David Carey – April 12th, 2021
The Fantasy Hockey regular season is going to come to a close in all regular H2H formats during week 13 and draw down significantly in season long points formats. As we near the Fantasy Hockey playoff weeks the strategy aspects shift a bit for managers. We are going to become less focused on the name brand value in our lineup and are going to take stock of what players give us the best chance to win now. If you’re new to this concept or are playing Fantasy Hockey for the first time don’t worry. We’ve got your needs covered with a comprehensive outlook aimed at helping you with “Sniping the Competition.”
The Maple Leafs have turned it on over their last 10GP going undefeated in regulation and extending their league best win streak to 6 games. The Winnipeg Jets who now trail Toronto by 6pts in the standings for the North Division have won 3 straight despite losing their Captain (RW) Blake Wheeler with a concussion.
Calgary now stands alone as the coldest team in the league over their last 10GP despite a victory Saturday night against the Edmonton Oilers in the ‘Battle of Alberta’. The Blue Jackets continue to fall short of expectations which peaked months back after their blockbuster trade for (LW,RW) Patrik Laine and (C) Jack Roslovic. Out west the Kings and Ducks look to be sellers at the deadline and are limping towards the finish line. You can count on some lopsided matchups between now and the end of the Fantasy season between COL, VGK and the Kings, Ducks.
COVID-19 News + Notes
The focus around the NHL remains squarely on the Vancouver Canucks and health of their players, coaches and organization. A lot of questions still remain unanswered for me regarding the Canucks and the 2020-21 NHL season. The impact of such a severe outbreak referencing the P.1 variant hasn’t been understood from a hockey perspective therefor cant be assumed. Since Fantasy Sports follow real life trends its best to keep a close eye on the situation in Vancouver and adjust accordingly for NHL Fantasy Playoffs. Vancouver could return as early as Friday Apr 16th against the Edmonton Oilers or realistically pursue a cancellation of a significant amount of games until a point where the team is ready to once again compete at the highest level of the sport.
As of April 11th here are the players in the NHL’s COVID protocol:
- Boston Bruins – Jaroslav Halak
- Colorado Avalanche – Bowen Byram
- Florida Panthers– Brandon Montour
- Los Angeles Kings – Matt Roy
- Toronto Maple Leafs – William Nylander, Nick Foligno
- Vancouver Canucks – Entire Team
Trade deadline in the NHL is April 12th. The key to remember as we hear trades get made is not to over react on players being traded from American teams to Canadian clubs. Part of the COVID-19 protocol is a 7-day quarantine upon entering Canada before players can be cleared to join their new team mates. (LW,RW) Nick Foligno – 24% Owned, for example, seems like a great add going from Columbus to Toronto on the surface. But look a little further into that deal and see that after a 7 day period he is likely to miss at minimum 4GP which is the entire Week 13 schedule. I recommend you pump your brakes on players getting traded to Canadian teams unless you are squarely in a playoff position with nothing left to play for in week 13.
Games per day
Week 13 starts off with a heavy Monday night (8GP) followed by an unusually slow Tuesday (6GP). It straightens out after that with Thursday and Saturday being the heaviest remaining nights on the week. For managers looking to use an add that takes advantage of the slowest nights this week look to the Calgary Flames who play Tue, Wed, Fri and have a large amount of players available in Free Agency who can contribute offensively or in accessory categories.
- Monday – 8
- Tuesday – 6
- Wednesday – 6
- Thursday – 9
- Friday – 6
- Saturday – 12
- Sunday – 6
Teams playing 4+ games this week
After seeing some teams with 5GP in week 12 we are without any of those opportunities to focus our adds on. With a level playing field of 4GP max on the week we want to purse teams with front loaded vs back end loaded schedules to create 5GP schedules.
For example: Go out right now and add a player from a team playing Mon, Wed and then drop them following Wednesday night’s action for a player who’s team plays 3x between Thursday and Sunday. Team schedules line up favorably for this play in week 13.
- Anaheim Ducks
- Boston Bruins
- Buffalo Sabres
- Colorado Avalanche
- LA Kings
- Minnesota Wild
- Montreal Canadiens
- New Jersey Devils
- New York Rangers
- Philadelphia Flyers
- San Jose Sharks
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Vegas Golden Knights
- Washington Capitals
- Winnipeg Jets
Teams playing 2- games this week
Both Edmonton and Vancouver are scheduled to play Fri, Sat this week with Friday night being a matchup between the two teams. With news that Vancouver’s first practice back from protocol has been delayed following an additional player testing positive on Sunday its still possible that their schedule is further impacted this week.
