NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 12
Episode 94 of the Fantasy Hockey Hacks Podcast! Week 11 of the NHL was brief with the Christmas break upon us; but that didn’t stop the drama in Toronto, just ask Michael Bunting… 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 adds, and discuss our weekly Top 200 Rankings – Powered By Left Wing Lock.
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- Enter to win a Hacks Holiday in Vegas!
- Tom Wilson back at practice for the Capitals
- Point streaks continue for Kyle Connor and Josh Morrissey
- The Oilers sign hometown kid Stuart Skinner
- Tomas Hertl suspended for 2 games
- Alexander Barkov out until after Christmas
- Neck Surgery for Cam Atkinson
- UPDATED RANKINGS!
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This Episode Is Brought To You By: Lucky Bastard Distillers
The Fantasy Hockey Hacks are a proud partner of Lucky Bastard Distillers!
Opened in 2012 and inspired from a lottery win Lucky Bastard Distillers is proud to be the first Distillery to operate in Saskatoon since Prohibition. Home of Canada’s Ultimate Caesar, mix your drink tonight with Lucky Bastard. Use Promo Code “HOCKEYHACKS” to get 15% off your next online order, shipping available across Canada!
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!
No Entry This Week – Merry Christmas To All…
Fantasy Lock Of The Week (December 19 – 22, 2022) | Presented by Left Wing Lock
🔥Patrice Bergeron, C, 94% Rostered (Yahoo)
Patrice Bergeron continues to impress, despite his advanced age (37-years old); and that was highlighted on Monday night with a 4-point, 2-goal performance against the Florida Panthers. 5 Points (3 Goals), 10 SOG, 2 PPP, 60% PP Share, 16:34 ATOI in 3 games played during week 11.
UPDATE: Alex Ovechkin, LW, 100% Rostered (Yahoo)
With 802 career goals, Alex Ovechkin passed Gordie Howe for second all-time on the NHL goal-scoring list. Congrats Ovi!
The Great 8 continues his climb. 📈
— NHL (@NHL) December 24, 2022
Headlines W/ The Hacks | December 19 – 22, 2022
The NHL Announced their 3 stars of the week on Monday
Injuries News – The Bad:
- Cam Atkinson of the Flyers will have neck surgery and miss the rest of the season. Atkinson has not played a game yet this season.
- Boone Jenner was placed on IR Monday after having surgery to repair a fractured thumb. He will miss about 4 weeks. Those of you that have picked up Kent Johnson already have been rewarded.
- Mike Matheson of the Montreal Canadiens did not make the road trip with the team, he is current out with a lower body injury
Injury News – The Good:
- Darcy Keumper has been cleared to play, he will backup Charlie Lindgren on Monday vs the Red Wings. He started Thursday night’s game vs the Senators
- Alex Stalock cleared concussion protocol Monday and has been activated off of IR by the Chicago BlackHawks.
- Rasmus Sandin of the Leafs was placed on IR Thursday because of a neck injury
Injury News – Keep An Eye On:
- Tom Wilson shed his non contact jersey at Capitals practice on Wednesday. He is getting closer to returning
- Adam Boqvist has been activated from IR by the Blue Jacket’s. He has been out with a broken foot since October 26th
- Stuart Skinner of the Oilers signed a 3 year 7.8 million dollar contract extension on Monday. Great value for the Oilers.
- San Jose forward Tomas Hertl has been suspended for 2 games for high sticking Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm
- As of Tuesday night both Kyle Connor and Josh Morrissey of the Winnipeg Jets have a 10 game point streaks
- The Ottawa Senators signed defenseman Artem Zub to a 4 year 4.6 million dollar contract extension. Zub currently out with a fractured jaw, would be relevant in deeper leagues that count hits or blocked shots.
- The NHL has rescheduled 2 games that were slated for Friday due to severe winter weather. Red Wings and Senators has been rescheduled for Feb 27th and Lightning vs Sabres has been rescheduled for March 4th
- With 6 shots today Alex Ovechkin has passed Ray Bourque for the most shots in NHL history with 6209 shots
Edge Work | NHL Schedule, Week 12
The segment where we put in the work to give you the EDGE in your fantasy hockey leagues!
