Weekly Dekes: Fantasy Hockey Mar 20 – 26

Welcome to the twenty-second 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:

3 Games –  Anaheim, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Florida, Los Angeles, Montreal, Nashville, New York Islanders, Ottawa, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Washington

4 Games – Arizona, Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg

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. A big example this week is Aaron Dell who should get two starts given San Jose plays two back-to-back sets (the Rangers also play two back-to-back sets). More on that later:

Monday/Tuesday: Arizona, Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, San Jose

Tuesday/Wednesday: New York Rangers

Wednesday/Thursday: Columbus, Edmonton, Toronto

Thursday/Friday: Dallas, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Winnipeg

Friday/Saturday: New York Islanders, San Jose

Saturday/Sunday: Minnesota, New Jersey, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Vancouver

 

Home Heavy Schedules – typically favorable compared to playing on the road

-Anaheim, Florida, Montreal, Nashville and Washington play all three games at home

-Detroit, Minnesota, New Jersey play three of four games at home

 

Road Warriors – typically brings a harder schedule

-Arizona, Philadelphia, San Jose and Vancouver plays all four games on the road

-Calgary, Carolina play all three games on the road

-New York Rangers play three of four games on the road

“Easy” Opponents

  • Chicago plays Vancouver, Dallas and Florida this week, three times outside of the playoff picture as of today. The Blackhawks also play the first two games on home ice. Reminder however that their games are on peak nights (Tues/Thurs/Sat)
  • Edmonton plays LA on Monday, Anaheim on Wednesday, and then Colorado on Thursday and Saturday. Make sure your Oilers are in your lineups for the two games against the Avalanche where point production can spike
  • St. Louis has one of the easier schedules for the remainder of the season. This week they play two easier matchups against Colorado and Vancouver before finishing the week against the red hot Flames on Saturday
  • Tampa Bay is fighting for their playoff lives but might have a good week to catch up to the Maple Leafs in the standings. They face Arizona, Boston and Detroit this week.

“Tough” Opponents

  • Calgary faces three tough opponents on the road: Washington, St. Louis and Nashville. The Flames are the hottest team in the league right now but this week will be a good test for the streaking team
  • The New York Islanders do not have an easy schedule this week, their playoff hopes could fade if they cannot generate points against the Rangers, Penguins and Bruins.
  • Ottawa has a similar schedule as the Islanders; they face Boston, Pittsburgh and Montreal
  • Philadelphia has four road games this week against mostly tough opponents in Winnipeg, Minnesota, Columbus and Pittsburgh
  • Vancouver is also on the road all week against Chicago, St. Louis, Minnesota, and Winnipeg

 

Day of the Week Concentration – games by day of week; look for teams to play games on off-nights so that your roster isn’t full of players all playing on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

  • Monday – 5 games
  • Tuesday – 11 games
  • Wednesday – 3 games
  • Thursday – 12 games
  • Friday – 4 games
  • Saturday – 12 games
  • Sunday – 5 games

 

Peak Night Teams

  • Arizona, Boston, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Montreal, New Jersey, Ottawa, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Vancouver and Washington plays on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights

Offnight Teams

  • Edmonton and Toronto play on Monday and Wednesday (and Thursday, Saturday)
  • New York Islanders play on Wednesday and Friday
  • Anaheim plays Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, three offnights where rosters might otherwise be empty
  • Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Winnipeg play on Friday and Sunday

Hot And Available (Tinder for Fantasy Hockey)

Tomas Tatar (24% owned) 5G, 4A, +1, 2PPPs, 2GWGs, 20 SOG over last 7 games

There aren’t many players hotter than Tatar over the last two weeks, and he is still 76% available across fantasy hockey leagues. Get a good head start to the week with Detroit’s Monday/Tuesday back-to-back set by adding Tatar to your roster. Note that it is worth checking your lineup on Tuesday to see if you have room for him at LW/RW, otherwise he might just get the spot start on a slow Monday.

Elias Lindholm (13% owned) 3G, 5A, +4, 4PIMs, 2PPPs, 1SHP, 18 SOG over last 7 games

Lindholm is on a seven game point streak, quite impressive for the young Hurricane. Props to fantasy owners who picked him up for 5 games last week where he registered 6 points. He also now has 39 points on the year despite a 6.8% shooting percentage. Despite how good he’s been lately, Carolina plays on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights, the peak activity days where your lineup might already be full. Plan carefully – but if there’s an open spot, look no further than Lindholm.

Sean Couturier (4% owned) 1G, 7A, +8, 1 GWG, 17 SOG over last 7 games

Although there’s no powerplay prodcution here, Couturier has 3 multi-point games over this last stretch of two weeks and seven games played. Normally his offense isn’t in the spotlight (he now has 26 points this season) but he is capable of going on little scoring streaks. Similar caution for Couturier as Lindholm, Philly plays on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Jake Guentzel (24% owned) 3G, 6A, +4, 20 SOG over last 7 games

I’ve pushed Sheary hard on this weekly article for awhile now, and his ownership is now around 60%. Guentzel has now been playing with Crosby and Sheary and the trio has magical chemistry. Guentzel picked up 3 primary assists on Crosby’s three hattrick goals on Sunday. I wouldn’t attribute Guentzel and Sheary’s success solely due to Crosby either… both youngsters are quick and talented and can generate their own scoring chances too. Pittsburgh plays Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday this week. If Guentzel is still available late week, consider picking him up for Friday and Sunday where activity is quieter around the league so that you can get a step up on your opponent in the closing days of the matchup.

Rickard Rakell (45% owned) 4G, 2A, +2, 1PPP, 1GWG, 18 SOG over last 5 games

Rakell is on a five-game scoring streak and now has 31  goals this season in 61 games played. This is a very impressive rate of goals per game played – he’s a main offensive fixture on a very strong Anaheim team. Add him to your roster to generate a little more firepower. Anaheim plays on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday this week.

To be continued

 

image source: hockeysfuture.com

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