NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 1
Episode 83 of the Fantasy Hockey Hacks Podcast! The 2022-2023 NHL regular season has finally arrived, and the Hacks are here to guide you to a fantasy hockey championship! As we do each week, we’ll check in on John’s list, “hack” our way through the NHL’s Headlines, go through the week’s schedule, make recommendations for waiver wire pickups, and discuss our weekly Top 200 Rankings – Powered By Left Wing Lock.
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- Enter to win a Hacks Holiday in Vegas!
- Jason Robertson signs in Dallas
- The Buffalo Sabres name their newest captain
- Which teams to focus on for week 1 waiver wire adds?
- Can Phil Kessel make an impact in Vegas?
- Dylan Holloway cracks the top 6 in Edmonton!
- Luke Kunin has fantasy appeal, particularly in banger leagues
- Matt Murray and Tyson Barrie have fantasy upside
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If you have been listening to our podcast for a while, you’ve undoubtedly heard about “John’s List”; which is basically John’s $h!t list of players past and present. If you have any suggestions for players/subjects we should add to the list, let us know!
Player TBD – Player Details
Fantasy Lock Of The Week (October 4-11, 2022) | Presented by Left Wing Lock
🔥Mika Zibanejad, C, 100% Rostered (Yahoo)
2 Goals (1 PPG, 1 SHG), 1 PPP, 9 SOG, +1, 69% FOW, 92% PP Share, 23:13 ATOI in the Rangers opening game of the 2022-2023 season!
Headlines W/ The Hacks | October 4 – 11, 2022
The 2021-2022 regular season has wrapped, but if you’re planning to defend your fantasy hockey championship next season be sure to get your draft kit from our partner, Left Wing Lock – Available NOW! We’re giving away a few of these draft kits, starting this week – so be sure to follow us on Twitter (@FHHacks) or Instagram (@FantasyHockeyHacks) to win!
News This Week
- Jason Robertson signs with the Dallas Stars. A 4 year extension worth $7.75 million per season. Jim Nill did some handy work here. Robertson will still be an RFA after this deal. His qualifying offer will be $9.3 million and Jamie Benn’s boat anchor of a contract will be over.
- MacKenzie Weegar has signed an 8 year contract extension with the Calgary Flames worth $6.25 million per season.
- Kyle Okposo has been named captain of the Buffalo Sabres. He will be the 20th captain in team history.
- Darryl Sutter has signed a multi-year contract extension with the Calgary Flames
- In injury news -the word is John Tavares will suit up for the Toronto Maple Leafs home opener tomorrow. Tavares owners will want to watch for that.
- A report out of Vancouver is that both Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes will be healthy enough to play in Vancouver’s season opener.
- In breaking injury news. Fantasy hopeful for the New York Rangers this season, Vatli Kravtsov left the game early with an upper body injury after Victor Hedman introduced himself by crushing Kravtsov in the boards
- For those wondering who will be in goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs first game of the season. The answer is Matt Murray.
Edge Work | NHL Schedule, Week 1
The segment where we put in the work to give you the EDGE in your fantasy hockey leagues!
Need To Know:
Week 1 in the NHL features a total of 36 games on the schedule (excluding the overseas games between SJ and Nashville). There are five “light days” (50% or fewer NHL teams in action) on the upcoming schedule, with no games taking place on Monday and Sunday. Tuesday (2), Wednesday (6), and Friday (4) are all relatively quiet. Saturday will be busy with just 4 teams out of action for Hockey Night in Canada. In terms of optimizing the schedule, Columbus, Montreal, New York, Tampa Bay, and Carolina all play two games on “light days” next week, the most among NHL clubs. No teams play more than 3 games next week; and Pittsburgh and Winnipeg are the only teams to play just once.
- Monday – 0 Games
- Tuesday – 2 Games
- Wednesday – 6 Games
- Thursday – 10 Games
- Friday – 4 Games
- Saturday – 14 Games
- Sunday – 0 Games
Teams With 3 Games:
Team Of Interest | Toronto Maple Leafs (Strength of Schedule: N/A)
- The Maple Leafs are one of three teams to play two of their 3 games at home this week, and have a reasonably favourable schedule with matchups against Montreal, Washington, and Ottawa. Last season Toronto was 2nd in goals for (3.80) and 1st on the PP (27.3%). Record This Season Against Upcoming Opponents: 0-0-0 | Players To Consider: Nicholas Robertson (8%), Jake Muzzin (2%), Matt Murray (59%). Ilya Samsonov (if available).
