Welcome to the twentieth 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.
2 Games – Arizona, Calgary, Los Angeles
3 Games – Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Florida, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg
4 Games – Anaheim, Detroit, Minnesota, New York Rangers, Ottawa, San Jose, Washington
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.
Monday/Tuesday: New York Rangers
Thursday/Friday: Anaheim, Chicago, Minnesota
Friday/Saturday: Buffalo, Columbus, Florida, Pittsburgh, St. Louis
Saturday/Sunday: San Jose, Washington
Hot And Available (Tinder for Fantasy Hockey)
Radim Vrbata (28% owned) 4G, 4A, -1, 1PPP, 2GWGs, 18 SOGs over last 7 games
Vrbata remains on this list with a 6% increase in ownership over the last seven days. Much to the surprise of many, he remains in Arizona after the trade deadline and is an important piece of the Coyotes’ offense. His plus minus won’t be dependable but he continues to generate points and
Mikael Backlund (44% owned) 5G, 2A, +5, 1PPP, 1 GWG, 15SOG over last 7 games
Calgary only plays two games this week so you might not want to pick up Backlund yet if you badly need a win this week. However, if you’re preparing for the start of fantasy hockey playoffs for the following week, grab Backlund for his consistency and strong production that has been coming all season long. Backlund has 46 points on the year and is due for 50+ on the season, and maybe even 60 if he can generate a point-per game pace for the remaining 16 games.
Mathieu Perreault (13% owned) 2G, 6A, +4, 1PPP, 12 SOG over last 5 games
Perreault has been on a huge streak over the past two weeks. He’s playing with Scheifele and Laine which is a big boost to his fantasy value. He is also averaging over 17 minutes of ice-time during this five-game point streak. During the end of the season, it’s best to stick with players who are hot regardless of their previous performance – Perreault has only 28 points on the year.
Tanner Pearson (28% owned) 3G, 4A, +2, 1PPP, 20 SOG over last 8 games
Pearson and the Kings are slipping out of playoff contention, it will be a challenge for them to extend their season past 82 games. However, the team has historically been very strong in March and April year after year. Tying your fate to the Kings’ best scoring line (Carter, Toffoli and Pearson) could be your best decision this fantasy season. However, they only play two games next week (followed by 4, 3, 4).
TJ Brodie (30% owned) 2G, 3A, +5, 1PPP, 1GWG, 9 SOG, 9 BLKs over last 4 games
This might be Brodie’s first time on this list, but it’s definitely deserved. The Flames as a team are probably the hottest team over the last four weeks with a 12-2-1 record over their last 15 games, including their current 7 game winning streak. As the only defenseman on the number one powerplay unit, Brodie will continue to benefit from his team’s current dominance. Take note of the overall strong category coverage as well – we know Brodie has huge potential, he could easily finish the season with continued strong play (especially without Wideman as an anchor of a defense partner weighing him down).
Bo Horvat (21% owned) 2G, 3A, +2, 1PPP, 6 SOG, 6 BLKs over last 3 games
Horvat is definitely not new to this list – he now has 44 points on the year which includes several hot streaks. He has been playing around 20 minutes per game and is the centerpiece of the Canucks’ rebuild. Every keeper league should have Horvat owned. Otherwise, teams looking for a boost do not need to look any further.
Jaccob Slavin (4% owned) 4A, +4, 4PIMs, 1SHP, 7 SOG, 6 BLKs over last 4 games
Slavin is not known as an offensive contributor, therefore I’m noting this hot streak but strongly reminding any interested managers this. However, he now has 23 points on the season which is a respectable number. Also, Carolina has a busy schedule over the next few weeks and could therefore be enough to warrant a Slavin addition to your roster.
Mark Streit (24% owned) 1G, 2A, +3, 1PPP, 9 SOG, 5 BLKs over last 3 games
Streit’s value definitely increases as a Penguin compared to a Flyer. He is currently on the top powerplay unit with Schultz on the point which is another big boost. Keep an eye on this though, when Letang returns Streit will likely get less offensive opportunities.
Carolina – as previously noted, Carolina has a very busy schedule for the remainder of the season thanks in part to a postponed game in Detroit that was rescheduled. Including this week, Carolina’s weekly games played are 3, 5, 3, 5, 4 to end the season. If you have your fantasy hockey playoffs during one of these 5-game weeks, any Hurricane player can add significant value based on the number of games they play rather than the punch they can deliver per game played. Pickup candidates with ownership between 6% and 28% include Aho, Rask, Staal, Lindholm and Hanifin. Rask for example was ice cold for a streak of about 15 games but now has 5 points in his last 6 (and 37 on the year). If he can get hot again you’ll see a huge advantage with him in your lineup – I for one kept him through his cold spell just because of his playoff schedule and the strong potential he has shown earlier in the season.
Slow Schedule – Montreal only plays 3 games in each of the next four weeks.Otherwise, all teams play at least four games once during this stretch. For the week of March 27th to April 2nd, New Jersey and Winnipeg play only two games. Otherwise all teams play at least three games per week in the final four weeks of the season (teams playing only two games this week, the fifth last week of the season, were listed above).
image source: thehockeywriters.com