Hello everyone and welcome in for the final article in this series, this time looking into streaming options for the fantasy playoffs in Week 16. 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 – only seven teams don’t play four games next week. 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 shorter but still pretty lengthy: Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Dallas, Edmonton, New Jersey, New York (Islanders), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Vancouver 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 ten teams.
Best Streamers on Best Streaming Teams
You’ve got the same two candidates here you’ve had for a while: Craig Smith (38% owned on Yahoo) and Nick Ritchie (16% owned). Ritchie still has top PP billing but his ice time has dropped significantly since going to the 3rd line with just 12:55 a game over his last five. Both he and Smith are shooting at good rates, but Smith is skating 16 minutes a night which makes him the better pickup unless you’re looking exclusively for PPP and hits (although Smith can provide both). The Bruins play the Devils and Rangers twice each this week, so goals should be relatively easy to come by. Boston has been oddly splitting the PP1 QB role so it’s hard to recommend Matt Grzelcyk or Mike Reilly currently. Kevan Miller (0% owned) and Jeremy Lauzon (3% owned) are great bangers streams as they will provide both hits and blocks.
I’m not as high on the Sabres’ streaming options as they face the Islanders and Penguins twice each this week, but Victor Olofsson (35% owned) and Casey Mittelstadt (19% owned) are both widely available and skating 17-18 minutes with top PP deployment. I just think it’s likely you’ll find better options on a week with plenty of teams playing off nights. The Sabres don’t have many bangers options, either. Next!
This list is also short, because Canes players are widely owned, even the slumping ones like Martin Necas (64% owned). Really your only option here is Jani Hakanpaa (16% owned) for bangers. Hakanpaa is the priority add of the week if you need hits; he’s already cracked 200 smushes on the season which is a mind-boggling stat.
The Blackhawks have an oddball schedule this week with games Mon/Tue/Thu/Sun; this actually makes them pretty valuable in my eyes since there are only two Sunday games this week. Duncan Keith (19% owned) is a very solid defense stream as the PP1 QB and minute cruncher who contributes to blocks as well. I’m also interested in Dylan Strome (10% owned), who is centering the top PP and firing a bunch of shots of late. Connor Murphy (12% owned) is a very solid bangers option to fill hits and blocks, while for pure hits Nikita Zadorov (15% owned) is the play.
The Stars are the only team this week with the coveted Friday/Sunday split which makes them very interesting. Unfortunately, all of the offensive options are more than 60% owned, leaving us to sort through banger options like Jason Dickinson (1% owned) and Jamie Oleksiak (16% owned). It’s worth noting that Dickinson left Saturday’s game after blocking a shot and didn’t return – you’ll have to get a status update before making that add. Sometimes the cookie doesn’t crumble right for us in fantasy, and that’s the case with the Stars and their great schedule and unavailable players.
Not much to look at on the Oilers, either. Kailer Yamamoto (39% owned) is on a line with McDavid and Draisaitl right now so obviously that’s intriguing, but he’s done nothing with that deployment so far which sounds about right given the piss-poor season he’s put together. I can’t recommend any offensive option in good faith, but luckily the Oilers have plenty of hitters to use. There’s Josh Archibald (5% owned) who is pretty easily the top forward hitting pickup that’s widely available, and then there’s three defensemen options in Adam Larsson (25% owned), Dmitry Kulikov (0% owned), and Caleb Jones (0% owned) who will all provide a ton of value.
New Jersey Devils
I really want to like the options for the Devils. Yegor Sharangovich (9% owned) has been a revelation of late, Jesper Bratt (12% owned) and Pavel Zacha (11% owned) are on the top PP and producing, and even Jack Hughes is still somehow just 42% owned. My issue is two game against the Bruins followed up by two games against the Islanders; both teams are top-10 defenses in the last two weeks in terms of expected goals against. You could do worse, but you might also be able to do better. I’d order them Hughes > Bratt > Sharangovich > Zacha for the week. Right winger Nathan Bastian (2% owned) is another elite hits option (averaging 5 hits a game over his last seven games).
New York Islanders
The Islanders have a nice schedule with two games against Buffalo and two against New Jersey. The headliner here is Anthony Beauvillier (9% owned), who is on an absolute tear with four goals in his last four games. He’s skating on the top power play and ranks 5th in the league in individual scoring chances for/60 over the past five games. I can’t really recommend any other offensive options here; Jordan Eberle (30% owned) is usually OK but has been ice cold of late. The Islanders do offer wingers who hit in Cal Clutterbuck (2% owned) and Matt Martin (4% owned).
The Flyers are another team with not much to offer outside of Shayne Gostisbehere (9% owned), who came back from injury straight to top PP deployment. Gostisbehere is a decent PPP defenseman as long as he’s able to remain on coach Alain Vigneault’s good side. That goes for the rest of the team as well, as it seems only Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux are safe from Vigneault’s wrath on any given night. Joel Farabee (38% owned) is a desperation-level stream for my money given he’s skating just 14:19 a night, but he’s the best of the forwards. Robert Hagg (1% owned) is a passable bangers option.
I’m similar unenthused about the options presented by the Penguins. Jared McCann (39% owned) is still available in a lot of places, but I can’t say I’m excited as his chance generation numbers have fallen off a cliff of late and Evgeni Malkin’s seemingly imminent return will all but destroy his fantasy value. Simply put, I like many more of the previously mentioned options better than anything the Pens are offering us. Winger Zach Aston-Reese (1% owned) is your banger bet.
Nils Hoglander (10% owned) and Tanner Pearson (16% owned) are the priorities here, with Hoglander a cut above due to his current top line and top PP deployment. I’m not huge on Hoglander because his chance generation numbers have been incredibly underwhelming, but he could fall into a few points pretty easily. Travis Hamonic (10% owned) is a pretty nice blocks option if you find yourself needing those.
Other Teams to Target
Honestly this is a week where you can probably get away with streaming players off any of the four-game teams, since nearly every team plays Monday and Saturday and Wednesday isn’t a particularly rough “heavy” night (9 games). Targeting Calgary and Ottawa for the Sunday game will be a key for some who need a push in one category or another that last day of the week. Any advice I offer now will be out of date by then, so hit me up later in the week in the Discord if you’re looking for which Sunday stream to make.
Thanks for reading, you are appreciated!
Advanced stats credit: Natural Stat Trick
Title photo credit: Getty Images