The All-Star game is over and so is the two week matchup that seemed to take an eternity. It is time to get back to streaming. That means it is time to examine your hockey schedule again. All streamers listed below are owned in less than 50% of Fantrax fantasy hockey leagues as I write.
Be on the lookout for our waiver wire column and all the rest of our Fantasy Hockey content.
Week 18 Fantasy Hockey Planner
Weekly Lineup Picks
Standard disclaimer: weekly leagues aren’t about what days games are on, they are about how many games your guys play. A 4-game guy only needs to be half as good as a 2-game player to match the results. Win most games played every week.
Week 18 Fantasy Hockey Schedule Grid:
Teams got either a few days off before or a few days off after the All-Star game. Now, everyone is back to work. This week, a full 13 teams play a 4 game schedule. That leaves you lots of options, particularly in weekly leagues. I usually like to pick on guys who are on hot streaks.
My Week 18 4-game skater targets:
Ondrej Kase (RW- ANA) is a player I just cannot give up. A frequent draft sleeper from fantasy experts for his amazing 2018-19 prorated stats, Kase has no doubt disappointed. So far this year, Kase has managed only 6 goals and 14 assists in 44 games. His prospects are quietly improving. 6 of his points have come in the past 8 games. Season-long 5.2% shooting is a juicy regression pick. 17+ ATOI even with only 2nd power play deployment is a good sign. High offensive zone deployment gives him good opportunities and 2.6 shots per game should lead to a career-high. Take a chance on him while he travels to eastern Canada and Buffalo next week.
Nikita Zadorov (D – COL) went into the All-Star break hot, with 4 points in his last 4 games. While those points make up almost half of his seasonal production, I am willing to test let it ride for next week. Even if I miss out on points, Zadorov is good for a block and 3 hits per game. Zadorov also plays all four of his games east of Denver next week. Maybe the Avs will be tired enough Zadorov will have to stand in the way of a couple of extras shots.
Frank Vatrano (LW/RW – FLA) reminds us there is hot, and then there is HOT. 9 points in 5 games, to include a hat trick at Chicago, is ridiculous. I loved Vatrano a couple of years ago when I hoped he could get a few minutes in Boston. His prorated statistics were ridiculously good. 2 shots, 1.5 hits, and 3/4 of a shot per game are reasonable peripherals. The hot streak coincides with Mike Hoffman joining Vatrano’s line – the majority of Vatrano’s recent points come on plays were Hoffman also had a point. Florida, not coincidentally, is on a 6-game winning streak.
Tyler Toffoli (LW/RW – LA) is cold. Why recommend a player with 1 point in his last 6 games, you ask? Because he has 27 shots over that same period. Toffoli is my favorite streamer for the shots category. Because shots should be a very good indicator of future goals, there is always potential upside for Toffoli entering a new week. Toffoli may not be the guy who carries your week, but in a multi-cat league (as 1980s cereal commercials used to say) he could be “part of this complete breakfast.”
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Daily Head-to-Head Streamers:
Week 18 has a very typical quality game schedule. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday are your days to target. As seems to be frequent this year, the New York Rangers lead the way in quality games with 4 this week. The Flyers and Maple Leafs are close behind with 3. All three kick off the week with a Monday start.
Daily Streaming Targets for Week 18 Fantasy Hockey:
Filip Chytil (C/RW- NYR) is on a line featuring the three youngest players on New York Rangers’ roster. The line has not been great lately. I will hope for a warmup this week by putting my chips on the man my friends at Average Time on Ice call “Filly Heat.” Perhaps a 10-day layoff will allow the talented 2nd-year player a chance to get his legs back under him. If so, he could outperform his seasonal output of half a point, 2 shots, and half a block per game. Elsewhere on that line, Jesper Fast is a good runner-up for this selection. The trade deadline week will create uncertainty for the seller Rangers. Which current Rangers may benefit is anyone’s guess.
Zach Hyman (C/LW- TOR) is typically one of the most underwhelming players in fantasy hockey. His job is to play next to Mitchell Marner and Auston Matthews, play an important defensive role helping the Maple Leafs, and not score. I regularly check all the first-line players on all 31 teams looking for streamers, and once or twice per season I give in and add Hyman. A day or two later, I generally come to my senses and drop him. Hyman’s 8 points in 6 games are an unusual streak for him, so I might as well fall for it this week. To be fair, Hyman is at a career-high scoring pace with 24 points in 32 games. He also chips in 2 shots and a hit per game.
Anton Khudobin (G – DAL) had been one of the most reliable backup goalies in the league with 6 straight quality starts dating back to December 14. January 18 he gave up 4 goals to Minnesota in 24:11, heading to his All-Star break on a sour note. In week 18 Dallas has 2 different back-to-backs. Monday and Tuesday they play at the New York teams. Friday and Saturday they play Minnesota and then at St. Louis. If Khudobin plays the back end of these sets, you may have trouble fitting him into a full lineup at a playoff-caliber opponent. If he plays the first night of a set, he would be a tempting streamer against a subpar team on a quiet night. Ben Bishop took the net the first night and Khudobin the second 4 of the last 5 times Dallas has played a back-to-back set. Plan accordingly.
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