NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 6

NHL Fantasy Preview - Week 6

Table of Contents

NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 6

Episode 88 of the Fantasy Hockey Hacks Podcast! Week 5 of the NHL continued to entertain, highlighted by a number of significant injuries, including a scary incident involving Evander Kane. 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!
  • Injury troubles in net for New Jersey
  • Ankle surgery for Valeri Nichushkin
  • Evander Kane out long-term for the Oilers
  • Zach Werenski done for the season!
  • Charlie McAvoy returns for Boston
  • Jeff Carter – defencemen?

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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!

Player TBD | Details Coming…

Fantasy Lock Of The Week (October 23 – 30, 2022) | Presented by Left Wing Lock
🔥Mikko Rantanen, C/RW, 100% Rostered (Yahoo)

3rd in NHL scoring with 23 points and 10 goals in 13 games played – 7 Points (3 Goals), 3 PPP, 6 SOG, +4, 90.1% PP Share, 21:17 ATOI in 2 games played during week 5.

Headlines W/ The Hacks | November 7 – 13, 2022

  • Mackenzie Blackwood has been diagnosed with a MCL sprain, he will be out of action for 4-6 weeks
  • The Chicago Blackhawks placed goalie Alex Stalock on IR Monday in a corresponding move they activated goalie Petz Mrazek from IR. Mrazek returned the Chicago Blackhawks lineup Thursday night against the LA Kings
  • Josh Norris of the Ottawa Senators will not need surgery on his injured shoulder after consulting 5 doctors and 2 specialists.
  • Valeri Nichushkin had surgery on his ankle, he will be out for about a month
  • Bowen Byram is out week to week with a lower body injury
  • Sam Girard is day to day with a lower body injury
  • Frederick Anderson is day to day with an undisclosed injury. Update Anderson was placed on IR on Friday
  • Jonathan Huberdeau has missed all 3 of the Flames games this week with an upper body injury.
  • Evander Kane will be out of the Oilers lineup for the next 3-4 months as he recovers from a skate blade cut to his arm
  • Charlie McAvoy returned to the Bruins lineup Thursday night vs the Calgary Flames. McAvoy had been out of the lineup since having shoulder surgery in the off season
  • Kirill Kaprizov was fined $5000 by the NHL Dept of Player Safety after high sticking Drew Doughty of the LA Kings. 
  • Teuvo Teravainen left Thursday night’s game vs the Oilers with an upper body injury. Update: The Hurricanes placed him on IR Saturday
  • Zach Werenski left Thursday night’s game vs Flyers with an upper body injury. The report after the game says the injury does not look good, he could be out long term. Update: he has a torn labrum and a separated shoulder. He is out for the season. Looks like Jake Bean will take over on PP1
  • Vitek Vanecek left Thursday nights game with the Calgary Flames with an undisclosed injury
  • John Carlson returned to the Capitals lineup on Friday. He registered and assist in his return
  • Thomas Chabot left Saturday night’s game vs the Flyers after being hit from behind into the boards
  • Philipp Grubauer has been placed on LTIR by the Seattle Kraken
  • Aaron Ekblad was activated by the Florida Panther’s for Saturday’s vs the Edmonton Oilers.
  • Wednesday night Jeff Carter played defense for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Okay it was only one 45 second shift, but he did not looks out of place playing defense.

Ask The Hacks

  • If you were gonna sell (Carter) Hart who would you target? I have Carter Hart, Jacob Markstrom (not great lately), and Eric Comrie. Min 3 starts a week, W, GAA, SV%, SO. Fu%! all available in free agency so I’d need a goalie in return. MIKE’S SUGGESTIONS: Tristan Jarry, Frederick Andersen, Eric Comrie. 
  • Who wins this trade:
    • Send: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Linus Ullmark
    • Receive: Mika Zibanejad, Tristan Jarry
  • Do you think Jusse Saros and the Predators will rebound? Or should I try to get as much value for Saros now as I can?

Edge Work | NHL Schedule, Week 6

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

Need To Know: 

More of the same in week 6, with light days alternating with action-packed nights. There are a total of 47 games on the schedule; and again a total of 4 “light days” (50% or fewer NHL teams in action) with Monday (4), Wednesday (3), Friday (1) and Sunday (2) being slow days. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday will be the busiest days on the schedule, with 9, 13, and 15 games respectively. 

In terms of optimizing the schedule, Chicago and Los Angeles play 4 games next week, with 3 of those games taking place on “light days” for both clubs. Both teams have fairly neutral schedules overall with a -5 rating for Chicago (CAR, STL, BOS, PIT), and -4 for Los Angeles (CGY, EDM, VAN, SEA).

