Hello everyone and welcome in for another article, this time looking into streaming options for the fantasy playoffs in Week 15. I’m going to throw a bunch of names out there and give you potential situations that should make you consider one player over another. 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 streamers of the week.
Where to Start
First, we’re going to start with all the teams who play four games next week. That list is very long – 16 teams in total. Next, we narrow it down to teams with two or more off nights to give us our first group of teams to work with. That list is pretty short: Anaheim, Arizona, Colorado, Los Angeles, Montreal, and San Jose fit these two criteria. If you want to do this kind of quick analysis for yourself, I fully recommend the 0GAR weekly offnights site which is associated with the Fantasy Hockey Podcast guys. It’s visually appealing and easy to immediately see which teams are playing on what nights. With that said, let’s jump into these six teams.
Best Streamers on Best Streaming Teams
The cupboard is really bare here. Rickard Rakell (23% owned) is still a viable streamer as Anaheim’s greatest offensive threat on the top line and top PP unit, but it’s hard to recommend anyone else here. The nice part is that Anaheim plays all four games versus Los Angeles this week, so the level of competition should be relatively equal for once. If you’re looking for bangs, there are probably better options than what the Ducks can offer you. Move along.
Another unexciting squad here, where Phil Kessel (38% owned) is your best option getting 17 and a half minutes a night and putting up very decent individual rate stats of late. If you need shots, a few points, and some power play points, you could do worse than Kessel this week, particularly in Arizona’s first two games of the week versus San Jose. I would typically mention Clayton Keller (38% owned) here but the taps seem to be turned off and Keller is not generating much on his own currently. There are plenty of bangers options between forwards Lawson Crouse (5% owned) and Dryden Hunt (0% owned) and defensemen Ilya Lyubushkin (0% owned) and Jason Demers (0% owned).
I’m in on Andre Burakovsky (33% owned) as long Mikko Rantanen remains out and Burakovsky gets that sweet sweet top line top PP deployment. JT Compher (1% owned) is also on that top PP and second line for the time being, but nothing in his advanced stats makes me believe he’s anything more than a dart throw. I’m assuming Compher will get bumped off PP1 before Burakovsky when Rantanen does draw back in so Bura could hold some value throughout the week if he’s able to maintain that top power play exposure. Patrik Nemeth (0% owned) is your blocks streamer to own this week after blocking six and three shots in his first two games in an Avalanche uniform.
Los Angeles Kings
Alex Iafallo (11% owned) is the top name here, remaining attached at the hip with Anze Kopitar at even strength and on the power play. Iafallo has been consistently OK in just about every way this year but the 4 games versus Anaheim give him a heightened points ceiling. Interestingly, Andreas Athanasiou (2% owned) got a half-game look alongside Iafallo and Kopitar on the top line in place of Dustin Brown in Saturday’s game. If that role continues, Athanasiou could be worth a look in deeper formats given he’s actually put up some solid underlying stats on the season. Mikey Anderson (0% owned) is another blocks option, while Carl Grundstrom (0% owned) is a solid winger hits streamer.
I talked last week in this space about how I was not placing any bets on a single Canadiens player to get great deployment all week and be fantasy relevant. The past week has not changed my resolve – in their past five games, the Canadiens have 10 forwards averaging more than 14 minutes a game and only one (Tyler Toffoli) averaging more than 18 minutes a game at 18:03. With Toffoli rostered in every competitive league, there’s not much here to get excited about, especially because none of these players have put up underlying stats recently that inspire much confidence. I will say that Erik Gustafsson (5% owned) has carved out a nice little power play role on the Toffoli unit and could be fantasy relevant if he gains some more 5v5 ice time (averaged less than 10 total minutes in his first two games with the team). Joel Edmundson (23% owned) is an adequate but not spectacular bangers option.
San Jose Sharks
Kevin Labanc (9% owned) is pretty much the only option here, but I’m not as confident in him as I have been in the past. San Jose plays Arizona and Colorado twice each this week and both teams are relatively stingy defensively, and on top of that Labanc’s individual chance generation rate has fallen off significantly of late. He’s still getting top line top PP deployment so you can definitely do worse, but I’m not as excited as I would have been if this had been a few weeks ago when he was shooting and hitting the lights out. Rudolphs Balcers (1% owned) remains a hitting machine with 16 hits in his last four games and has a decent chance to put up a few points as he holds second line and second PP usage. Mario Ferraro (11% owned) is a terrific hits and blocks streaming option who sees a lot of ice time to boot.
Other Teams to Target
Carolina, Dallas, Florida, and Nashville all play four games this week with a Monday/Tuesday back to back; that can be a nice streamer target to transition into one of the Wednesday/Friday/Saturday teams from above for the rest of the week. Sam Bennett is still somehow just 44% owned despite crushing it with his new time and now jumping onto the top PP unit. Frank Vatrano (33% owned) is on the Aleksander Barkov line for the time being along with Nikita Gusev (8% owned), while Anthony Duclair (26% owned) makes up the rest of the top six beside Jonathan Huberdeau. Right now I have Bennett > Gusev > Duclair > Vatrano ROS, but I’d be willing to run any of them out there.
Outside of Florida, I’m pretty out on the other teams; Dallas and Carolina’s top guys are all well out of streaming level ownership, while Nashville is splitting ice time very evenly among all their forwards. No, I’m still not back in on Eeli Tolvanen and his 33% shooting percentage against 15:42 average time on ice. He might outperform his expected scoring for the rest of the year but I’m happy to let outliers be outliers and focus on guys who are playing well in good situations and producing.
One quirk of this week’s schedule is that every team except for Winnipeg plays on Saturday, making Winnipeg’s three-game week with two off nights (Wednesday/Friday) very appealing since your average streamer won’t crack your starting lineup on Saturday anyways. Paul Stastny (20% owned) is the play here, and Josh Morrissey (48% owned) is another (albeit less available) option at D. Tucker Poolman (0% owned) is very rosterable in bangers leagues, and Adam Lowry (15% owned) is worth a look if he’s able to get back immediately from the injury that kept him out of Saturday’s game versus Toronto.
Vegas has the Wednesday/Friday off nights but their third game of the week is the heavy Saturday, making their streamers two-game options. Chandler Stephenson (26% owned) is very attractive for that span given his top line top PP deployment.
Edmonton, St. Louis, and Vancouver all play three games with one off night before the Saturday apocalypse. Jesse Puljujarvi (13% owned) and Tanner Pearson (12% owned) are the best shots to take here if you can fit them in for all three of those games.
Thanks for reading, you are appreciated!
Advanced stats credit: Natural Stat Trick
Title photo credit: Bruce Bennett – Getty Images