I love NLL weekends like the one coming up. There are five games on the docket, and no team plays more than once. Another highlight of this week is a game in Las Vegas. The commercial and financial success of that game this weekend will play a big factor in determining whether Las Vegas gets one of the next expansion franchises that the commissioner has planned. Getting Las Vegas more involved can only be a good thing for the game within the game: fantasy lacrosse.
Week 10 Fantasy Lacrosse Notes
For lacrosse fantasy team owners and advocates of the sport, we need to keep a keen eye on the Colorado-San Diego game for this reason. It is no secret that commissioner Nick Sakiewicz wants gambling to become an integral part of the NLL fan experience. As gambling starts to come to fruition, there will undoubtedly be an increase in the number of fantasy lacrosse options as well. With word from Paul Rabil that the PLL is looking to include a fantasy lacrosse option this season, it won’t be long before we here at Pro Lacrosse Talk aren’t the only fantasy lacrosse game in town — and this excites us.
While the dilemma of part-time players will undoubtedly create some growing pains, the prospect of gambling on a lacrosse game and playing a mainstream version of fantasy lacrosse is enticing. Gambling and fantasy sports will not only allow fans to more actively participate in the sport, they will also increase viewership, revenue and ultimately interest in the NLL and sport of lacrosse as a whole.
Start ‘em and Sit ‘em
Everybody knows to start Lyle Thompson or Mark Matthews, but what is harder to map out is who to pair with them, or when to sit those tier one studs, to win the ultimate bragging rights between you and your buddies throughout the week. This section is dedicated to finding those players who can take you from good to great each week, and who to sit each week as well.
Fantasy Lacrosse Stats – 6.35 Fantasy PPG:
Although Hellyer is not a player that I am going to start this weekend, he would be if I had to select a fourth forward. This weekend I will be riding with Lyle Thompson, Dhane Smith and Callum Crawford. However, I don’t need to highlight their stats — they speak for themselves. Instead, if you do not like one of these options or one ends up on the injury report this weekend, your next option should be Hellyer.
Sitting at a very respectable per game average this season, and playing a Friday night home game this week, expect him to have a big showing. In the midst of his best season since 2016 and surrounded by a supporting cast that is playing very unselfishly, he should continue to lead his team in fantasy production this week.
Fantasy Lacrosse Stats – 4.54 Fantasy PPG
With another great start to the season out in Vancouver, Beers is a solid fantasy option each week. Playing against a team in New England last week that had 26 turnovers, Beers should have plenty of chances to create turnovers, gather loose balls and excel in transition. He will also be coming into the game well rested, having not played a game in two weeks, which for a guy who plays as hard and clocks as many minutes as Beers, that rest will be a big factor in this weekend’s game.
Fantasy Lacrosse Stats – 7.96 Fantasy PPG
This is without a doubt, the hardest position to predict each week. I have failed many times trying to find the right magic in net this year. But, simply put, in this game you have the worst faceoff team in Georgia, playing on the road against the top faceoff team in Philadelphia. The Poulin Wall should see a lot of rubber this weekend and most likely lead the league in saves, as his opponents should have plenty of shots on goal. The question will be, can he hold them to 12 goals or less. I am betting that he will be able to do just that.
Stud to Avoid
Fantasy Lacrosse Stats – 5.25 Fantasy PPG
What a story Jamieson has been this season. He is playing lacrosse at a very high level and has been the emotional leader for Halifax this season. However, as good as he has been, he still sits in 32nd place in fantasy lacrosse production. He is a name that should always jump off the page for any casual lacrosse fan and when you are watching Halifax this weekend, keep your eyes peeled for him. As well as he has been playing though, from a fantasy perspective, there are much better options this weekend when it comes to trying to secure a top five finish in a week.
Rookie to Watch
Fantasy Lacrosse Stats – 3.69 Fantasy PPG
After holding his own at the draw against Trevor Baptiste, and then dominating last weekend against the Swarm, Nardella is slowly making a name for himself. He is not a true rookie to pro lacrosse, although he is playing his first season of box. He is not a bad play this weekend as the long trip from out West generally hurts faceoff men and goalies the most. Definitely don’t sleep on Nardella as an option, especially as he gets more and more comfortable on the floor as opposed to a field.
Week 9 In Review
Fantasy Lacrosse Stats – 5.25 Fantasy Points in Week 9
Although I did not lead you astray last week with my defensive choices, I did steer you away from Hossack who continued his rock solid fantasy start to this season. If you avoided him based on my recommendation, I am forever sorry. He is as close to a must-play defensive option as you will find in our game, and I won’t doubt him again.
For more Fantasy Lacrosse coverage, be sure to listen to the Pro Lacrosse Talk podcast every week.
Forwards – Callum Crawford (NEB), Lyle Thompson (GEO) and Dhane Smtih (BUF)
Defense/Transition – Graeme Hossack (HFX), Jordan MacIntosh (GEO) and Kiel Matisz (PHI)
Goalie – Mike Poulin (GEO)