NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 4

NHL Week 4, Fantasy Hockey Preview

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NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 4

Episode 86 of the Fantasy Hockey Hacks Podcast! Week 3 of the NHL continued to entertain, highlighted by a hard-fought Battle of Alberta on Saturday night! 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!
  • Connor McDavid continues to play on another level
  • Linus Ullmark taking over the net in Boston
  • Jesper Bratt among league scoring leaders
  • Erik Karlsson comeback?
  • Brandon Montour a must-add?
  • Sean Couturier will be out 3-4 months.
  • Injuries to John Carlson and TJ Oshie

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John’s List

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!

Mikael Backlund (CGY) | Backlund has been a constant pain in the ass as an Oilers fan. A player I’d take on my team, but seems to give the Oilers fits every time they play. 

Last 10 Games Vs.EDM (Regular Season & Playoffs): 
  • 9 Points, 6 Goals, +4, 12 PIMS, 32 SOG, 10 Hits, nearly 60% FOW (103 draws), 19:12 TOI. Backlund GETS UP for the Battle of Alberta!

Fantasy Lock Of The Week (October 23 – 30, 2022) | Presented by Left Wing Lock
🔥Linus Ullmark, G, 79% Rostered (Yahoo)

2-0-0, stopped 60/61 shots on goal (.984 SV%), 0.50 GAA, 3.53 GSAx!

Headlines W/ The Hacks | October 23 – 30, 2022

Lots of Injury news this week, we will start with the bad news: 
  • Josh Norris of the Ottawa Senators will be out of the lineup for at least 2 weeks with a shoulder injury. UPDATE: word out of Ottawa is that is a serious shoulder injury, one that could keep him out for the rest of the season
  • Blackhawks Petr Mrazek could be out up to 2 weeks with a groin injury
  • James van Riemsdyk of the Philadelphia Flyers will have surgery to repair a broken finger, recovering time is about 6 weeks. 
  • Phillip Grubauer has been placed on IR by the Seattle Kraken with a lower body injury.
  • Adam Boqvist of the Columbus Blue Jackets will miss the next 6-8 weeks with a broken foot
  • Jakob Chychrun suffered a setback in his recovery, still considered week to week
  • Sean Couturier will miss 3-4 months after having another back surgery
  • Ondrej Palat has been placed on IR by the New Jersey Devils with a lower body injury.
  • Seth Jones of the Chicago Black Hawks will be out 3-4 weeks with an injured Thumb.
And now the good news:
  • Patrick Lainie of the Columbus Blue Jackets returned to the lineup on Tuesday after missing 6 games with an elbow strain.
  • Brad Marchand returned to the Boston Bruins lineup Thursday night from hip surgery. He even scored a couple of goals! 
  • Pavel Buchnevich returned to the Blues lineup on Saturday. He had been out since the first game of the season
  • Jake Guentzel returned the the Penguins lineup on Saturday
  • Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday after missing 4 games with a lower body injury
Injuries to Watch:
  • Valeri Nichushkin has missed the last 2 games for the Avs
  • John Carlson left last nights game after falling awkwardly in the boards
  • Jake Ottinger left Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury
  • Vitali Kravtsov is broken again. 
  • Miro Heiskanen has missed 3 games now with an upper body injury
  • Jamie Drysdale left Friday night game with an upper body injury
  • We have a trade to announce! Ethan Bear has been traded from the Carolina Hurricanes to the Vancouver Canucks! The winner here is Ethan Bear. He will get an opportunity to play. He needs to take advantage of it. 
  • The Arizona Coyotes played their first game at their new home the Mullet Area. Yes, you heard that correctly Mullet Area. The arena is the Coyotes new home for the next 3 years is a 5000 seat area on the Campus of the Arizona State University. The Coyotes lost to the Winnipeg Jets in overtime.

Ask The Hacks

  • 10-team cats league – G, A, Pts, PIMS, FOW, Hits, blocks, plus goalie cats. I didn’t really realize when I drafted that I ended up with 5 bruins cause I got Marchand and McAvoy real late and felt I couldn’t pass them up when I got them but once they’re both healthy I will have them plus Pastrnak, Ullmark and Bergeron all on my roster. I’ve been shopping them but the market in the league has been tight, no one wants to trade with me because I won last year. I don’t typically like having more than like 2 players on one team obviously for risk of cold streaks and schedule favorability. But now seeing the start the Bruins are off to this year, is it that crazy to think having these 5 bruins on my fantasy roster given the format could win me the league? Always appreciate the feedback boys! Cheers!
    Also, would you rather drop Patrik Laine, Kevin Fiala or Jesper Bratt to make room for Marchand?
  • @FHHacks what do you think of this trade: my Mackenzie Weegar for Martin Necas – 14 team points league. Settings are Goals (4.5), assists (3), SHP (1), SOG (0.5), Hits (0.25), Blocks (0.5).

