Sunday, October 14, 2018

2018 Week 2 NHL Fantasy Hockey Report

This is my week two fantasy hockey report for those competing in head to head categories or rotisserie leagues. There are both standard and deep league acquisition targets, along with some suggestions for sell high, buy low, and players to be concerned about. This is more of a “waiver wire” report, looking for those who are more likely to be available in your league as opposed to the universally owned players. I also do not recommend any players who play 2 games or less over the next 7 days (Monday to Sunday), with a preference for those with 4 or more games.

Best Standard League Adds (20% to 65% Yahoo ownership):

1) Elias Lindholm, Calgary, (46% Yahoo ownership): Lindholm has scored 6 PTS over the Flames first 5 GP, averaging almost 21 minutes of ice time on the top line. His value does diminish if he’s moved off the first unit, but the dual position forward is a good play while he’s there.

2) Kasperi Kapanen, Toronto, (31% Yahoo ownership): So long as Nylander is sitting out, Kapanen is a must add, even in standard leagues, while he continues to play with Auston Matthews. 6 PTS and 15 shots in 6 GP is good, especially considering he was playing on the bottom six forwards for the first 2 games.

3) Henri Jokiharju, Chicago, (45% Yahoo ownership): The teenager has scored 5 PTS with 17 shots and 9 hits over Chicago’s first 5 GP playing with Duncan Keith. His ownership was under 10% a week ago, as he has been one of the hottest adds over the last 7 days, reaching standard league relevancy.

4) Zach Hyman, Toronto, (43% Yahoo ownership): If your team needs help in the hits department by player who has been scoring PTS early, look no further than this guy. In 6 GP Hyman has scored 4 PTS with 13 hits, averaging almost 17 minutes of ice time per game.

5) Tyler Johnson, Tampa, (23% Yahoo ownership): Johnson has only played 2 games so far this season, but is currently playing on a line with Palat and Kucherov. TJ isn’t necessarily a long-term acquisition target; however, Tampa has a great schedule this week against some bad goalies so look for him to put up some good numbers.

Best Deep League Adds (under 15% ownership):

1) Zach Parise, Minnesota, (15% Yahoo ownership): Parise has scored 5 PTS with 12 shots over the first 4 GP, averaging over 18 minutes of ice time. The Wild play 4 games next week, so Parise is a strong add in deeper formats and is near the lower end of the standard league ownability spectrum.

2) Alex Killorn, Tampa, (10% Yahoo ownership): Killorn has only scored 1 point with 7 shots and 6 hits over Tampa’s first 3 games, but the Lightning have by far the best schedule next week, so he’s worth considering in deeper leagues. His ice time is up around 16.5 minutes per game.

3) Brady Skjei, Rangers, (5% Yahoo ownership): Through 5 games Skjei has scored 2 PTS with 8 shots and 16 hits, averaging over 22 minutes of ice time. That ownership number is far too low for a defenseman putting up those numbers, especially those in leagues that count hits. With that kind of hitting, you can even justify adding him in a Yahoo standard league.

4) Sven Baertschi, Vancouver, (3% Yahoo ownership): In 5 GP so far this season, Baertschi has scored 5 PTS. He has been weak in the other stat categories, with the exception of the power play, where he is averaging over 4 minutes per game with 3 PP PTS. Anyone getting that kind of power play time needs to be more than 3% owned, even on a bad team.

5) Anthony Cirelli, Tampa, (2% Yahoo ownership): You can find Cirelli on the waiver wire in almost all formats and he has been getting decent playing time over Tampa’s first 3 games. The Lightning have 4 games next week with some bad goalies due to start.

The 1% (best adds 1% owned or less):

1) Matt Grzelcyk, Boston: Grzelcyk has not put up great numbers through 5 games, scoring 2 PTS with 5 shots and 3 hits. The one number that earned him a spot on this list is leading the Bruins in power play time with Krug injured. If your league is deep enough where 1% owned players are addable, this is one guy you should pick up, at least in the short term.

2) Ryan Hartman, Nashville: Through 5 games Hartman has produced 4 PTS with 11 shots and 6 hits, averaging close to 14 minutes of ice time. That’s great for a 1% player, who was good enough that Nashville traded a 1st round pick for him last spring.

3) Jesper Fast, Rangers: There are not many forwards averaging 16.5 minutes per game among the population of 1% owned players, so scoring 4 PTS in 5 GP is an added bonus. That ownership needs to be higher with those numbers.

Sell High:

1) Alex DeBrincat, Chicago: The Blackhawks have defied expectations early in this season with an explosion of offense. DeBrincat is among the reasons for that scoring, with 9 PTS and 19 shots in 5 GP. It’s very unlikely that he will sustain that level of production over the full season. That doesn’t mean you should drop him, but you may be able to flip him in a trade for a better player off to a slow start.

2) Semyon Varlamov, Colorado: So far this season Varlamov has been among the best goalies in the NHL, which is a huge bonus considering where he was ranked heading into the season. Far be it from me to recommend trading away a hot goalie, but his back-up is the future of the franchise, so as soon as Varlamov falters, Grubauer will be there to pounce. Now might be the best time to sell.

Buy Low:

1) Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis: The Blues have played 4 games where their top defenseman has put up 0 PTS with 7 shots, 2 hits, and a -4. This is not worrisome to where you should consider dropping him if you already own him, but may be a good trade target you don't. He’s still averaging over 25 minutes per game, so the PTS will come eventually.

2) Jeff Skinner, Buffalo: There were high expectation for Skinner heading into the season, and he has disappointed this far with just 2 PTS over 5 GP (both points came yesterday). The biggest issue thus far is getting half as many power play minutes as Sheary and Okposo, which should change as soon as the top power play starts to slump.

Be Concerned:

1) Kevin Shattenkirk, Rangers: The Shattenkirk experiment in New York has been nothing short of a dismal failure. Through 4 GP he has 0 PTS with a -4 and has already been a healthy scratch as a 59% owned player. You can safely drop this guy in all standard leagues and shallow formats. At best he’s worth a speculative play in very deep leagues where offensive defensemen are hard to find.

2) Ryan Donato, Boston: Donato was on many sleeper lists heading into October, as a rookie who did very well in a short audition at the end of last season. Through 5 games though, we have already seen the kid become a healthy scratch, scoring just 1 point. The Bruins have a good team with a deep forward group, so it could be difficult for Donato to get the kind of ice time he needs to become an elite scorer.

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