- Edmonton Oilers
- Vancouver Canucks
Players to Add this week
Connor Brown (LW,RW) OTT– 11% Owned
- 3 GP on the week
- Has scored in each of his last 7GP
- 18 SOG in his last 4GP
- 49.20 CF% on the season which is sharply rising
- Plays L3 along side Chris Tierney and Egenii Dadonov – Corsica Hockey rates this group the 8th best 3rd line in the NHL
- A prudent Fantasy Manager adds Brown for his 2GP Mon, Wed then drops him for a host of players whos team play 3x Thu-Sun
Andrew Copp (RW) WPG – 64% Owned
- 4GP on the week
- Playing RW on L1 for WPG along side Scheifele and Connor while Blake Wheeler is out with a concussion
- In his last 4GP he has tallied 3G, 3A
- Winnipeg has been extra hot lately going 7-2-1 in their last 10GP and overtaking EDM for 2nd in the North Division
Jacob Trouba (D) NYR – 45% Owned
- 4GP this week – all of which come against NJD
- In his last 5GP has contributed 19BLK, 14H, 10SOG in addition to 3A
- Averages < 22:00 TOI per game
- NJ is a bottom 10 opponent and provides plenty of reasons for optimism for a defensemen that contributes across all categories
Alexander Georgiev (G) NYR – 15% Owned
- Likely to see 2GP against the NJ Devils this week
- Owns a lifetime 7-2-0 record against New Jersey
- Coming off a 4-1W against NYI where he stopped 31 of 32 shots posting a .969 SV%
Players to Drop this week
Joonas Donskoi (LW,RW) COL – 48% Owned
- Widely recommended as an add during weeks 11 and 12
- This drop recommendation comes after Colorado plays Arizona Monday night – why burn a move with a game in hand on the first night of the week?
- Pointless in his last 6GP
- He is still centering the top PP unit in COL he isn’t seeing hte ice time that supports consistent production in Fantasy Hockey – 14:22 TOI Apr 9 vs ANA
Zach Werenski (D) CBJ – 55% Owned
- Won’t play again for the rest of the season because of an Inguinal Sports Hernia
- Currently ownedi n 55% of leagues and has fallen -20% in the past day.
- Aside from Dynasty formats he is a must-drop
- New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils: After the Devils proved to be sellers at the trade deadline sending 2 top-6 forwards to the Islanders its easy to think that the Devils will slowly trail off towards the finish line. Meanwhile the Rangers are 5-3-2 in their last 10GP and are pushing towards the NHL Playoffs sitting 5th in the NHL East.
- VGK / COL vs Los Angeles Kings: The Kings have just traded away Jeff Carter and are potentially going to continue trading players away with Jonathan Quick a likely point of emphasis to teams looking to make a playoff run. Vegas and Colorado are #1,#2 in the NHL West Division while The LA Kings are 2nd worst in the West division with a 3-7-0 record.
Fantasy Tip of the week
We’re coming into the NHL Fantasy Hockey Playoffs and the schedules and strategy’s are pretty specific. If you’re looking to get up to date with the implications surrounding your players week 14,15,16 schedules I encourage you to follow the links below and take stock of your team’s scenario prior to beginning of your first matchup in the Playoff Week’s.
If you’re sitting on the fringe of playoffs and are carrying any dead weight in your lineup in the form of injured players its time to cut them now. Whether they be recent adds over the past few weeks like (LW,RW) Eeli Tolvanen who is week-to-week or a season long player like (LW) Filip Forsberg – 87% Owned , who was just placed on IR by the Predators, we’ve got to look at our lineups differently than during the regular season. In week 13 a player with 0GP for any reason is likely to reduce our weekly totals by the same amount as the average margin of victory. These are very tough decisions to make but I assure you that unless your cutting a keeper level player, the negative impact of a zero on your roster will heavily outweigh the benefits that your higher skill player will make in a mere 1GP, especially after a return from injury.
Teams who have clinched a playoff birth, or even a division title. Its time to start loading up on talent that is being given to us. Scoop up players off the waiver wire who can make an impact in the coming week or beyond. A heavy schedule or a projected return from injury is a great place to start but the idea here is that your mentality shifts towards a playoff informed outlook. Having secured a division title you need to shift your focus towards winning a championship, this doesn’t likely include risk during week 13, 14 of the Fantasy hockey schedule. Take a risk on a Vancouver player like (LW,RW) J.T Miller – 91% Owned or (RW) Brock Boeser – 88% Owned who could return from COVID-19 protocols as early as Friday April 16th against Edmonton. Though these players are sparingly available Fantasy Managers might go from cutting Vancouver players in weeks past to adding them off free agency in order to capitalize on heavy schedules from here on in.
As the season draws to a near we are reminded that the group of players and mangers currently tuned in is limited. Every week that you continue to pursue excellence sets your apart from your competition. Follow us on Twitter @fantasymarksmen and let us know what custom advice you’d like to receive going forward in your Playoff run. We are hear to help you win a Championship!
David Carey – April 12th, 2021