Need To Know:
Week 12 features a more normal schedule coming out of the Christmas break; although there are no games on Monday, December 26th. In typical fashion, Tuesday (12), Thursday (11), and Saturday (12) are the busiest nights this week. There are a total of 49 games on the schedule; and 4 “light days” (50% or fewer NHL teams in action) with Monday (0), Wednesday (5), Friday (4), and Sunday (5) being the “slow” days.
In terms of optimizing the schedule, there are just 4 teams (BUF, CHI, OTT, and SJS) that play 4 games; everybody else plays 3 times, with the exception of Anaheim and Philadelphia – who play just a pair of games. The Seattle Kraken are the only team next week that plays ALL 3 of their games at home, ALL 3 of which are on light days! Seattle has a reasonably favourable schedule with a rating of -7.
According to Left Wing Lock’s Strength Of Schedule metric, the Columbus Blue Jackets have the most favourable schedule at -27; taking on Buffalo, New York (Islanders) and Chicago. That said, it may make more sense to look at the Pacific Division-Leading Golden Knights next week, who have a schedule rating of -20. The New Jersey Devils have the toughest schedule with a +30 strength of schedule rating and matchups with Boston, Pittsburgh, and the Carolina Hurricanes.
- Monday – 0 Games
- Tuesday – 12 Games
- Wednesday – 5 Games
- Thursday – 11 Games
- Friday – 4 Games
- Saturday – 12 Games
- Sunday – 5 Games
Edge Work | Waiver Wire Targets, NHL Week 12
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
🎯 Reilly Smith (LW/RW), VGK | Rostered: 62% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@LAK, @ANA, Vs.NSH, -20 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Karlsson & Marchessault, PP1)
- Reilly Smith has a 3-game goal-scoring streak going at the moment – along with 7 points (4 goals) in his last 4 games played. With Jack Eichel injured, Smith is also getting time on the team’s top power play unit and is thriving next to his usual running mates. On-pace for 41 goals and 60 total points this season!🤯 NOTE: 19.8 iSH% is NOT sustainable; but 6.9 tEVSH% suggests there may be some puck luck headed his way.
🎯 Dillon Dube (LW/RW), CGY | Rostered: 16% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.EDM, @SEA, Vs.VAN, -14 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Lindholm & Toffoli, PP2)
- Dillon Dube has really come on as of late, posting 13 points (4 goals) in his last 12 games. Dube finds himself on the top line with Elias Lindholm, who himself has really turned things up a notch offensively. The Flames have three winnable games this week, and dube’s deployment and linemates put him in a good spot to continue producing. NOTE: 9.9 tEVSH% is slightly elevated.
🎯 Kaapo Kakko (RW), NYR | Rostered: 5% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.WSH, @TB, @FLA, +7 SOS) | Line: X (w/ Lafreniere & Chytil, PP2)
- The Rangers 2nd overall pick from 2019 finally appears to be coming around after posting 6 points (4 goals) in his last 7 games played. Kakko is shooting at a career-best 1.7 SOG/GM and 13.6 iSH%. Definitely a depth add, but monitor the situation closely.
🎯 Michael Bunting (LW), TOR | Rostered: 61% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@STL, @ARI, @COL, -8 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Matthews & Nylander, PP1)
- Not far removed from a Calder Trophy nomination, Michael Bunting is back to putting up points while riding shotgun with Auston Matthews. 13 points and 4 goals in his last 12 games played, Bunting is now on-pace for 57 points and 20 goals this season. NOTE: 11.6 tEVSH% is a bit high.
🎯 Nick Schmaltz (C/RW), ARI | Rostered: 17% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.COL, Vs.TOR, @TB, +16 SOS) | Line: 3 (w/ Keller & Boyd, PP1)
- With 12 points and 5 goals in 15 games to date this season, Schmaltz is on-pace for 66 points, and proving that last year’s 77-point pace was NOT a fluke. The 1.9 SOG/GM leave something to be desired and his 18 iSH% is also a concern; but as long as the points keep coming, Schmaltz is worth a roster spot! NOTE: 13 tEVSH% elevated.
