Hello everyone and welcome in for another article, this time looking into potential buys and sells after the tenth 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:
Jason Robertson, LW – DAL (19% owned on Yahoo)
Robertson has pushed his way into the fantasy hockey conversation with four points in his last four game and averaging four shots a game in that span. The best part is everything looks very sustainable, as Robertson is running a 8% on-ice shooting percentage and a 5% personal shooting percentage (S%) over his last five games, both marks that suggest potential positive regression. His individual points percentage (IPP) in those five games is high at 80%, but at worst that should be a wash. Robertson is skating over 20 minutes a game and ranks 18th in the league in shots per 60 minutes over the same five games. He won’t help you in hits, but the point production looks to be here to stay.
Kaapo Kakko, RW – NYR (8% owned on Yahoo)
I’ve written on Kakko a few times and detailed how he was making strides before going on the COVID list for two weeks. Since his return he’s slowly built his game back up and over his last five games he ranks 20th in the league in shots/60 and is holding down a coveted spot next to Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome. The ice time is the main concern (just 13:26 per game in those five games), but if Kakko can get into the 15+ minute range (which he just did in the game that is on-going as I write this on Sunday afternoon), I’m very interested in a guy who is due a hot streak in the worst way.
Honourable Mentions: Nick Ritchie, LW – BOS (16% owned), Anthony Duclair, RW – FLA (10% owned), Jesse Puljujarvi, RW – EDM (15% owned), Kirby Dach, C – CHI (21% owned), Owen Tippett, RW – FLA (1% owned), Jeff Carter, C – LAK (10% owned), Conor Sheary (0% owned), Vince Dunn, D – STL (8% owned).
Hot Streaks to Believe in:
Mika Zibanejad, C – NYR
Okay, so Zibanejad isn’t going to shoot 26% or carry an on-ice shooting percentage of 21% like he has been the last five games. But what he can do is sustain a top-40 shot and on-ice expected goals for (xGF) rate the rest of the way, which will almost certainly result in Zibby closing out the rest of the year at a point-per-game pace with a bunch of goals along the way. He’s back up to that 21+ minute usage and being able to sustain high rates at those minutes is a sure sign that he’s back in full and we can lean on him for the rest of the year.
Martin Necas, RW – CAR
Similar to Zibanejad, Necas has had things a bit too good of late: a 23.5% S%, 100% IPP, and 12% on-ice S% over his last five games sits a fair bit on the lucky side. But also like Zibanejad, he’s skating over 21 minutes a night including top line and top power play duties alongside Sebastian Aho. We will have to monitor his power play deployment when Vincent Trocheck returns, but Necas is doing everything right, shooting a bunch from the right spots on the ice (38th in individual scoring chances for per 60 minutes (iSCF/60) and 27th in individual high danger chances for per 60 minutes (iHDCF/60) despite the elevated minutes).
Honourable Mentions: Ryan Strome, C – NYR, David Perron, RW – STL, Matt Grzelcyk, D – BOS, Aaron Ekblad, D – FLA, Carter Verhaeghe, LW – FLA, Bryan Rust, RW – PIT, Max Pacioretty, LW – VGK
Hot Streaks to Fade:
Eeli Tolvanen, RW – NSH
Tolvanen has been a fun ride, but it’s probably time to hop off this train. Tolvanen is down to 15:18 of ice time per game of late and without Filip Forsberg on his line at both even strength and on the power play, Tolvanen will almost certainly see some painful regression from his 100% IPP, 22% S%, and 17.7% on-ice S% marks over the last five games. Tolvanen ranks 376th in on-ice xGF/60, 180th in shots/60, and 137th in iSCF/60 in those five games. Other fantasy managers will see a hot streak, but we see a picture of a player who is simply not impacting the play much and getting lower ice time with worse linemates than he was previously.
