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Buy and Sell Week 7

Hello everyone and welcome in for another article, this time looking into potential buys and sells after the seventh week of NHL action. First I want to take a second to invite you to join the Apples & Ginos Discord server where you can ask questions and chat with other like-minded fantasy managers on anything fantasy or hockey-related. With that said, let’s get into the buys and sells of the week.

Guys You Should Put on Your Watch List:

Frank Vatrano, LW – FLA (12% owned on Yahoo)

Frank Vatrano needs to be owned in every 12-team league. The man is playing with Aleksander Barkov (a state also known as the panacea to cure all ills) and crushing it. Over the last two weeks Vatrano is 16th in 5v5 shots/60 and 25th in 5v5 individual chances for/60 (iCF/60). He doesn’t get top line PP work but there is nothing else to complain about here. As long as Vatrano is on Barkov’s wing there is no reason he shouldn’t be able to pace at a 30-goal, 60-point pace in his 17 minutes per game.

Shayne Gostisbehere, D – PHI (7% owned on Yahoo)

Gostisbehere has been one of the best stories of the past couple of weeks, climbing back onto the top PP unit and producing at a truly impressive rate. “Ghost-bear” has averaged just under 20 minutes a game over his past five game and his rate stats are elite during that time period. In those five games, he’s 2nd in shots/60 & iCF/60, 15th in individual scoring chances for/60 (iSCF/60), 9th in on-ice CF/60, 1st in xGF/60, and 20th in on-ice SCF/60. He’s legitimately playing at a very high level, and while he’s not much of a banger, finding goals and power play points from a defenseman on the wire this late in the season is a godsend.

Honourable Mentions: Mattias Ekholm, D – NSH (37% owned), Viktor Arvidsson, RW – NSH (37% owned), Clayton Keller, LW – ARI (36% owned), Jared McCann, LW – PIT (4% owned), Nils Hoglander, RW – VAN (8% owned), Adam Boqvist, D – CHI (11% owned), Anthony Beauvillier, LW – NYI (5% owned), Troy Terry, RW – ANA (0% owned), Filip Zadina, RW – DET (3% owned), Valeri Nichushkin, RW (1% owned), Nick Bjugstad, C – MIN (2% owned).

Hot Streaks to Believe in:

Filip Forsberg, LW – NSH

Forsberg appears to finally be unleashed, skating over 18 minutes a game in his last five games and ranking sixth in the league in shots/60 over that span. Remarkably, he’s shooting just 4.6%, meaning he probably should have put up an extra couple of goals in that time frame based on the amount he’s been firing. It’s still a problem that his teammates are not up to his level of play, but Forsberg is playing like a man possessed right now and we could be looking at that first 70+ point-pace season by the time all is said and done.

William Nylander, RW – TOR

Let me start this endorsement with a caveat: Nylander is well known by this point as a wildly streaky player. So when he goes ice cold in another couple of weeks, don’t say I didn’t tell you so. But the highs with Nylander are just so spectacular. Right now he’s in that stratospheric range you wish he would tap into all the time, ranking 3rd in the league in shots/60 over his last five games with an apropos 67% individual points percentage (IPP) and 15.8% shooting percentage (S%). He’s getting into the scoring areas, too, ranked 4th in iSCF/60 in this span. His on-ice shooting percentage is maybe a touch high at 12.2%, but he’s 45th in on-ice scoring chances for/60 in that time frame so you’d expect that number to be a little higher than average. All in all, Nylander is an entrenched option once again… until he isn’t.

Honourable Mentions: Kirill Kaprizov, LW – MIN, Dominik Kubalik, LW – CHI, Ondrej Palat, LW – TB, Sean Couturier, C – PHI.

Hot Streaks to Fade:

Alexis Lafreniere, LW – NYR

Lafreniere finally had that rookie breakout we were all hoping to see, notching five points in five games before tonight’s game. Unfortunately, that “breakout” looks set to fizzle before it really begins. Lafreniere ranks 407th over those five games in shots/60 with a 71% IPP and 40% S%. The team isn’t doing much to raise his stock while he’s on the ice, either: he’s 389th in both on-ice SCF/60 and xGF/60, with a sky-high 23.3% on-ice S% to boot. Lafreniere is skating just 15:35 on average and is about as classic a regression candidate as you can ask for right now.

Nick Suzuki, C – MTL

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when Nick Suzuki started his current four-game point streak. The Suzuki who started the season so hot was back, we could rely on him again, and our fantasy teams were ready to roll again. But Suzuki hasn’t really raised his level of play at all. He’s 252nd in xGF/60 and 185th in on-ice SCF/60 over his last five games, and the individual stats are not better: 344th in shots/60 and 248th in iCF/60. I still think Suzuki has more to give but the fact is he’s not giving it right now. If he can’t be relied upon even when receiving 20 minutes of ice time a night, he’s not worth holding onto.

