Week 16 NHL Fantasy Preview

David Carey – May 2nd, 2021

Week 16! We’re down to the final week of the Fantasy Playoff season. The year has been a wild ride with the additional COVID protocols which Managers have had to navigate. That being said, the season has been a successful one for Managers who have stayed patient and kept grinding.

In week 16 you can essentially drop anybody you want unless they are a keeper level player. A lot of the best choices you’ll make this week will surround the amount of games played that your decisions create. Lets dive into the week ahead:

Team Trends

The Golden Knights and Wild have remained red hot over the past week while Carolina, Boston, Pittsburgh and Florida are all charging towards the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Toronto Maple Leafs currently have the longest winning streak in the NHL at 5 games.

Over on the other side of the things a number of teams are in bad shape including a Winnipeg Jets team who hold a playoff spot. The Winnipeg Jets also own the longest losing streak in the NHL at 6 games.

COVID-19 News + Notes

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Colorado got Grubauer, Rantanen and Donskoi back on Friday night against San Jose. The impact of these players being out was profound. Colorado lost its previous 3GP by a combined score of 14-6.

Current players in the protocol are not Fantasy relevant except for deep formats:

  • Anaheim Ducks – Adam Henrique
  • Arizona Coytoes – John Hayden
  • Calgary Flames – Josh Leivo
  • New Jersey Devils – Jonas Siegenthaler

Games per day

On top of being an extremely busy week its also a pretty complicated schedule which differs from a traditional week. Monday and Saturday are heavy days where start/sit decisions will come in to play, most importantly for goalies.

  • Monday – 14
  • Tuesday – 5
  • Wednesday – 9
  • Thursday – 6
  • Friday – 7
  • Saturday – 14
  • Sunday – 2

Tuesday and Sunday are true off days on the week. Of these two days Chicago is the only team who plays on both nights. Thursday and Friday present great opportunities for adding players to maximize your games played on the week. Unfortunately for Fantasy Managers no teams play on both Thursday and Friday.

Teams playing 4+ games this week

Week 16 is shaping up to be the heaviest week of the year for games played. Only 7 teams play less that 4 games this week resulting from rescheduled games landing into this week.

  • Anaheim Ducks
  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Boston Bruins
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Dallas Stars
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • New Jersey Devils
  • New York Islanders
  • New York Rangers
  • Ottawa Senators
  • Philadelphia Flyers
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • San Jose Sharks
  • St Louis Blues
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • Vegas Golden Knights
  • Washington Capitals

Teams playing 2- games this week

Following up on Week 15 I strongly recommended dropping Columbus players given that they only had 2GP on the week. Keep in mind that the Blue Jackets shift from 2GP to 4GP in week 16 so these lists can be very flippant week to week.

  • Calgary Flames
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Florida Panthers

After a heavy schedule in Week 15 the Panthers have only 2GP this week. They also play right away on Monday night giving you the option to pivot off players like Sam Bennett, Anthony Duclair and Mackenzie Weegar who were widely added over the past two weeks following the Panthers game vs DAL on Monday night. By doing so you can likely add 2-3 GP on the week.

Players to Add this week

Throughout the playoffs some pretty strong players get dropped in favor of some of others who potentially address a category of higher need. Step 1 this week for every manager should be to check out your waiver wire closely for players from the following areas:

Returning from Injury

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – JANUARY 03: Teuvo Teravainen #86 of the Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Teuvo Teravainen (LW,RW) CAR69% Owned

  • Teravainen essentially missed 2.5 months of the condensed NHL Season with a concussion before returning to action April 27th
  • He slotted back onto the RW1 spot next to Aho and Svechnikov – this trio dominated play in 2019-20
  • Owns a career +57 rating and a 10.5 Shooting percentage
  • Has 1G, 1A in two games since returning to play

Filip Forsberg (LW) NSH  – 82% Owned

  • Forsberg was back at practice on friday and was upgraded from DTD to Healthy on Saturday after not playing since March 25th
  • Likely slots back in on PP1 and into the top 6 for Nashville
  • Streaky offensive player with 11G/18A on the season with 116 SOG on the year
  • Averages 3.41 SOG and 1.24 Hits per game – both above average for a FWD
  • Creates over 1 HDCF per game
  • Owns a career 12.1 shooting percentage

Trending Scorers

Yegor Sharangovich, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Yegor Sharangovich (C,LW,RW) NJ – 9% Owned

  • 4GP on the week
  • Front loaded schedule with games Mon/Tue against BOS
  • Has Racked up 4G, 1A, +2, 2PPP, 1GWG, 8SOG in his last 3GP
  • Plays on the top line for NJ with young star Jack Hughes
  • New Jersey has nothing to lose this season and has opened their style of play which has translated to 36 GF+GA in their last 5GP

Craig Smith (RW) / David Krejci (C) BOS  – 37% Owned / 43% Owned

  • Both play L2 together for Boston and see time on the PP
  • They have combined for 5G, 7A in their last 3GP
  • 4GP on the week
  • Playing on a line with Taylor Hall who is an elite skater who is extremely good at driving the puck into the zone
  • Front loaded schedule with B2B games against New Jersey Mon/Tue

*This has been a highly added/dropped pair of players over the past two weeks

Nick Suzuki (C,RW) MTL – 50% Owned

  • 4GP on the week
  • 4G, 3A in his last 5GP
  • Centers L2 for MTL between Toffoli and Armia
  • B2B games Wed/Thu gives you an opporunity to stream

