Welcome to the fourth edition of Weekly Dekes, your go-to location for information on the week ahead which includes team scheduling, injuries, hot streaks, and more. Take this information provided to make some roster moves, whether it’s a permanent replacement or a temporary rotisserie of your final roster spot. It’s kind of like economics. Draft day is macroeconomics where you look at the big picture and long term trends. Microeconomics is the day-to-day, focusing on back-to-back games, hot and cold streaks, short term injuries, and maximizing the number of fantasy games played for your roster.
With most fantasy leagues allowing 3 or 5 player adds each week, the last position on your roster can be changed multiple times during the week, allowing you to increase games played for your fantasy team while taking advantage of short term opportunities. This could be the difference in a tight match up between a win and a loss.
Daylight Savings has given me an extra hour on Sunday to provide that much more NHL fantasy hockey analysis and advice for the week ahead. Updates will be made following Sunday’s games:
2 Games – Calgary
3 Games – Anaheim, Arizona, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islander and Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Jose, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Washington
4 Games – Buffalo, Dallas, Los Angeles, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg
5 Games – Boston
Link to Excel doc containing scheduling information for the full season: https://4fandfurther.com/2016/09/15/nhl-fantasy-hockey-2016-2017-team-schedules-by-week-night-of-the-week-and-fantasy-playoffs
Monday/Tuesday: Boston, Vancouver
Wednesday/Thursday: Anaheim, Columbus, St. Louis
Thursday/Friday: Dallas, Los Angeles, Winnipeg
Friday/Saturday: Buffalo, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Toronto, Washington
Saturday/Sunday: Boston, Minnesota, Montreal, New York Rangers
With two back-to-back sets and 5 total games for Boston this coming week it is the perfect time to take a shot at some of the slow starting talent where ownership is still available across many leagues. Chara (66% owned) and Backes (62% owned) can cover a wide range of categories for you while Krejci (58% owned) and Spooner (9% owned) carry high offensive upside. You could even throw up a Hail Mary and grab the entire Bruins’ second line in Backes, Krejci, and Spooner and live or die by their success in 5 games this week. I won’t advise you to drop your usual starters for this, but if you have run into some injury troubles, might as well give this a shot and really increase your total man games played in the week ahead. At the very least this will make for entertaining Bruins games.
Updates on Slow Starting Buy-Low Candidates
Last week I mentioned some slow starting players who I believe have more in the tank and are therefore potential buy-low candidates. Let’s see how they did this past week:
Patrice Bergeron – C – BOS (pre-season rank #35)
3GP; 1 goal and 2 assists, +/- 0, no PPPs, 13 shots on goal -> The Bruins went 1/11 this week on the powerplay, not enough to crack the PPP goose egg for Bergergon but Krejci and Krug both drew assists on Spooner’s PPG against Tampa on Thursday.
John Carlson – D – WSH (pre-season rank #56)
3GP: 4 assists, +2, 1PPP, 9 shots on goal -> Washington won all three of their games this week and Carlson moved his season point total from 1 to 5 in those matches. However, he has yet to score a goal this season.
Andrew Ladd – LW – NYI (pre-season rank #79)
3GP: no points, -2, 4 shots on goal -> The Islanders lost all three games and have now lost 5 of their last 6. Ladd still only has one point this season and has been a HUGE disappoint so far. He’s now 68% owned meaning there’s a big chunk of leagues out there where you don’t even need to buy him to give it a test, you can take the risk for free. I know it’s just one more week, but I’m getting less bullish after every Isles game… especially when Ladd can only must up 4 shots in 3 games played.
Tyler Johnson – C – TB (pre-season rank #114)
3GP: 2 goals, +1, 1PPP, 2PIM, 5 shots on goal and 2 blocked shots -> Looks decent right? Well.. Tampa did score 13 goals this week, I would hope for more production from Johnson given his team’s offensively successful performance.
Take Notice, Now
-I have written about Severson a few times now, starting when his ownership was <5%. After another strong week (3GP: 1 goal, 2 assists, +1, 1 PPP, 2PIM, 3 shots on goal, 3 blocked shots) his ownership is now 20%. I am still surprised by this low number given he has secured the top blueline spot on New Jersey’s first powerplay unit and has concurrently produced solid results. He likely won’t be what Ghostisbehere was last year (and he doesn’t have category coverage like Burns and Giordano for example), but he looks to be a dependable source of points – especially powerplay points where he is tied for 3rd among NHL defensemen.
Rangers Offense On Fire
I mentioned J.T. Miller’s low-ish ownership last week (at 31%) which has now significantly increased to 57%. Kevin Hayes is another young talent on the Rangers that has gone relatively unnoticed (24% owned) thus far despite very solid production (6G, 6A, +13) in 13 games this season. His shooting percentage will drop (only 20 SOG this season) but he’s worth riding while this hot streak lasts. Overall the New York Rangers have scored 55 goals already this year (4.23/game) which leads the NHL. Derek Stepan (37% owned) deserves greater attention too (1G, 9A, +3, 4PPP, 1SHP, 24 SOG), especially given the fact that he has registered more than 50 points in all but two NHL seasons (his rookie year 45 points in 82GP and the lockout shortened season 44 points in 48GP). Stepan is a very dependable player for any roster out there.
When are you picking up Wennberg?
Sorry for the cheesy title, but the question is valid. The 22-year old first round draft pick in 2013 (14th overall) is having a great start to the year on a Blue Jackets team that is trending upwards. In case you hadn’t taken a deeper dive into the details of Columbus’s 10-0 drubbing of the Canadiens on Friday night, Wennberg tallied 4 assists to bring his season totals to 1G, 11A, +3, 8PPP (tied for NHL lead), and 14 SOG in just 10 games played. This kid is good and he runs a pretty potent powerplay in Columbus alongside another youngster in rookie Zach Werenski. Although the pool of talent is deeper at the C position, Wennberg’s 16% ownership is a head scratching figure. I reiterate, he is tied for the NHL lead in powerplay points.
David Backes returned to action on Saturday night after missing 5 games due to injury.
Jason Spezza, Patrick Sharpe, Cody Eakin, Jiri Hudler and Ales Hemsky are all on the sidelines in Dallas. It’s a good time to start goalies against the Stars when you are in search of a win.
Alexander Edler missed Saturday night’s game against Toronto and is considered day-to-day. There has been no good news in the fantasy hockey world out of Vancouver so far this season, they have scored only 19 goals in 12 games – worst in the NHL at 1.58 goals/game. With Edler aging, who will be the next #1 offensive and powerplay defenseman for the Canucks? Could it be Philip Larsen who shares the team lead of 2 PPPs? It’s too early to tell and the sample size is too small, but if Vancouver can turn things around offensively, there could be some value somewhere.
Getzlaf missed two games due to injury but was back in Anaheim’s lineup on Sunday night. The Ducks are a different team without him and correspondingly the value of Perry, Fowler, Vatanen and Gibson will be higher with their captain back.
Nicklas Kronwall played in his first game of the season on Friday night. After missing 10 games due to injury, Kronwall is back playing on the first powerplay alongside Mike Green. He is only 26% owned.
Remember to tune in every week to receive injury updates, schedule analysis, and more. What else would you like to see broken down every week? Leave a comment below.
image source: zimbio.com