Sunday, February 18, 2018

NHL 2017/18 Week 20 Fantasy Hockey Report

Players to watch, all formats:

1) Antti Raanta, Pho, (27% Yahoo ownership): He’s available in several leagues and the Coyotes have been hot. In his last 6 GP, Raanta has a 2.40 GAA and .928 SV%. If you need a goalie who is probably available and currently playing well, here’s one.

2) Nico Hischier, NJ, (27% Yahoo ownership): The first overall pick has been overshadowed by a strong rookie class this season, and started slower than his peers. He’s scored 7 PTS in his last 4 GP. Be on alert. At his age there’s a ton of potential upside.

3) Clayton Keller, Pho, (43% Yahoo ownership): The rookie has run hot and cold this season, but when he’s been hot, he’s been really good. With the Coyotes on a roll, Keller has 8 PTS in his last 6 GP. Hop back on the bandwagon in all but the shallowest formats.

4) Nick Leddy, NYI, (58% Yahoo ownership): If you’re in a standard league and Leddy is on the waiver wire, he’s worth picking up. With 7 PTS in his last 8 GP, he’s on pace for 50 PTS on the season.

5) Derek Stepan, Pho, (27% Yahoo ownership): He is available on most standard league waiver wires. The Coyotes are on a roll and Stepan has scored 7 PTS in his last 7 GP. He’s probably already owned in every league that counts Face-off wins, but can also help you in Shots and Power Play PTS.

Going Deep: players owned in 10% of leagues or less:

1) Thomas Chabot, Ott, (4% Yahoo ownership): Prospect alert! With Dion Phaneuf being shipped out of town, the Senators have cleared some room for their prized defensive prospect. Now he’s got 5 PTS in 6 GP. That ownership will climb if he keeps putting up PTS, you can decide how early you want in.

2) Oliver Bjorkstrand, Cbj, (6% Yahoo ownership):  After a prolonged slump to start 2018, the kid has been hot lately, scoring 6 PTS in his last 7 GP. He’s a skilled 22-year-old player with 32 PTS in 58 GP on a team that has been struggling to score. He’s hot right now.

3) Zach Astonreese, Pit, (3% Yahoo ownership): Be aware there’s a new kid who has been getting some ice time with Sidney Crosby and has scored 5 PTS in his last 5 GP. There’s no guarantee this continues for much longer, but it’s still a good gamble to take in deeper leagues.

4) Nick Ritchie, Ana, (4% Yahoo ownership): Ritchie is 8th in the NHL in Hits this season. If your league counts that category, he’s a must own. The offense wasn’t there at the beginning of the season, but he’s now scored 6 PTS in his last 7 GP. He has also been strong in Shots on Goal lately, especially for a player averaging around 12 minutes of ice time.

5) Ondrej Kase, Ana, (7% Yahoo ownership): In his last 14 GP he’s scored 11 PTS with 33 Shots and a +7. That would have helped you in any league, certainly a must add in those with 14 or more teams.

The 1%: Top 3 Players to Add that are 1% Owned or Less

1) Travis Zajac, NJ: Zajac is back in a top line role and has 7 PTS in his last 8 GP. An injury had derailed his season, but he has since rounded back into form. He’s a good add in deep leagues, and he’s available in a few. He should be added in all leagues that count Face-off wins.

2) Dennis Malgin, Fla: He’s a small quick player with good offensive upside so long as he can sustain his ice time. Malgin has scored 8 PTS in his last 10 GP. That’s worth a speculative play in deep leagues.

3) Nick Bonino, Nsh: After a slow start to the season, Bonino has been good in the new year. 8 PTS in his last 13 GP while averaging over 16 minutes of ice time. He’s getting good opportunities on a team with some talented offensive players, worth owning in more than 1%.

Be concerned:

1) Milan Lucic, Edm, (60% Yahoo ownership): The big guy has gone pointless in 10 GP over which time he’s -9. If you’re holding on to him for Penalty Minutes, he’s not even getting very many of those. You can drop him in standard leagues.

2) Tyler Toffoli, LA, (69% Yahoo ownership): Another player who is droppable in standard leagues who has only scored 3 PTS in his last 13 GP. He will probably break out of the slump eventually, but shallow leagues have so many options on the waiver wire that there’s no point being too patient.

3) Jonathon Bernier, Col, (51% Yahoo ownership): Varlamov is back and playing hockey games. Bernier had seen his play regress before suffering a head injury. If you’ve got him in a standard league, I’d rather have Anti Raanta.

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