The fantasy playoffs are now in full swing in many leagues. If you’ve made it this far, chances are that you’re scrutinizing your roster more closely and counting the number of games left for each player this week. More players now become droppable as differences in production between players over the rest of the season become more negligible.
With that in mind, here are some players who could help you for the rest of the week and possibly beyond. As always, whether you add any of these players should depend on your league settings (points only versus multicategory), other available players, and team needs.
Compare Grubauer’s season numbers (2.23 goals-against, .926 save percentage) to starter Braden Holtby’s (3.03 GAA, .907 SV%). Sure, Grubauer has had a smaller sample size and perhaps the easier matchups from which to draw from. But Grubauer has started each of the past three games for the Capitals, winning two of them while allowing just four goals over that span. Meanwhile, Holtby has been pulled in two of his last three starts. Grubauer is an obvious must-add for Holtby owners entrenched in the fantasy playoffs. At the very least, Grubauer should see an increased workload to keep Holtby fresh for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He is the confirmed starter for Thursday’s game against the Islanders, according to Goalie Post.
Ryan Spooner, C/LW
Spooner’s numbers since joining the Rangers are simply too good to ignore. Although he was held without a point on Wednesday, Spooner has been on fire with 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in the nine games since being sent to the Rangers in the Rick Nash trade. Spooner will help your assist total more than your goal total, so whether you decide to add him should depend on what categories you need the most help with. If it’s goals that you need, you may want to consider his linemate Kevin Hayes, who has now reached the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career and has five goals since Spooner’s acquisition.
Riley Nash, C/RW
The Patrice Bergeron injury has resulted in big-time opportunity for Nash (not to be confused with Rick Nash). Currently centring Boston’s top sharpshooters in Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, Nash has been hot with 10 points and a plus-6 over his last eight games (more line combinations here). The only downside to Nash right now is that he sees very little, to no, power-play time, but strong even-strength production will eventually earn power-play time anyway. With the Bruins cemented in a playoff spot anyway, don’t expect them to rush Bergeron back, which should buy Nash more time on the top line.
It’s been a weird stretch for goalies. Just as Holtby is losing value in Washington, the same could be said about Cory Schneider in New Jersey. Kinkaid has posted wins in each of his past three starts while posting a .933 save percentage in six starts dating back to Feb. 24. Schneider just returned from injury in early March, so there’s no reason to overwork him if Kinkaid has been as impressive as he has. The Devils next play back-to-backs on Saturday and Sunday, so Kinkaid should be given at least one more start this week.
The Islanders have struggled defensively all season, and their goalies had paid the price with the highest team goals-against average in the league. Enter Gibson, an AHL call-up who has started three of the last four games for the Isles, posting a 1.91 goals-against average and .957 save percentage. Those numbers are a dream for the Isles, so expect them to continue to Gibson as long as he is hot in their last-ditch effort at making the playoffs. With the season short on games for many fantasy teams as well, it wouldn’t be that crazy to drop regular Isles’ starter Jaroslav Halak for Gibson, considering the kind of damage Halak has done to fantasy teams.
Owned in just two per cent of Yahoo leagues, Gustafsson is almost certain to be unowned in your league. He’s been given first-unit power play time for the Blackhawks and has taken full advantage, recording two power-play assists on Sunday. He’s earned that spot with strong even-strength play as well, scoring six points over his last four games and a plus-6 over his last six games. The Blackhawks also boast the advantage of the schedule, playing three games over the next four days (starting Thursday), including back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday to help with your final push in your head-to-head playoff match.