St.Louis, Columbus, Florida, and Pittsburgh also all play 4 games this upcoming week. 

According to Left Wing Lock’s Strength Of Schedule metric, the Detroit Red Wings have the most favourable schedule at -25; taking on Anaheim, San Jose, and Columbus all on the road.

Arizona is the lone team to play just a single contest next week with a road match with the red hot Vegas Golden Knights. The Yotes also have the most difficult schedule with a rating of +22; best to avoid or drop any fringe players for next week.

Boston, Edmonton, New York (Rangers), Seattle, Vancouver, and Winnipeg, all play just 2 games next week, with the Rangers being the only team to play both games on the road.

  • Monday – 4 Games
  • Tuesday – 9 Games
  • Wednesday – 3 Games
  • Thursday – 13 Games
  • Friday – 1 Games
  • Saturday – 15 Games
  • Sunday – 2 Games

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Edge Work | Waiver Wire Targets, NHL Week 6

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

🎯 Ryan O’Reilly (C), STL | Rostered: 38% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@COL, @CHI, Vs.WSH, Vs.ANA, -5 SOS) | Line: 3 (w/ Brown & Barbashev, PP2) 
  • The 31-year old veteran is struggling mightily with just 1 G in 11 games played to date; but this could be a real buy-low opportunity. 4.3 iSH% is well-below his 3-year average of 14.4%; and his tEVSH% is at a career low of just 2.7%. Unfortunately, O’Reilly has been bumped down to the 3rd line, so his time on ice has dwindled and he is playing with less-skilled linemates. On the flip side, maybe he finds his game against lower quality of competition? Shot volume (2.1 SOG/GM) is right at league average, but FOW% is also down at 49%; 3-year average is 57%. UPDATE: O’Reilly is now up to 4 points (3 goals) in 13 games played.
🎯 Kyle Palmieri (RW), NYI | Rostered: 5% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@OTT, @NSH, @DAL, -22 SOS) | Line: 3 (w/ Pageau & Parise, PP1) 
  • Kyle Palmieri started the season slowly with just 1 assist in 6 games; but has since posted 7 points (5 goals) in his last 9 games. The Isles have a strong schedule next week, and Palmieri can also contribute with nearly 2 hits per game, in addition to any offense he brings. NOTE: 15.6 iSH% well above 3-year average of 9.9%. 
🎯 Brandon Hagel (LW/RW), TB | Rostered: 43% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.DAL, Vs.CGY, @NSH, -4 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Kucherov & Point, PP2) 
  • Brandon Hagel finds himself playing on the Bolts top line, alongside Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point; and he has capitalized to date, posting 11 points (5 goals) in his last 9 games played. Hagel’s shot volume isn’t great (1.9 SOG/GM) and he’s currently shooting at 19.2%; but don’t let that sway you from benefiting from his production in the short-term! On-pace for 64 points and 29 goals.
🎯 Owen Tippett (RW), PHI | Rostered: 3% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@CBJ, @BOS, @MTL, -23 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Konecny & Hayes, PP1) 
  • A 10th overall selection of the Florida Panthers back in 2017, Tippett has struggled to establish himself offensively. However, through 8 games with the Flyers this season, Tippett has 5 points and 3 goals, good enough for a 51-point pace over 82 games. Consider that the 23-year old is playing on the top line and top power play, and you have some compelling reasons to grab the former Panther. NOTE: 15.8 iSH% (3-year average 8.7%), 
🎯 Kirby Dach (C/RW), MTL | Rostered: 30% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.NJD, @CBJ, Vs.PHI, -6 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Caufield & Suzuki, PP1) 
  • The former 3rd overall pick is off to a great start for the Montreal Canadiens, posting 12 points and 4 goals in 14 games played! Dach’s line (Caufield, Suzuki) has outshot (41-34), and outscored (8-3) opponents at even-strength so far this season. Toss in first unit power play time and things certainly appear promising for the remainder of the season. Currently on-pace for a career-best 24 goals and 70 points. NOTE: 16.7 iSH% is well-above Dach’s 3-year average of 16.7%; and 11.7 tEvSH% is also above league average of 9%.
🎯 Andre Burakovsky (LW/RW), SEA | Rostered: 46% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.NYR, Vs.LAK, -2 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Wennberg & Bjorkstrand, PP1) 
  • Andre Burakovsky posted a career-high 61 points and 22 goals last season in Colorado; but through 14 games as a member of the Seattle Kraken, Burakovsky is already on-pace for 76 points and 24 goals! Contributing to those point totals are almost a minute more time on the top PP unit, and a career-best 2.8 SOG/GM. Better yet, the former Av is currently at a career-low 10.3 iSH% (15.5 iSH% 3-Year Average) and 7.2 tEVSH%!
🎯 Lawson Crouse (FWD), TEA | Rostered: 11% (Yahoo) | GP: 1 (@VGK, +22 SOS) | Line: 3 (w/ Bjugstad & Maccelli, PP2) 
