Welcome to the sixteenth 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: More teams are getting their bye-week at this stage of the season, and therefore we have a handful of teams who have very low activity for the week ahead. Unfortunately this could severely damage your chances of winning of you have a core group of players only playing once or twice this week and are facing an opponent with three or four games on average per player (or 5 games for Buffalo). Good thing NHL fantasy hockey playoffs have a much more even schedule. Here’s the breakdown:
1 Game – Calgary, Edmonton
2 Games – Arizona, Carolina, Florida, Los Angeles, New Jersey
3 Games – Anaheim, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington, Winnipeg
4 Games – Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New York Islanders, San Jose, St. Louis, Toronto, Vancouver
5 Games – Buffalo
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:
Monday/Tuesday: Buffalo, St. Louis, Toronto
Friday/Saturday: Chicago, Tampa Bay, Winnipeg
Saturday/Sunday: Boston, Buffalo, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Montreal, Nashville, New York Islanders, San Jose, Vancouver
Injuries: The Panthers’ young stars, Huberdeau and Barkov, are both back in action. After some speculation that both could miss the remainder of the season (that rumour was waaaay wrong), this is a very welcome news item for Florida fans and fantasy owners who have continued to patiently wait, especially in Huberdeau’s case where he played his first game of the year on Friday night (and scored a goal and registered 6 shots).
Max Domi has been back in action for two games now with the Coyotes after missing about 7 weeks of action. He has only logged 13 minutes of ice time in each of those two contests and failed to register any points, shots, penalty minutes, or block shots. Give him time to adjust, his 50% ownership is surprising given the top-100 pre-season ranking and his good start to the year prior to the December 8th injury.
Conor Sheary had been one of the hottest players in the league. His great chemistry with Crosby is unfortunately on a hiatus due to a four-six week timeline on an injury. He should remain valuable when he returns, therefore stash him on the IR or scoop him up if an impatient manager has dropped him.
Varlamov is out for the season with an injury that requires surgical repair. If you are extremely desperate for goalie starts, grab Pickard who will be the number one for the remainder of the year. However, the Avalanche barely ever win a game and Pickard’s 3.05 GAA and 90.3% save percentage are not reliable figures.
Robby Fabbri will miss the rest of the year with an ACL injury. Tough luck for an exciting young player and a hard blow for a struggling Blues team.
Day-to-day: Vatanen and Palat each missed their most recent game and news on their status is still undetermined. Keep an eye out for updates.
Who’s Hot (and available): In keeping with the weekly theme, here are some hot players who are under 60% owned (yes I moved it from under 50% this week).
Patrick Marleau – 7G, 3A, +6, 2PPPs, and 26 SOG over the last 6 games (55% owned)
The grizzled veteran is absolutely on fire over the past two weeks. Even excluding his 4 goal game against Colorado on January 23rd, Marleau still has registered at least a point in every game since. His 4.33 shots on goal per game during this stretch is way above career averages but is a good sign nonetheless. Ride him while he’s hot, but don’t hang on too long if he gets cold. Marleau is aging and can’t keep up this pace for too long.
Jacob Trouba – 1G, 3A, +3, 17 PIMs, 21 SOG, and 14 BLKs over the last 6 games (44% owned)
The young Jets defenseman is covering all categories lately with more than 3 shots and 2 blocks per game. The 17 PIMs all came at once and don’t occur frequently (2 other PIMs in last 10 games played), so don’t rely on that one to continue. Otherwise, Winnipeg is seeing solid production from Trouba – a great sign after the new contract ($6MM for two years) was inked in November. Trouba is up to 21 points on the season on 40 games played, a decent >0.50 point per game pace.
Sebastian Aho – 4 goals, 2 assists, +1, 4PPPs, and 12 SOG over the last 5 games (31% owned)
While Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner, arguably Carolina’s top forwards, are on cold streaks, Aho is having himself a nice little stretch. The powerplay production is exceptional during this time and could be sustainable if he continues to see those minutes on ice with the extra man. Aho has a strong future and definitely deserves to be owned in keeper leagues.
Evander Kane – 2G, 3A, 14 PIMs, and 25 SOG over the last 5 games (41% owned)
Leagues across Yahoo Fantasy Hockey should be picking up Kane this week. Buffalo’s 5 games for this matchup could be a key advantage as discussed earlier. Additionally, Kane is producing consistent numbers across multiple categories lately. He also has 10 points, 30 penalty minutes, and 57 shots on goal in his last 13 games. We all know his potential, and with around 19 minutes of ice-time per game, he’ll surely tally some numbers with almost 100 minutes of ice-time this week for your fantasy squad.
Adam Henrique – 3G, 3A, +1, 3PPPs, 10 SOG, and 5 BLKs over the last 5 games (39% owned)
Henrique is a top contributor on a modest (that’s being generous) Devils offense. New Jersey plays only 2 games this week but they are both at home. Consider at least grabbing him for a spot start on either Monday or Sunday night.
Ryan Spooner – 1G, 4A, +1, 4PPPs, and 15 SOG over the last 5 games (8% owned)
Spooner emerged big time last season with 49 points in 80 games but has been much quieter in 2016-17 with only 27 points in 54 games (still not too shabby however). Although he’s only seeing around 13 minutes of ice-time per game, he has a spot on the top powerplay unit and is therefore getting a fair shot at offensive production every night. Boston does not play on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, but the Bruins finish the week with 3 games in 4 nights – this is a good time to add Spooner to see what he can do for your lineup.
Josh Bailey – 4G, 1A, +2, 2PPPs, and 17 SOG over the last 5 games (13% owned)
I have mentioned Bailey before and I continue to be surprised by his low ownership figures. He has 11 points in the past 13 games with a +3 rating, 39 shots on goal and 10 blocked shots. Playing on a line with Tavares should always yield positive results, why haven’t more people caught on yet? He has 35 points on the year too!
Anders Lee – 1G, 4A, 3PPPs, and 15 SOG over the last 4 games (21% owned)
Another Islander contributing positively to the team to fill Ladd’s void (he’s healthy but just isn’t any good anymore) is Anders Lee. Normally a goal scorer, Lee has registered 7 assists over his last 12 games and now has 29 points on the year. The kids are looking okay – and as a team the Islanders are seeing more success too under interim head coach Doug Weight.
image source: thehockeywriters.com