Between the Lines – Kessel, Wheeler, Ovechkin and more

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phil kessel 



The hottest line combinations in the NHL – including the Kessel line, the Wheeler line and more

It is the dreaded Week 13. Now superstition does not reign supreme in fantasy but this is a pivotal week. In 12 short days, the fantasy season will all be over. Will it prove to be fruitful for you? Let's go "Between The Lines" for a little insight.


Forward March……

Tyler Bozak-James Van Riemsdyk-Phil Kessel (Toronto) — This line has been pretty consistent most of the year and a 13 point week is proof. The guy to watch is the guy everyone should watch out for and that is Phil Kessel. Kessel had nine points last week in all while James Van Riemsdyk had six. Here is the problem. Frequency rates will likely chance once Joffrey Lupul comes back and that is very close to happening. The Lupul and Kessel show will help Bozak owners along at some point in Week 13. With a favorable schedule, the goals and points will come too.

Andrew LaddBryan LittleBlake Wheeler (Winnipeg) — If Winnipeg is going to make the playoffs, they may have to go all in with a line that does not include Bryan Little. However, this trio did pile up 13 points last week before Little's injury. Fortunately it was not serious. Now Little had six points while Ladd tallied five points. There is an interesting wrinkle when Evander Kane is added as an occasional fourth forward on the man advantage which adds assist potential.

Jamie Benn-Alex Chiasson-Ray Whitney (Dallas) — Dallas has two line combinations pretty high on the list for Week 12. Alex Chiasson is the real surprise here as he has six goals in his first six games. While that production may not continue, his upside is too high not to snag him as a keeper. Let's be honest. Ray Whitney can still pass with the best of them and Jamie Benn is a budding star. Whitney put together an excellent seven point week with four assists. The wildcard is obviously Chiasson. Can they come near 11 points again? They did play at 27.5% EV and 50% PP so it is possible. 

Nicklas BackstromAlex OvechkinMarcus Johansson (Washington) — The phone booth has lit up again with the wrath of Ovechkin as he slammed home seven more goals in Week 12. He led the NHL with nine points overall and Nicklas Backstrom had five secondary assists to go along with his eight points. It just seems little can slow down this Ovechkin line these days and Week 13 presents only a bump in the road. They will still get their points but don't expect quite as many. Between the power play and the trio, others may see more opportunities however.  

Erik ColeVernon FiddlerEric Nystrom (Dallas) — These three had ten points together in Week 12? Yes they did. Also, Vernon Fiddler had seven points. That will blow your mind. With a third line producing second line like numbers, it seems all is right in Dallas. This is the highest line frequency in Dallas at a bit over 30% but expect that to change a bit in Week 13. Their power play frequency is a bit low and Fiddler will not see seven points again. Taper your expectations a good bit this week.


*** Take a look at the recent line combinations from around the NHL here ***


Lead Us Defenders……

Jack Hillen-Steve Oleksy (Washington) — The hockey gods must be crazy but they did manage six points as a pairing. If I told you Jack Hillen had more points than P.K. Subban in Week 12, would you have me checked for drugs? Yes, you would. Yet, Hillen had 5 and Subban had 4. If this pairing plays with the Ovechkin line say more than the John Carlson pairing, success is quite possible. Game play will dictate that so while Hillen is a decent play, Oleksy is more a deep play.

Andrew FerenceDennis Seidenberg (Boston) — Yes these guys had six points too! With the fantasy void left by Zdeno Chara at stretches this year, the fact that Ference had four points in Week 12 shocked the masses. It could happen again just because this season has produced oddities abound in Boston. They produced more per point than the Chara pairing in the last month. It is just a sure sign that the off year for Chara has produced strange fantasy bedfellows. Tread carefully in Week 13.

Andrei MarkovP.K. Subban (Montreal) — So, Drew Doughty's four goals did not mean jack here but Subban had four points again in a week. The Norris is still believed his to lose at this point. Fantasy wise, he has won our top offensive defenseman award already. Subban figures to be projected for another three or four points in Week 13. Here comes clockwork and fantasy gold coming right up.

As always you can follow @ChrisWasselTHW and fire away those questions. Good luck in this dirty dozen of days.




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