Week 8 NHL Fantasy Preview

Thanks for tuning in for another week of NHL Previews. If your joining us for the first time this week, welcome! Our Fantasy Marksmen team has been working all season long to bring you content aimed at improving your results in season long leagues. With a little luck we’ll have YOU “Sniping the Competition”.

To recap from week 7 our team was coaching you towards keeping active and looking for some trades to benefit your squad. We hope that you took our advice and took a step forward in your league as a result. As always we have some players to recommend to you, some busy teams, lopsided matchups and even a few tips that could re-enforce things that a smart Fantasy Manager like yourself already knows! Without saying much more, lets get into it!

Team Trends

I really like looking at how teams are trending, its better to be ahead of the curve that realize what’s happening too late. Here is a snapshot of the best 5 and worst 5 teams around the league over their last 10 respective games played. On both sides of the equation we have some teams playing to their pre-season expectations plus a few surprise teams in the mix. From a fantasy perspective we like to use this trend to key on teams that can positively or negatively affect your Fantasy roster. Goalies correlate closely to team success, so it’s the position we want to pay attention to in this example:

  • Positive Impacts – season stats
    • Semyon Varlamov (NYI) – 10W/2.10GAA/927 SV%/3SO
    • Andrei Vasilevskiy (TBL) – 14W/1.66GAA/.942 SV%/3SO
  • Negative Impacts – recent trends
    • John Gibson (ANA) – 0 Wins in his last 8 starts
    • MacKenzie Blackwood (NJ) – 1 Win in his last 7 starts

COVID-19 News + Notes

Earlier this season this was a focal point for our week to week preparation and a crucial topic to be aware of in NHL news, the COVID-19 factor of Fantasy Hockey has thankfully subsided. As of Friday March 5th only 3 NHL players were in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol:

  • Dennis Gilbert – COL
  • Marcus Sorensen – SJ
  • Tomas Hertl – SJ

The takeaway from the reduced number of players currently identified through league testing is that NHL organizations have a better grip on how to reduce risk to players and staff. For Fantasy Managers our recommendation is still to be aware of postponements day to day when setting your lineups and to consider trading away from a playe

Games per day

I really like the look of this week’s schedule from a Fantasy Manager perspective. Friday has 10 total games being played which is well above average for NHL weekly schedules. That gives me a lot of confidence in being able to turn on the jets over the weekend and also know that with that volume of games being played I’ll have a lot of options to choose from when adding/dropping players.

  • Monday – 6
  • Tuesday – 9
  • Wednesday – 5
  • Thursday – 10
  • Friday – 10
  • Saturday – 12
  • Sunday – 6

Teams playing 4 games this week

Last week 22 teams saw their schedule include 4+ games on the week. In week 7 only 14 teams are listed for 4 games producing a lighter overall NHL schedule that last week. Consider adding players from these teams for the coming week as they play 4x:

  • Anaheim Ducks
  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Dallas Stars
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • LA Kings
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • NJ Devils
  • NY Islanders
  • Ottawa Senators
  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Vegas Golden Knights

Teams playing 2 games this week

Just like week 7 only one team has 2 GP on the week:

  • Calgary Flames

Last week we took Detroit with only 2GP and recommended that you drop the highest owned of their players Dylan Larkin. This would have been a good choice for Fantasy Managers to follow and was even solidified by his injury which has now held him out of 4 consecutive games. Some fringe players you may want to be toying with the idea of dropping, or potentially packaging in a trade, are: Mark Giordano, Rasmus Andersson and Andrew Mangiapane.

Players to Add this week

In week 7 we looked at four players who were widely available and performed very well over the course of the week. Unlike some streaming options which were recommended in past weeks these are players you can choose to keep on board for a few more days/weeks:

  • Jean-Gabriel Pageau (C) NYI – 4GP/0G/3A/+1/7SOG/3HIT/5BLK
  • Drake Batherson (RW) OTT – 3GP/2G/1A/+1/5SOG/5HIT/1BLK
  • Nick Leddy (D) NYI – 4GP/2A/+3/4SOG/1HIT/4BLK
  • Brian Elliot (G) PHI – 2GP/1W/3.54GAA/.874SV%

Now for our Week 8 Adds:

Alex Killorn (LW,RW) TB 28% Owned

Source: FOXSportsFlorida FOXSportsSun, 18 Sept 2018
  • 3 GP on the week
  • Plays PP1 and L2 where he stays with Steven Stamkos
  • Ice time increased in week 7 to 18:11-22:51
  • Coming off a great series against Chicago where he had 2G/2A/+4/12SOG/4HIT/1SHP
  • +9 on the season

Mattias Ekholm (D) NSH – 36% Owned

Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm (14) eludes Tampa Bay Lightning center Blake Coleman (20). (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
  • 3 GP on the week
  • 4G/2A/+6/21SOG in his last 5GP since returning from injury Feb 27th as of Sunday AM
  • Playing between 20:45 and 27:14 per night
  • Plays the Point on PP2

Ilya Sorokin (G) NYI – 42% Owned

  • 4GP on the week
  • Won all 4 of his last starts
  • NY Islanders are one of the hottest teams in the NHL with 5 straight wins
  • NYI are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games
  • 2.16GAA/909SV%

Players to Drop this week

Rasmus Andersson (D) CGY – 43% Owned

  • Only 2GP on the week, the first of which doesn’t come until THU
  • Hasn’t recorded a PPP in his last 6 GP
  • -5 in his last 5GP
  • At 43% owned ownership he will likely be available to you to pick back up later this week

Victor Olofsson (LW,RW) BUF – 65% Owned

  • BUF has lost 7 straight games
  • -12 on the season and this will potentially get worse
  • Doesn’t add accessory stats in the form of HIT or BLK
  • Bumped off the Jack Eichel line onto L2 with Eric Staal

Stats Central

Corsi is an advanced metric used around the game of hockey which you’ve likely heard of and are relatively familiar with. Basically put it is a measurement of shot attempts and against at even strength. Its divided into to main categories: Corsi for (CF) and Corsi Against (CA). Most commonly you’ll see CF% thrown around as a measurement for a good offensive player. This is very relevant to Fantasy Hockey production and can be a good tool for managers to use when looking at ranking players. Here are the top 15 NHL players in CF% this season:

It is easy to understand the Nathan MacKinnon would have a great CF% given his outstanding offensive abilities and surrounding line mates. That only solidifies our thoughts about him. But taking a look at Alexander Radulov, Brendan Gallagher, Aleksander Barkov and Tyler Toffoli. You can elevate your sense of them as a player relative to their competition. I’d recommend giving some consideration for CF% as you look to improve your team.

Lopsided Matchups

  1. TB Lightning vs DET Red Wings: These teams will play twice on the week (TUE, THU) and are about as far apart in skill as they are in the standings. TB comes in to these matchups having only lost 6 games on the year. They are also one of the hottest teams in the NHL having won 7 of their last 10GP prior to action on Sunday afternoon. For Detroit they are coming off a week where they only played 2 games and are 3-6-1 in their last 10GP and losers of 3 straight games.
  2. PIT Penguins vs BUF Sabres – The Sabres might be a category of their own this week given their poor performance of late losing 7 straight games and having no real end in sight. Pittsburgh is trending up after a closely fought series with Pennsylvania rivals Philadelphia. The Penguins have found their offensive stride scoring 12G in their last 3GP. BUF would have to track back 8 games to find a total of 12 goals scored. Here is an easy spot to capitalize on this week when looking to plan out some positive game scripts to expose yourself to.

Fantasy Tip of the week

Look to buy low on some underperforming players from your fellow managers and to sell high on some players who may have been hot for you lately. Recency bias does a lot for the perception of a player and is a valuable trait to consider in trades with other managers. When buying on a player who’s been cold lately you’re hoping to tap into some positive regression. With some luck, these could be the type of moves which win you a championship on the season.

Keep your eye on our feed this week as we will be expanding on the buy low / sell high topic with multiple options for you to consider!

We appreciate you for checking in with us this week and hope that we are preparing you well for the week ahead. Feedback is always welcome and drives the content we produce going forward. Check back again next week as we start to discuss the midway point of the midway point of the NHL season and some deadlines which managers will want to be aware of.

-Dave Carey

Follow me on Twitter @87_Carey and @fantasymarksmen

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