Welcome to week two. To recap, in the buy and sell features, I profile one player per team to sell, and one to buy. These recommendations are based on salary cap leagues, and I try to cover various league sizes and categories. Last year we started alphabetically at the bottom, so this year we’re starting at the top. This week is Carolina through Dallas.
Read Part 1 here.
Buy: Dougie Hamilton
Cap Hit: $5,750,000 with two years remaining
The only thing holding Hamilton back from putting up a season in the top 10 fantasy defencemen, is power-play time. With Justin Faulk rumoured to be on the trade block, and Hamilton being the better power-play weapon to begin with, this looks to be inevitable. Hamilton also put up almost half as many powerplay points in 15 playoff games as he did in a full regular season this past year. Add to that 160 hits, and shot rates consistent with a volume shooting winger, there is large multi-category value here as well.
As a fun aside, Hamilton has a 247-game shot streak going. He hasn’t been held without a shot on goal in a regular season game since April 5th of 2016.
Sell: Jaccob Slavin
Cap Hit: $5,300,000 with six years remaining
The playoffs have likely driven up Slavin’s fantasy stock after he put up 11 points in 15 games and managed to do so while playing high-level defensive minutes, still putting up much better Corsi ratings than his partner Brett Pesce. The Hurricanes’ run through the playoffs seemed to open the eyes of the general public to what a solid player Jaccob Slavin is… which is exactly why he is now a sell. Slavin is the best defensive defenceman on the Hurricanes, but he will be held back by deployment.
Buy: Drake Caggiula
Cap Hit: $1,500,000 with one year remaining
Caggiula finished last campaign playing on a line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Now that some of the youngsters are able to carry their own line, we may see a lot more of Toews and Kane on a line together. Drake Caggiula seems like a solid bet on that right now, and for a cheap price tag of $1.5 million entering his fourth year, he has the upside for 40 points and almost 200 hits in a season.
Sell: Corey Crawford
Cap Hit: $6,000,000 with one year remaining
*The rest of this was written even before Robin Lehner signed. Time to get out now.
Is there anyone in Chicago whose stock is really all that inflated? Alex DeBrincat’s stock isn’t going down, and Strome is tied to his hip, Toews and Kane are what they are, Erik Gustafsson looks like the real deal, and the rest of the team is either old or a big question mark. The closest we have to a likely large drop in value is with Corey Crawford. Starting goalies have value just based on volume. Currently, Crawford is the starter in Chicago, and that means Crawford has value. But a 34-year-old starter, without a contract past this year, and with a recent history of concussion issues is a recipe for disaster. Sell on whatever starter value he has left.
Buy: Philipp Grubauer
Cap Hit: $3,333,333 with two years remaining
Colorado looks like they will enter next season with Grubauer as the starting goaltender, and a backup that has a total of two NHL games. To start with, Grubauer has a cap hit well below average for a workhorse starter. On top of that, he is playing behind a playoff caliber team, and put up ridiculous numbers in the stretch run of last season. In his last 13 games, he amassed eight wins, paired with a 0.952 sv%, while registering only one non-quality start. At this point in the summer, the Grubauer owner may not have quite forgotten that run, but the high value will have settled a little, making him acquirable, and an excellent target as an underappreciated top-tier starter entering next season (especially in leagues where volume is rewarded).
Sell: J.T. Compher
Cap Hit: $3,500,000 with four years remaining
J.T. Compher signed a new deal in July, and at first glance, it looks to be a good deal for both sides. However, for Compher’s fantasy owners, it shows that he’s second fiddle on the depth chart after Joonas Donskoi and Nazem Kadri. That means he won’t be in line for any top power-play time, and he may even end up as the third line centre instead of with some of the more offensive-minded wingers. As a result, he may end up capped around his 40-point pace from last season. If you can sell him as a growing forward, then he won’t end up sitting at the bottom of your lineup only producing a middling amount for his expectations.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Buy: Cam Atkinson
Cap Hit: $5,875,000 with six years remaining
With Artemi Panarin leaving the Blue Jackets in free agency, everyone is predicting doom and gloom for the Columbus offence. That makes for an excellent opportunity to be buying low on Cam Atkinson’s steal of a deal. Under a $6 million cap hit for a player that puts up 60 points, and 250 shots, and can do that in a season before Panarin shows up. That means he can do it in a season after Panarin leaves, especially with better supporting cast and a growing Pierre-Luc Dubois.
Sell: Gustav Nyquist
Cap Hit: $5,500,000 with four years remaining
The new Blue Jacket is really one of the only players coming into the season on a high, that is worth selling. Nyquist’s two highest point totals have been in his two most recent contract years, and there’s not another one of for four years. Get out while you can and there’s the new team shine. He won’t be any more than a 50-point player, and that would be the minimum he would have to produce to be worth his contract in cap leagues.
Buy: Alexander Radulov
Cap Hit: $6,250,000 with three years remaining
Radulov makes a solid buy because at the age of 32, everyone is going to be trying to sell him off. He plays a style of game that will allow him to be successful into his mid-30s, and most recently put up 72 points in 70 games. With Jaime Benn and Tyler Seguin both locked in long-term, things don’t seem to be changing much for the offensive core in Dallas. They should all be able to put up a point-per-game, with a third of it coming on the power play. Benn and Seguin are both making over $9 million, but you can get the same production from Radulov at two-thirds of the price.
Sell: Esa Lindell
Cap Hit: $5,800,000 with six years remaining
Lindell is a good fantasy defenceman, but even there he may not be worth the price tag. In the fantasy world where he is stuck behind John Klingberg, and in future Miro Heiskanen, Lindell is going to struggle for offence, especially on a team like the Stars that relies so heavily on a top unit. The peripheral stats form Lindell are above average, but for almost $6 million per year, there are many different players who can offer the same for a much smaller cap hit, such as Jacob Chychrun, Brandon Montour, or Darnell Nurse.
You can find me on Twitter @alexdmaclean.