Dobber Hockey’s Ian Gooding discusses fantasy hockey players who are “on the bubble” for keeper leagues this upcoming season, and Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi is on his list:
Tyler Bertuzzi: Bertuzzi might have been on the verge of a breakout last season with five goals and seven points in his first nine games. Yet we’ll never know if that would have happened, as a back injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. His point production has gradually increased over the past three seasons, from 0.50 PTS/GP in 2017-18 to 0.64 PTS/GP to 0.68 PTS/GP to 0.78 PTS/GP in his injury-shortened 2020-21 season.
One reason that I like Bertuzzi is that he should remain a fixture on the top line with Dylan Larkin. Not just because Larkin helps him, but also the other way around. Larkin had seven points in the nine games that Bertuzzi was in the lineup, but he struggled to just 16 points in 35 games afterward. Bertuzzi has been a regular Larkin linemate for three seasons, so don’t expect that to change.
On average, Bertuzzi has been drafted at around pick 150 in Yahoo leagues. However, I feel strongly that he should be drafted in more than 10 percent of leagues. Don’t let the fact that he plays for Detroit deter you from drafting him. I realize he’s also a player that has been covered by other writers, but I have him here because he’s also a bubble keeper that I personally like to the point where I’ve kept him on my roster.
Continued; I call Bertuzzi “the straw that stirs the drink” for the Red Wings’ forwards for good reason. He’s perhaps the best forechecking forward that the Red Wings have had in a long time; his competitive level of play yields winning puck battles in one-on-one and out-manned situations, and we all know that he goes to the front of the net and stays there when the Wings have possession of the puck.
All of those attributes add up to a player who may not necessarily drive puck possession, but someone who still makes those around him better.