Tomas Hertl (C,LW) SJ – 66% Owned

  • 4GP on the week
  • Seeing >20:00 TOI per game over the past week
  • Has contributed 2G,5A in his last 5GP
  • Centering the top line and PP1 unit for SJS with the red hot Evander Kane
  • Has a 1.42 Takeaway/Giveaway ratio

Peripheral producers

Dmitry Orlov (D) / Brendan Dillon (D) WAS – 25% Owned / 12% Owned

  • Orlov has contributed 1G, 2A, 8SOG, 6HIT in his last 3GP
  • Dillon has contributed 2A, +3, 3SOG, 24 HIT in his last 4GP
  • Washington plays 4 games in week 16
  • John Carlson is DTD and his minutes have been opened up to both Dillon and Orlov
  • 2GP vs NYR and 2GP vs PHI on the week

Adam Larsson (D) EDM – 25% Owned

  • 4GP on the week against VAN
  • 10th in the NHL with 148 Hits
  • 2nd in the NHL with 116 Blocked shots
  • Opens the week with B2B games which makes for a great early streaming play

Spot starters

Spencer Knight (G) FLA – 11% Owned

  • Has won his first 3 GP in the NHL
  • Owns a 1.67 GAA and a .943 SV%
  • Chris Driedger is currently DTD and with Knight filling in admirably Florida can afford to ease him back into action
  • With Florida only playing twice on the week consider Knight as a purely streaming based option once he’s announced as a starter

Mikko Koskinen (G) EDM27% Owned

  • EDM has 4GP on the week and opens with a B2B Mon/Tue vs VAN
  • EDM will be heavily favored against VAN and should see odds in excess of -200
  • Koskinen is coming off a great start against Winnipeg where he stopped 29 of 30 SOG for a 3-1 win
  • Edmonton will look to spot him in as the season draws down with the intention of keeping Mike Smith fresh for playoffs

Players to Drop this week

Anthony Duclair (LW,RW) FLA – 38% Owned

  • Only 2GP on the week
  • FLA playes Mon/Sat and Duclair is able to be dropped after action Monday night
  • Bennett, Weegar, Gusev, Montour all fall into this category
  • By dropping FLA players after monday you can add 2-3 GP on the week

Andre Burakovsky (LW,RW) COL – 48% Owned

  • COL has Rantanen and Donskoi back from COVID protocols
  • Burakovsky was heavily added during his 5pt stretch in 3GP between Apr 22-26
  • Is no longer playing PP1 for Colorado
  • I recommend pivoting to a player like Sharangovich with multi position eligibility who is currently scoring in bunches

Lopsided Matchups

  1. Edmonton Oilers vs Vancouver Canucks: Edmonton is accelerating into the post season while Vancouver is looking to see what they have in some younger players like Kole Lind, injecting them into top opportunity situations. Vancouver is 2nd worst in the NHL with only 115 GF on the season.
  2. San Jose Sharks vs Colorado Avalanche: Colorado is back to full strength after getting a number of players back from COVID-19 protocols. They sit as the odds on favorite to win the Stanly cup and face San Jose twice to begin week 16. San Jose ranks 5th worst in the NHL with 169 GA on the season.

Stats Central

High Danger Scoring Chances are directly linked to goal scoring and a very valuable Fantasy stat to keep track of. iHDCF measures the total amount of high danger scoring chances for a player throughout the season excluding shootout attempts. High danger scoring chances are both the product of individual performance and situational strength. The top 10 players in the 2020-21 season come from a variety of teams and a variety of overall tiers. With a player like Brady Tkachuk your looking at >2.0 HDCF from a player who has already eclipsed 200 SOG and 200 Hits on the year. That’s nearly 4SOG/GP and >4HIT/GP. Keep his name in mind heading into next season and your NHL drafts.

Fantasy Tip of the week

Consider players who are going to be on your bench during heavy nights on the week as expendable!

Monday and Saturday see 14 games scheduled on each night. With that being the case, your lineup is likely going to be full with a handful of players on your bench. In week16 a fringe level player who’s team plays 4 times on the week, including Mon/Sat, will likely be on your bench for both games. This nets 2GP on the week from this player or roster spot. Given the cirucmstances your better off considering dropping this player and adding anyone for games which are played on the slower nights of the week. This will increase your total games played and maximize your utilization of roster spots over the course of the week.

Always look at your lineup on a per day basis and identify players who will be repetitively sitting out. Consider Chicago this week who play 4x but have games on the two slowest nights of the week – Tue/Sun. Pivoting off of a player sitting on your bench Mon/Sat to a Chicago player like Nikita Zadorov (D) could result in an extra 3GP on the week which you could consider to be worth the 15 HIT, 6 BLK that Zadorov has accounted for in his last 3GP. Perhaps this will be a low key winning strategy for you.

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Thank you to all of our friends and followers over the course of the season who have tuned in for advice and information over the course of the year. While the Fantasy Hockey Playoff schedule is winding down we hope that it means your also into the championship round of your season. We would love to see some photos and screenshots of your matchups and results to end the season. Keep us in mind again next season while we continue “Sniping the Competition”

David Carey – May 2nd, 2021

Follow me on Twitter @87_Carey and @fantasymarksmen

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