Week 15 NHL Fantasy Preview

David Carey – April 25th, 2021

Week 15 is here and if you’re here with us it likely means that your in the thick of your Fantasy Hockey Playoffs. This Fantasy Hockey season and playoffs have had so many different variables then we are used to in years past that its been as much a contest of will as it has been skill. We’ve got plenty of content this week aimed at giving you an edge in your upcoming Semi-Final matchups. As always, we have a blend of situations, analytics and opinion mixed together in the weekly preview.

Team Trends

The Golden Knights, Avalanche and Wild are dishing out blow after blow in the NHL West Division. Each of those 3 teams has 30+ wins on the season and the are all turning their focus towards the Playoffs.

As expected the NHL West Division is also heavily represented on the losing side of the equation. Arizona, San Jose, and Los Angeles are below .500 on the year and have trended downward in the past 10GP. Keep an eye on this trend between now and the end of the season. Otherwise around the NHL the Devils have lost their last 9GP while the Blue Jackets aren’t far behind while losing their last 8 in a row. Continue to target against those two teams for the remainder of the year.

COVID-19 News + Notes

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What a week its been with Vancouver returning from an extended COVID outbreak and coming out strong against Toronto gathering back to back wins before losing to Ottawa on Thursday. Though the circumstances regarding the Canucks were severe it is reassuring to see that the worst of the projected outcomes didn’t immediately hit them as they returned to action in week 14.

Elsewhere around the NHL, Colorado was hit hard with a number of players being put into COVID protocols. This group most notably included G Phillip Grubauer and RW Mikko Rantanen. For many Fantasy Managers the loss of these players equated to the loss of their fantasy season. Calgary and New Jersey each added players to the protocol this week as well.

  • Calgary Flames – Josh Leivo
  • Colorado Avalanche – Joonas Donskoi, Mikko Rantanen
  • New Jersey Devils – PK Subban

Games Remaining

Here are the teams with the most games remaining on the season. In order to fit these games in they will have heavier schedules between now and the end of the year. This is of benefit to Fantasy Managers:

  • Canucks – 16
  • Avalanche – 12
  • Kings – 12
  • Blues – 12
  • Oilers – 11
  • Canadiens – 11

If you want to take the remaining schedules for each NHL team even further and look closer at the strength of schedule take a look at Tankathon’s Remaining Schedule Strength. Here is a snapshot of the information available:

Games per day

The schedule for week 15 is extremely similar to that of week 14. Monday-Thursday open as heavy days where managers can look for full lineups. Friday and Sunday are the true off days of the week with only 5 total games scheduled. Saturday will be a day where managers will have a few lineup decisions to make with all but 1 NHL team in action.

  • Monday – 8
  • Tuesday – 8
  • Wednesday – 7
  • Thursday – 10
  • Friday – 4
  • Saturday – 15
  • Sunday – 1

Teams playing 4+ games this week

In Week 15 we’ve got some strong teams playing 4x on the week who also rank in the lower third of league in the remaining strength of schedule(SOS):

  • Anaheim Ducks
  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Dallas Stars
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Florida Panthers
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • San Jose Sharks
  • St Louis Blues
  • Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Vancouver Canucks

Teams playing 2- games this week

The Blue Jackets are the only NHL with just 2GP this week. In redraft style leagues you can safely drop start players like Patrik Laine and Seth Jones after they play DET on Tuesday.

  • Columbus Blue Jackets

Players to Add this week

As always we’re looking identify players who are hot, play a lot and have favorable outlooks to Fantasy hockey success. In week 15 we’re recommending you start by checking your waivers for a diamond in the rough:

Teuvo Teravainen (LW,RW) CAR  – 68% Owned

  • Keep your eye on Teravainen’s status this week – he has the potential to be a league winner
  • 4 GP on the week and a front loaded schedule – Mon, Tue
  • Coach Rod Brind’Amour indicated that he didn’t expect Teravainen back for game Saturday against Florida but the star Winger is nearing a return
  • Nearly a point per game player in his last 4 seasons played
  • Has a career 18.5% Shooting percentage in the postseason

Sam Bennett (C,LW,RW) FLA  – 44% Owned

  • 4GP on the week
  • Front loaded schedule with games Mon/Tue against NAS
  • Playing L2 between Huberdeau and Duclair
  • 3G,2A since joining the Panthers at the trade deadline
  • Has contributed heavily in HITS tallying 21 in his last 5GP
  • +8 during his last 5GP

Nick Bonino (C,RW) MIN – 14% Owned

  • 3GP on the week – all coming against STL with back to back games Wed/Thu
  • Plays 4th line with veteran Zach Parise but is also skating on the PP1 unit
  • 3G, 8A in his last 7GP

Nikita Gusev (LW,RW) FLA – 8% Owned

  • 4GP on the week
  • Front loaded schedule with games Mon/Tue against NAS
  • Being thrust onto the Panthers L1 and PP1 group playing with Barkov/Hornqvist
  • Untapped offensive potential after starting his career in New Jersey

