Fantasy Focus: The Rest of the Habs
Fantasy Focus: The Rest of the Habs(2012-09-11 21:29 posted by B. La Rose)

Although it's looking more and more like there will be a lockout in the coming days, our fantasy series continues on.  Rather than doing profiles for the remainder of the players whose fantasy impacts are at best limited, let's examine the rest of the Habs' roster and look at the situations where these players could become legitimate options for your pool teams.

F Colby Armstrong: Among the players who will be discussed here, he is one of the few with sleeper upside.  Surely he can't struggle as much as he did last year, he should easily surpass last seasons' point total of 3.  I think he legitimately could find himself on the third line at times while seeing some time on the penalty kill as well.  Add that with his hitting abilities and he could be a useful back-of-the-roster option in deep leagues, especially those with hits as a scoring category.

D Francis Bouillon: Bouillon was added to improve the bottom level depth on the blueline and log some decent 5-on-5 minutes.  Although that should make him useful to Michel Therrien, that will also make him pretty much useless in fantasy leagues.  Despite his small size, he does play a physical game, which could make him a fringe option in head-to-head leagues with deep rosters and hitting as a category but even then you're likely better off looking elsewhere.

G Peter Budaj: It goes without saying that if Carey Price goes down, he is worth picking up immediately as he would become the default starter.  It would seem logical to believe that he should see a few more starts than he did last year in the hopes of keeping Price fresher but even with that, he still is likely to see below average backup minutes.  In a deep league, he is worth selecting as a 'handcuff' to Price but beyond that you're best suited to let him sit on the waiver wire and try and grab him when he gets a start here and there.

F Scott Gomez: For the sake of this discussion, let's assume he is on the opening night roster.  Gomez could play in a few different roles, one of which could be as a winger alongside Tomas Plekanec in the spot left open temporarily by the injury to Rene Bourque.  He could also see himself on the fourth line which would hinder any sort of potential upside he might have or even in the press box.  If he makes the team, Gomez is a low risk, medium reward type player who could give you decent value in the late rounds if he rebounds to even the 30-40 point plateau, a total he should still be capable of.  Or, if he finds himself in fourth line purgatory, he will be completely useless in any fantasy format.

F Petteri Nokelainen: I watch him on the ice and wonder to myself how he was ever considered a first round talent.  Even though he received a one-way contract I don't think he has a firm grip on a roster spot yet even if one is his to lose.  At best he is the fourth line centre who is mediocre at best across the board.  Look elsewhere come draft day, there will be better options out there.

D Yannick Weber: What he can bring to the table (a booming shot and flexibility to play defence or the wing) always makes him worth considering.  The fact that he sees significant powerplay time when he plays only adds to that.  However, with a deeper and healthier defence corps, his opportunity for playing time has never been slimmer as he sits eighth on the current depth chart.  Like Nokelainen, I'm not convinced his spot on the roster is guaranteed but injuries/trades could change things.  If he's still in Montreal at the beginning of the year he likely isn't worth drafting but if injuries arise or he gets dealt, keep an eye on him.

F Ryan White: I think I speak for all fans when I say here's hoping he's not in a top six role as he frequently found himself in last season.  He is likely to be primarily a fourth liner who sees sparing minutes on the penalty kill.  His willingness to drop the gloves and hit frequently is where his niche fantasy value will be.  I'd stay away from drafting him now but he is worth considering as a free agent/waiver pickup in spot situations as the year progresses.

Players who are potential call-up options (such as Louis Leblanc, Brendan Gallagher, and Blake Geoffrion) will be covered in the final article of this series later this week.





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