  • We talked about Nick Ritchie a few weeks ago as a potential waiver wire pickup; well another Yote makes an appearance this week in Lawson Crouse. Like Ritchie, Crouse is a big-man with first-round pedigree; but unlike Ritchie, Crouse is making an impact on the 3rd line and second PP unit. 4 goals, and 3.16 Hits/GM in his last 6 games played. 
🎯 Jake Sanderson (D), OTT | Rostered: 39% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.VAN, @NJD, @PHI, +15 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Bernard-Docker, PP1) 
  • Thomas Chabot took a hard hit from Flyers forward Travis Konecny during Saturday’s matinee matchup, opening the door for 20-year old Jake Sanderson. Sanderson took over top power play duties, playing 2:22 PPTOI (53.1% PP Share) and 22:21 total time on ice. It’s expected that Chabot could be out long-term, so a speculative addition of Sanderson (6 points in his last 10 GP) could be a wise move. 
🎯 Filip Hronek (D), DET | Rostered: 30% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@ANA, @SJS, @CBJ, -25 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Maatta, PP2) 
  • The Red Wings have the best schedule next week with a -25 strength of schedule rating from Left Wing Lock. Anaheim has struggled all year and Columbus is obliterated with injuries. This seems like an ideal week to grab Hronek, if you’re in need of help on defense. On-pace for 55 points, but just 1 goal (Saturday) on 34 SOG. Career shooting percentage of 4.4%, so expect more to come; particularly with the 2:46 PPTOI (45% PP Share) per game that he is receiving. It should be noted, on Saturday Hronek played a massive 27:35 total time on ice, and 5:09 PPTOI (81.5% PP share)! Meanwhile, reigning Calder winner Moritz Seider played just 22:30 TOI and 1:11 PPTOI (18.7% PP Share).
🎯 Alec Martinez (D), VGK | Rostered: 18% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.SJS, Vs.ARI, @EDM, -20 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Pietrangelo) 
  • The 35-year old rarely provides any offense to speak of; however, he is an incredible source of blocked shots, leading all NHL defencemen with 61 (4.36 BLKs/GM)!! So if blocked shots is a category you’re looking to shore up, there really is no better option. As a bonus, Martinez is skating on the top pairing with Alex Pietrangelo, which provides exposure to Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, and Chandler Stephenson.
🎯 Ryan Graves (D), NJD | Rostered: 13% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@MTL, @TOR, @OTT, -19 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Marino) 
  • Like the Devils, things are going very well for Ryan Graves this year. On-pace for a career-high 41 points, the Devil’s Dman has posted 6 points (3 goals) in his last 8 games played. A favourable schedule makes Graves that much more appealing for this week.  
🎯 Jake Bean (D), CBJ | Rostered: 3% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.PHI, Vs.MTL, Vs.DET, Vs.FLA, +7 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Peeke, PP1) 
  • With news on Friday that Zach Werenski would miss the remainder of the season with a separated shoulder and torn labrum; Jake Bean looks to get an opportunity on the top PP unit. He will also likely play on the second pairing, getting exposure to the top 6. With 4 games next week, Bean could be a nice depth addition. It’s worth noting that on Saturday (first full game with no Werenski) Bean posted 2 assists (1 PPP) in 21:10 TOI, including 3:35 PPTOI.
🎯 Antti Raanta (G), CAR | Rostered: 45% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@CHI, Vs.COL, @MIN, -1 SOS) | Role: Backup (38% Net Share)
  • Frederick Andersen is expected to miss a few games, and Antti Raanta has always been a serviceable option when called upon. 3-1-1 with a 2.36 GAA and .914 SV% to date this season. 
🎯 Stuart Skinner (G), EDM | Rostered: 40% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.LAK, Vs.CBJ, +20 SOS) | Role: Backup (40% Net Share)
  • The Oilers are in trouble. Kane is out 3-4 months, Yamamoto returned to Edmonton for evaluation, and Jack Campbell is doing his best impression of an AHL goaltender with a 4.27 GAA and .873 SV%. To make matters worse, Edmonton’s PK is abysmal this year, ranked 28th at 70.8%; and possession numbers are concerning with a USAT% of 48.9% (21st). The silver lining to date has been the play of McDavid, Draisaitl, Nuge, Hyman, and Skinner. Skinner himself has been mostly impressive with a 2.62 GAA, .928 SV%, and 5.34 GSAx. Even if Campbell were playing at league average, Skinner would be deserving of more starts. Monitor closely.
🎯 Sam Montembeault (G), MTL | Rostered: 7% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.NJD, @CBJ, Vs.PHI, -6 SOS) | Role: Backup (36% Net Share)
  • Montembeault has received a limited number of games so far this season, but has significantly outplayed “starter” Jake Allen, while sporting a 3-1-1 record, 2.38 GAA, .930 SV%, and a 2.46 GSAx! There are no back-to-back games next for Montreal, so it’s hard to say how many games Montembeault will get (likely 1 of 3 based on the previous rotation), but he’s worth at least a spot start when available.