MacKenzie Weegar (D) FLA59% Owned

  • 4GP on the week
  • Front loaded schedule with games Mon/Tue against NAS
  • Piled up 1G,3A, +3, 1SHP, 4SOG, 7HIT, 7BLK Saturday against Carolina
  • Plays on the top pairing for Florida and logs upwards of 26:00 min per game
  • +18 on the season with a balanced contribution in hits and blocked shots

Matt Grzelcyk (D) BOS – 36% Owned

  • Least phonetical name in the NHL
  • Plays top pairing along side Charlie Mcavoy
  • Please the point on PP1 along side David Pastrnak
  • Makes a nice pivot from Mike Reilly if you had streamed him during week’s 13 and 14
  • Boston has been hot of late going 7-3-0 in their last 10GP

Codi Ceci (D) PIT – 5% Owned

  • 1G, 4A in his last 5GP
  • Contributes with Hits and blocks totaling a respectable 8H, 9BLK during that same 5GP stretch
  • +15 player on the season logging ~20TOI on average
  • 2nd pairing defenseman used in PK scenarios
  • Avoids top line matchups – PIT uses their 3rd pairing of Pettersson/Marino to play those heavy shifts

Chris Driedger (G) FLA – 51% Owned

  • FLA has back to back games Mon/Tue against Nashville – Driedger should get the start in game two after playing Saturday
  • Owns a .927 SV% on the season
  • Has been well supported on the year by the Panthers helping to produce a 12-5-3 record in games as a starter

Brian Elliot (G) PHI24% Owned

  • PHI takes on NJ in their next 4GP
  • NJ is on a 9G losing streak
  • Carter hart is out with a knee sprain (DTD)
  • Elliot projects to see 2 starts in week 15

Dustin Tokarski (G) BUF7% Owned

  • Has turned in 5 quality starts in his last 7GP
  • Owns a .914 SV% on the year and see’s upwards of 41 SOG per night
  • Hung in tough so far this year against Was, Pit, Bos with a sub par team in front of him
  • Plenty of individual skill and upside, consider him a nice fill in this week if your short of your GP requirement

Players to Drop this week

Patrik Laine (LW,RW) CBJ – 75% Owned

  • -12 in his last 5GP
  • Only 1A in those same 5GP
  • Ice time has dropped as low as 14:02 recently
  • CLB only plays twice on the week Tue, Sat
  • You can pivot to a player who has 3GP between Wed – Sun

Erik Karlsson (D) SJS – 64% Owned

  • SJ has lost their last 7GP coming into action on Saturday night
  • His +/- correlates poorly logging as much as 28min TOI during this losing streak
  • Only 1 PPP in the month of April
  • I recommend pivoting to Codi Ceci (D) PIT5% Rostered

Lopsided Matchups

  1. Philadelphia Flyers vs New Jersey Devils: New Jersey has been piling on the losses of late taking a 9G losing streak through action Saturday. For a team in the position that New Jersey is its hard to see much to play for other than the assurances surrounding the 2022 NHL draft. During this 9G losing steak the Devils have allowed 45 GA which equates to an average of 5.125/GP. Philadelphia players should fly under the radar given the nature of the season and sub .500 L10 GP.
  2. San Jose Sharks @ Colorado Avalanche: San Jose is limping into week 15 action having put together a stretch of 2-7-1 in their last 10 GP which includes blowout losses to predictable teams like VGK and MIN but also lower end teams like ANA. San Jose now ranks 26th in G/GP, 27th in PP% and T28th in Shooting %.

Fantasy Tip of the week

Map out your add drops for the week ahead!

Lets quickly review the schedules for Weeks 15 and 16 before getting into the concept of achieving 5GP from 2-3 of your roster spots.

Week 15 Schedule Week 16 Schedule

Have a look at the links above to see the games per week listed from www.dailyfaceoff.com and see how your fantasy roster will stack up over the course of those weeks. Keep in mind that the team with the most games played has an ability to outproduce a team of higher caliber players.

We’ve visited this topic earlier this season but come playoffs your going to want to put together your best plan to win. I highly recommend trying to front load your schedule this week with players from teams playing Mon/Tue such as CAR, DAL, FLA, NSH who can be pivoted off of after their first two GP and dropped for players playing a minimum of 3GP between Wed-Sun. If you play in a league with a lot of categories consider using these roster spots to address some of your weakest categories. Think blocks, hits, faceoff wins, saves and penalty minutes. If the players you stream happen to contribute some points then its a bonus.

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A big shout out to our friends and followers around the world who have shown us support and recognized some of the content we are working to put out to the public. We’ve hit a milestone on the year with over 10,000 viewers who have tuned in for our weekly previews. Hearing the feedback from readers and comments about their success has been a big positive for our team. We would love to see some pictures of you and your trophies on Twitter @fantasymarksmen or by email fantasymarksmen@gmail.com

David Carey – April 25th, 2021

Follow me on Twitter @87_Carey and @fantasymarksmen

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