The Stanley Cup sure isn’t won in July or August, but that’s definitely when the blueprint is put in place. The St. Louis Blues would be the first to tell you that.
It’s always fascinating to see the fantasy fallout from off-season movement. Oftentimes, it’s the overlooked transactions that offer the most legitimate value. Last summer was no different. For all that Sergei Bobrovsky, P.K. Subban and Joe Pavelski hype, it’s been the smaller moves that have paid major dividends thus far.
Just remember, it’s a long season, but you definitely can’t overlook what’s happening in Vancouver and Colorado right now:
|Player||New Team||Old Team||Stats|
|Artemi Panarin||NYR||CBJ||25 GP: 12 G, 21 A, 33 P, +12, 12 PIM, 10 PPP|
|J.T. Miller||VAN||TBL||27 GP: 12 G, 15 A, 27 P, -1, 18 PIM, 11 PPP|
|Joonas Donskoi||COL||SJS||26 GP: 11 G, 11 A, 22 P, +2, 10 PIM|
|Andre Burakovsky||COL||WSH||25 GP: 11 G, 10 A, 21 P, +1, 8 PIM, 7 PPP|
|Brett Connolly||FLA||WSH||26 GP: 12 G, 7 A, 19 P, +5, 8 PIM|
Over time, the numbers should level out. Shout out to James Neal in Edmonton and Nazem Kadri in Colorado. Both have done their thing. In Toronto, Tyson Barrie has been much better under Sheldon Keefe. Elsewhere, Phil Kessel and P.K. Subban are still trying to find their footing in Arizona and New Jersey, respectively.
1. And the Garden State is where we begin. If you own Taylor Hall, pay attention to the next couple of thoughts, at the very least. Whispers out of New Jersey suggest that the Devils are starting to listen to inquiries on the 2018 Hart Trophy winner. I fully expect general manager Ray Shero to slow play this situation until inevitably pulling the trigger around the trade deadline. Sit tight.
2. The trickle-down effect of that news is what I’m most fascinated in. Clearly, a move of significance would mean that New Jersey is a seller. So, what would that mean for pending unrestricted free agents Wayne Simmonds and Sami Vatanen? How about Kyle Palmieri? That favourable contract will make him a hot commodity if he’s made available. Lots of fantasy implications to come. Stay tuned.
3. On that note, Detroit, Los Angeles and Ottawa will likely emerge as sellers at some point, too. Jonathan Bernier, Tyler Toffoli and Jean-Gabriel Pageau are players to watch. Of that group, I could see Toffoli gaining the biggest fantasy boost from a trade.
4. Geoff Ward is now 2-0-1 behind the Flames’ bench. As headlined in last week’s musings, Calgary is overdue for an offensive breakout. Lots of buy-low potential there. Happy shopping!
5. Decent return for Mikko Rantanen, eh? Pick up Joonas Donskoi immediately! Colorado’s makeshift top-line of Rantanen (1 G, 3 A), Nathan MacKinnon (1 G, 2 A) and Donskoi (2 G, 2 A) combined for 11 points in a 7-3 thrashing of the Blackhawks on Saturday night.
6. Tough time for Andre Burakovsky to get injured. He was on fire with nine points over a five-game stretch. Tyson Jost and J.T. Compher could be worth your streaming attention as long as they skate with Nazem Kadri on line two. The Avalanche are really good.
7. It’s only Dec. 1, but rest assured, the pressure is on in Buffalo. At this juncture, whoever is playing better in goal will get the brunt of the workload. Right now, that guy is Linus Ullmark and not Carter Hutton. Keep tabs.
8. Great to see Mika Zibanejad back for the Rangers. Here’s what David Quinn’s top-nine looks like right now:
Brendan Lemieux – Mika Zibanejad – Pavel Buchnevich
Artemi Panarin – Ryan Strome – Kaapo Kakko
Chris Kreider – Filip Chytil – Jesper Fast
Obviously, any exposure to Zibanejad and Panarin is good exposure. Some stealth waiver options available on Broadway.