Edge Work | NHL Schedule, Week 3

The segment where we put in the work to give you the EDGE in your fantasy hockey leagues! 

Need To Know: 

It’s basically ALL or NOTHING in the NHL for Week 4. There are a total of 49 games on the schedule; however, there are a total of 4 “light days” (50% or fewer NHL teams in action) with Monday (3), Wednesday (2), Friday (2) and Sunday (3) being very slow days. As is usually the case, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday will be the busiest days on the schedule, with 12, 13, and 14 games respectively. 

In terms of optimizing the schedule, Buffalo, Carolina and Detroit all play 4 games next week, with 3 of those games taking place on “light days”. The Red Wings have the easiest schedule according to Left Wing Lock with a Strength Of Schedule rating of 0 – matchups against Buffalo, Washington, New York Islanders, and New York Rangers. Anaheim, Florida, Los Angeles, and Washington also all play 4 games this upcoming week; note, Florida has the second most favourable Strength of Schedule rating at -25.

According to Left Wing Lock’s Strength Of Schedule metric, the St. Louis Blues have the most favourable schedule at -27; although they only have two games on the week, taking on the Los Angeles Kings and New York Islanders at home. The New York Islanders have the most difficult schedule with a rating of +22, facing off against the Blackhawks, Blues, and Red Wings – all on the road.

Columbus, Colorado, Minnesota, St. Louis, and Winnipeg all play just 2 games next week, with the Blue Jackets and Avalanche facing off in a Home-And-Home series Friday and Saturday.

  • Monday – 3 Games
  • Tuesday – 12 Games
  • Wednesday – 2 Games
  • Thursday – 13 Games
  • Friday – 2 Games
  • Saturday – 14 Games
  • Sunday – 3 Games

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Edge Work | Waiver Wire Targets, NHL Week 4

