Weekly Dekes: Fantasy Hockey Jan 23-Feb 5

Welcome to the fifteenth 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 matchup between a win and a loss.

Scheduling: The next two weeks are split in half by a 4-day hiatus over the All-Star Weekend break. Thus, Yahoo has combined the next two calendar weeks into “Week 15” which runs from January 23rd until February 5th. Teams play a maximum of 3 games in the first segment of the week (ends Thursday) and a minimum of 2 games. From next Tuesday until the 5th of February, teams play at most 4 games, and at least 2 again. Therefore, the matchup totals range from 4 games to 7 games as expanded upon in the next section.

It’s worth noting that most players that are currently injured will most likely be given the next few games off so that their rest and recovery includes the All-Star break. Likewise, look for many players to potentially return to their lineups following the return to action on Tuesday January 31st.

4 Games – Florida, Vancouver

5 Games – Anaheim, Arizona, Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders/Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay

6 Games – Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, San Jose, Toronto, Winnipeg

7 Games – Washington, Los Angeles

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

Back-to-Backs: this is where backup goalies could potentially be good spot starts, pay attention to who is scheduled to play in the crease. Take advantage of the scheduling to maximize your available player adds:

Pre-All-Star Break

Monday/Tuesday: Calgary, Los Angeles, San Jose, Washington, Winnipeg

Tuesday/Wednesday: Detroit

Wednesday/Thursday: Edmonton, Philadelphia, Toronto, Vancouver

Post-All-Star Break

Tuesday/Wednesday:  Boston, Colorado, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Washington

Wednesday/Thursday:  None

Thursday/Friday: Edmonton

Friday/Saturday: Anaheim, Carolina, Columbus, Detroit, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh

Saturday/Sunday: Los Angeles, Montreal, Washington

Extra Scheduling Notes: Washington, one of only two teams to play 7 games, has 3 sets of back-to-back games during this matchup. Consider grabbing Grubauer who is 9-1-2 this season with two shutouts, he should at least play twice during this stretch but will most likely play 3 times, once in each back-to-back set.

Who’s Hot (and available): In keeping with the weekly theme, here are some hot players who are under 50% owned.

Nino Niederreiter (43% owned) – In his last 7 games, the Minnesota winger has 5 goals, 3 assists, 4 PPPs, a +3 rating, and 20 shots on goal. He’s only averaging around 15 minutes of ice-time per game but he has been making the most of it lately. His season totals are impressive too at 14 goals, 18 assists and a +18 rating with 90 shots on goal.

Conor Sheary (42% owned) – Sheary’s ownership is rocketing upwards (+16% between Saturday and Sunday and surely set to increase more after his strong performance on Sunday vs. Boston) and it deserves nothing less. In the past 11 games, Sheary has 9 goals and 6 assists, a +8 rating and 29 shots on goal. He has been averaging around 16 minutes of ice-time per game but doesn’t see too much powerplay time (only 2 PPPs on the year) and therefore does most of his damage at even strength while playing alongside Crosby and fellow youngster Rust. Grab him now.

Bryan Rust (4% owned) – Although less of a young star than Sheary, Rust’s play of late deserves consideration for higher ownership, at least in the short term, as well. He has 2 goals and 5 assists over the past 4 games and a +5 rating.

Radim Vrbata (9% owned) – Arizona received a big night from Vrbata on Saturday as he scored 1 goal and added 3 assists (1 PPP) while registering a +3 rating and 5 shots on goal. In fact, in his last six games, Vrbata has 2 goals, 7 assists, 3 PPPs, and 21 shots on goal with a mediocre -1 rating. He is one of the best players on a rebuilding Coyotes organization and deserves to be owned due to his strong production rate (33 points on the year) as long as you can handle the -15 rating alongside his defensively weak team.

Anders Lee (16% owned) – Lee is waking up again and on another streak. In his last 6 games he has 3 goals, 3 assists, an impressive 28 shots on goal, 2 powerplay points and a +2 rating. He has been playing alongside Tavares and Bailey and finding chemistry – owners in deep fantasy leagues should take advantage of his scoring streaks before he goes quiet again.

Andre Burakovsky (20% owned) – The Washington youngster is often overshadowed by Kuznetsov but is still a very talented young player on the Capitals’ squad. He has four goals and three assists over the past 6 games and a +6 rating. However, with only around 11 minutes of action per game, his production tends to be unsustainable, even if his line generates scoring chances. His four goals in the last four goals have been scored on only 6 shots on goal – the 20% ownership is a little high, even despite the strong streak he is on. I’d personally pass on Burakovsky in favour of some of the others on this list who are more likely to see sustainable fantasy production.

Kyle Turris (40% owned) – It is a surprise to see Ottawa’s first line center at an ownership rate below 50%. He generally plays around 19 minutes each game and has a spot on the team’s first powerplay unit. Over the last 7 games, Turris has registered 4 goals and 4 assists on 19 shots. He is a minus 3 during this stretch but also has 3 powerplay points. A bit of peripheral helps comes in with 9 blocks as well. Overall, on the season, Turris has 32 points and 88 shots on goal which is quite respectable, and a neutral plus-minus rating. Give a go if you’re looking for a reliable center man.

Ryan Ellis (26% owned) – Ellis now has 8 goals and 12 assists on the year after producing 3 goals and 2 assists over the last three games. He also has a +8 rating on the year but only 65 shots on goal. As a team, the Predators are hot right now and have moved into 3rd in the Central division with a record of 7-3 over the past ten games. Give the Pred’s defender a go if you need help on the blueline, he has been averaging over 26 minutes of time on ice and has even registered 5 powerplay points this year too.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (21% owned) – It has taken awhile this season for RNH to heat up, but he has tallied 5 points in his last 5 games and is now up to 25 points on the season. He has also sent 136 shots on goal this year which is a very strong clip-rate. His 7.4% current shooting percentage could easily trend upwards. There is a wealth of dependable options at center across the NHL, but if you’re high on Edmonton and believe that RNH can return to his potential, give #93 a go.

Patrick Eaves (19% owned) – Eaves had a huge hotstreak earlier this season and is looking to set up another one. He has 2 goals and 3 assists during Dallas’ last 3 games with a +2 rating, 2 PPPs, 6 shots on goal and 2 blocked shots. Pick him up while the Stars are scoring.



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