There are about three weeks left before most fantasy leagues see their trade deadline window hit; it’s your last chance to solidify the lineup heading into the playoffs where anything can happen. If you’re battling for a playoff spot – weekly moves are going to be a must so that you can pick up every last point necessary. This week I wanted to take a look at the teams and players who will be able to help you most so that those fringe bubble teams can throw one last ditch effort at making the playoffs.
Fortunately, the range of games that teams will play from 2/4/19 – 3/4/19 is only a low of 12 and high of 15 GP. That being said there are two Eastern teams, the Devils and the Panthers who play 15 games over the next 4 weeks. Meanwhile the Wings only play 12 times and the Bruins, Hurricanes, Canadiens, and Penguins only place 13 times. OK so not the most important information but when we’re looking at third wheels on the top line, or second line players, those extra SOG or Assists per game are going to make the difference between 7th place and 8th place in at least one league. Go get them.
Here is my list of the most important stream/waiver player who should be available in your league and the reason why you should take the gamble. If you are low on moves, try to avoid players that could be traded like Gustav Nyquist, for example.
Detroit Red Wings – For shots on goal help I would look to Anthony Mantha, he’s consistently providing two to three shots per game. There isn’t much else on this roster I would be interested in. As with the opening comments, players from the Wings are not going to maximize your games played unless they fit perfectly in your roster dead space.
Boston Bruins – Jake DeBrusk, call me pathetic but he’s still seeing first unit power play time and is on the second line. More is expected of him but, unfortunately, he has been ice cold recently. It would be nice if he could chip in an assist too. I’d still take a swing with this upside if things were desperate.
Carolina Hurricanes – Justin Williams is probably still available in your league, he’s shooting the puck a lot recently and will certainly pad the stats in that area if he fits into your lineup well.
Montreal Canadiens – Jesperi Kotkaniemi has four goals in his last eight game – if you’re in need of a center that fits your schedule well, he’s worth a look. Paul Byron is another stream-worthy candidate that I would have listed first but you’ll need to monitor him for a lingering arm injury.
Pittsburgh Penguins – a cop out answerm but you have to take the dive on Nick Bjugstad, with Malkin injured, we’re still not sure where he will slot into the lineup. If he ends up on Sid wings? Why not roll the dice.
Toronto Maple Leafs – With all the off-night games that the Leafs play a great stream candidate is Andreas Johnsson. As of writing this it looks like he might be relegated to the fourth line but he’s probably being eased back into the lineup after his recent concussion. Previously though he was seeing time with Matthews – when he’s up there and you’re battling for a playoff spot with a Monday – Wednesday roster spot open – it’s an easy plug. See Zach Hyman in this spot as well.
New York Rangers – There isn’t much here that I would be interested in, if you’re really desperate Neal Pionk is probably available and at least one of your D spots is likely open for counting stat purposes.
Tampa Bay Lightning – Palat and Gourde should be available in most leagues. Palat especially slotted next to Kucherov and Stamkos could finish strong; you should at least be able to count on two shots per game.
New York Islanders – Eberle is the safe bet to break out at some point, all of his advanced metrics are cratering with an IPP of about half of what one could expect. The lack of goal scoring from the Isles does inhibit his overall value, but he would be my bet on an available player that could do some damage for your squad.
Buffalo Sabres – I can’t in good faith direct you to any of these players. Perhaps Sheary/Okposo if you’re in dire straits and one them fits well into your lineup. Look elsewhere.
Columbus Blue Jackets – Josh Anderson is fun to watch, he is an absolute mad man out of the ice and fires close to three pucks per night. He’ll help you in those leagues that still count PIMs as well.
Ottawa Senators– Who knows who will be on this team in the coming weeks, but Bobby Ryan has been playing well leading into the All-Star break. Right now he’s playing at a 52 point pace player – a very decent streaming option.
Washington Capitals – The plug and play option if Washington fits your schedule is Vrana. He’s playing with Kuznetsov and that is usually good for a point every other game. This is where I would lay my chips for a stream-worthy Capital.
Philadelphia Flyers – Things are looking up in Philly; for upside Nolan Patrick fits the bill but assuming you already have enough centers – I would look to Travis Konecny. Konecny has been hot of late, so much so that he’s probably not available in deep leagues. He could be a strong second half player like last season, picking him up early is worth a gamble.
New Jersey Devils – I’m back to beating the Will Butcher drum – there isn’t much to like in New Jersey with Taylor Hall sidelined; eventually Hall will return (As a Hall owner that is what I’m hoping for). Butcher should see his IPP regress to the 40% and as a result his assist totals will benefit. Stream away when that’s the category you’re chasing.
Florida Panthers – Derick Brassard has to be mentioned now that he is slotted along Trocheck and Hoffman. We’ll see how long he lasts in a Panthers uniform but it sure looks like he’s picked some nice deployment – maybe he’ll pick up some points through osmosis.
At this point there isn’t much you can do other than increase your man games and see if you can pull off one last buy low option before the deadline. Before you go and make a move for any of these guys make sure they’re actually going to crack your lineup.
See you next week
Last week's Eastern Edge: ROS Point Predictions