Frozen Fantasy: Take a Risk

Frozen Fantasy: Take a Risk

This article is part of our Frozen Fantasy series.

Are you too comfortable with your fantasy teams? Fear is real, but it makes it way too easy to find excuses and avoid action. And that can lead to failure.

We've all been there at one point. I know I have. But success lies on the other side of that fear.

Action is tough. Like making a big trade and worrying that the player you moved will be better once you've moved him. Or holding onto someone too long because he's supposed to be successful. But action is the only way to move through that fear. 

It's uncomfortable. I get it. But inaction is the easy way out. And how is it comfortable? 

Focus on what you want. Want to win? Or do you simply hope to do it? Sure, this feels a bit like a TED Talk. I'm no motivational speaker. I simply know I can hold myself back because of perception instead of seeing the potential right in front of my eyes. And I know I'm not alone. 

So I took my own advice a couple weeks ago. I took on another league. I know one person in it, and it's a group of people who've mostly been together for 25 years. It's the great unknown and a huge responsibility. My team was managed by a long-time participant who recently passed away. I feel compelled to honor his legacy while learning a new format. And still succeed. 

I could have easily said no. I already manage or co-manage

Are you too comfortable with your fantasy teams? Fear is real, but it makes it way too easy to find excuses and avoid action. And that can lead to failure.

We've all been there at one point. I know I have. But success lies on the other side of that fear.

Action is tough. Like making a big trade and worrying that the player you moved will be better once you've moved him. Or holding onto someone too long because he's supposed to be successful. But action is the only way to move through that fear. 

It's uncomfortable. I get it. But inaction is the easy way out. And how is it comfortable? 

Focus on what you want. Want to win? Or do you simply hope to do it? Sure, this feels a bit like a TED Talk. I'm no motivational speaker. I simply know I can hold myself back because of perception instead of seeing the potential right in front of my eyes. And I know I'm not alone. 

So I took my own advice a couple weeks ago. I took on another league. I know one person in it, and it's a group of people who've mostly been together for 25 years. It's the great unknown and a huge responsibility. My team was managed by a long-time participant who recently passed away. I feel compelled to honor his legacy while learning a new format. And still succeed. 

I could have easily said no. I already manage or co-manage a lot of teams. A lot. But that's simply an excuse. Fear of failure almost robbed me of a great experience. 

There's no such thing as failure. You either win or you learn. And then you move forward. So take the risk. Seek out trades instead of playing defense with offers. Play the wire. Take on a team midseason. Risk. And learn. 

Now, let's take a look at who caught my eye this week. 

Goalie Opportunities

Eric Comrie and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, G, Buffalo (4 and 16 percent Yahoo!, respectively) Tage Thompson (99 percent Yahoo!) is out after he took a puck to the hand. The Sabres say it isn't all that bad, but seriously – what do you use to grip your stick? So even if he returns quickly, he'll likely be slow to kick back up to his elite form. The Sabres are scuffling. So is Devon Levi (65 percent Yahoo!), who really should be simmering his development in the AHL. Keep an eye on Comrie and Luukkonen, who would see more starts if Levi heads to the minors. My cash would go to UPL, though he could also use some seasoning. This isn't a right now stash per se, but more a keep a finger over the trigger move. 

Charlie Lindgren, G, Washington (23 percent Yahoo!) – Go get him. Seriously. Sure the clock will strike midnight and the glass slipper will break. But he's on a four-game winning streak with only six goals allowed. And there's a shutout of the Golden Knights in that mix. The Caps are hot, and Lindgren deserves the confidence right now. The journeyman is riding a .940 save percentage. Get that on your roster.

Pyotr Kochetkov and Antti Raanta, G, Carolina (36 and 52 percent Yahoo!, respectively) – Godspeed to Frederik Andersen (75 percent Yahoo!), who is dealing with a blood clotting issue. This could be a long-term absence. Raanta and Kochetkov will vie for starts in front of one of the best bluelines in the NHL. Neither has proven himself in a full-time role. But both will benefit from the strength of the team in front of them. Get one or both if you can. 

The Rest…

Jordan Eberle, RW, Seattle (29 percent Yahoo!) – Eberle led the Kraken to a win over the Orcas on Saturday with a three-point effort. And that stretched his streak to four games and six points, including five assists. It was interrupted by a three-game injury absence, but he's still on a roll. Eberle hasn't had much puck luck this season with only two goals. But that 6.1 shooting percentage should level up to his career mark, which is more than double the current mark. He's also delivered at least 20 goals in seven of his 10 seasons. 

