores a lot of fantasy points via the loose balls category and currently leads the NLL with 67 LBs. Bob faces the team with the second worst faceoff percentage this weekend, the Rochester Knighthawks, so he should put up some good fantasy numbers just by dominating in the face-off circle.
Shayne Jackson (Minnesota $14) – Jackson had his best NLL game yet last weekend with a three goal, three assist performance against the Washington Stealth. He added six loose balls for a whopping 24 fantasy points. This sent his value skyrocketing. It is the second time in three games that Jackson has completed a hat trick so this is becoming more the rule rather than the exception. He is still very affordable so get this guy on your roster.
Chad Culp (Buffalo $16) – Culp has scored fantasy points at or above his cost in the last three games, including two games where he had over 20 points. He is currently the top fantasy scorer on the Buffalo Bandits which is no small task considering they have several all-stars in their lineup like Luke Wiles, John Tavares, and Mark Steenhuis. At the beginning of the season, Bandits GM Steve Dietrich said that Culp looked like he came into training camp the most prepared to play. Culp’s performance thus far is definitely showing that to be true.
Colorado (Goalie $16) – The Colorado Mammoth released long-time starting goaltender Chris Levis earlier this week but that might not necessarily solve their goaltending woes. Matt Roik would seem to be next in line to become their starter but his numbers haven’t been stellar, either. Roik currently has a 13.96 GAA and .725 save percentage. He made the all-star team last season thanks to a good first half with the Toronto Rock, but Toronto ended up releasing him in March after a few shaky starts. Whether or not Roik has what it takes to turn Colorado’s goalie situation around, you should avoid him in fantasy.
Dan Dawson (Rochester $22) – Dawson was on the sell list last week and ended up scoring just three fantasy points. It’s hard to remember the last time "Dangerous" Dan Dawson had zero points, but that’s just what happened in Rochester’s game last week against Toronto. Not even an assist. Dawson was third in the NLL with 103 points last season so he should turn things around sooner or later, but perhaps he is finding adjusting to his new team harder than expected. Keep him off your fantasy roster until he returns to his old ways.
G – Rochester ($17)
D – Matt Beers (Washington $6)
D – Chris Corbeil (Edmonton $7)
T – Cameron Holding (Colorado $6)
T – Andrew Suitor (Minnesota $15)
F – Mark Matthews (Edmonton $17)
F – Cliff Smith (Washington $11)
F – Cory Vitarelli (Rochester $15)
F – Shayne Jackson (Minnesota $14)
Team Value: $108