NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 1 Schedule & Waiver Wire Targets
The NHL is back! Thank you again to all of our loyal listeners for tuning in – you’re support is greatly appreciated. The Hacks shake off the rust after the Thanksgiving weekend for our NHL fantasy hockey week 1 preview. We covered the details of the schedule and must-add waiver wire targets to consider as the fantasy season kicks off.
Edge Work | NHL Schedule – Week 1
The segment where we put in the work to give you the EDGE in your fantasy hockey leagues! Each week the Hacks will cover the NHL Schedule and Waiver Wire Targets to guide you to victory.
Need To Know:
The 2023-2024 regular season is FINALLY upon us; and week 1 eases back into action with no games taking place on Thanksgiving Monday. Wednesday (6), Thursday (7), and Saturday (14) are the busiest days on the schedule; with 3 or fewer games taking place on the remaining days during the week – so optimizing for games played will present a challenge as the NHL schedule ramps up.
There are a total of 34 games on the schedule, with 5 “light days” (50% or fewer NHL teams in action) during week 1.
In terms of attempting to optimize the schedule for games played, there are a total of 8 teams (CAR, CHI, NSH OTT PIT, SEA, TB, VGK) next week that do provide an advantage with 3 games, 2 of which take place on light days.
Of those 8 teams, Pittsburgh (Vs.CHI, @WSH, Vs.CGY) and Vegas (Vs.SEA, @SJS, Vs.ANA) are of particular interest when looking at the quality of competition, and the Goals Against/GM of their opponents.
Alternatively, there are four teams this week that play just one game – Arizona, Dallas, New York (Islanders), and Washington; and are likely best to avoid this week.
- Monday – 0 Games
- Tuesday – 3 Games
- Wednesday – 6 Games
- Thursday – 7 Games
- Friday – 2 Games
- Saturday – 14 Games
- Sunday – 2 Games
Teams With 3 Games
CHI, CAR, NSH, OTT, PIT, SEA, TBL, VGK
Teams With 2 Games
CBJ, NYR, ANA, EDM, CGY, BUF, NJD, MTL, WPIG, PHI, LAK, COL, FLA, TOR, VAN, DET, SJS, STL, MIN, BOS
Teams With 1 Games
ARI, DAL, WSH, NYI
Edge Work | NHL Waiver Wire Targets For Week 1
Waiver wire targets will be focused on players with ownership ~50% or less. When considering players to target, we review recent performance, player deployment, upcoming schedule and more.
🎯Ryan O’Reilly (C), NSH
Rostered: 17% (51% Fantrax) | GP: 3 (@TB, Vs.SEA, @BOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Filip Forsberg & Juuso Parssinen, PP1)
The 32-year-old was stellar in his Nashville debut, posting 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist), 4 SOG, and 2 Blocks in 21:59 TOI; including 5:10 PPTOI (67.1% PP Share). O’Reilly is looking to bounce-back this season following his lowest offensive output since 2012-2013 (30 points in 56 games in 2022-2023). As the unquestioned #1 center in Nashville, as well as exposure to Roman Josi and Filip Forsberg on the power play, O’Reilly should have a very productive season.
🎯Barrett Hayton (C), ARI
Rostered: 13% (60% Fantrax) | GP: 1 (@NJD) | Line: 1 (w/ Clatyon Keller & Nick Schmaltz, PP1)
Barett Hayton is coming off a 19 goal 43 point season. Will start the season on the top line with Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz, He will also see time on PP1. He will fill in nicely in anyone’s roster looking for a forward with great deployment. Hayton is one our our sleeper picks for this season
🎯Tomas Hertl (C), SJS
Rostered: 48% (75% Fantrax) | GP: 2 (Vs.VGK, Vs.COL) | Line: 1 (w/ Filip Zadina & Mike Hoffman, PP1)
Coming off a 22 goal, 63 point season, you would think Tomas Hertl would receive a little more fanfare, even with the state of the San Jose Sharks. Hertl is probably rostered in the appropriate number of Fantrax Leagues; but less than 50% in Yahoo leagues seems wrong. The 29-year old is one year removed from a 30 goal season; and has netted as many as 35, which occurred in 2018-2019.