Teams With 2 Games:
Team Of Interest | Carolina Hurricanes (Strength of Schedule: N/A)
- The Carolina Hurricanes finished 3rd in the regular season last year, posting 116 points and averaging 3.38 GF/GP. Off-season acquisition Brent Burns should bolster last year’s 13th ranked power play, and favourable matchups against Columbus and San Jose make available Hurricanes players appealing. Record This Season Against Upcoming Opponents: 0-0-0 | Players To Consider: Seth Jarvis (65%), Martin Necas (9%), Paul Stastny (4%), Jordan Staal (7%), Jacob Slavin (63%), Antti Raanta (36%).
Teams With 1 Game:
Team Of Interest | St. Louis Blues (Strength of Schedule: N/A)
- The St.Louis Blues have a home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets this week, a team that they held a 1-1 record against last season. St.Louis had the 2nd ranked power play last season (27%), 5th ranked PK (84.1%), and 3rd best scoring rate at 3.77 GF/GP. Record This Season Against Upcoming Opponents: 0-0-0 | Players To Consider: Ryan O’Reilly (70%), Brandon Saad (4%), Ivan Barbashev (33%), Jake Neighbours (1%).
Edge Work | Waiver Wire Targets, NHL Week 1
Waiver wire targets will be focused on players with ownership ~50% or less. SOS = Strength of Schedule, according to Left Wing Lock. Lower number = Easier Schedule, Higher Number = Harder Schedule.
Top Waiver Wire Targets
🎯 Dylan Holloway (LW), EDM | Rostered: 9% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.VAN, Vs.CGY, TBD SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Draisaitl & Hyman, PP2)
- ‘Hollywood’ Holloway had one of the best performances of the preseason, a hat trick and an assist in a 7-2 win over Vancouver last week. 6 points (4 goals) in 5 games and 3rd in shots on goal among all players this pre-season with 17! As it stands, Holloway looks slated to start the season at 2LW with Draisaitl and Hyman.
🎯 Phil Kessel (RW), VGK | Rostered: 23% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.VAN, Vs.CGY, TBD SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Marchessault & Eichel, PP1)
- Phil Kessel apparently loves gambling, so no surprise that he feels so at home in Vegas! Kessel played more than 80% of his time with Eichel and Smith in pre-season, and if that deployment sticks, it would be a real boost for the former Coyote’s fantasy value. 3 assists and 9 SOG in 3 pre-season games played.
🎯 Ryan Strome (C), ANA | Rostered: 15% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.SEA, @NYI, TBD SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ MacTavish & Terry, PP1)
- The former Ranger’s 3-yr (82 game pace) average is 66 points and 22 goals; however, joining a young and rebuilding Ducks squad will present some challenges offensively. Strome managed to post 4 points (1 goal) in 4 pre-season games, playing mostly with Max Comtois and Troy Terry. LWL has Strome playing 1C between MacTavish and Terry, and on the first PP unit – good value for a player available in 85% of leagues.
🎯 Nino Niederreiter (LW), CAR | Rostered: 21% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.CBJ, @SJS, TBD SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Johansen & Sherwood)
- 30-year-old Niederreiter finished the Global Series with 3 goals in 2 games played, a nice start with his new squad. Unfortunately, the former Hurricane is still receiving limited ice time (14:25) and managed just 3 shots in two games. On the bright side, Niederreiter found himself playing in the top 6 and receiving time on the second power play unit (2:15 PPTOI). A strong schedule this week should offer value in deeper leagues.
🎯 Luke Kunin (LW/RW), SJS | Rostered: 10% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.CAR, Vs.CHI, TBD SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Meier & Hertl)
- Kunin threw an impressive 223 hits last season, well-above his previous best of just 84. Through two games in 2022-2023, Kunin has a shot at 200 hits and is receiving top-line deployment with Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier; while also receiving first unit power play time (3:31 PPTOI). 2 points (1 goal) in 2 regular season games. Keep a close eye on this player!
🎯 Phillip Danault (C), LAK | Rostered: 18% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.VGK, Vs.SEA, @MIN, TBD SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Moore & Vilardi, PP2)
- The former Hab had a great first season on the west coast, posting career-highs in goals (27), SOG (194), and PPTOI (2:03/GM). Danault also chips in with roughly 1 hit/GM and has a career face-off winning percentage of 53.2% (3-year a average of 716 wins per season). The Kings are deeper this season, meaning Danault may lose time with the man-advantage: however, he is still a useful player, especially with a favourable schedule.
