In addition to freelancing for fine sites like Defending Big D, I also am the editor and manager over at DobberHockey, a site dedicated to the world of fantasy hockey. We publish an annual Fantasy Guide, an annual Prospects Report, and a few other yearly hockey publications.
Fantasy hockey makes watching hockey even more fun. That is the truth, and the main reason why I participate in it. Having players on different teams around the league motivates you to track their performance, watch them play, and evaluate them against other players around the league.
In the final installment of a two part series exclusively for Defending Big D, I am going to profile the Dallas defensemen for 2012-13 from a fantasy hockey perspective. To read Part I on the Dallas defense, follow this link.
The Fantasy Studs
Jamie Benn – I won’t waste your time writing a lot about Benn. I wrote an extensive piece on him a few months ago, and here is an excerpt (and a great reason as to why he could break out in 2012-13):
In his third year, Benn was playing a new position for a team lacking in depth, and he was producing at a rate comparable to some elite talents in the NHL while playing harder minutes against tougher competition. His peers recognized how good he was becoming, as he was voted as the second most underrated player in the league by fellow players (Dallas fans are well aware of who the winner was).
If you don’t own Benn in your pool now, good luck trying to acquire him.
Loui Eriksson – the Robin to Benn’s Batman, Eriksson has been Mr. Everything for the Stars since coming to Dallas back in 2006. Consistency is a very underrated trait in fantasy hockey circles (people tend to get intoxicated by words like “upside” and “potential”), and Eriksson is as consistent as they come. In the past three seasons, he has missed three total games, and has produced 71, 73, and 71 points, respectively.
He is a player who sometimes gets lost in the discussions for the game’s true greats because he is really good at everything. Eriksson’s standout attribute is his hockey sense – not as sexy as a Weber body check or a Datsyukian deke, but it enables him to excel in all situations. And that includes fantasy hockey. The only downside to drafting him in multi-category leagues is his lack of PIM (a good thing in real life, but not in fantasy leagues that count it as a stat).
Tom Wandell – I was debating who to put here – Cody Eakin would have been a great choice too, but he seems to be a widely-regarded choice as a sleeper. I wanted to dig a bit deeper, and Wandell is the perfect example of what a sleeper pick is. He has been written off in the past for failing to make the most of the multiple opportunities given to him, and with the massive turnover we have seen this summer in Dallas, 2012-13 could be his last chance to prove himself. If I have learned one thing over the years, it is never to discount players with a) an opportunity, and b) something to prove.
Roy is currently on the shelf, Eakin is unproven at the NHL level, and Verne Fiddler shouldn’t be anywhere near a scoring line. It’s put up or shut up time for Wandell in Big D.