NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 5
Episode 87 of the Fantasy Hockey Hacks Podcast! Week 4 of the NHL continued to entertain, highlighted by a vintage performance from Erik Karlsson, including his first NHL hat trick! 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!
- Tage Thompson still tearing it up – 6 Point Game!
- Erik Karlsson comeback continues!
- Jack Campbell continues to struggle
- Jeremy Swayman goes down, Linus Ullmark the man in Beantown
- Charlie McAvoy nearing a return?
- Bruins piss off the entire league
- The Leafs struggles in goal continue – Samsonov to IR
- UPDATED RANKINGS!
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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!
Boston Bruins | For signing Mitchell Miller, not consulting the NHL
Fantasy Lock Of The Week (October 23 – 30, 2022) | Presented by Left Wing Lock
🔥Erik Karlsson, D, 93% Rostered (Yahoo)
6th in NHL scoring with 19 points in 14 games played – who saw this coming?!! First career hat trick this week, followed up by another 3 point game. 8 Points (4 Goals), 2 PPP, 18 SOG, +4, 81% PP Share, 29:33 ATOI in 4 games played during week 4.
The year of EK65 continues!! 🙌
— NHL (@NHL) November 2, 2022
Headlines W/ The Hacks | October 31 – November 6, 2022
Injury news – The bad
- Jamie Drysdale of the Anaheim Ducks has suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder, he will be out for 4-6 months.
- Dallas Stars goalie Jake Ottinger will be out at least one week with a lower body injury
- Connor Brown had successful ACL surgery and is likely done for the season.
- Ondrej Palat had successful groin surgery on Tuesday, there is no timetable for his return
- Jeremy Swayman left the Bruins game Tuesday night with a lower body injury. Update: on Saturday the Bruins placed him on IR. UPDATE: He is now considered week to week.
- Alex Stalock left the Blackhawks game Tuesday night with an upper body injury.
- Washington has placed John Carlson and TJ Oshie on IR, there is no timetable for their return
- MacKenzie Blackwood left the Devils game on Thursday with a lower body injury.
- Ilya Samsonov suffered a lower body injury in the Leafs game vs the Bruins Saturday night,
Injury news – The good
- Matt Murray is expected to practice with the Leafs on Tuesday. Hopes are he could possibly return ahead of schedule.
- Charlie McAvoy joined the Bruins for a full practice on Monday. Looks like he getting close to a return to the lineup
- Quinn Hughes returned to the Canucks lineup Tuesday night after missing 4 games with a lower body injury
Injury new – one to keep and eye on
- Rasmus Dahlin missed the Sabres Saturday game due to an upper body injury, he is considered day to day.
- Tage Thompson became the 6th player in Buffalo Sabres history to have 6 points in one game. The last Sabre to do it was Pat Lafontaine in 1993
Is Tage Thompson…. that guy??
I think Tage Thompson is that guy.
— Nathan “Grav” (@NathanGraviteh) November 1, 2022
- On Sunday we had 2 suspensions of 2 games each. The first is Matthew Tkachuk for high sticking Kings goalie Jonathon Quick, the 2nd to the Candaiens Josh Anderson for boarding Alex Pietrangelo of the Vegas Golden Knights.
Josh Anderson receives a game misconduct for this dangerous hit on Alex Pietrangelo. pic.twitter.com/2wRaDDKwgq
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 6, 2022
Ask The Hacks
- Who wins this trade:
- Acquire: Brad Marchand, Jeff Petry
- Send: Vincent Trocheck, Kris Letang
- Mat Barzal and Shayne Gostisbehere for Erik Karlsson. I have Karlsson and I’d consider the trade if I received a pick as well. 14 team keeper, 14 roster spots plus 6 bench. G, A, P, PIM, PPP, SOG, Hits, Blocks. All the best and keep on with the great work!
Edge Work | NHL Schedule, Week 5
The segment where we put in the work to give you the EDGE in your fantasy hockey leagues!
Need To Know:
The NHL schedule stays consistent in week 5, with alternating light days and packed slates. There are a total of 51 games on the schedule; however, there are again a total of 4 “light days” (50% or fewer NHL teams in action) with Monday (3), Wednesday (4), Friday (4) and Sunday (6) being slow days. As is usually the case, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday will be the busiest days on the schedule, with 11, 10, and 13 games respectively.
