Mid-Week Deke: Feb 9

Welcome to the fourth addition of Mid-Week Deke! Weekly Dekes serves a great purpose at the onset of a match up – but in the world of fantasy hockey, things can change quickly. The Mid-Week Deke will provide a short update on recent developments – continue to use the Weekly Dekes as your weekly scheduling guide.

Potential Playoff Moves

Elias Lindholm – Has anyone noticed that Lindholm has 1 goal and 11 assists over his last 12 games. He is averaging over 18 minutes of ice-time per game, including powerplay mileage. I reiterate that Carolina plays 5 games in weeks 21 and 23, two playoff weeks for many leagues out there. He is 5% owned and truly deserves more than that given his recent performance and his fantasy playoff schedule. Be proactive and grab him now.

Vasilevskiy – For those in a secure playoff spot who can afford to take a bit of a gamble with one of their roster spots (especially those who could use more goalie depth), consider adding Vasilevskiy while he is available in 59% of leagues. If Bishop gets dealt before the deadline, you’ll have scooped up another starting goaltender before anyone else could beat you to it. If Tampa Bay gets hot at the end of the season and makes a push into a playoff spot, Vasilevskiy will be a huge fantasy asset. He has proven his worth at times, and the Lightning were Eastern Conference finalists in each of the last two playoffs – the potential is high. Worst case scenario you drop Vasilevskiy and pick someone else up (or get a healthy player back from the IR).

Islanders Finding Momentum – The team is waking up under Dough Weight and could continue to push for the playoffs in a very tight Eastern conference race where no one is out of it yet. They are 7-1-2 in their last ten games and have a few players who have really stepped in up lately:

Josh Bailey – I am going to keep promoting Bailey until his ownership reaches at least 40%. He’s sitting at 23% right now despite having 38 points on the season which includes 5 goals and 3 assists over the last 7 games. Playing alongside Tavares is at least a reason to boost short-term ownership, but it’s a combination that seems to be working and should therefore last. Smarten up, grab some Bailey!

Ryan Strome – Remember when Strome tallied 50 points in 81 games played in the 2014 season? And then only managed 28 points in 71 games the following year? And then got off to a slow start in 2016 with the occasional healthy scratch to boot? Perhaps things are turning around and the talented young forward could be playing up to potential. He has points in 5 straight games (2 goals and 5 assists) while averaging between 15 to 16 minutes of ice-time a night. His ownership is a very insignificant 3% and is therefore available almost everywhere.

Anders Lee – Another Islander, Lee has points in 4 straight games (2 goals and 5 assists) which includes 3 PPPs. He too is finding success on a line with Tavares. He’s only 25% owned.

Other Streaking Players Under the Radar

Paul Stastny – Unfortunately Stastny is day-to-day with an injury following Thursday’s game (where he only registered 8 minutes of ice time). However, he was putting together a nice streak beforehand with 3 goals and 3 assists in his previous 4 games. Keep an eye on his injury status and consider picking him up if you are in the 65% of leagues where he remains available.

Jason Pominville – 6 points in the last 3 games and 14 points in the last 10 games – Pominville is hot and finding chemistry alongside Coyle and Niederreiter but is only 13% owned. Minnesota is one of the best teams in the league and you can generally rely on positive +/- ratings from any player on the squad. In fact, four of the top 5 in plus-minus are Minnesota players, although Pominville has a much more modest +2 rating.

Brandon Dubinsky – Dubinsky has had a surprisingly mediocre season despite his team’s success. Nonetheless, his 17:30 of ice-time per game is starting to produce more. He has 2 goals and 3 assists over the past 4 games with 10 PIMs and a +4 rating too.

Ryan Hartman – 12 goals on the fourth line in Chicago? Averaging 4 shots per game over the last week despite the ~12 minutes of ice-time? Hartman is a good spot start option, he has goals in three straight games and is only 5% owned (also has duel LW/RW eligibility).

Fantasy Hockey Playoff Push: We are getting into the final weeks of the season where fantasy hockey managers may be looking to finish strong in order to make the playoffs if they are on the bubble. It could be worth the risk to drop formerly reliable roster players in order to get a few more man-games. A few points here and a few points there could be the difference between a win and a loss, the difference between a birth in the playoffs versus a seat on the sidelines.

Scheduling: Need an extra boost at the end of the week because McDavid or Gaudreau have sat on your bench 6 out of 7 days this week? Take a shot at spot starting players on the following teams to get 2 games in over 3 days: Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New York Islanders, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Winnipeg.

Side Notes

Thornton scored his first non-empty net goal of the season! The playmaker now has 4 total.

Domi registered his first goal and assists since returning from injury. He has been back in action for three games now but this was the first time that he recorded regular minutes at 18:42. Surprisingly, despite the pre-season ranking of 90 he is only 49% owned. Keep an eye out, if he is back to his regular self he’ll be a huge potential addition in half of Yahoo leagues.

Washington continues to hammer teams on home ice, winning 11 straight now and scoring piles of goals the whole way. Guys like Connelly have had consistent fantasy production lately but I wouldn’t jump to add the 3rd and 4th liners who only see about 10 minutes of ice-time per game. Additionally, the Capitals have one game left before their 6-day bye-week… no point sitting on idle players over that stretch.

image source: alchetron.com

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