Week 17 of the Fantasy Hockey season is like no other week this year. The bye weeks are really making it tough on owners, as they have to really look ahead towards the last couple days of their matchup in head-to-head formats. Wednesday and Friday are light nights in the NHL and there are 22 games on Saturday and Sunday. This may be the week of the backup goalie, as he could get you that win on Sunday you desperately need.
There are seven teams on bye this week. Tampa Bay, Carolina and Washington return to action Friday. Chicago, Nashville, Boston and Montreal return Saturday. The Canadiens and Bruins only play once this week.
Players from all of those teams have been getting dropped in leagues. Montreal shares a good portion of the drops in Yahoo! leagues over the past 24 hours and for good reason.
10 goals and 1 win in their last seven games. Shut out in 3 of their last 5. Not unfair to ask if the players have given up on the coach.
— Conor McKenna (@mckennaconor) February 13, 2017
Outside Looking In?
I understand it’s tough to hang on to Alex Galchenyuk when he has six points since December 2nd. I know he’s been hurt for most of that time and has only played 12 games since suffering a knee injury, but knowing he plays once this week and seeing him play 13 minutes twice in the last week or so is concerning. If you are outside of a playoff spot and you need the wins, you can’t afford to hang on to a player not producing for one
With all that said, there is a great buying window here for good players to be had off the wire. Hopefully, you don’t need the win that badly, because you have to figure there’s a good chance Galchenyuk will return to the point per game pace – or close to it – he was on for six months prior to the knee injury.
It’s not even Galchenyuk. James Neal, Justin Williams and Viktor Arvidsson and newly activated Brendan Gallagher were dropped in leagues Monday. I would, and do, roster all of these guys in leagues. Arvidsson is coming off a hat trick and has 18 goals and 39 points to go along with 175 shots on goal.
Plan For The Playoffs
If you are in a playoff spot and you feel you’ll finish in one, look ahead to the weeks to come. Set yourself up in a good spot. If you had Andrew Shaw for hits and PIM and someone drops Patrick Maroon because he has one goal in 10 games, pick up Maroon. Players go on cold streaks, but look for the upside. Look at the schedule of teams in the final weeks of the season. After all, Maroon is still playing with Connor McDavid.
Why would I leave Williams and and his 18 goals on the wire? They’re one of the hottest teams going in the NHL.
Week 17 Fantasy Hockey Strategy
With 11 games each on Saturday and Sunday, you’ll have some tough decisions to make. In head-to-head leagues it’s not a bad idea to look ahead to Wednesday and Friday. Those are typically lighter schedule nights in the NHL and it’s a good way to gain a few categories on your opponent.
Only four games on Wednesday and three on Friday. Columbus plays Wednesday and Friday as well as Sunday. Florida plays Wednesday and Friday as well as Saturday.
Wednesday & Friday Streams
Brandon Dubinsky is one of those guys who touches all categories. Most importantly, it’s been in the point department of late. Dubinsky has three goals and 10 points in his last 10 games. Dubinsky has at least a shot in 22 straight games and at least a hit in 28 straight.
Over the last 30 days Dubinsky has 48 hits, 26 PIM, 27 SOG, five goals, 12 points and 109 faceoff wins, making him a top skater over that time frame. The 48 hits rank fifth.
Keep an eye on his linemate Boone Jenner who is finally producing. In leagues with hits and shots, I would add him for sure. I wouldn’t in goals, assists and points only leagues. He’s a great stream this week, though.
Now that Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov returned to the Panthers lineup they are starting to get some secondary scoring. Jussi Jokinen‘s three straight seasons with at least 36 assists will probably come to an end, but right now nobody owns him and he’s scoring. He has three multi-point games in his last five. He has two power play points over that span and put five pucks on net in a game last week.
14 of the 22 teams that play Saturday also play Sunday, so we’ll get a healthy look at backups towards the end of the week.
It’s getting to the point where Philipp Grubauer should be owned. If you’re a Braden Holtby owner, why not grab Grubauer and you’ll most likely walk away with great stats whenever the Capitals play?
Holtby: 29 wins / 2.02 GAA / .926 SV%, 7 SO
Grubauer: 10 wins / 1.98 GAA / .931 SV%, 3 SO
Those are solid numbers for a back up, as the Capitals just keep winning. There’s a good chance Washington leans on Grubauer down the stretch to give Holtby some rest. Roster both!
Mike Condon has been getting dropped after Craig Anderson returned with a shutout over the weekend, but he’ll likely get a start Sunday against Winnipeg.
Curtis McElhinney is not a great option Wedesday against his former Columbus teammates, but he’s not a bad option Sunday against Carolina.
Andrei Vasilevskiy could get Colorado Sunday and Aaron Dell has wicked numbers when tending the net for the Sharks; 2.05 GAA & .930 SV%. He could very well get Arizona on Saturday.
Players Trending Up: Anders Lee (again), Jason Pominville, Nikita Zaitsev, Jake Allen
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