It is Week 7 of your fantasy hockey season. You need to make some decisions on lineup picks and you need to grab some streamers. Who are you going to trust? Here is a primer to start planning for the upcoming week.
Week 7 Fantasy Hockey Preview
Weekly Lineup Picks
Standard disclaimer: weekly leagues aren’t about what days games are on, they are about how many games your guys play. Five teams can offer 4-game weeks. A 4-game guy only needs to be half as good as a 2-game player to match the results. Win games played every week.
Teams with 4 Games in Week 7 Fantasy Hockey:
Arizona, Carolina, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida
You should prioritize any of your normal starters from these teams. Maybe the NHL just hates Arizona, as this is the third straight week the Coyotes play 4 games. That is not your problem unless you are worried a busy November will slow their production. Carolina for its part has an above-average offense on the season but has sputtered in November. Detroit is just the kind of team I love to target as many of their players with good ice time may be on your waiver wire. Edmonton’s four games are on the road against Pacific Division foes. Florida games are the highest scoring in the NHL. Their matchups average 7.11 goals for both teams combined. Yes, please.
My weekly 4-game skater targets:
Vinnie Hinostroza (C/RW – ARI) has been on a nice little run. In his last six games, he has 2 goals, 2 assists, 13 shots, 3 hits, and 4 blocks. His minutes seem capped in the low to mid-teens and he does not get power-play time, but I like his playing with Stepan and Keller at even strength. I am not saying you can count on his production going forward, but he might fill a gap for your squad in case of an injury. Some weeks betting on a small sample hot streak leads to nothing. Other weeks you get a Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
Ryan Dzingel (LW/RW – CAR) continues to quietly put up good numbers with his fellow jerks in Carolina. Dzingel leads the offensively potent Canes with 8 even-strength assists. Despite his current pairing with defensive stalwart Jordan Staal, Dzingel starts his shifts in the offensive zone than the defensive at even strength. He is also entrenched on the first power play. At just under 50% owned in Fantrax leagues, he is a player who likely should be rostered in all but the shallowest leagues.
Robby Fabbri (LW/RW – DET) is all the rage this week. Everyone who expected 2 power-play goals, 2 assists, and 5 hits in Fabbri’s first four games as a Red Wing. Fabbri is getting a lot of power play time with his new team. Fabbri’s trade out of St. Louis seems to be working out so far. Also fun: Fabbri’s last 6 games as a Blue were wins (he only played one of them). Fabbri’s first three games as a Red Wing were also wins. Maybe he is just a good luck charm?
Frank Vatrano (LW/RW – FLA) has been a favorite of mine since he was in Boston because of his solid peripheral stats. This year my faith finally seems to be paying off. Vatrano has 3 goals and an assist in his last 6 games. For the season he averages 2.5 shots, a hit and a block per game. Coach Q has generally played him on the ice nearly 16 minutes per game, including more than a minute and a half on the power play. Mind you, Vatrano made a couple of bad defensive plays Thursday night and Coach Q sat him for the entire third period. While some sites show him paired with Brian Boyle, Vatrano has consistently skated with Denis Malgin at even strength and recently with Vincent Trocheck as well.
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Daily Head-to-Head Streamers:
|# of teams playing||4||26||4||26||4||28||6|
This is one of those weeks where there are definitely quality game nights and useless streaming nights. In order to maximize starts, you will need teams playing on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. While there is a slight chance you’ll have a hole in your roster on one of the other nights, I’m looking for the count of quality games. With such a wide difference between quality and non-quality nights, I’m also not picky about position. You can likely pick up a C-only player and easily slot them in for the quality games.
Four games does not necessarily make for an optimal streaming team. Of the 4-game teams, only Arizona has two quality games (Monday and Sunday). Other teams with 2 quality games are the New York Rangers (Wednesday and Friday), Ottawa (Wednesday and Friday), and Washington (Monday and Wednesday). Maximizing starts begins with targeting these teams. Hinostroza from the weekly recommendations fits the bill.
The Capitals are the most favorable streamers as you can bank their two quality games earlier in the week and drop streamers for other players after Wednesday. The bad news is the Capitals’ stars are already very popular fantasy players so there are few Caps on waivers.
My daily skater streaming targets:
Radko Gudas (D – WAS) is the most obvious streaming target on the Caps. It surprises me his ownership has dropped below 50% in Fantrax leagues, but owners in leagues not counting peripherals certainly will have no use for Gudas. The rest of us will ignore the measly 5 points in 20 games and soak in the PIM, shot, 3 hits, and 1.75 blocks per game. After receiving a scoreboard tribute in his first game back in Philly this week Gudas proceeded to hit 5 of his former teammates while setting a season-high in TOI of nearly 20 minutes.
Adam Fox (D – NYR) may be over 50% owned by the time this piece publishes. His ownership is already up 2.9% from last week. 6 points in 6 games will do that. Over the same 6 games, Fox also has 14 shots, 3 hits, and 7 blocks. He seems to have at least temporarily wrested control of the power-play QB role from Jacob Trouba and run with it. On Thursday night alone he played 5:24 PPTOI. If you did not get a chance to listen to last week’s episode of my podcast Fantasy Hockey Life, you might want to listen as The Athletic’s New York Rangers writer Shayna Goldman discusses Fox’s promise and role with the team.
Brendan Lemieux (LW – NYR) was my longshot last week but because New York has a second straight favorable schedule Lemieux makes a second straight recommendation. Last week I talked about his three-game points streak and great peripherals. This week he has had 1 assist, 12 hits, 6 blocks, and 19 PIM in 3 games. He continues to play with Kaapo Kakko at even strength — his assist was on a Kakko goal.
Nick Paul (C/LW – OTT) has been the beneficiary of former recommendation Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s absurd recent hot streak. Even knowing his 3 assists in 4 games are not likely to continue, I picked him up this week in a league where I needed shots and hits. On the season, Paul has averaged 2 shots, nearly 3 hits, and close to a block per game. His ATOI has climbed to 19:20 on Wednesday night. Some games he has even received a couple of minutes of power-play time. He may be a solid choice depending on your needs.
My daily goalie streaming targets:
For goalies, we focus on back-to-backs because they give the opportunity to pick up a competent backup goalie on the back half of a back-to-back. It helps when the second game of the back-to-back is a quality game night. There are relatively few back-to-backs next week. The following are the teams with the second game of a back-to-back on a quality night, along with the presumed backup goalie. Arizona (Kuemper/Raanta) vs Edmonton, Carolina (Reimer) at Detroit, Detroit (Bernier) vs Carolina, Edmonton (Mike Smith) at Arizona, Florida (Montembault) vs Buffalo, Montreal (Kinkaid) vs Ottawa, Ottawa (Craig Anderson) at Montreal, and Pittsburgh (Jarry) vs New Jersey.
Tristan Jarry (G – PIT) is in net behind a team whose chances seem to be slipping with the loss of Sidney Crosby. Hopefully the diminished quality of Jarry’s team in front of him is balanced out by a favorable home matchup with New Jersey. In four starts this year, Jarry has put up save percentages of .931, .955, and .938. He is an above-average backup who is as good a risk as any.
For more Week 7 Fantasy Hockey talk be sure to tune into my weekly podcast Fantasy Hockey Life right here on FantraxHQ for more streamer suggestions, great guest interviews, analysis, and general fantasy hockey tomfoolery. Find it wherever you download podcasts.
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