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Fantasy Pool Look: Plus-minus gems

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

I’m not a fan of plus-minus being tracked in fantasy leagues because it’s a team statistic more than anything. But the fact of the matter is it is used in most rotisserie-style leagues, so I won’t waste my time fighting it.

Plus-minus is a difficult category to gauge. In September, did you have Boston pegged as the team with all the studs in this category? When Ryan Whitney returned, did you think he’d be a minus-15 within six weeks? Rod Brind’Amour sitting at minus-29?

The ebb and flow of a player’s plus-minus tends to relate to the ups and downs of their team. A player could be at plus-20 in January, but if his team hits the skids he could be a minus-2 by March.

Boston rookie Blake Wheeler has been the big surprise this campaign, leading the league with a plus-33. New Jersey’s Travis Zajac has also been a nice story, posting a plus-28 after going minus-11 just a year ago. Another Devil, Mike Mottau, is also a surprise among the plus-minus leaders at plus-23. However, his low point total (10) makes it difficult to see the value in picking him up in roto leagues.

Here are some players to consider if you are hurting in this category – and they won’t hurt you too badly in the other ones:

Jan Hejda, Columbus –
The stay-at-home rearguard has already set a career high of two goals (yes, two!) and 15 points. His 21-point pace is easy enough to swallow thanks to his plus-22 rating.

Andrew Ladd, Chicago –
He hasn’t been the same since Patrick Kane sprained his ankle, which is strange considering the two are not linemates. However, Ladd should still be good for 50 points and he currently sits at plus-22.

Eric Fehr, Washington –
He has nine points in his past eight games and is a plus-7 in that span. The former highly touted prospect had fallen from grace in fantasy circles, but now seems to have arrived.

Frans Nielsen, Islanders –
His offensive upside is minimal – no more than 50 points in the long term at best – but he has seven points in his past 10 games and is a plus-6.

Adam Burish, Chicago –
Sure, he only has three goals in the past 10 games, but his forte is penalty minutes. He has 15 of them in that span and boasts a plus-5 on the season.

Valtteri Filppula, Detroit –
The underrated pivot has nine assists and is plus-7 in his past 10 contests. That’s not too torrid of a pace for him to sustain.

Dominic Moore, Toronto –
Where did this guy come from again? Waivers? Playing with the white-hot Jason Blake, Moore has managed a whopping 15 points and a plus-6 rating in his past 10 games.

Tomas Fleischmann, Washington –
His seven points in the past 10 games are modest, but his plus-11 in that span is certainly not.

Farm Report:
With the recent injury to Brad Richards (out six to eight weeks with a broken wrist), the Stars are eyeing prospect Tom Wandell, who has been playing over in Sweden. Wandell has 39 points in 45 games in the Swedish Elite League and his stock has certainly risen. Had the Stars been affiliated with an American League team, Wandell would have played there this year.

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 throughout the season. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the 1st of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.

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