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Five For Fantasizing: Ribeiro Rising

After a less than inspiring first week, the Coyotes' highly touted free agent signing springs to life and OEL continues to shine.

Christian Petersen

The third week of fantasy is reaching it's end, time to look at the Coyotes who had a successful go of it this segment.

1. Mike Ribeiro

Mike Ribeiro

#63 / Center / Phoenix Coyotes



Feb 10, 1980

2013 - Mike Ribeiro 7 1 3 4 -2 4 1 0 0 15

Currently on a four-game point streak, Ribeiro is starting to get comfortable with his surroundings in the desert.  While he's currently skating with Lauri Korpikoski and David Moss on his wings, he's still getting valuable time on the powerplay.  He got his first goal against Ottawa on Tuesday, a powerplay tally, and is making the passes that lead to goals.  Unfortunately, his current linemates aren't burying them.

As long as he's on the powerplay, he holds value, but his current even strength position isn't ideal.  Hopefully, he'll be put back on a line with either Vrbata or Boedker soon and see his numbers begin to rise even more.

2. Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Oliver Ekman-Larsson

#23 / Defenseman / Phoenix Coyotes



Jul 17, 1991

2013 - Oliver Ekman-Larsson 7 2 2 4 3 4 1 0 1 17

OEL just continues to be the unquestioned fantasy stud for this team.  He leads the Coyotes in ATOI with 23:54, he's the defensive leader in SOG with 17 (and tied for 3rd on the team) and he's tied for the team lead with 2 powerplay points and his +3 rating is second for defenseman behind only Zbynek Michalek's +4.

Currently still availiable in 9% of Yahoo leagues, Ekman-Larsson is currently the 5th most productive fantasy defensemen behind P.K. Subban, Matt Niskanen (I'm as shocked as you, but with Kris Letang injured someone had to get those defensive points), Erik Karlsson and Jason Garrison.  If the Coyotes can start playing a little more consistently in their own end, OEL should continue to be one of the top 10 defensemen all year long.

3. Martin Hanzal

Martin Hanzal

#11 / Center / Phoenix Coyotes



Feb 20, 1987

2013 - Martin Hanzal 7 1 5 6 -2 15 0 0 0 17

Hanzal is arguably playing the best hockey of his NHL career at this moment and it is showing in fantasy hockey as well.  He's tied for the team lead in points with 6, his 15 PIMs are second on the team (although he took some lazy minor penalties against Carolina, they didn't come back to hurt the Coyotes in that game) and he leads all Coyote forwards in ATOI with 19:39.  He also leads the forward crew in hits with 25 and is tied for the lead in blocked shots with 5, so if you're in a league that counts those stats, he's been even more valuable.

The surge in his play hasn't gone unnoticed in the fantasy hockey world.  He's the current coverboy of the ESPN Fantasy Hockey homepage, he's been added in 42 percent of ESPN leagues in the past 24 hours (still available in 50% of those leagues however) and in Yahoo leagues he's the 22nd most added player in the last week.

As long as he's healthy and playing on a line with Radim Vrbata, he'll continue to be a valuable fantasy commodity.  If he continues to improve his offensive zone game while playing his usual hard nosed defense, Hanzal could be the most productive Coyote fantasy forward for the season.  If you have a roster spot, he's worth the add.

4. Skating with the Pack: Add/Drop Advice

  • Derek Morris quietly leads all Coyote defenders in points with 5.  He's also the defensive leader in hits.  His ATOI is low, but that's because he's left two games this season early because of injury.  He's been getting time on the powerplay and has one powerplay assist so far.  He's missed time with injury, but is expected back in the lineup against the Ducks tonight.  Keep an eye on him and if you need defensive depth, he's worth a flyer.
  • If you're in a league that counts blocked shots and need help on your blueline, Zbynek Michalek is available in over 97% of leagues in both ESPN and Yahoo.  He is also second on the team in ATOI with 21:24, he leads the team with a +4 rating and is shooting the puck quite a bit at the moment, with 10 SOG.
  • The Rob Klinkhammer situation is wotrh keeping an eye on as well.  He's currently skating with Antoine Vermette and Shane Doan on the team's top line.  He has 3 goals in the last 2 games, and if he stays on that unit, could be a 30-40 point guy.  Don't pick him up right now, because the chances of him staying on that line aren't great, but he wasn't supposed to stay up with the team last season either.  Don't count out the Colonel.  Also, Vermette is currently available in over 90% of leagues.  He's got 5 points and is seeing time on the second powerplay unit.  If he's skating with Doan, he's an interesting option in deep leagues.
  • Keith Yandle and Mike Smith are still struggling so far on the year.  Yandle had a fantastic game against the Ottawa Senators but wasn't rewarded with any points.  But he was up in the play and making things happen.  It looked like the type of game that could lead to a breakout.

5. The Trail Ahead: The Next Week of Games

The Coyotes play the Ducks tonight in Anaheim and then the Detroit Red Wings visit Arena on Saturday.  The Ducks are currently sixth in the league in goals for and 9th in goals against, but their special teams have been awful, ranking dead last on the powerplay and 26th on the PK.  Meanwhile, after beating Detroit once already, the Coyotes hope to make it two for two with Jimmy Howard expected back in net after missing some games due to an injured hand.

  • On Tuesday, the Calgary Flames pay a visit to town as division rivals for the very first time.  Calgary ranks 8th in goals for and 25th in goals against.  They are young team that is playing an aggressive, forechecking style.  The Coyotes need to be prepared for their pressure and turn it back at them since Joey MacDonald and Karri Ramo can be beaten on the backend.
  • Thusday night, the Coyotes pay a visit to old friends when they meet the Los Angeles Kings.  Offensively, the Kings are struggling to start the season, ranking 25th in goals for.  But Jonathan Quick and Drew Doughty have them 13th in goals against.  These two teams flat out don't like each other and with this being the first matchup since the preseason controversy, expect fireworks at Staples center.  PIMs for everybody!
  • Finally, the Coyotes will meet the Edmonton Oilers for the first time next Saturday night.  The Oilers have a lot of offensive firepower and are ranked 14th in goals for.  The defense is another story though, as they are allowing a league worst 4.4 goals per game and Devan Dubnyk has been awful to start the season.  Trade rumors are flying around last season's number 1 overall pick Nail Yakupov and the Oilers could be staggering coming to the desert.

That's your week 3 fantasy report from Five for Howling.  Good luck and enjoy the games.