Finding Fantasy Value: Konecny hitting his stride

Watch as Travis Konecny does a great job of staying onside in overtime to score the winning goal for the Philadelphia Flyers in their win over the Detroit Red Wings.

Over the past month, there have been several (too many) breaks for you to plan around. The three-day Christmas break, five-day bye weeks for each team, and now a four-day all-star break that starts on Friday. But after this last break, there will be more than enough fantasy hockey for you as the season heads down the stretch.

With the upcoming all-star break, don’t forget that Thursday is the final day of the week to accrue points for those of you in unlimited start head-to-head leagues. There will be plenty of players to choose from, so don’t leave any roster spots open.

Here are some players that could potentially help you the day before the all-star break and on the days beyond. Of course, whether you add the player to your team should also depend on your league settings (points only vs. multicategory), other available players, and team needs.

Travis Konecny, C/LW/RW

Konecny has recently been moved up to the Flyers’ top line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier (more line combinations here), and the move has paid dividends for Konecny. Since being moved up to the top line, Konecny has 11 points in 13 games. In addition, Konecny has goals in three consecutive games and points in four consecutive games. Konecny’s point totals weren’t great prior to the promotion, so much of his value this season will be tied to him sticking on this line.

Alexander Edler, D

Edler mainly contributes in peripheral categories, but recently he has been adding offense. Over his last seven games, Edler has chipped in eight points (1g-7a). Edler is a top-pairing defenceman for the Canucks, more so over that span, as he has been averaging nearly 25 minutes per game. He has also been shooting the puck more, as his 39 shots in January is the highest for any defenceman not named Brent Burns. Edler is one of the top options in the league when it comes to blocked shots, while he is a top-50 d-man in hits.

Tyler Bertuzzi, LW/RW

Bertuzzi was recently told he’d be sticking around for the rest of the season, so you shouldn’t have to worry about him being sent back to the AHL. He has earned that spot, scoring nine points (2g-7a) in 14 games, which includes five points in his last five games. Bertuzzi has also seen a recent bump in icetime while playing on a line with two speedsters in Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou. He’s at least trying to make the most of the opportunity, taking four shots on goal in back-to-back games.

Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to a lot of people around the hockey world, and then they tell listeners all about what they’ve heard and what they think about it.

Nicolas Deslauriers, LW

Deslauriers is a great pickup in deep leagues that count hits. The Canadiens’ leader in hits (120) in spite of missing 20 games, Deslauriers has recently added offense to his repertoire. Since December 1 no Hab has more goals (7) or better plus/minus (+11) than Deslauriers, who is tied with Max Pacioretty and Paul Byron for the team lead in goals since that date. He was also recently placed on a line with Jonathan Drouin and Alex Galchenyuk while scoring a goal in his last game, so the potential for more offense is there.

Casey DeSmith, G

With Matt Murray away from the Penguins, Tristan Jarry was assumed to be handling the starting duties. Instead it has been DeSmith who has taken the ball and run with it. DeSmith has started each of the Penguins’ last three games, winning two of them while allowing just four goals on exactly 100 shots over that span. DeSmith’s run as the starter could be short-lived depending on when Murray returns, but the Penguins will have a decision on their hands as to whether to demote DeSmith or Jarry to the AHL.

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