Welcome to the eighteenth 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. This is actually the last week where any team plays less than 2 games.
1 Game – Detroit, Minnesota, San Jose, Vancouver, Winnipeg
2 Games – Buffalo, Columbus, Dallas, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay
3 Games – Anaheim, Boston, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Toronto, Washington
4 Games – Arizona, Calgary, Edmonton, Florida, Nashville, New York Rangers
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. However, there are only 9 back-to-back sets for teams this week, this is less than the number of back-to-back sets last Saturday/Sunday. Plans accordingly.
Thursday/Friday: Arizona, Calgary
Saturday/Sunday: Buffalo, Columbus, Nashville, New York Rangers
Hot And Available (Tinder for Fantasy Hockey)
Jason Pominville (23% owned) 2G, 8A, +4, 2PPP, 15 SOG in last 7 games played
Pominville continues to be red hot but his ownership is still below 25%. Over his last 8 games played, he has failed to register a point only once. Keep riding Jason if you own the right winger and seriously consider picking him up if you’re in need of some help.
Brandon Dubinsky (29% owned) 3G, 5A, +7, 14 SOG in last 7 games played
Dubinsky is traditionally a good bet for overall category coverage. Although he has no penalty minutes during this stretch, his offensive production has been quite impressive. He’s among the hottest players in the league right now and he is capable of continuing the streak.
Richard Panik (22% owned) 4G, 3A, +4, 6PIMs, 2PPPs, 16 SOG in last 5 games played
Panik is on fire again with 7 points over his last 5 games played. He is also seeing powerplay time (on the top unit) which is a bit surprising but a great sign for offensive sustainability. He’s also on the first line alongside Toews which is a big boost. And with 3 shots on goal per game, Panik could continue to stretch this streak. Finally, duel-eligibility at LW and RW is a big help for fantasy roster flexibility.
Johnny Boychuk (45% owned) 5A, +6, 18 SOG, 12 BLKs in last 7 games played
Boychuk isn’t as hot as he was to begin last season (where he lead all defensemen in points for a few weeks) but nonetheless he’s putting together good numbers across several categories lately. He’s a dependable option on the blueline and could be a valuable add for those in need of some help.
Bo Horvat (20% owned) 3G, 4A, +4, 2PPPs, 13 SOG in last 7 games played
Horvat is back on this list again which shouldn’t be a huge surprise given he now has 40 points on the season, an impressive total for the young Canuck. Vancouver isn’t a playoff calibre team but Horvat is shaping up to be the team’s next franchise player (he has an even +/- rating on the year too). He has talent at both ends of the ice and deserves a much higher ownership rate, especially in deep leagues and keeper formats.
Christian Dvorak (3% owned) 5G, 2A, +5, 4PIMs, 1PPP, 11 SOG in last 7 games played
I’d be remiss if I did not mention the young Coyote, Dvorak. His production probably isn’t sustainable yet (~1.5 shots per game and just shy of 45% shooting percentage) but this goal scoring streak is notable, especially for category leagues or goal-emphasized scoring leagues. He has been playing about 16 minutes of ice-time per game which is a good sign. Keep an eye on Dvorak and consider picking him up short term if you are in a deep league and are in need of an extra scoring touch.
Alexander Edler (5% owned) 2G, 4A, -1, 6PIM, 2PPPs, 14 SOG, 13 BLKs in last 8 games played
Edler is far removed from his glory fantasy hockey days, but he still has potential as Vancouver’s number one powerplay defenseman. He also logs around 24 minutes of ice time per game which helps him provide some category coverage. I’ll note that one of his goals during this stretch was scored from center ice into an occupied net – bit of luck here.
Tanner Pearson (16% owned) 4G, 3A, +1, 1PPP, 16 SOG in last 5 games played
Pearson too is on this list again. He is on a nice streak right now while playing 17 minutes a night and generating more than 3 shots on goal on average too. He now has 19 goals on the year and 33 points and could continue a productive stretch through the week ahead. LA plays Colorado on Tuesday, a great opportunity for a spot start for this under-owned King.
Oscar Klefbom (34% owned) 2G, 2A, +6, 1PPP, 6 SOG, 6 BLKs in last 4 games played
Klefbom is looking great recently, really shaping up to be the defenseman that the Oilers need to be a contender. With no injuries to stall his progress this year, Klefbom is starting to generate more offense lately while maintaining defensive responsibility. He’s up to 24 points on the year and a +6 rating. Recently he has also seen more and more ice-time, reaching almost 27 minutes in the game against Carolina on Feb 3rd and 25:30 twice since then. There’s potential for even more production going forward, make your move now before it’s too late.
image source: alchetron.com