Not enough column space is dedicated to presenting and analyzing players who are cost effective. That is to say, they have even more value in fantasy leagues with a salary cap than they do in regular leagues. And, admittedly, I’m just as guilty as anyone for this neglect. In fact, I’m probably worse.
Here are 25 players who have played at least 16 games and are currently leading the league in lowest cap hit per point. These numbers can easily be pulled off the Frozen Pool section of my website. I removed three names due to the fact they will give you very little help in your league. For what it’s worth, the names I removed were Jiri Tlusty (Carolina), David Schlemko (Phoenix) and Jay Harrison (Carolina).
1. Jamie Benn, Dallas, $43,246 (per point)
I’m giving Benn a lot of love here lately, but it’s never too much and the numbers don’t lie.
2. Kyle Wellwood, Winnipeg, $46,667
I think he can keep this pace up in Winnipeg. He’s shooting the puck more, which is a great sign.
3. Craig Smith, Nashville, $47,667
Nashville’s rookie sensation has been their best and most consistent offensive forward. He’s gotten used to the short college schedule over the past two years so we’ll see if he’s prepared for the 82-game NHL season.
4. Frans Nielsen, N.Y. Islanders, $58,333
Poolies are a little disappointed in what Nielsen has done so far, but the bottom line is he makes the league minimum, so for the money, he’s golden.
5. Marc-Andre Bergeron, Tampa Bay, $58,824
Some of the lustre has begun to chip off Bergeron’s tremendous start, as he has just two points in his past six games. But he is still third among NHL defensemen.
6. Luke Adam, Buffalo, $62,500
You’ll see a handful of rookies on this list thanks to their entry-level contracts. Adam was off to a hot start, but has since cooled and should wind up around the 50-point mark.
7. Corey Potter, Edmonton, $65,625
His injury (out for a month) couldn’t have come at a worse time. The late-blooming Potter was tremendous as a fill-in for injured offensive rearguards Cam Barker and Ryan Whitney. In fact, Potter played much better than those two. He may not have the same opportunity when he returns.
8. Jordan Eberle, Edmonton, $68,137
I think poolies pretty much understand the potential star power they have in Eberle and his entry-level deal makes him a steal. He’s on pace for more than 65 points and I think he’ll get there.
9. Matt Read, Philadelphia, $69,231
The biggest rookie surprise this side of Craig Smith, Read has been the total package. He logs ice time on both the PP and PK and whether he gets 10 minutes or 18 minutes of ice, he finds a way to put up points. That’s precisely why he’s seeing more ice time these days.
10. Zack Smith, Ottawa, $70,000
If your league counts penalty minutes, this guy should top your list. Smith is proving to be a potential 45-point, 100-plus PIM guy.
11. Jeff Skinner, Carolina, $70,000
The super sophomore is picking up where he left off - and his entry-level deal continues through next season as well. Cha-ching!
12. David Desharnais, Montreal, $70,833
Now clicking on a line with Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole, the diminutive Desharnais looks like a keeper. If I owned Desharnais, there would be no other player on the Habs I would like to see on his wing more than Pacioretty.
13. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa, $72,222
He is second in the entire league in assists and is showing no signs at all of slowing down.
14. Petr Sykora, New Jersey, $72,222
His numbers are modest, but most poolies anticipated a 40-point season and that’s what they’re getting.
15. Nick Leddy, Chicago, $74,444
The 20-year-old is on pace for 57 points and is on a four-game point-streak. His power play ice time is rising and he has three PP points in his past six games.
16. Ryan O’Reilly, Colorado, $75,000
I’m reminded of his hot start to his rookie season that fizzled out pretty dramatically. His five points in the past 13 games are telling me he’s starting to cool.
17. Jason Garrison, Florida, $75,000
It was tough to predict this one. Garrison was never drafted and has jumped between leagues rather quickly, so pinpointing his offensive upside is like nailing jello to the wall. But my hunch is he can be a 35-point secondary PP player.
18. Adam Henrique, New Jersey, $77,651
Even when Henrique is removed from the Ilya Kovalchuk-Zach Parise line he seems to produce. But playing with them has led to tremendous results. The rookie has 10 points in his past nine games.
19. Colin Greening, Ottawa, $81,667
The ugly plus-minus is starting to turn around (plus-3 in the past four games) and I think he can be a 45-point player in this league. Perhaps sooner rather than later.
20. Marcus Johansson, Washington, $81,818
He has played most of the season with Alexander Semin. Lately, his other winger has been rookie Cody Eakin. Should be safe for 55 points.
21. Tanner Glass, Winnipeg, $83,333
Surprisingly decent in the points department so far, Glass will help you with penalty minutes as well and won’t hurt you with his plus-minus.
22. Viktor Stalberg, Chicago, $87,500
He’s not just teasing - he has this kind of skill. The last time he showed it was just before he got knocked into next week by a freight train when he was with the Leafs. His style changed when he returned from his concussion as he became more tentative. But now the hustling, hard-working sniper is apparently back.
23. Derek Stepan, N.Y. Rangers, $87,500
The 21-year-old had his hot and cold streaks last year and as a sophomore he will have them again. As a member of the GAS line, he tallied seven points in three games. But the line has since grown cold and Stepan has gone pointless in his past three. In the end, he should top last year’s 45 points by a nice margin.
24. Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota, $87,778
Even in non-salary-cap leagues I suggest you pick this guy up. I think he’ll get 35-plus points this season despite the slow start - and long term he’ll be 40-plus.
25. P.A. Parenteau, N.Y. Islanders, $89,286
He’s been a great asset for the cap hit, but his defense is a little suspect. The high ice time may not be there in the second half and I don’t think his 67-point pace will be sustained.
Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section. Do you have a question about fantasy hockey? Send it to the Fantasy Mailbag.