🎯 Logan Couture (C), SJS | Rostered: 52% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@VAN, Vs.PHI, @DAL, @CHI, -12 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Meier & Labanc, PP1)
- The Sharks captain has posted 9 points and 3 goals in his last 11 games played. With 28 points (14 goals) in 33 games, Couture finds himself on-pace for 35 goals and 70 points over 82-games. Not bad production from a player available in nearly 50% of all Yahoo leagues. Better yet, the Sharks are one of just four teams that play 4 games this upcoming week; three of which are against bottom-dwellers in Vancouver, Philadelphia, and Chicago.Just outside the top 25 with 261 face-off wins, 1.68 Hits/GM, 1C and PP1 – what’s not to like? NOTE: 2.2 SOG/GM is down from 3-year (2.4) and career (2.8) averages, and Couture’s 19.2 iSH% is a concern; particularly when looking at his career average of 12.8%. 10.2 tEVSH% slightly elevated.
🎯 Rickard Rakell (LW/RW), PIT | Rostered: 67% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@NYI, Vs.DET, Vs.NJD, +14 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Crosby & Guentzel, PP1)
- The former Duck is on-pace for his best offensive season (56 points and 34 goals) since 2017-2018 when he scored 34 goals and 69 points in Anaheim. Playing alongside Crosby and Guentzel on the top line and top power play unit will go a long way to helping his cause; but Rakell is shooting a career-best 3.2 SOG/GM and converting at a modest 13.3%. When Rakell posted 33 and 34 goal seasons with the Ducks, he was shooting at 15% to 19%. Rakell is also throwing 1.71 Hits/GM for those in bangers leagues. NOTE: 11.1 tEVSH%. 44.7 IPP well-below career averages.
🎯 Erik Gustafsson (D), WSH | Rostered: 4% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@NYR, Vs.OTT, Vs.MTL, -3 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Carlson, PP2)
- On Sunday we mentioned Dmitry Orlov as a potential waiver wire pickup, and all he did was go out and score the game-winning goal in OT in 25:56 TOI to go along with SEVEN HITS! Also on Monday, Erik Gustafsson posted a goal and an assist in 6 SOG in 21:09 TOI. Gustafsson has 5 points (4 goals) in his last 2 games played; and is now on-pace for 37 points and 10 goals this season. Playing on the top-pairing with John Carlson brings exposure to Washington’s best offensive players, and the secondary power play time doesn’t hurt either. NOTE: 1.7 SOG/GM is his best shot rate since 2018-2019, when he posted 17 goals and 60 points as a member of the Blackhawks. 7.3 iSH% well-above 3-year average of 4.8%. Just a 6.3 tEVSH%, 71% offensive zone start!
🎯 K’Andre Miller (D), NYR | Rostered: 41% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.WSH, @TB, @FLA, +7 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Trouba)
- 7 points and 2 goals in Miller’s last 7 games played. It’s a tough schedule for the Rangers this week, but the 22-year old is starting to heat up offensively, and the window to grab him is slowly closing. Shooting at a career-high of just 1.5 SOG/GM, but the Rangers Dman is throwing 2.12 Hits/GM and chipping in 1.21 BLKs/GM. NOTE: 4.0 iSH% is down from 3-year and career averages of 6.5%. 7.4 tEVSH%.
🎯 Brady Skjei (D), CAR | Rostered: 29% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.CHI, Vs.FLA, @NJD, -1 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Pesce, PP2)
- Brady Skjei is hot right now, with 7 points and 4 goals over his last 7 contests. Averaging 22:28 TOI over that span, Skjei has exposure to Carolina’s top 6 and a role in the second power play unit. The Hurricanes have a decent schedule for next week, and two of their games fall on light days for an added schedule advantage. NOTE: 2.3 SOG/GM is a career-high. 8.6 iSH% is above 3-year and career averages of 5% and 4.7%, respectively. Nearly 47 IPP is higher than expected.
