Over the last couple weeks we’ve been going over H2H playoffs, most leagues have had a trade deadline and if so you’re holding steady waiting for the waiver wire moves to start for round one. This week I want to take a look at some of the streaming options on the Eastern conference and talk about a trade that occurred in my 14 team league as an example of the mindset that I think is required for the a chance to take home a league win.
The second place team in our league unloaded Nikita Kucherov (yep – you read that right) two weeks before the playoffs start. You must be thinking he absolutely fleeced someone, but interestingly he probably is the net loser of the deal. In return the Kucherov owner received Mitch Marner and Elias Lindholm; he tossed in Erik Gustafsson as a kicker to accelerate the deal. So if you’ve been reading the last couple weeks and have adequately prepared for the playoffs you’ll know why in the end this deal made sense for the Kucherov owner; that’s right off-night games. The owner opened significant holes in his lineup for days with a big slate of games and pushed his big guns towards the Mon-Wed-Fri-Sun games. Now we can debate all we want about whether you’d rather have Marner and Lindholm over Kucherov either way. The security of Kucherov in a single season cannot be questioned, you’re likely using two roster spots to gain the production of one roster spot – but again man games. Since we’re fresh on designing your playoff team, I thought this was an excellent time to share with the readers an interesting example of how you can improve your playoff chances and at the same time lose the best player in a deal.
Ok so jumping into some of the names that should be available on your waiver wire that I think will have an immediate impact in week one of the H2H fantasy hockey playoffs:
Taylor Hall – for those as worried about Hall’s status as myself – GM Ray Shero has noted that Hall’s availability should become clear this week. Here’s to hoping for good things for Hall and also for your fantasy team.
Andreas Athanasiou – Thanks to the legend Steve Laidlaw for this suggestion, as noted Athanasiou is going to be moved to center for the remainder of the season. As a tri-eligible player he will make an impact in FOW leagues. He’ll also likely be centering Filip Zadina for at least nine of those games – there’s a chance this pays real dividends for your team.
Tony DeAngelo – Is on a heck of a run right now with ten apples in the last 11 games, with only two pointless nights this is a pretty interesting pickup, which should be available to most leagues.
Filip Hronek – The stud rookie defenseman has 3 points in 4 games since being recalled. He’s leading the first power play unit as of the last game so his potential with the beast Mantha, and Larkin is skyrocketing as we head towards the playoffs.
Will Butcher – As of writing this Butcher was held out of Monday night’s game against Montreal with a lower-body injury but his status is absolutely worth monitoring. While he leaves a lot to want for in a single season format – for quick streams in and out he’s still a potential number one PP QB.
Devon Toews – has been on a nice little run as of recent, typically you’re thinking of Nick Leddy and Ryan Pulock as the big names on the Isles blueline. Toews has put up seven points in his last seven games. He’s only seeing about 18 minutes per night and is on the second unit, so he is not the premiere option compared to some of these other blueliners- but the production cannot be overlooked when every point matters in the do or die format.
Travis Sanheim – Is leading the power play two group with Ivan Provorov in Philly but he has managed 6 points in his last 8 games. Fortunately he is seeing 23 minutes a night which is helping with his point production – however because of how top heavy the PP unit time is in Philly he’s only seeing the tail end of the power play shift which amounts to about 15 seconds – negligible.
Ryan Strome – with the departure of Kevin Hayes, Strome has picked up about four more minutes a night and raised his share of PP time up to around the mid 40%. Again for FW leagues he’s RW eligible and will slot well during the second week of the playoffs with the off night schedule of the Rangers of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday games.
Is there anyone else you think should be brought up for streaming options in week one? Leave them in the comments.