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

🎯 Anders Lee (LW), NYI | Rostered: 52% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@CHI, @STL, @DET, 0 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Nelson & Beauvillier, PP1) 
  • With an assist on Saturday night, Anders Lee is up to 9 points and 4 goals in 9 games to start the season. The Islanders captain, and the Islanders in general, really appear to have turned things around with their 5th ranked offence (3.67 GF/GM). Still available in nearly 50% of leagues!
🎯 Chandler Stephenson (C/RW), VGK | Rostered: 58% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@WSH, @OTT, @MTL, -24 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Eichel & Stone, PP1) 
  • Chandler Stephenson is on-pace for a career-best 73 points after posting 8 points and 4 goals in 9 games to date this season. Expect Stephenson’s 23.5 iSH% to come down, but his 9.5 tEVSH% is close to league average and playing alongside Jack Eichel and Mark Stone should ensure the offence continues to flow. How many first line wingers are available in 40% of leagues?  
🎯 Joel Eriksson Ek (C), MIN | Rostered: 52% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.MTL, Vs.SEA, 0 SOS) | Line: 3 (w/ Duhaime & Hartman, PP1) 
  • Joel Eriksson Ek is off to an impressive start for the Wild – 6 points, 4 goals, 28 shots on goal (3.5/GM), 4:28 PPTOI (80.1% PP Share), and 19:48 TOI through 8 games! Eriksson Ek’s 14.3 iSH% is up just slightly from his career average, but nothing to be concerned with. Also, his 6.9 tEVSH% suggests there may be more offence on the way. 
🎯 Max Domi (C), CHI | Rostered: 33% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.NYI, Vs.LAK, @WPG, -6 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Athanasiou & Kane, PP1) 
  • Max Domi posted a career-high 72 points and 28 goals in 82 games with the Habs back in 2018-2019, but sadly that appears to be the exception rather than the rule. However, through 7 games the Arizona first-rounder has posted 7 points and 4 goals, playing alongside Patrick Kane on the top line and top power play unit. Domi’s shot volume (1.4 SOG/GM) leaves plenty to be desired, but he is getting career-high TOI (17:54) and PPTOI (3:07), making him a worthwhile gamble.
🎯 Shane Pinto (C), OTT | Rostered: 25% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@TB, Vs.VGK, Vs.PHI, +4 SOS) | Line: 3 (w/ Motte & Joseph, PP2) 
  • News came out this week that Josh Norris would be out long-term (shoulder surgery), and may miss the remainder of the 2022-2023 season. Early indications are that Derek Brassard will get a crack at 2C, but I don’t see that lasting the season. 21-year old Pinto was a 2nd-rounder for Ottawa, and he’s been productive to start the season – 6 points and 5 goals in 7 games played. Mostly third line minutes to date, but over 2 minutes per game on the second power play unit, and real potential for more. Keep a close eye on Pinto, particularly in deep leagues. ⚠️NOTE: 38.5 iSH%, 13.5 tEVSH%…😬
🎯 Cole Perfetti (C/RW), WPG | Rostered: 20% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.MTL, Vs.CHI, -5 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Dubois & Wheeler, PP2) 
  • Cole Perfetti started slow, producing ZERO shots on goal and no points through his first two games of the season. Since then, Perfetti went on to post 6 points and 3 goals over his next 6 games played. Exposure to Dubois and Wheeler on the second line certainly doesn’t hurt, and he’s averaging just shy of 2 minutes of PP time per game. There are some red flags, like his 21.6 iSH% and 85 IPP; but don’t overthink this one too much. The Jets play just twice, but they’re appealing games with home matchups against Montreal and Chicago.
🎯 Jack Roslovic (C), CBJ | Rostered: 7% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (@COL, Vs.COL, +10 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Gaudreau & Laine, PP1) 
  • Wipe away those tears Jenner owners, Jack Roslovic has been given prime deployment at 1C between Johnny Geaudreau and Patrik Laine. Better yet, the former Jet is also on PP1. Things could just as easily change, and Columbus has a terrible schedule next week with a home-and-home against the Avalanche; but with a flier in my opinion anyway. 5 Pts (1 G) in his last 4 GP!
🎯 Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D), VAN | Rostered: 18% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.NJD, Vs.ANA, Vs.NSH, -19 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Myers) 
  • With Quinn Hughes week-to-week, OEL will be relied upon to pick up the slack offensively, particularly on the power play. The former Arizona Dman has collected 5 assists through the past 7 games, while also averaging 56.4% PP Share (2:29 PPTOI). Shot volume still leaves something to be desired, but does contribute in the hits category. The Canucks were also able to save Ethan Bear (0%) from purgatory (i.e. the Carolina Hurricanes), so that is another name to keep an eye on from the Canucks.
🎯 Filip Hronek (D), DET | Rostered: 25% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@BUF, Vs.WSH, Vs.NYI, @NYR, +3 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Maatta) 
  • Over the past two weeks, Hronek has posted 5 points (career-high 51 point pace), 3 PPP, 11 Hits in 7 games played, while averaging over 56% PP Share (3:28 PPTOI). It’s interesting that Hronek has received so much power play time early in the season, given last year’s breakout of rookie defenseman Moritz Seider. Hronek is certainly a serviceable option at this point in the season, and has potential as a long-term hold.  
🎯 Nils Lundkvist D), DAL | Rostered: 2% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.LAK, @ARI, @EDM, -1 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Suter, PP1) 
  • Miro Heiskanen’s injury does not appear to be long-term, but Nils Lundkvist has been able to showcase his abilities over the past few games, and it has earned him some valuable time on the first unit power play. Prior to Saturday, the 22-year old averaged nearly 60% PP share. Just 4 points in 9 games played this season, Lundkvist may be more of a streaming option or deep-league stash. ALSO: Brandon Montour (33%) – 5 Pts, 2 G in 3 GP this week!
🎯 Stuart Skinner (G), EDM | Rostered: 22% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.NSH, Vs.NJD, Vs.DAL, +10 SOS) | Role: Tandem (44% Net Share)
  • In 4 appearances this season, the Oilers netminder has a 1.52 GAA, .955 SV%, and 5.63 GSAx! If Skinner continues that level of play, Jack Campbell could find himself riding the pine more than he’d prefer. 
🎯 Alex Stalock (G), CHI | Rostered: 20% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.NYI, Vs.LAK, @WPG, -4 SOS) | Role: Starter (62.5% Net Share)
  • The 35-year old has been serviceable this season for a Chicago squad that should be in the Conor Bedard sweepstakes, but instead find themselves with a 4-3-1 record through 8 games. Stalock himself carries a 3-2-0 record with a 3.00 GAA, .913 SV%, and 1.03 GSAx; numbers good enough for a 3rd goalie or streaming option.
🎯 Martin Jones (G), SEA | Rostered: 5% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@CGY, @MIN, @PIT, +3 SOS) | Role: Starter (88% Net Share)
  • With Philip Grubauer currently on injured reserve, Martin Jones is a serviceable streaming option – so long as you’re not concerned with winning categories like GAA or SV%. Jones is going to get plenty of starts though, and with the 11th ranked offence (3.33 GF/GM) and 6th ranked PP, Seattle can offer some “goal support”. I would probably be selective with my matchups though…
🎯 Scott Wedgewood (G), DAL | Rostered: 3% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.LAK, @ARI, @EDM, -2 SOS) | Role: Backup (33% Net Share)