9. With Dylan Strome currently sidelined due to a concussion, Blackhawks rookie Kirby Dach is worth a pickup. The 18-year-old is the centre for Alex DeBrincat and a red-hot Patrick Kane. Need I say more?
10. Looking for a short-term Rasmus Dahlin (concussion) replacement? Adam Fox, Neal Pionk and Alex Goligoski are all fantastic options. Each defender continues to fly under the radar.
11. Some injury situations to monitor from the past couple days: Alex Killorn, Martin Necas, Alex Edler, Zach Werenski and Thomas Greiss. Might be a good time to acquire Semyon Varlamov. Wait for updates in coming days.
12. Sneakily, the Wild are playing much better lately, notching a 5-0-3 record over their past eight games. Devan Dubnyk has missed six games in a row and counting due to personal reasons. With that in mind, scoop up Alex Stalock if you’re in the market for goaltending.
13. Feel free to stream Jake Allen down the road if you’re chasing some crease categories. In his last five appearances, the 29-year-old has posted an impressive .940 save percentage. Even without Vladimir Tarasenko, the Blues are somehow 11-3-3. Ridiculous!
14. Mark my words: the buy-low window to acquire Carey Price will slam shut very soon. The resume speaks for itself. Offer away!
15. I wouldn’t read much into Matt Murray’s pedestrian play in Pittsburgh. Similar to Price, just chalk it up to a rough patch in the midst of a long season. For what it’s worth, Tristan Jarry isn’t stealing that job anytime soon. Neither is Casey DeSmith, for that matter.
16. For disgruntled Viktor Arvidsson owners, I have just the magic elixir for you. His name is Oliver Bjorkstrand and he’s a dual-eligible winger on the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Dane is flying under the radar the last little bit, while supplying impressive category coverage (Last 6 GP: 2 G, 7 A, 9 P, 4 PPP, 15 SOG). Take a flier!
17. Not interested? Some other useful winger options to contemplate are Dominik Kahun, Zach Parise and Jimmy Vesey.
18. Jake DeBrusk could emerge as a very strong option eventually. Now that he’s back and healthy, Louie’s son has tallied two goals and four points over the past four outings for Boston. Think about it.
19. Time to get you set for a 49-game week in the NHL. Steer clear of waiver adds from Calgary, Detroit, Nashville and Vancouver – all play just twice.
I love revenge games. If you’re playing daily fantasy, keep note of these games that feature extra motives:
Dec. 3 – OTT @ VAN (Anders Nilsson)
Dec. 4 – COL @ TOR (Nazem Kadri)
Dec. 6 – ARI @ PIT (Phil Kessel)
Dec. 8 – ARI @ CHI (Nick Schmaltz)
Dec. 8 – BUF @ EDM (Ralph Krueger)
20. Conversely, there are nine teams to target due to their four-game game weeks (ARI, BUF, CHI, LAK, NJD, NYI, NYR, SJS, VGK). I like the schedule breakdown the most for the following three teams:
Chicago Blackhawks: Mon (STL), Thurs (@BOS), Fri (@NJD), Sun (ARI)
Waiver Looks: Brandon Saad (10%), Kirby Dach (6%)
SN Fantasy Pool: Patrick Kane (4), Alex DeBrincat (3), Robin Lehner (3)
Los Angeles Kings: Mon (@ANA), Wed (WSH), Fri (@EDM), Sat (@CGY)
Waiver Looks: Dustin Brown (37%), Tyler Toffoli (5%)
SN Fantasy Pool: Jonathan Quick (3), Anze Kopitar (2), Drew Doughty (2)
New York Rangers: Mon (VGK), Thurs (@CBJ), Fri (MTL), Sun (@VGK)
Waiver Looks: Adam Fox (23%), Pavel Buchnevich (19%)
SN Fantasy Pool: Artemi Panarin (4), Mika Zibanejad (2), Jacob Trouba (2)
Other SN Fantasy Pool Targets: ARI Nick Schmaltz (2), BUF Jack Eichel (3), NJD Taylor Hall (3), NYI Mathew Barzal (2), SJS Erik Karlsson (3), VGK Max Pacioretty (2)