Greetings, and welcome to the first advice column for the Hockey Night in Canada Fantasy Pool presented by Kia. Each week I'll attempt to provide you with guidance and inside information as you pick your lineup, with a focus on finding you "sleeper" picks to help fill out your roster when your cap space is low.
In this pool, a week runs from Saturday through Friday, so this week's advice will focus on getting you ready for Week 3, which begins this Saturday, Oct. 15.
Here are my sleeper picks for Week 3:
I like James Reimer this week. The Leafs have home games on Saturday (vs. Calgary), Monday (Colorado), and Wednesday (Winnipeg), with only one away game Thursday against the Bruins.
With back-to-back games mid-week, it's likely Jonas Gustavsson will see action Thursday in Boston. That leaves Reimer as a solid play with three home games against non-playoff teams from 2010. More importantly, at a player value cost of three salary-cap points in this pool, you save the cap space to spend on a top forward.
With a total cap space of 30 I like to spend no more than six on my four blue-liners. For Week 3, one of my splurges is Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Kris Letang. He's the quarterback on the power play, and he’s coming off a career year where he played in all 82 games and notched eight goals and 42 assists.
In Week 3 the Penguins play a league-high four games (vs. BUF, @WPG, @MIN, vs. MTL). Pittsburgh is off to a great start and Letang is a big part of that with five points in his first three games. At cap cost of two, he's a solid play as a No. 2 defenceman on your team.
For this spot it’s all about points accumulated and games played. When you get down to choosing a fifth and sixth forward, why not consider Pittsburgh forward Jordan Staal? With Sidney Crosby still on the shelf, Staal is leading this team and showing up on the scoresheet. Last season Staal missed 40 games with injuries but still managed to notch 30 points. This year he's healthy and has three pts in four games.
At a cap cost of only two, he's a must-start for a Penguins team playing four games in Week 3 (vs. BUF, @WPG, @MIN, vs. MTL).