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Fantasy Nuggets

Week 4 Fantasy Nuggets

by Ryan Dadoun
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

As touched on last week, this year's rookie crop has been very impressive so far, but that begs the question: Will it last?  Connor McDavid scoring five goals and 10 points in 10 games is impressive, but not entirely shocking given the level of hype surrounding him.  But what about Max Domi matching him with 10 points in as many contests?  Sure, Domi is considered an incredibly gifted offensive talent in his own right, but is he already this good?  Odds are he's playing a bit above his head, as are some other forwards.  Domi should have a good year, but don't be disappointed if he ends up with 50 points instead of 80.

 

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Another interesting case is Dylan Larkin, who was hot out of the gate, but just has one assist in his last four contests.  Him cooling down isn't a surprise, but just to add another wrinkle in the equation, he's been moved back to the top line with Henrik Zetterberg.  Under those circumstances, Larkin might bounce back, even if I'm not sold on him being a huge contributor overall this campaign.

 

One rookie that hasn't been nearly as impressive out of the gate is Noah Hanifin - at least from a fantasy perspective.  The 18-year-old has two assists in eight contests while averaging a modest 16:57 minutes per contest.  He's sticking with the team though and should grow into a bigger role as the campaign progresses.

 

Are Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin still the best one-two offensive punch in the league?  I don't want to be too harsh on Crosby over his slow start, but even moving past that, it seems like the younger duo of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have assumed that position.  Granted it's a little like comparing apples and oranges because Seguin and Benn often play together while Crosby and Malkin are typically on separate lines.  Even with that in mind though, it seems like the team that features the best pairing of two forwards - regardless of circumstances - is now Dallas.

 

The Stars have plenty of offensive weapons beyond Benn and Seguin, but they aren't actually the highest scoring team.  Montreal has the most goals, which isn't surprising given the start the Canadiens have had, but what is eyebrow raising is the fact that Boston is actually leading the pack in terms of goals per game.  The Bruins offense didn't look that great on paper going into the season, but David Krejci has been outstanding and they already have 10 players with at least two goals.

 

And yet the Bruins are still a modest 4-3-1 due to defensive woes and Tuukka Rask posting an uncharacteristic 3.67 GAA and .874 save percentage in six starts.  Rask did earn a shutout on Tuesday though, so perhaps the tide is turning.  That being said, trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg (back) have taken their toll.

 

Focusing in on Krejci specifically, he seems like a good sell-high candidate right now.  His current pace is obviously unsustainable - no one is going to have 144 points this season - but even averaging a point per game for the rest of the season seems like a stretch for him.  Also note his 31.8 shooting percentage.  That's simply unrealistic.  That being said, Gus Katsaros went into far more detail about Krejci on Wednesday and that's definitely worth a read if you haven't already.

 

James Neal saw his five-game point streak come to an end on Wednesday.  Those are the only five contests he's registered a point in so far, but that still leaves him with six goals and nine points in nine contests this season.  He struggled mightily in his first campaign with Nashville in 2014-15, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him do better this time around.  I'm not looking for him to reach the 40-goal mark like he did in 2011-12, but he might flirt with 30 goals and 60 points.

 

As is always the case, there's been some surprising October slumps and there might be a temptation to dump or trade some otherwise great players in the spirit of cutting your losses.  That's not a universally bad idea, but in a lot of cases it's better to take October results with a grain of salt.  Jakub Voracek doesn't have a goal despite firing 34 shots on goal for example.  I don't seriously expect that to continue.

Ryan Dadoun
Ryan Dadoun is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.