Fantasy Pool Look: Fast starts with new teams

Nathan Horton is playing like a new man since he started the season on a new team. Just two games in, he is already proving to be an offensive catalyst for the Boston Bruins. Poolies had a feeling this would happen, as he came from a Florida team that was lacking in top talent – a situation that was exasperated by the defense-first coaching philosophy.

A team that is loaded with talent up the middle fits the 25-year-old like a glove. With three goals and four points, Horton is making Boston fans forget all about Dennis Wideman (kidding – he was probably forgotten the minute fans turned the page from the newspaper headline announcing the trade). For six years, the most we saw out of Nathan Horton was 62 points, but that’s going to change in a big way this year.

In fact, the components of that statistic will change. In the past three seasons, he tallied 69 goals and 95 assists. In Boston, you can expect more goals than assists or at least something much closer to an even ratio. With the skilled setup men who play center in Beantown, there is only one reason why the Welland, Ont., native may not light the lamp 40 times: injury. He has averaged close to 12 games missed per season throughout his career. But even playing 70 games, I still expect him to score 35 and set a career high in points with 65 to 70.

Bruins fans – and poolies – are going to love him…

Jordan Leopold is another player who loves his new digs. The 30-year-old is underrated offensively because the first half of his NHL career was hampered by injuries, but when he first entered the league he was considered to have enormous potential. The Sabres, who have been desperate for a puckmoving defenseman for years, have pushed their power play quarterbacks to new heights in the past (Brian Campbell, Jaroslav Spacek). This could be a match made in heaven, even with sophomore Tyler Myers on the scene. Leopold has four points in three games already and is coming off two healthy seasons. He is available in most fantasy leagues…

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Ryan Getzlaf is pointless in three games to kick off the season, but don’t fret. He started off last year with just three points in the first seven contests and back in 2008-09 he managed just one point in six games to start things off. In each of those campaigns he finished with more than a point per game…

Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective: With Jason Pominville sidelined with a concussion, look for Nathan Gerbe to get a nice opportunity to shine…

Farm Report: Luke Adam is the American League’s player of the week, thanks to a four-point game in his professional debut. The Buffalo prospect is an enticing package because he is a talented 6-foot-2, 215-pound center in an organization desperately in need of that type of player. Look for him to get a long look next fall.

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Get the edge in your league – check out the latest scoop every Tuesday and Saturday. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.

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