Welcome to my Fantasy Hockey Report Playoff Edition. It is week 1 of the Yahoo standard league fantasy playoffs, so this will focus on players with the best schedules from March 5th to 11th. Here are my top 10 players to add for next week specifically that are between 30% and 65% ownership in Yahoo leagues. Be warned that Toronto, Carolina, LA, San Jose, and St.Louis only play 2 games this week.
Players for Yahoo Standard League Playoffs (week 1):
1) Daniel Sedin, Van, (35% Yahoo ownership): Maybe don’t pick him up as a long-term play in dynasty leagues, but with the Canucks season circling the toilet drain, he’s scored 6 Goals in his last 6 GP. The Canucks have a great schedule this week, and Mr. Sedin is worth a shot.
2) Mikael Backlund, Cgy, (24% Yahoo ownership): He may not be the best player on this list, but his team certainly has the best schedule. Scoring 6 PTS in his last 7 GP is good, and feels even better when you look at the goalies Backlund will be facing this week.
3) Jake Guentzel, Pit, (63% Yahoo ownership): He has already been added to my standard league roster for the playoffs. The Penguins do drop down to 2 games next week, but certainly for week 1 of the playoffs, if you can add Guentzel, he’s going to help you.
4) Ryan O’Reilly, Buf, (58% Yahoo ownership): O’Reilly has returned to form in the 2nd half and has been putting up PTS on a consistent basis. He will also help you in Shots and Power Play PTS. If your league counts Face-off wins, then O’Reilly is already owned.
5) Bo Horvat, Van, (34% Yahoo ownership): He’s got a great schedule this week and in his last 14 GP has scored 11 PTS, with 4 PP PTS and 40 Shots. Horvat is a strong add for week 1 of the fantasy playoffs and he’s widely available.
6) Antti Raanta, Pho, (49% Yahoo ownership): If you need another goalie who has been playing well and often with a strong schedule next week who is probably available in your league, here’s the guy.
7) Sam Reinhart, Buf, (35% Yahoo ownership): Terrible first half, good second half. In his last 14 GP he has scored 13 PTS with a +4, 8 PIMs, 2 PPP, and 43 Shots. He can help you in multiple categories and has a favourable schedule next week.
8) Alex Edler, Van, (25% Yahoo ownership): He’s not the player he used to be, but he’s certainly the #1 guy in Vancouver right now. A good bet for power play points and an easy schedule make him a strong target for week 1 of the playoffs.
9) Zdeno Chara, Bos, (42% Yahoo ownership): If you’d like to add a player with a predisposition to taking penalties who won’t hurt you too bad in the other categories, Chara is a strong option this week. The Bruins play 4 games, facing the Blackhawks goaltending nightmare twice.
10) Jakob Markstrom, Van, (33% Yahoo ownership): Markstrom is by no means a great goalie, but the Canucks have a juicy schedule next week and he’s the #1 guy.
Going Deep: players owned in 10% of leagues or less:
1) Jon Gillies, Cgy, (8% Yahoo ownership): The Flames have 4 games next week and Mike Smith is at least a week away from returning. Gillies appears to be the better of the two goalies battling for playing time on a team desperate to make the playoffs.
2) Jake DeBrusk, Bos, (4% Yahoo ownership): This kid should be owned in more than 4% of fantasy leagues this week. The Bruins play 4 games and DeBrusk has scored 5 PTS in his last 5 GP (on pace for 47 PTS on the season).
3) Nick Holden, Bos, (4% Yahoo ownership): A sleeper pick on defense for week 1 of your fantasy playoffs, though probably not at standard league level. Since arriving in Boston via trade, Holden has played 2 games averaging over 20 minutes of ice time, scoring 2 PTS and taking 10 Shots on Goal.
4) Sam Bennett, Cgy, (5% Yahoo ownership): The Flames have the best schedule this week, so if you’re in a league with 14 or more teams, Bennett can help you. 5 PTS in his last 12 GP isn’t exactly a hot streak, but 3 of his 4 games are against the Islanders, Sabres, and Senators, who have given up a ton of goals collectively.
5) Vinnie Hinostroza, Chi, (2% Yahoo ownership): The Blackhawks have a 4-game week and Vinnie has scored 6 PTS in his last 8 GP. He’s worth at last a short-term play in really deep leagues if you need to squeeze some extra games into your roster.