Torey Krug, D, St. Louis (32 percent Yahoo!) – Krug had a four-game, six-point streak snapped Thursday night, but it has given me hope. Well, it had to give me something positive because Krug hung a 0-for-10 game slump on one of my fantasy squads prior to that little run. It's the least he could do. Krug and Justin Faulk (79 percent Yahoo!) are the Blues' best defenders, and the former offers the ability to be a 50-point D-man if he can stay healthy. He's worth a chance – there were only 20 defenders - Faulk included - to reach 50 last season. 

Valeri Nichushkin, LW/RW, Colorado (59 percent Yahoo!) – Nichushkin is criminally underrepresented in a lot of fantasy leagues. Take out a four-game scoring slump in the middle of his games, and he's posted 13 points from 12 contests. Nichushkin has missed time in each of the last two seasons. But when he's been on the ice, he's delivered at a 70-point pace. Nichushkin fires pucks and levels about a hit a game. He's the kind of player who needs to be rostered in almost all leagues and formats, so scroll through your wire just in case. 

Martin Pospisil, C, Calgary (2 percent Yahoo!) – Pospisil's goal Saturday was pure skill – he roared down the right wing, forced his way across the crease and outwaited the great Ilya Sorokin (99 percent Yahoo!) and roofed it. That took onions. Pospisil has five points, including three goals, along with 21 shots and 22 hits, in his first seven outings. And coach Ryan Huska has recently rewarded him with time alongside Nazem Kadri (46 percent Yahoo!). The two have clicked. Fingers crossed Pospisil's wing eligibility arrives soon. The Flames are giving the kids more ice time, so he might be a sneaky skill-plus-sandpaper contributor. 

Tyler Seguin, RW/C, Dallas (26 percent Yahoo!) – Old men can score. Eight of Seguin's 12 points have come in his last five games. OK, so he's not that old. But the former star turns 32 in 2024, and the shine dropped off his game prior to this decade. Seguin is playing behind Jason Robertson (99 percent Yahoo!) and Roope Hintz (96 percent Yahoo!), and that means he's avoiding the opponent's top defenders. Seguin is a stealth stash – his pedigree coupled with good health makes him an ideal player to raise the floor on your forward corps. And for very little cost. 

Owen Tippett, RW, Philadelphia (48 percent Yahoo!) – Tippett is a classic late bloomer, at least by today's prospect standards. The winger will be 25 come February, and last year was his first big step forward. Tippett continues to show second-line finishing skill and is on a four-game, five-goal streak (six points) heading into Sunday. He potted 27 goals last season and is on pace for 30. That would have put Tippett on the cusp of the top-50 goal producers in 2022-23. He also fires a lot of pucks and throws his body around. There's multi-cat value in his repertoire. Fantasy managers are picking up on Tippett as he went from 34 to 49 percent rostered between Friday night and Sunday morning.

Connor Zary, C, Calgary (3 percent Yahoo!) – Zary has brought some exciting flames to a team burdened by little more than embers. He recorded two assists Saturday with eight points in eight games since being called up Nov. 1. Since then, Zary has put up the same number of points as the other flashy rookie named Connor Bedard (97 percent Yahoo!). Sure, Mr. Bedard has done it in fewer games, but the Connors are the best rookies so far this month. 

Back to risk.

There's risk in everything. I'm not talking about trading Tage Thompson here. But maybe I am. 

Wouldn't a blockbuster be fun? Long-time readers will remember my massive in-season dynasty deal for Sidney Crosby (100 percent Yahoo!), Brad Marchand (99 percent Yahoo!), Gabriel Landeskog (8 percent Yahoo!) and Ryan Ellis (0 percent Yahoo!) a couple seasons ago. 

Did it work out? It'd be easy for me to say no. Ellis got hurt immediately and Landy a little while after that. And I missed the playoffs. 

But the players I moved are still simmering. And last season, I used Crosby and Marchand to acquire an injured Charlie McAvoy (99 percent Yahoo!) and a seriously underperforming Thatcher Demko (97 percent Yahoo!).

Yep, there was risk. And it initially looked like failure. "Looked" is the key word. I learned I could redefine both failure and success. Without blowing smoke to frame things better for me. 

Demko and McAvoy are stars for me this year. That isn't blowing smoke. 

Go for it. Take a risk. We're all privileged enough to play this game, so it's not about "losing" your entry fee. You can't learn or grow without taking action. And action really does breed success. 

Until next week.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janet Eagleson
Janet Eagleson is a eight-time Finalist and four-time winner of the Hockey Writer of the Year award from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. She is a lifelong Toronto Maple Leafs fan, loved the OHL London Knights when they were bad and cheers loudly for the Blackhawks, too. But her top passion? The World Junior Hockey Championships each and every year.
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