🎯 Jordan Gross (D), NSH | Rostered: 0% (Yahoo) | GP: X (Vs.DAL, @ANA, @VGK, -10 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Josi, PP1)
- Hear me out… Jordan Gross is getting top-paring minutes alongside Roman Josi, which has benefits in itself; but exposure to Filip Forsberg at even-strength, and a role on the Pred’s first power play unit (62% PP Share) are too good to ignore! With a goal last night, Gross has just 3 points (all goals) in 10 games to date; however, he is averaging 2 SOG/GM, 1 Hit/GM, and 1.20 BLKs/GM. Definitely a deep-league add, or streamer option, but a situation to monitor closely anyway. UPDATE: Gross was sent down to the AHL earlier in the week…
🎯 Pheonix Copley (G), LAK | Rostered: 21% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.VGK, @COL, Vs.PHI, -14 SOS) | Role: Backup (15% Net Share)
- 30-year-old Pheonix Copley has started 5 of the last 7 games for the LA Kings; and has surrendered just 2 goals in all but 1 start (a 6-0 loss to Buffalo). Copley’s 2.71 GAA and .904 SV% would be significantly improved if not for that blowout loss to the Sabres on December 13th. Both Quick and Pettersson struggled severely this season, so if Copley can continue this level of play, the starting job will be his to lose. This could be a tough week with matchups against Vegas and Colorado, but stay patient. NOTE: With an .841 PKSV%, Copley’s play has NOT been boosted by luck, and we could potentially see some better results in the future.📈
🎯 James Reimer (G), SJS | Rostered: 30% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@VAN, Vs.PHI, @DAL, @CHI, -12 SOS) | Role: Starter (52% Net Share)
- As is the case with his Captain, James Reimer has a very nice schedule for next week, with 3 juicy matchups and just ONE back-to-back. So realistically, Reimer should see 3 starts, and has a good shot at winning at least 2 of them. In his last 4 starts, Reimer has posted a 1-2-1 record with a 2.23 GAA, .932 SV% and 2.91 GSAx! NOTE: .935 PKSV% suggests results have been boosted by luck, expect his numbers to pull back a bit. UPDATE: It was a rough outing for Reimer on Tuesday night as he gave up 6 goals on 38 shots – 6.6 GAA, .842 SV%.
Edge Work | Three Players to Consider Trading
Since this week’s episode is being recorded early due to the holidays, the weekly rankings (which are updated each Sunday) aren’t available to discuss tonight. Instead, we present three players that managers should consider trading in their fantasy leagues.
📈Jeff Skinner (LW), BUF: 16 G / 20 A / 36 PTS / 29 GP
- Luck: high SH%, high IPP, high tEVSH%, high a260, high a160
- Pace: 102 (current), 82 (luck-adjusted)
- Consideration: top line, top PP, 3+ shots/gp
- Targets: Stamkos (TBL – 97), Connor (WPG – 97), Pettersson (VAN – 96), Zibanejad (NYR – 89), Hyman (EDM – 87), Kyrou (STL – 85), Point (TBL – 82).
📈Logan Couture (C), SJS: 14 G / 14 A / 28 PTS / 34 GP
- Luck: high SH%, neutral IPP, high tEVSH%, high a260, low a160
- Pace: 68 (current), 57 (luck-adjusted)
- Consideration: 2.5 shots/gp and 8 face-off wins/gp
- Targets: Kadri (CGY – 65), Trocheck (NYR – 65)
📈Josh Morrissey (D), WPG: 6 G / 32 A / 38 PTS / 32 GP
- Luck: high SH%, high IPP, high tEVSH%, high a260, high a160
- Pace: 97 (current), 78* (luck-adjusted)
- Consideration: need PPTOI, 1.5+ shots/gp, 1 hit/gp, 1.5 bs/gp
- Targets: Makar (COL – 77), Hughes (VAN – 73)
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 94: 1
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