🎯Bryan Rust (RW), PIT
Rostered: 33% (54% Fantrax) | GP: 3 (Vs.CHI, @WSH, Vs.CGY) | Line: 1 (w/ Sidney Crosby & Jake Guentzel, PP2)
Bryan Rust’s 46-point (20 goals) season was his lowest output since 2018-2019 when he posted just 35 points in 72 games. Despite losing a spot on the top power play unit, look for Rust to rebound as he maintains his spot next to Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel on the top line, as well as a spot on the second power play unit.
🎯Matt Coronato (RW), CGY
Rostered: 33% (54% Fantrax) | GP: 2 (Vs.WPG, @PIT) | Line: 2 (w/ Nazem Kadri & Yegor Sharangovich, PP1)
Matt Coronato made the most of his preseason, 7 points (4G, 3A) in 6 games played; securing himself a spot on the opening day roster. Coronato is starting the season on the 2nd line and seeing time on PP1!
🎯Evan Rodrigues (C/LW/RW), FLA
Rostered: 8% (31% Fantrax) | GP: 2 (@MIN, @WPG ) | Line: 1 (w/ Aleksander Barkov & Carter Verhaeghe, PP1)
Evan Rodrigues has landed himself prime deployment to start the 2023-2024 season. Riding shotgun next to Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe, along with a role on the top power play unit, should ensure that the former Av maintains fantasy value early in the year. If Rodrigues can make the most of this opportunity, he may be a season-long steal…
🎯Torey Krug (D), STL
Rostered: 33% (58% Fantrax) | GP: 2 (@DAL, Vs.SEA) | Line: 2 (w/ Justin Faulk, PP1)
Back from an off-season injury, Torey Krug has returned to reclaim his place on the top Power play unit. Hoping to improve on last season’s disappointing 32-point season, Krug could prove to be a valuable depth add to your fantasy roster.
🎯Calen Addison (D), MIN
Rostered: 8% (60% Fantrax) | GP: 2 (Vs.FLA, @TOR) | Line: 1 (w/ Alex Goligoski, PP1)
Calen Addison is looking to build off of his 29 points from last season (3 Goals, 26 Assists); and he is going to get ample opportunity right off the hop. Back on the top power play unit for the Wild, and likely to see more playing time with Jared Spurgeon week-to-week with an upper body injury.
🎯Cam York (D), PHI
Rostered: 5% (56% Fantrax) | GP: 2 (@CBJ, @OTT) | Line: 1 (w/ Travis Sanheim, PP1)
Cam York is going to get plenty of opportunities to show what he has this season after earning the trust of head coach John Tortorella last season. Playing top-pairing and top power play minutes to start the year, York has little to no competition and should easily improve on his 20 points from 2022-2023.
🎯Cam Talbot (G), LAK
Rostered: 51% (53% Fantrax) | GP: 3 (Vs.COL, Vs.CAR) | Role: Tandem (N/A Net Share)
If you’ve been listening to this podcast, you probably know that at least one of the Hacks feels Cam Talbot should get the first crack at the crease this season. Talbot has an established relationship with head coach Todd McLellan, posting career bests in games played (73) and wins (42), while posting a very sturdy .919 SV% and 2.39 GAA.
The schedule is not great this week with matchups against Colorado and Carolina; but there are two days in between games, so if all goes well Talbot could see two starts. Truthfully, this is more of a season-long play.
🎯Jordan Binnington (G), STL
Rostered: 55% (68% Fantrax) | GP: 3 (@DAL, Vs.SEA) | Role: Starter (TBD % Net Share)
Are we this desperate already?? Hear us out. Given his current contract, Jordan Binnington will be the starting goalie for the Blues this season, at least initially. 2022-2023 was largely a disaster for Binnington, posting a career-low .894 SV% and 3.31 GAA; however, the Blues default starter still saw 61 starts and nearly 30-wins. As a depth or streaming option, particularly against weaker competition, fantasy managers could do worse, but barely.
🎯John Gibson (G), ANA
Rostered: 38% (62% Fantrax) | GP: 3 (@VGK, Vs.CAR) | Role: Starter (TBD % Net Share)
The best thing about John Gibson this season is the Ducks play 36 (44%) games this season on light days (less than 50% teams in action), which is the most in the NHL. If you need a spot start on an off-night, Gibson could be your man. Also if you league counts saves, Anaheim gave up the most shots to opposing teams last season.
ALSO: Gabriel Vilardi (WPG); Arthur Kaliyev (LAK); Leo Carlsson (ANA); Ryan Donato (CHI) – Scored opening night against the Penguins; Nick Paul (TB) – 2 Goals vs. Nashville on October 10th