🎯 Connor Brown (C), WSH | Rostered: 15% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.BOS, @TOR, Vs.MTL, TBD SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Ovechkin & Kuznetsov, PP2)
- The Washington Capitals have a favourable schedule with 3 games next week (2 at home and 1 on a light day), but there are other reasons to be interested in Connor Brown right now. Tom Wilson and Nicholas Backstrom are both out long-term (early 2023), meaning Brown is a lock in the top 6. In fact, the former Sen has been playing on the top line with Ovechkin and Kuznetsov. Brown posted 3 points (1 goal) in 3 pre-season games, and saw an average of 3:29 (56% PP Share) on the man advantage, and 18:49 TOI overall.
🎯 Tyson Barrie (D), EDM | Rostered: 68% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.VAN, Vs.CGY, TBD SOS) | Pair: 3 (w/ Broberg, PP1?)
- Tyson Barrie appears to be the forgotten man in Edmonton these days, despite posting 4 Points (2 goals) and 16 shots on goal through 4 pre-season games; good enough for 3rd and 2nd respectively among all Oilers skaters. Barrie played at a 70-point pace in the shortened 56-game season in 2020-2021; and 3-year average production is 57 points and 10 goals. Not bad for a player being taken in the 13th round (155.4 ADP) on average. The real question this season is, “Does he lose PP1 to Evan Bouchard?”
🎯 Sean Durzi (D), LAK | Rostered: 26% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.VGK, Vs.SEA, @MIN, TBD SOS) | Pair: 3 (w/ Edler, PP2)
- Durzi had shoulder surgery back in May, but appears no worse for wear after playing more than 20 minutes in Saturday’s pre-season finale, and posting 5 points and 2 goals through 2 exhibition games! Could be a valuable depth add for your fantasy roster this week, and beyond.
🎯 Anton Forsberg (G), OTT | Rostered: 67% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (@BUF, @TOR, TBD SOS) | Role: Starter (TBD Net Share)
- With news that Cam Talbot is going to be out 5-7 weeks (broken rib), Anton Forsberg is going to take the reins for the time being. This is an ideal scenario for Forsberg, who played very well last year, and has an opportunity to wrestle away the starting gig from Talbot. Last season, Forsberg went 22-17-4 with a 2.83 GAA and a .917 SV%.
🎯 Matt Murray (G), OTT | Rostered: 60% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@MTL, Vs.WSH, Vs.OTT, TBD SOS) | Role: Tandem (TBD Net Share)
- There doesn’t seem to be a ton of confidence in Matt Murray among the fantasy hockey community. Many can buy into the potential, but it’s not a bet most wagered in the early rounds of drafts, even behind a stacked Leafs team. However, Murray has had a solid pre-season to date: 2-0-0, 0.60 GAA, .978 SV%. Murray won’t hang around the wire long, grab him while you can.
Also Consider: David Krejci (14%), Dylan Strome (26%), Arthur Kaliyev (12%), Vital Kravtsov (3%), Shane Wright(19%), Anders Lee (29%), Reilly Smith (13%), Cole Perfetti (20%), Matthias Ekholm (16%), Jacob Slavin (63%), Calvin Petersen (16%), Linus Ullmark (53%), Vitek Vanecek (43%), Connor Ingram (0%)
Edge Work | Weekly Rankings (Powered By Left Wing Lock) | Coming Soon
New to Edge Work this season, the Hacks will provide weekly player rankings, powered by our partner, Left Wing Lock! The full weekly rankings list can be accessed here; and each episode we’ll work our way through the risers and fallers in fantasy.
🎯 Forward TBD (C), TEAM
- BRIEF SUMMARY
🎯 Forward TBD (C), TEAM
- BRIEF SUMMARY
Contest Announcement | Hacks Holiday!
Help the Hacks celebrate 100 episodes of fantasy fun! We truly appreciate all the support we’ve received from listeners, partners, and guests, making this first 100 episodes a genuinely enjoyable experience. All of us on the podcast enjoy creating fantasy hockey content, and will do so for as long as people will listen. To show our appreciation, we are sending one listener and a guest on a “Hacks Holiday” to Las Vegas next February! Thank you to our partners – Lucky Bastard Distillers & Left Wing Lock – for their support in making this contest possible. Winner will receive:
- 2 tickets to a Vegas Golden Knights home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning – Saturday, February 18, 2023
- 2 round-trip tickets to Las Vegas
- 3-night accommodations at a hotel near T-Mobile Arena
- 1 year FREE subscription to the Left Wing Lock iPhone app!
Go to the contest page – FantasyHockeyHacks.com/HacksHoliday – and follow the directions to enter the contest.
“HACK THE CODE” Number For Episode 83: 15
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