Hello everyone and welcome in for another article. This is the twenty-fourth installment of a weekly article I’ve been writing all season long in which I try to determine the truth about puzzling players. I pull suggestions for which players to write about for these articles from the Apples & Ginos community on Discord and the Apples & Ginos Patreon members. Be sure you check out those spots to catch up with me and I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about Dougie Hamilton, Noah Dobson, or any other offensive defensemen you feel like you can’t trust right now. Let’s get it!
Every Montreal and Winnipeg Player
I’m a man of the people and when you get a comment like this in the Discord you just have to respond:
I’m not going to go into depth but I’ll give you my top five point scoring options under 50% rostered across both teams:
- Paul Stastny
- Mike Hoffman
- Josh Anderson
- Adam Lowry
- Brendan Gallagher
Stastny has been hot for a bit and is skating close to 20 minutes a night with prime deployment in Winnipeg. Hoffman has the best shot rates in the last five games of the remaining group and Anderson has the best iSCF/60. Lowry offers hits with some point potential and should see more minutes if Scheifele is sidelined for any length of time. Gallagher should be able to produce but the low ice time he’s getting is pretty concerning for his point upside. If you’re looking for defensemen Jeff Petry is the obvious top tier play while Brenden Dillon and Alexander Romanov exist as pure bangers options only.
Verdict: Stastny clear top tier, after that it’s a bit of pick your poison
Dougie Hamilton, D – NJD
I’m still playing Hamilton over your typical waiver wire fodder for this week; I’d take him over Gustav Forsling and while Sean Durzi might give me pause, I’m still leaning Hamilton’s way. Hamilton is now back on the top power play unit in New Jersey and while Jack Hughes being done for the season definitely hurts, Hamilton has fired three or more shots in six of his last seven games. Given more PP time I would expect Hamilton to get 4 points between his seven games this week and next; I can’t say that as confidently for anyone you’d typically be dropping him for at this point.
Verdict: I just don’t know who you’re picking up who might be better than Hamilton at this point
Noah Dobson, D – NYI
Dobson’s production has tailed off a bit, going pointless in five of his last six games and only registering more than a single shot on goal twice in that span. He’s still on the top PP for now but Ryan Pulock is knocking on the door. I wouldn’t blame anyone for jumping ship on Dobson, but where I have him I’m holding as long as he’s on that top PP. His 4-game week and two off nights upcoming on Friday and Sunday cover over a multitude of sins. If you can find another 4-game D-man on PP1 to swap in for Dobson be my guest, but I looked in my leagues where I have Dobson and I didn’t find anyone.
Verdict: An uneasy hold as long as he’s on PP1
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C – NYI
Pageau is Dobson’s polar opposite, on a tear with five goals and six points in his last four games. I’m not wildly bullish on Pageau especially since he only managed to generate a single individual scoring chance for in his past two games (and scored on it). That being said, Pageau also has that sweet Fri/Sun end to the week and I’ll undoubtedly be considering him at that point in the week even if he doesn’t do much on Tuesday or Thursday. He’s thrown up five hits in three of his past six games as well which is obviously of interest to anyone in bangers cats leagues.
Verdict: Probably not getting in your lineup Tuesday or Thursday so I’m waiting to see how those games go before adding him for the weekend
Owen Power, D – BUF
Buffalo’s 2021 #1 overall pick will make his debut tomorrow night in Toronto. Power has spent his season with the University of Michigan in the NCAA, racking up 32 points in 33 games as part of that Wolverine juggernaut squad. I’m doubtful Power makes an immediate fantasy impact, mainly because I don’t see him supplanting Rasmus Dahlin on the top power play. Maybe eventually Power will take over that deployment, but I don’t see the Sabres dropping that in his lap from the get go as he learns the pro game. I would expect Power to see 18-19 minutes a game and PP2 duties to get his feet wet at the NHL level, but expecting him to provide fantasy impact as a teenage defenseman is a bridge too far for me.
Verdict: Not interested unless he starts getting monster minutes and PP1
Before you go, I want to make sure you’re aware of the Apples and Ginos Fantasy Hockey Podcast and I would be much obliged if you were to give it a listen. There are two weekly shows focused on the strategy elements of fantasy hockey and I’m very excited about providing more value to the fantasy hockey community in this way. I’ve already had terrific guests like Ian Gooding from Dobber Hockey and Nick Alberga from NHL Fantasy on Ice on the show, and I’ve added a midweek podcast with my friends Josh Hutchinson and John Binkle who are a ton of fun on the mic.
That’s all for this one folks, I hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it! Make sure you follow Apples & Ginos on Twitter and join the free Apples & Ginos Discord server for more content and to ask any fantasy hockey questions you may have. If you want to learn more about any of the advanced stats I mentioned in this article, be sure to check out my article on applying advanced stats to fantasy hockey, or Natural Stat Trick’s advanced stats glossary.
Thanks for reading, you are appreciated!
Soundtrack to my writing: Picture Perfect by Every Avenue
Advanced stats credit: Natural Stat Trick