Jake Oettinger left Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury in the 2nd period, but was able to return to the bench in the 3rd period. The Stars starting goalie may not be out long, but if he is, give Wedgewood some consideration. NOTE: the numbers have not been good, but he’s only made 3 appearances.

Edge Work | Weekly Rankings (Powered By Left Wing Lock)

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.

Rankings Risers

📈Mathew Barzal (C), NYI | +13 | #112
  • Lane Lambert and the New York Islanders appear to have righted the ship and have won three straight games over tough opponents (New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Colorado Avalanche). While Barzal has 10 points in 9 games played, he remains goalless despite generating the highest shot production of his career at 2.8 shots per game. Expect some fireworks soon as Barzal will square off against three teams this week who have allowed 3 or more goals against per game (Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit).
📈Pierre-Luc Dubois (C), WPG | +8 | #38
  • With 5 points in his last 6 games, Dubois jumps in the rankings this week. He’s generating a career-high 3.1 shots per game, is seeing 4+ minutes of power play time per game, and his luck metrics indicate that his production is sustainable (and has room to grow). He’s good for ~100 Hits and ~500 Face-off wins.
📈Jacob Markstrom (G), CGY | +24 | #30

The Calgary netminder was excellent in two of his most recent starts including victories over Eastern powerhouses Carolina and Pittsburgh. With Sutter throwing a little cold water on the “Vladar will start once a week” idea, Markstrom should round into form in the near future.

Rankings Fallers

📉Torey Krug (D), STL | -26 | #128
  • The St. Louis Blues sit dead-last in the NHL with just 2.43 power play opportunities per game. This is 31% below the league average and could wreak havoc on Krug’s production. As a low-volume shooter (~2 shots/game) with weak peripherals (Hits / Blocks / PIMs), Krug’s value is heavily dependent on power play production. Keep an eye on this number (PP opps) going forward.
📉Oliver Bjorkstrand (RW), SEA | -12 | #170
  • Bjorkstrand tumbled in the player rankings this week as his goal-scoring dry spell continues (he has just 1 goal on 39 shots and just 1 power play point in 10 games). But don’t lose hope! Bjorkstrand is generating 3.9 shots per game — and where there are shots, there will be goals. Bjorkstrand’s current SH% sits at 2.6% (he’s typically closer to 13%) and he has a tEVSH% of just 3.6%. Points are on the way for the patient.
📉Shane Wright (C), SEA | -11 | #198
  • Wright, whose ranking was buoyed by his preseason projections, is on the verge of dropping out of the Top-200 altogether. The brain trust in Seattle have decided that sitting the 18-year-old for 5 of the first 10 games is good for his development. Compounding the problem is that Wright has average just 6:50 in ice time in the five games he’s been allowed to play. If Hakstol remains, there is no reason to hold Wright in one-year leagues.

New To The List (NTL)

📈Brad Marchand (LW), BOS | NTL | #16
  • Boston’s most famous rat worked his way back into the lineup a full month ahead of all expectations and promptly scored 2 goals and 1 assist against the Detroit Red Wings. Marchand is a dominant force in this scoring system and has rewarded managers who drafted him with an early return. Although Boston says they’ll likely limit him to one game in back-to-back sets early on, the Bruins have just two back-to-back sets between now and Christmas.

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 86: 11

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