In terms of optimizing the schedule, Minnesota and Washington play 4 games next week, with 4 of those games taking place on “light days” for the Caps, and 3 for the Wild. The Wild have the third easiest schedule according to Left Wing Lock with a Strength Of Schedule rating of -24 – matchups against Los Angeles, Anaheim, Seattle, and San Jose.
Boston, Vancouver, Arizona, Calgary, Edmonton, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, and St.Louis also all play 4 games this upcoming week.
According to Left Wing Lock’s Strength Of Schedule metric, the Anaheim Ducks have the most favourable schedule at -27; although they only have two games on the week, taking on the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks at home.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have the most difficult schedule with a rating of +19, facing off against the Golden Knights, Penguins, and Canucks – all at home.
Anaheim, Columbus, Chicago, and Colorado, all play just 2 games next week, with the Blackhawks being the only team to play both games on the road.
- Monday – 3 Games
- Tuesday – 11 Games
- Wednesday – 4 Games
- Thursday – 10 Games
- Friday – 4 Games
- Saturday – 13 Games
- Sunday – 6 Games
Edge Work | Waiver Wire Targets, NHL Week 5
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
🎯 Brock Nelson (C), NYI | Rostered: 48% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.CGY, @NYR, Vs.ARI, Vs.CBJ, -13 SOS) | Line: X (w/ Lee & Beauvillier, PP1)
- After posting 37-goals last season; there’s no way the 31-year old could follow it up with something better, right? How about an 82-point, 30-goal pace and leading the Isles in scoring through 11 games this season? Criminally under-rated, Nelson is still available in nearly 60% of Yahoo leagues! A favourable 4-game week, career-high 2.6 SOG/GM, top line and top PP deployment make the Islanders forward and easy add up front. NOTE: 13.8 iSH% is BELOW his 3-year average of 18.4%! 16.4 tEVSH% and 2A/60 does indicate regression.
— Isles on MSGSN (@IslesMSGN) November 2, 2022
🎯 Jeff Skinner (LW), BUF | Rostered: 40% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.ARI, Vs.VGK, Vs.BOS, +16 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Thompson & Okposo, PP1)
- It seems like every year Skinner winds up on the wire, only to get hot a month or two into the season. On-pace for 75 points after posting 10 points and 2 goals in 11 games. Still available in 56% of leagues, Jeff Skinner could be a difference maker at the bottom end of fantasy rosters. The Sabres finally appear to be on the rise, and Skinner is playing next to one of the hottest players in the league in Tage Thompson. NOTE: 7.1 iSH% is well below career average of 10.9%, 10.8 tEVSH% above league average.
🎯 Jonathan Toews (C), CHI | Rostered: 21% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (@LAK, @ANA, -11 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Kurashev & Raddysh, PP1)
- The long-time Blackhawks captain has 9 points (2 goals) in 11 games played, putting him on-pace for 67 points over 82 games. That would be Toews’ best offensive season since 2018-2019 when he posted 81 points and 35 goals in 82 games. Given the personnel in Chicago this season, Toews will see top 6 and top power play minutes all year, so there is some room for optimism. However, the 34-year old’s shot volume (1.9 SOG/GM) leaves much to be desired AND he is currently shooting at 33.3%. NOTE: 10 tEVSH% still close to league average. ZERO HITS through 11 games, but nearly 60% FOW (114 total).
🎯 William Karlsson (C/LW), VGK | Rostered: 35% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@TOR, @BUF, Vs.STL, -11 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Marchessault & Smith, PP2)
- William Karlsson has 10 points and 4 goals in 13 games played this season, including 6 points and 2 goals in his last 6 games. The Golden Knights have opted to reunite Karlsson with Smith and Marchessault, and the results have been excellent. It’s worth noting that the 29-year old is shooting at 16.7%, his highest rate since 2017-2018 when Karlsson scored a career-best 43 goals.
🎯 Carter Verhaeghe (LW), FLA | Rostered: 52% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.CAR, Vs.EDM, -19 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Barkov & Tkachuk, PP2)
- With two goals on Saturday night, Verhaeghe has posted 9 points and 5 goals in his last 6 games played! On-pace for 75 points through 12 games this season, the 27-year old should be rostered in far more leagues. NOTE: 23.3 iSH% and 85 IPP indicate regression; though tEVSH% is still around league average at 8%.