Honourable Mentions: Marcus Foligno, RW – MIN, Oliver Wahlstrom, LW – NYI, Pavel Zacha, C – NJD, Chris Kreider, LW – NYR, Phil Kessel, RW – ARI, Isac Lundestrom, C – ANA, James van Riemsdyk, LW – PHI, Chandler Stephenson, C – VGK, Aaron Ekblad, D – FLA.

Slumps that Won’t Last:

Kevin Fiala, RW – MIN

I suppose I’ve turned myself into something of a Fiala stan over the course of this season, and I’m not ready to quit him yet. I know he doesn’t have a center or really any useful linemates to play with on any given night, but the man keeps shooting and keeps driving play at an incredible rate, and of late he’s been getting more ice time as well: 17:47 to be exact. Kirill Kaprizov has stolen the headlines and the highlight reels, but Fiala has continued to outproduce his flashy counterpart in advanced stats. Consider Fiala’s ranks over the past five games: Shots/60? 21st. iCF/60? 4th. iSCF/60? 30th. On-ice SCF/60? 30th. xGF/60? 2nd. Paint those ranks together with a lowly 6% on-ice S%, a 50% IPP, and an individual S% of 5.6%, and you can see where this is headed. Fiala doesn’t need his linemates to be even average; he’s capable of carrying them on his back and the points will come for him.

Dustin Brown, RW – LAK

Brown went from one of the hottest players in the league to one of the coldest in a matter of seconds it seems, but here we are. Brown is still skating 18:45 a night and ranks 11th in the league in shots/60 over his past five games. He’s fired three or more shots in six straight games, and we all know he hits a fair bit as well. He’s rocking a 16.7% IPP and 4.8% S% in those five games, but remains stapled to Anze Kopitar both at 5v5 and on the top Kings’ PP unit. As long as he’s skating these kind of minutes, shooting this much, and playing alongside Kopitar, I’m happy to roster Brown. I would definitely be reaching out to his manager and seeing if you can trade your potential drop candidate for Brown; they might be just looking for an excuse to offload him.

Honourable Mentions: Auston Matthews, C – TOR, Kevin Hayes, C – PHI, Tyson Barrie, D – EDM, Shea Theodore, D – VGK, Carter Verhaeghe, RW – FLA.

Slumps That Will Last:

Evgeny Kuznetsov, C – WSH

I’ve never been a fan of Kuznetsov but even so I feel anyone would objectively look at what he’s putting on the board these days and be very worried. Kuznetsov ranks 212th in shots/60, 357th in iCF/60, and 251st in iSCF/60 over his past three games. On the season you might think that his stats deserve some positive regression, but Kuznetsov is also skating a significantly less amount of ice time this season including losing over a minute per game of PP time as he seems to be getting phased out of the top power play unit. The on-ice numbers are more encouraging as the Capitals continue to be able to score goals, but the overwhelming takeaway is that the Capitals are now scoring goals in spite of Kuznetsov instead of because of him.

Victor Olofsson, LW – BUF

Olofsson has been another casualty of Buffalo’s descent into the abyss this season. I stated in the offseason that I viewed Olofsson as a budget Mike Hoffman type, a PP specialist with an inability to generate shots and scoring chances on his own. I liked his chances to repeat on an otherwise rather unsustainable-looking rookie season when Hall arrived in town, but Olofsson has been mired in second gear and doesn’t seem to have much impetus to break free anytime soon. He’s 373rd in shots/60, 324th in iCF/60, and 219th in iSCF/60 over his last five games, and the on-ice team stats look like you might think Buffalo’s team stats might look like. The worst part of all this is he’s rocking a 100% IPP over this time frame, meaning that every time Buffalo did score while he was on the ice, he was getting points. The ceiling does not appear to be particularly high for Olofsson until we see Eichel and Hall turn themselves around and drag the rest of the team along by the scruff of their necks.

Honourable Mentions: Nick Schmaltz, C – ARI, Sean Monahan, C – CGY, Miro Heiskanen, D – DAL, Mike Hoffman, RW – STL, Joe Thornton, LW – TOR, Justin Faulk, D – STL, Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW – CLB, Jack Eichel, C – BUF.

That’s all for this one folks! Make sure you follow Apples & Ginos on Twitter and don’t forget to join the Apples & Ginos Discord server for more content and to ask any fantasy hockey questions you may have.

Thanks for reading, you are much appreciated!

Nate

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Published by Apples & Ginos

Apples & Ginos Fantasy Hockey Advice

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