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

📈Connor Hellebuyck (G), WPG | +29 | #22
  • Hellebuyck jumps 29 spots this week to reach #22 overall. The Winnipeg netminder has 7 wins in 11 starts and a 0.935 SV%. While his EVSV% of 0.945 will cool off, he’s getting enough goal support in front of him to keep winning games. With an ADP of 76.5 this Summer, Hellebuyck is looking like a steal.
📈Pierre-Luc Dubois (C), WPG | +15 | #31
  • On pace for 130 hits and 450 face-off wins, Dubois is a multi-category producer who has 12 points in 13 games. Although his SH% is high at 18% (career SH% is 13%), he’s generating shots at a high enough volume (3 SOG/game) to withstand regression in his shooting accuracy. The Jets center has 6 points in last 4 games (including goals in each of those games).
📈Jack Hughes (C), NJD | +22 | #67
  • Hughes has exploded for 4.2 shots/game so far this season which has translated to point-per-game pace for the Devils center. He still stinks at face-offs, but you can’t complain about 3.6 minutes of power play time per game.

Rankings Fallers

📉Thatcher Demko (G), VAN | -17 | #96
  • Thatcher Demko has just 1 win in 10 starts this season. To date, he is probably the most serious disaster (among goalies) for fantasy hockey managers who selected him in the draft. A save percentage of 0.874 is not doing him any favors. The Canucks being a bottom-10 puck possession team is also not helping his cause. But, managers should take some comfort in the fact that Demko’s poor start has been influenced by bad luck. His PKSV% (0.667) is tied for the worst value in the league (with Carolina’s Frederik Andersen). PKSV% makes up 15% of a goalie’s overall SV%. In Demko’s case, that unlucky PKSV% is dropping his overall SV% by 24 points! [[ Demko would be sitting at 0.900 with a league-average PKSV% instead of 0.876. ]]
📉Drew Doughty (D), LAK | -32 | #119
  • With just 8 points in 17 games, Doughty is on pace for just 39 points (that would match his worst point production outside of his rookie season). His SH% and IPP are low at 3.1% and 29%, respectively. But, his shot production of just 1.9 shots/game is concerning. A little swing of luck would help him out a bit, but the anemic shooting (despite nearly four minutes of power play time) is likely going to keep Doughty from reaching his original projections.
📉Mark Stone (RW), VGK | -39 | #137
  • The Golden Knights winger is having a reasonable season so far, but is on pace for just 61 points — which is inching toward career-low territory. There are a couple of issues at play here: (1) Stone’s SH% is sitting at 10% (down from his 3Y and Career values); and (2) Stone has just 2 power play points. The latter issue is related to the fact that the Vegas Golden Knights rank 27th in the league in drawing power play opportunities. Because of this, Stone falls outside of the Top-150 players in average power play time per game so far this season (for all players with at least 10 games played). Power play production in fantasy hockey is extremely important because it’s a category that can rarely be replaced using the waiver wire.

New To The List (NTL)

📈Charlie McAvoy (D), BOS | NTL | #95
  • McAvoy, who was originally projected to be out until the end of November, surprised fantasy managers with an early return this past week. His ADP this Summer was 135.8 and he missed just 13 games. Managers who took on the risk of drafting him will be rewarded and he debuts on this week’s list at #95 overall. One thing to watch here: McAvoy has not been on the top power play unit in his first two games back from injury (the Bruins have been running a five-forward unit). Note: this statement is true going into Sunday but could change today.

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 88: 9

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