As with every year, there are players who underachieve, regardless of sport or season. It may be caused by an undisclosed injury, contract negotiations or home life, but for the fantasy world, a bounce-back season is ever important. Predicting these comebacks are even more important to winning our leagues (and maybe looking like a resident genius). So, let's look at a few players who may come at a discount due to last year’s sad seasons.
Boone Jenner (C/LW, Columbus Blue Jackets): After potting 30 goals the season prior, I was expecting Boone to make the next jump in his young career as a 40-goal man. It did not happen. In fact, after a 30-goal, 49-point season, Jenner dropped 15 points as the Blue Jackets made the rest of the league take notice of the power brewing in central Ohio. I’m fully expecting Jenner to regain that scoring touch next season, as he started to heat up again in the second half. Jenner is also a Restricted Free Agent at season's end, and a stellar performance this year will result in a nice raise for the former Oshawa General.
Alex Galchenyuk (C/LW/RW, Montreal Canadiens): This regression was caused by games missed, as Alex would have probably surpassed the totals from the prior season had he played a full complement of games. Just 23 when the season began, Galchenyuk will break the 60-point plateau this year as the Habs make a push for a Stanley Cup. Montreal has made the right off-season moves to ensure a deep playoff run, and Galchenyuk will be in the center of it all, literally. Is a return to 30 goals possible for Alex? Yes, but we drafters would rather see another 82-game season first.
Corey Perry (RW, Anaheim Ducks): In a very un-Corey Perry season last year, this sniper failed to reach the 20-goal mark. He will have plenty of slack to pick up this season with Ryan Kesler on the shelf for months after his hip surgery. Perry is in an excellent lineup, and will find the net again. He took an identical 215 shots as the year before, but his shooting percentage dropped from 15.8% to 8.8% last season. With a career shooting percentage of 13.2%, you can bet on Perry getting closer to 30 goals this season once again.
Zack Parise (LW, Minnesota Wild): When the Wild signed Parise and Ryan Suter on the same day, to the same whooping contracts, little did they know only one of them would be exceeding his deal and playing like a Norris Trophy candidate. Parise has been on a statistical downward trajectory since landing in the Twin Cities, never scoring more than 62 points over his five seasons in Minnesota, after 94 and 82-point seasons before he left New Jersey. Dropping 62, 53, and 42-point seasons consecutively, the Wild need Parise to start playing comensurate with his pay. I know a discount on Zack can be had on draft day, and I’m projecting a return to the mid 60-point range with another 30-goal campaign, so do not miss out on the sporadic one.
We can always talk hockey @PolkaPat and be sure to read more of my thoughts at Fighting Chance Fantasy Sports.