It’s time to bring fantasy sports back to Quinnipiac, winter style. After receiving such a positive response following the top ten fantasy athletes in the fall, I thought Joe Pelletier was going to step down and make me editor in chief of the Chronicle. Instead, he just told me to rank the top 10 winter fantasy athletes. It was tough to choose between players that have been awarded NEC Player of the Year, ECAC Goalie of the Year, and Rookie of the Year, but I am an expert.
I’m sure many people will ask why? Well, like Kramer from Seinfeld… I do nothing, mooch food of the neighbors, fall ass-backwards into money, and hook up without dating. My whole life is a fantasy.Justin Rutty will be the fantasy player to watch this year, but sophomore goaltender Victoria Vigilanti is a close second. Freshman Kelly Babstock has opened the women’s hockey season on an absolute tear. She could shake up the fantasy standings.
15.3 PPG, 10.9 RPG, .09 APG
Rutty may not have registered the most fantasy points in 2009, but that doesn’t keep him from being the most sought-out fantasy player. The most renowned athlete at Quinnipiac University, Rutty is poised to dominate the NEC conference like Shaq used to dominate the NBA finals. A few weeks ago, Rutty destroyed a basketball hoop with a dunk. I guess I’m afraid he’ll destroy me if I don’t put him at number one.
2. Victoria Vigilanti, women’s hockey: 42 points in 2009
18 wins, 24.4 saves per game
Following a strong freshman campaign, Vigilanti is picking up where she left off with five wins, and 24 saves per game in 2010. As the safest pick in the draft, some might draft her at number one. Experts have compared her to Julie “The Cat” Gaffney from the Mighty Ducks. Those might be large shoes to fill, but there’s no doubt Vigilanti can make the same type of glove-side saves when shooters get fancy.
3. Kelly Babstock, women’s hockey: 0 points in 2009
The freshman is exploding this year for the Bobcats. She already has 20 fantasy points in 2010 (5G, 13A, 2GWG). Babstock may be ranked number three right now, but there is a good chance that when it’s all said and done, she will total the most fantasy points. Not drafting Babstock with the third pick would be like passing up Sahara pizza after a night in New Haven…do the right thing.
4. Scott Zurevinski, men’s hockey: 31 points in 2009
16 Goals, 14 Assists, 1 Game winning goal
Zurevinski is a bit of a risk at the four spot. Many fantasy owners believe he will dramatically improve his game after a huge year in 2009, but he hasn‘t contributed many fantasy points yet this year. His 21 shots in 2010 lead the team, and although only one of those shots has found the back of the net, Zurevinski can carry a team once he gets on a hot streak. It’s a little risky. If you are the type of person that believes you never leave Vegas on a heater, then you would be wise not to leave Scott on the board like most conservative people will.
5. Courtney Kaminski, women’s basketball: 25 points in 2009
15.5 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.2 APG
Kaminski may be the only women’s basketball player in the top 10 this year for fantasy, but you better believe she is worth the high pick. Heading into her senior year, Kaminski will improve her totals from 2009 and be a double-double machine for the Bobcats.
6. James Johnson, men’s basketball: 17 points in 2009
12.1 PPG, 3 RPG, 4 APG
Johnson is the sleeper of the draft. We saw how good our basketball team was last year, so just imagine how much better we will be when Johnson is dropping 40-plus a game. Thank God I have the sixth pick this year, because I’m taking Johnson, and we are going all the way.
7. Erica Uden Johansson, women’s hockey: 0 points in 2009
As a freshman, Uden Johansson may be unknown to most fantasy owners. So far in 2010, she is proving to be worthy of a top 10 spot with six goals, including a game-winner, as well as five assists. I can see many fantasy owners that don’t do pre-draft research to luck out with this draft choice; similar to how most fantasy football owners are now reaping the benefits of being forced into drafting running back Arian Foster of the Houston Texans.
8. Kate Wheeler, women’s hockey: 15 points in 2009
4 Goals, 10 Assists, 1 Game-winning goal
Wheeler finished fourth in total points for the Bobcats last season, and is on pace to register 33 fantasy points in 2010 (.9 fantasy points per game). If Wheeler keeps up her strong play, she will be the steal of the draft.
9. Kellen Jones, men’s hockey: 0 points in 2009
Jones was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the seventh round this past year, so you know he’s good. Expect big things out of Jones this year; he already has three goals (one game-winner), and three assists. If you’re looking to get the most value out of the ninth pick, it would be smart to draft-trade Jones, possibly getting two players, and cash considerations in return. The Chronicle’s own Kelley Davies would have to be the foundation of the trade though.
10. Connor Jones, men’s hockey: 0 points in 2009
The twin brother of Kellen, Connor might be the most motivated fantasy player in the draft. Every draft board has his brother higher on the list, and nobody wants to be second-best. Jones has scored once this year to go with his 4 assists, and seems to be one of those guys who may not put up the most points in the league, but will be extremely consistent for your team.