It's the best time of year!
As Fantasy Week comes to a conclusion, we take a look at five players with warning signs that you may want steer clear of in your drafts.
1. Marian Hossa
I would take Hossa on my team any day… but not my fantasy team. There are two issues with him here. One, he’s injury-prone. In his two years with the Blackhawks, Hossa has missed 42 games with various injuries. In the process he has been passed up by Patrick Sharp when it comes to go-to producers. Finally, there’s no doubt Hossa puts up numbers when in the lineup. However, he is streaky. In the first seven games last season, he had 11 points; in the next 14 games, he had one goal and seven points. Then from Jan. 12 through Feb. 20, Hossa had seven points in 13 games. That stretch was followed by an eight-game point streak. He’s like a Katy Perry song (Hot N Cold).
2. Brent Burns
When Burns is healthy, he is great to own in fantasy, as proven last season and in 2007-08. Between 2008-09 and 2009-10, though, Burns missed 58 games for Minnesota. Now in San Jose with a new five-year contract, the 2011 All-Star blue-liner is expected to be the missing piece for that defense corps. He might be just that. But you can do better than Burns in fantasy. He’s not the Sharks’ power play quarterback and, as stated, has an injury history.
3. Sergei Gonchar
Speaking of a defenseman who has had a career filled with injuries – scratch Gonchar off your fantasy cheat sheet. The Russian had a horrible first impression in Ottawa, tallying 27 points in 67 games. To make matters worse, Erik Karlsson and David Rundblad are the future of the Sens’ blue-line, especially offensively, which means Gonchar isn’t really the go-to D-man for power play points. To pour more fuel on the fire, Gonchar has missed 92 games in the last three years. Don’t draft him expecting to get the same numbers he produced in Pittsburgh.
4. Sergei Kostitsyn
Kostitsyn had a breakout season in his first season with the Predators. In fact, he led the team in goals (23) and co-led in points (50). Going into training camp, he’ll likely have a spot on the top line. So why is he on this list? Look at his shooting percentage. Kostitsyn miraculously scored 23 goals on 93 shots last year and led the NHL with a whopping .247 shooting percentage. Next on that list was Sidney Crosby at .199. If the Belarusian shoots just as often, he may not score 15 goals. Not to mention, he was incredibly streaky last year. Go a different route at left wing in your fantasy drafts.
5. Simon Gagne
On the surface, the signing of Gagne looks great for the Kings. And he may be just what they need – a clutch goal-scorer in big games. Gagne isn’t someone you can rely on in fantasy, though. He has posted back-to-back 40-point seasons, numbers that are well below what he used to put up in his prime. Like others on this list, he has a history of injuries. The 11-year veteran has never played a full 82-game schedule and has reached the 70-game mark just three times in the last six years.
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