Carter Verhaeghe grabs his 𝙨𝙚𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙙 goal of the night 👏
— Bally Sports Florida: Panthers (@BallyPanthers) November 6, 2022
🎯 Dylan Strome (C/RW), WSH | Rostered: 25% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.EDM, Vs.PIT, Vs.TB, @TB, +4 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Johansen & Sheary, PP1)
- Dylan Strome has cooled off over his last couple games, but he still has 9 points (2 goals) in 13 games played, and is seeing MASSIVE time on ice with the man advantage – 4:01 PPTOI, 72% PP share. With injuries, Strome is locked into the top 6 for the foreseeable future; and may still have more to give offensively, particularly when you look at Offensive ZS% (68%) and underlying metrics. NOTE: 9.5 iSH% (15.1% 3-year average), 5.9 tEVSH% (league average is 9%).
🎯 Clayton Keller (LW/RW), ARI | Rostered: 65% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@BUF, @NYI, @NJD, @NYR, +9 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Hayton & Guenther, PP1)
- Clayton Keller is playing at a point-per-game pace with 11 points and 3 goals in 11 games, playing most recently with youngsters Barrett Hayton and Dylan Guenther. Keller’s shot volume is down this season at 1.8 SOG/GM, but hopefully we see that get back to around the 2.5 SOG/GM he has averaged the past three seasons. Most valuable in points leagues as he does not contribute much in peripheral categories. NOTE: 15 iSH% and 10.3 tEVSH% are within expected ranges.
🎯 Caleb Jones (D), CHI | Rostered: 3% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (@LAK, @ANA, -11 SOS) | Line: 3 (w/ Regula, PP1)
- This one certainly feels like we’re grasping at straws, but Caleb Jones has been surprisingly productive over the last 6 games or so, posting 6 points, 2 PPP, 8 SOG, 9 hits, and 14 blocks. Additionally, the 25-year old has been averaging nearly 20 minutes of ice time, and 2:26 PPTOI (41% PP share). In fact, over his last 2 games, Jones has received just shy of 60% PP share! This deployment will no doubt change when big brother Seth returns in early December, but enjoy it while you can.
🎯 Hampus Lindholm (D), BOS | Rostered: 85% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.STL, Vs.CGY, @BUF, Vs.VAN, -6 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Carlo, PP1)
- Hampus Lindholm has shocked us all, posting 13 points and 4 goals in 11 games played! Lindholm’s career-high in points is 34, which came back in 2014-2015. Obviously getting top power play time has bolstered the former Duck’s production, so Lindholm may be an ideal sell-high candidate ahead of Charlie McAvoy’s return.
🎯 Brandon Montour (D), FLA | Rostered: 75% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.CAR, Vs.EDM, -19 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Forsling, PP1)
- The word is out on Brandon Montour, but if he’s still available in your league, grab him now! On-pace for an incredible 73 points, Montour is in the midst of a breakout season with Aaron Ekblad on the shelf. Career-high 3.3 SOG/GM, 5:23 PPTOI, and 26:30 TOI. NOTE: 10 iSH% up from career average of 6%, 53.3 IPP high as well.
MONTOUR FOR FOUR!!!!!
— Bally Sports Florida: Panthers (@BallyPanthers) October 29, 2022
🎯 Nick Jensen (D), WSH | Rostered: 22% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.EDM, Vs.PIT, Vs.TB, @TB, +4 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Fehervary)
- On-pace for a career-high 48 points, Nick Jensen has posted 7 points and 1 goal in his last 10 games played. Averaging 21 minutes a game and chipping in with 1.5 hits and 1.75 blocks per game to date this season. The Capitals play 4 games this week, so Jensen could be a serviceable depth option on D.
🎯 Vitek Vanecek (G), NJD | Rostered: 55% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.CGY, Vs.OTT, Vs.ARI, -6 SOS) | Role: Tandem (55% Net Share)
- The former Capital has been outstanding of late, a perfect 4-0-0 in his last 4 starts with a 1.14 GAA and .953 SV%! With Mackenzie Blackwood evidently tearing his groin against the Oilers on Thursday, the net will be Vanecek’s to lose for the foreseeable future. Better yet, the Devils are 8-3-0 and look like they’ve finally arrived.
