Feb 1, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) prepares to face Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (not pictured) in the overtime shootout at the American Airlines Center. Benn goes on to score and the Stars defeat the Coyotes in the overtime shootout 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Hockey Challenge Picks-NHL Week 4

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford  joins my fantasy hockey team and should stay locked in as my goalie for the foreseeable future as long as he and the ‘Hawks keep rolling. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time to start getting your roster set for another week of fantasy hockey action in Hockey Challenge or whatever fantasy NHL game you choose to play. It’s a solid week coming up with almost all the teams with three games on the schedule. The exceptions are notable–the Edmonton Oilers only play twice while the Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, and St. Louis Blues all play four games. Try to get four-gamers on your team but as prices rise make sure the players you really want you get locked in at low prices since reclaiming them may be tricky as their price climbs.

Last week our FantasyCPR group was led by ebo8 who took week two honors with 42 points and sits atop our group right now. If you’d like to join us, click here for instructions on joining our free group.

My entry slipped a bit with Jaroslav Halak ending up in the IR (although he may return this weekend) and a lack of production from my Lightning pickups. I’ve still got a bunch of games coming up, though, so I can still end the week strong. Here’s how I’m setting up things for next week’s schedule.

February 7, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) during the playing of the national anthem before playing the Washington Capitals during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Goalies

Corey Crawford-Chicago Blackhawks: Crawford and the Blackhawks are among the best teams in the league. Since the values of goalies are starting to climb, it’s time to lock in the goalies you want to have long-term and I think the ‘Hawks will be amont the league’s best and get me plenty of win points. Crawford has a solid 1.82 GAA and has an impressive 6-0-2 record.

Marc-Andre Fleury-Pittsburgh Penguins: Fleury and the Pens are starting to get on a roll although he hasn’t had a shutout. Fleury is another netminder I plan on holding for a while. Barring injury or loss of playing time, Crawford and Fleury will be my goslies for the coming weeks.

Defensemen

Zdeno Chara-Boston Bruins: Chara has been held without a point in his last four games but continues to anchor a strong Bruins defense and is involved in the power play for Boston as well. Unfortunately, the B’s power play has been power-less as of late and Chara hasn’t been able to capitalize on his large amount of ice time. I expect that to chance soon and I have him way under his price so I’ll hold him for his three games this week-at home against the Rangers and then at Buffalo and Winnipeg.

Keith Yandle-Phoenix Coyotes: Yandle had a shutout against Dallas and an assist against Minnesota before being shutout in challenge against the Blackhawks. This week he’s at Colorado and Nashville before finishing the week at home against Columbus

Jan 27, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov (79) gives away pucks as he is named first star of the game against New Jersey Devils at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Andrei Markov-Montreal Canadiens: Markov has assists in his last two games against Boston and Buffalo and continues to see major ice-time for the Habs. This week the Canadiens fly south to Florida to take on the Lightning and the Panthers before returning home to end the week against the Flyers.

Kevin Shattenkirk-St. Louis Blues: My only change on the defensive line is to pick up Shattenkirk who ranks fourth among defensemen averaging 1.2 points per game. His value is sure to increase and he’s a popular option since he has four games this week. The Blues start at home against LA before hitting the road to take on the Red Wings, Flames, and Canucks.

Forwards

Steven Stamkos-Tampa Bay Lightning: Stamkos has slowed a bit after a red-hot start with just a point in his last two games. Don’t worry, he’ll be back to pouring in points this weekend and the coming week so don’t drop the Lightning’s goal-scorer unless you plan on over-paying for him later. This week Tampa plays at home against the Canadiens and the Caps while traveling to Florida to finish the week.

Evgeni Malkin-Pittsburgh Penguins: Malkin is averaging 1.4 points per game and ranks sixth overall among forward. Malkin bounced back from being shutout by the Isles to put three points on the board last night against Washington so look for another solid week as he and the Pens face Ottawa at home and travel to Winnipeg and Buffalo.

Zach Parise-Minnesota Wild: Parise started on fire but has been held to just one point in his last five games. He’ll try to get things going again this week as the Wild play four taking on the Flames and Canucks on the road and then the Avalanche and Red Wings at home. He’s still averaging a point a game, but if he doesn’t up his production it may be time to move on from him next week.

Jamie Benn-Dallas Stars: Benn is a steal at his current salary and will be skyrocketing up the board if he keeps up his recent play. In the last two games, he’s scored five points in his last two games and is back up to a point-per-game average after sitting out the start of the season due to his contract situation. The Stars play four games this week starting with three on the road at Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver before finishing at home against Calgary for the second time of the week.

Martin St. Louis-Tampa Bay Lightning: St. Louis had two assists against the Devils giving him 13 on the season along with three goals. He’s a top-5 forward so far this season and is averaging 1.6 points per game so far. The Lightning have a decent schedule this week and St. Louis’ value should continue to climb so he’s worth holding on to.

Clade Giroux-Philadelphia Flyers: Giroux and the Flyers play four games this week all on the road against the Maple Leafs, Jets, Devils, and Canadiens. Giroux didn’t start out lighting things up as the Flyers offense was stagnant out of the gate but has three points in his last three games and is the captain and leader of the Philadelphia offense. I think he’ll have a solid week this week and the extra game only increases his ownability.

Tags: Fantasy Hockey Hockey Challenge NHL Schedule NHL Week 4

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