Fantasy Hockey Faceoff: Mid-season MVP & LVP | Hockey | CBC Sports

NHLFantasy Hockey Faceoff: Mid-season MVP & LVP

Posted: Thursday, January 12, 2012 | 10:28 AM

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Undrafted in nine out of 10 leagues, Toronto forward Joffrey Lupul has emerged as an unlikely fantasy star. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Undrafted in nine out of 10 leagues, Toronto forward Joffrey Lupul has emerged as an unlikely fantasy star. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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With NHL teams either at or near the 41-game mark, we figured it was time to hand out the Fantasy Hockey Faceoff mid-season awards - to wit, our MVP (Most Valuable Player) and LVP (Least Valuable Player).
By Jesse Campigotto & Jordan Shifman, CBC Sports

With NHL teams either at or near the 41-game mark, we figured it was time to hand out the Fantasy Hockey Faceoff mid-season awards - to wit, our MVP (Most Valuable Player) and LVP (Least Valuable Player).

MVP doesn't necessarily mean the guys who've racked up the most fantasy points. Rather, it's the players who've outperformed their draft position and/or pre-season ratings by the widest margin. LVP, then, is the exact opposite.

As usual, our final section this week offers advice on roster moves to make this week in your league.

Looking for a league to join? Get in on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada Fantasy Pool. It's free to play and the top prize is a brand-new KIA Optima Hybrid.

Like what you're reading? Follow the Fantasy Hockey Faceoff guys, Jesse and Jordan, on Twitter, plus the CBC Sports fantasy hockey account.

Mid-season MVP

Jesse: Joffrey Lupul is one of the great waiver-wire pickups in recent memory. Undrafted in 89 per cent of leagues, the Leafs forward has 19 goals, 28 assists, and a plus-8 rating in 42 games. Not bad for a guy ranked No. 241 overall in Yahoo!'s pre-season player ratings.

Jordan: Halfway through the season, I would give the nod to former Leafs winger Kris Versteeg. Heading into his first season in the Sunshine State, many managers didn't see Versteeg excelling with the Panthers. He was drafted on average 166th overall, but finds himself tied for 18th in goals (17) and in 21st in points (39) in the NHL. He's also a plus-11 with four game winners. Aside from Milan Michalek and his 22 goals, honourable mention goes to Devils rookie Adam Henrique, who wasn't even listed in Yahoo!'s top 185 players but has impressed with 13 goals and 34 points in 40 games.

Mid-season LVP

Jordan:
If we're skipping the injury-riddled high draft picks (like Crosby, Pronger and Green), then I'm looking at a pair of blue-liners.

Lubomir Visnovsky was a fantasy hockey stud last season with 18 goals and 68 points, including 31 power-play points. As a result, he was drafted high this year - in the fifth round at 51st overall on average in Yahoo! drafts, which made him the sixth highest defenceman selected. Though he did miss 13 games earlier this year, Visnovsky has just four goals and 12 points. Unlike the Ducks, the Stars haven't been struggling, but Alex Goligoski has. Last year, he tallied 46 points between the Pens and Stars and was subsequently drafted in Yahoo! leagues on average 97th overall. Goligoski has scored one goal per month so far this year and has just 11 points total.

Jesse: I see two obvious candidates among the goalie ranks. Ryan Miller, rated the No. 19 overall player in the pre-season by Yahoo!, has an ugly 10-12-2/3.01/.902 line for disappointing Buffalo, while Jonas Hiller (No. 42 in the pre-rankings) is 10-17-6/3.14/.898 for even-more-disappointing Anaheim. Meanwhile, the top netminder in most leagues is unheralded Jimmy Howard, who's 24-10-1/2.05/.924 for Detroit. The lesson, as always - don't reach for a goalie early in your draft.

Jordan: I disagree with that last statement. Some goalies, like Henrik Lundqvist, are worth it. Don't blame "the king" for your Sabres bias!

Jesse: Speaking of "my" Sabres, don't pin Buffalo's struggles totally on Miller. The team ranks 23rd in the league in goals per game, down from ninth last year.

Add/play this guy!

Jesse: One of the hottest goalies in the league is available in three quarters of Yahoo! leagues. I'm talking about Jonas Gustavsson, who's enjoying a great start to the new year. The Monster has started all four of Toronto's 2012 games and won them all, including a pair of shutouts. With James Reimer having a so-so season (7-4-4/3.01/.900), coach Ron Wilson seems likely to ride the hot hand of Gustavsson (13-7-0/2.91/.908). The Leafs also face a favourable upcoming schedule that won't require them to get on a plane until after their Jan. 23 game. Following a drive down the Queen E this Friday to visit Buffalo (which they smothered 2-0 at home on Tuesday), the Leafs play five straight home games. And when they finally do hit the road, it's against the Islanders.

Jordan: Well, we've certainly pointed out some of Anaheim's pitfalls so far this season, so how about one bright spot? Veteran centre Saku Koivu has been one of the few players meeting or exceeding expectations for the Ducks. After a slow October, Koivu has picked up his pace, scoring 18 of his 24 points since mid-November. Just eight per cent owned in Yahoo! leagues, he has seven points in his last three games.

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