😱 = Our reaction to seeing this Vitek Vanecek stop pic.twitter.com/AUhRkhnHb8
— NHL (@NHL) November 4, 2022
🎯 Martin Jones (G), SEA | Rostered: 17% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.NSH, Vs.MIN, Vs.WPG, -10 SOS) | Role: Starter (77% Net Share)
- Going back to October 25th, Martin Jones is amongst the league leaders in games started, wins, GAA, and SV%. 4-1-0 in his last 5 starts, posting a 1.61 GAA, .937 SV%, and 4.77 GSAx! Better yet, the Kraken are sitting second in the Pacific Division and 6th in overall league standings. We all expect a stinker from Jones in the near future, but with Grubauer sidelined the former Shark is a great streaming option.
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.
📈Bo Horvat (C), VAN | +7 | #22
- Horvat exploded for 6 points in 3 games this past week including two multi-goal efforts. He’s now tied for 2nd in the league in goals at 10 through 12 games played. Factor in his league-leading 179 face-off wins and you can see why Horvat cracks the Top-25 player list in this week’s rankings. Managers should keep their eye on his shooting percentage which currently sits at 23.3% (his 3Y SH% is 14.3%).
📈Jason Robertson (LW), DAL | +15 | #37
- After a modest point-per-game start to begin the season, Robertson produced 8 points in 3 games this past week including four goals. In Saturday’s game alone, he generated 10 shots on goal. Robertson is now up to 18 points in 12 games, but this production won’t last forever. His tEVSH% is a bit high at 12.1% and that’s resulting in abnormally high secondary assist production.
📈Tage Thompson (C), BUF | +21 | #68
- The recently-formed line of Skinner-Thompson-Okposo is crushing opponents in puck possession (USAT% of 60.3%) and this is resulting in a goal share of 66.7% (GF%). The line has been given ridiculously high offensive zone starts and Thompson generated 9 points over his past four games [[ since the last rankings ]]. Who could forget his 3 goal, 3 assist outburst on Halloween night against the Detroit Red Wings? An IPP of 100% means Thompson’s production has been boosted by luck, but enjoy the ride while it lasts.
📉Anze Kopitar (C), LAK | -11 | #58
- While Kopitar has 12 points in 14 games, his shot production should have managers worried. He’s generating just 1.8 shots per game (down from 2.6/game last season). Low-volume shooters are particularly vulnerable to swings in shooting percentage. The heavily-touted Fiala-Kopitar-Kempe line failed to live up to the hype as it was outshot 52.4% to 47.6% at even-strength. The Kings have since broken up the line.
📉Alex DeBrincat (LW), OTT | -10 | #72
- DeBrincat has disappointed managers who were hoping he’d continue on the same track that saw him produce 41 goals for the Chicago Blackhawks last season. Through 11 games, DeBrincat has just 2 goals — putting him on pace for 15 goals. Over the past week, he generated just a single assist in three games played. What’s especially worrisome here is that DeBrincat (for a time) was seeing action on both power play units for the Senators (similar to Ovechkin in Washington). So, while DeBrincat drops 10 spots in this week’s rankings, managers should soothe their concerns by looking at his underlying metrics. DeBrincat is generating a career-high 4.5 shots per game; his SH% is abysmally low at 4.1%; his tEVSH% sits at just 6.8%. Things will turn around. Stay the course.
📉Ryan Strome (C/RW), OTT | -23 | #170
- Strome was drafted, on average, early in the 12th round this Summer in nearly every fantasy hockey league. Managers had hoped that centering a line with Troy Terry might mean that he’d maintain his previous levels of production. This appears to not be the case. While Strome has a respectable 8 points in 12 games (54-point-pace), his shot production has plummeted from 2.2 shots/game (last season) to just 1.3 shots/game. It’s important for managers to connect the dots here: Strome has an abnormally high SH% at 18.8% and an IPP of 100% but he’s on pace for just 54 points. It’s probably time for managers to walk away.
New To The List (NTL)
📈Carter Hart (G), PHI | NTL | #151
- The Flyers continue to somehow win hockey games. As of this morning, they sit in 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division with 14 points in 11 games (6-3-2). But there’s an interesting nugget buried in the current NHL standings: the Flyers have a 0 goal differential (worse than every playoff team in the East). More importantly, the Flyers are the worst puck possession team in the league (see chart below). Their USAT% sits at just 40.2%. How do the Flyers keep winning games? It starts and ends with Carter Hart. His stats include a record of 6-0-2, a GAA of 1.97, and a SV% of 0.946. It is important to note that Hart’s EVSV% is 0.955. This is as unsustainable as it gets. Hart’s SV% will drop. The Flyers will start losing games; lots of them. And you’ll be sorry if you failed to trade Hart during this heater.
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 87: 5
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