Chances are if you are reading this you are still involved in your playoffs. Maybe you made the final (Congrats!) or maybe you are playing for pride in your consolation (condolences). Either way there are two weeks left of the regular season and this is likely your last matchup. Like last week we are in a place where we can’t really hold on to guys that we hope will do better in the future. They need to be performing or they can be dropped.
This matchup week can be a little tricky though. Some leagues wrap up after one week and leave the final week of the regular season alone and some leagues span the full two weeks. Each scenario offers slightly different considerations. This article is going to offer some advice for each.
Again like last week a lot of the player value comes down to who you have room to add on any given night, which means we have to pay a bit of attention to schedules. If you make an add for some hot streamer and then can’t fit him in your lineup it doesn’t help you.
For week one then we are looking for some teams that play a lot, and have a good number of games on off nights so you can be sure that their players will get into your lineup.
Calgary: My favorite schedule of the week. Four games all on off nights. If you need some games this week this is a great place to start.
In shallow leagues take a look at Mikael Backlund. He is 33% owned in Yahoo. He is known for going on runs, and while he has just a goal and three assists over his last two weeks, he has also put up 22 shots.
For deeper leagues you are probably looking at Derek Ryan (1% owned) or Michael Frolik (4% owned). Ryan has two goals and six assists over the last two weeks, while Frolik has 2 goals a four assists. Neither is putting up the shot count of Backlund though, which drops their floor a bit.
Las Vegas: Like Calgary, Vegas also has four games. They have the second best schedule in the west with three of their four games on off nights. Unfortunately the pickings are even slimmer on Vegas than they are on Calgary.
In a shallow league Paul Stastny might be available in (26% owned in Yahoo). He has been centering a great second line in Vegas and is definitely worth a look. He has one goal, three assists, and eight shots in his last five games.
After Stastny we are looking at guys like Cody Eakin, and Tomas Nosek. At this point sure you could add them if you are desperate for games, but I think there are likely better options out there. If you are in a hits league than Ryan Reaves (14% owned) is likely your guy. One goal, two assists, 12 shots and 17 hits over his last five games.
LA, San Jose, Dallas: Like Vegas and Calgary these teams all have four games, but they play at least half of them on busy nights. If you are looking to add player here definitely check that you can fit them in your lineup each night.
Roope Hintz (9% owned) followed up his goal scoring spree with two assist over his last four games. If you are looking for a long shot for points on Dallas, he is likely the option though I am not that excited about him at the moment.
In a shallow league Gustav Nyquist (41% owned) and in a deeper league Joe Thornton (15% owned) are the grabs over in San Jose. Both have two goals and three assists, Nyquist putting up 15 shots over his last seven games, and Thornton with 12.
Dustin Brown (33% owned) is a good target over in LA. He has three goals, three assists, and 16 shots. He also put up 10 hits over his last five games. Also, just as a public service announcement look and see if Anze Kopitar is available in your league. He has been added and dropped several times over the course of my playoffs in one league.
Colorado: Colorado plays only twice this week. It is an excellent time to rid yourself of everyone not names MacKinnon. Mikko Raanten and Gabriel Landeskog are currently injured so if you have no IR or IR+ spots for them consider swapping them out as well. It is do or die week. Desperate times and all.
If your league has a double week final maybe you are looking for players to add who can help over the final stretch. My finals week has the full two weeks, but still a limited number of adds. I won’t be able to optimize each week individually, but will need to look at both weeks as a whole. Luckily there is some definite overlap in the teams that have strong schedules in both weeks.
Calgary: Calgary has three games in week two, so seven games overall. Their week two schedule is also strong with two off night games. See above for player recommendations.
LA: With four games in week two, LA has the most games remaining of any team in the west. That makes LA players a very appealing add for a two week matchup. Again see above for recommendations.
Chicago: Chicago has three games in week one, and four games in week two. Their four games next week are mostly on off nights as well, making their seven games pretty appealing overall.
Chances are most of the Blackhawks are owned in your league. Brandon Saad (20% owned), Brendan Perlini (14%), and Dylan Strome (30% owned) are your likely targets. Perlini has gone four straight without a point since his scoring six goals in five games. It might be wise to steer clear of him. Saad has two goals, three assists, and 18 shots over his last seven, and seems much more sustainable. Strome has been a good add since joining the Hawks, but is also pointless over his last four. He would likely be my choice after Saad though.
Colorado: Same recommendation as above. Their schedule doesn’t get much better in week two so I am not excited about hanging on to Colorado players.
Anaheim: Their three games in the first week is passable, but the two games in week two is not. Also against them is that a number of their games are on busy nights. With the possible exception of Rickard Rakell, Ryan Getzlaf (who might be injured), and Jakob Silfverberg I am dropping all Anaheim players. I am likely dropping those three after Saturday though. All of my teams will be an Anaheim free zone going into the final week of the playoffs.
Good luck this week. Thanks for reading.