Each week, I will be providing tips on which players to add or drop that are consistent with ownership percentages from ‘Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey’ leagues. I will go through why players should be looked at as weekly rentals and players that can fill a role on your roster for the long term.
Worth an Add?
RW - Josh Anderson, CLB. (43% Owned)
Anderson has played a big part in the Jackets’ success to bring them into third place in the Metropolitan division, just one point back of the division leading Capitals. He has also given his fantasy owners a lot to talk about. Anderson has been shooting up the fantasy leaderboards this season with the addition of “hits” as a category in standard leagues. He has produced a respectful fifteen goals and added four assists... however, where he is giving some owners the edge is in the plus/minus and the hits column. He has been a plus-eighteen, while delivering one hundred hits on the season. This has him ranked 53rd overall (187th Pre-Season Ranking) and is only 43% owned in Yahoo! Leagues... he is a must to pick up heading into the new week.
RW – Craig Smith, NSH. (22% Owned)
Smith has been playing alongside Calle Jarnkrok and Kevin Fiala on the Predators’ second forward line. This is giving him huge upside, and he has taken advantage of this position for far this season. He has scored a respectable fourteen goals, while adding ten assists, five powerplay points and putting one hundred and twenty-seven shots on net. There is talk that the return of Filip Forsberg could shift Smith back down onto the third line, until then, he is a must own in all leagues as the 81st ranked player overall.
C – Kevin Hayes, NYR. (36% Owned)
Hayes had an unbelievable December, picking up his scoring pace and playing more to his abilities. Hayes has good skill for a big man and is starting to use his size to his advantage. He put up five goals and eleven assists during a nine-game point streak through the month. Now that Namestnikov and Zuccarello (Hayes’ line-mates) are also starting to pick up the pace, Hayes and his line could be worth the add to your lineup, if you are looking for a third centre or a utility player.
Worth Trading For?
C/RW – William Nylander, TOR.
Nylander now has twelve games under his belt in just over a month since his return to the Maple Leafs. Leafs fans have been expecting an outbreak of points since his first game back...
however, a couple sports science experts predicted it could take anywhere from three-five weeks for Nylander to get back into full game shape. He finally got the monkey off his back on Thursday night against the Islanders and looked good again Saturday night against the Canucks. He is right on the cusp of breaking out, and if you can make a “buy-low” trade with a team looking to shop him, take advantage... “Willy” is about to be free.
RW – Vladimir Tarasenko, STL.
Tarasenko has not looked like himself for most of the season, his shots and shooting percentage are both down from his two previous years. However, his shooting percentage has been slowly decreasing since his sophomore season. In the past five seasons (13/14 to 17/18) his shooting percentage was the following: 15.4%, 14%, 13.7%, 13.6%, 10.8%. His shooting percentage this season: 7.8%. There are two meanings behind these numbers. One, he is getting unlucky this season, and is not getting the same quality of passes and opportunities as past seasons. Two, goalies are figuring out his shot and he is not the star player he once was. Either way, Tarasenko is a player that was once in the top twenty rankings who, until he proves otherwise, is a guy I will not be trading for in any league.
Michael Hutchinson, TOR.
Fresh off a shutout in his second appearance as a Maple Leaf, Hutchinson is slated to pick up at least two starts this week with Anderson and Sparks having lingering injuries. He may not be the flashiest goalie in the league, however he will put a W in the correct column as the Maple Leafs have the offence to back any goalie they throw in net. Any additional strong stats or shutouts with Hutch are a cherry on top. Even with three tough opponents this week, he should be able to pick up a win or two for your fantasy team.
Collin Delia, CHI.
Delia is slated to get the start on Monday night against the hot Flames, however he has been just as hot since getting recalled to the big club with a 3-1-0 record, a 1.98 GAA and .952 SV%. He has been exactly what the ‘Hawks have needed after Corey Crawford suffered another concussion. Look for him to have another strong start Monday night, allowing him to pick up another start against Nashville or Vegas later in the week. He is worth the addition to your fantasy lineup this week, solely on his statistical advantages and the amount of shot the ‘Hawks give up every game.
Next week, I will recap the first half of the fantasy season and give my fantasy awards. There will also be a section on guys in the AHL who could make an appearance for fantasy playoffs, as well as guys in the long term injured reserve who also might be returning for your fantasy playoffs. These are guys that are worth stashing if you have extra IR or N/A slot in your lineup.
Just remember, it’s all about getting your teams name on that trophy at the end of the season.