Yanni Gourde, C – TBL
Gourde is an easy fade, getting moved off the Stamkos line to center the Bolts’ third line consisting of Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow. Gourde has an unconscious 44% S% and 100% IPP over his last five games and a 196th-best shots/60 mark in that stretch. The ice time has decreased along with his reduced even strength role, and the 13.6% on-ice S% is definitely high as well. Gourde had a nice run in the top six and I wouldn’t say no to streaming him back in if he got that opportunity again, but given his current circumstances there are certainly better waiver wire options in your league.
Honourable Mentions: Roope Hintz, C – DAL, Phil Kessel, RW – ARI, Andrew Copp, LW – WPG, Rocco Grimaldi, RW – NSH, Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW – CLB, Pavel Buchnevich, Nicklas Backstrom, C – WSH.
Slumps that Won’t Last:
Vladimir Tarasenko, RW – STL
Tarasenko has had a rough stretch with just a single assist that somehow gives him a 100% IPP over his last five games, but the man has been firing shots like a slighted rapper. Tarasenko ranks 4th in shots/60 with a healthy 18:37 average time on ice in those games to go with a horrific sub-2% on-ice shooting percentage. The Blues are cold right now no doubt, but Tarasenko is far from the problem and once the goals start to come again it could open the floodgates for him. He’s been throwing the weight around a bit again as well (over a hit per game) which is an excellent sign that he’s feeling good. The Blues’ schedule through the fantasy playoffs is just average, but I’m interested in sending out offers on Tarasenko mid-week this week to catch him for his back-to-back games against the Avalanche this Friday and Saturday.
Brady Tkachuk, LW – OTT
Tkachuk is faced with the unenviable task of trying to raise the level of play of his teammates as the team’s best player at the ripe old age of 21. He’s doing his damnedest, ranking 23rd in the league in shots/60 and 41st in iSCF/60 despite dragging the corpse of Evgenii Dadonov up and down the ice with him. The results have not been good of late, with a single assist his only production in the last five games. Tkachuk has been wildly unlucky of late with a 25% IPP in those five games, so don’t expect it to take too long before he finds himself on the right side of the scoresheet once again. The good news is that even when he’s not scoring, Tkachuk is launching himself into everyone who moves, averaging over 5 hits per game in his last five. Take a deep breath and be patient, Tkachuk will still be able to will some pucks into the net for you over the close of the fantasy season.
Honourable Mentions: Conor Garland, RW – ARI, Jonathan Marchessault, LW – VGK, Nazem Kadri, C – COL, Miro Heiskanen, D – DAL, Ryan Pulock, D – NYI, Erik Karlsson, D – SJS.
Slumps that Will Last:
Patrik Laine, LW – CLB
This is not a secret to anyone at all tuned in to NHL hockey, but Laine has been abysmal for some time now. This “sniper” is 342nd in the league in shots/60 over his last five. Just a blip? Nope, he’s 220th over the last month, spanning fifteen games. In the same time frame Laine ranks 308th in the league in xGF/60. Laine is simply not a rosterable player at this point in time. Yes, of course he has the ability to score goals. But the team situation is scoring-averse and Laine himself is in a huge rut. I didn’t have any Laine shares this season but if I did I would be dumping him.
Sean Monahan, C – CGY
Monahan seems like an early casualty of the Sutter regime with just a pair of assists in his last five games. Interestingly the ice time has been there for Monahan at just under 18 minutes a game in his last five, but he’s responded by putting up just 5.4 shots/60 which ranks 297th in the league. The on-ice shooting percentage is a tad low at 8%, but Monahan has been wildly inconsistent all season long and I’m not willing to risk the very real possibility that he’s just a 40-point player rest of season. In a twelve-team league I’d be considering dropping him if he didn’t have such a sweet schedule this week (4 off night games). I guess we hope for some points this week, but I can’t say I’m very optimistic.
Honourable Mentions: Nick Suzuki, C – MTL, Kailer Yamamoto, RW – EDM, Drake Batherson, RW – OTT, Rasmus Andersson, D – CGY, Zach Werenski, D – CLB, Logan Couture, C – SJS, Cam Atkinson, RW – CLB.
Thanks for reading, you are appreciated!
Advanced stats credit: Natural Stat Trick
Title photo credit: Scott Rovak – Getty Images