It looks like last week’s article on how to setup for the playoffs was received well; I received multiple requests via twitter for the Excel file to allow others to take a look at their team. Since I covered the first week of the playoffs 3/4/19-3/11/19 last week, it seems like the appropriate time to discuss the second week – since we all plan on getting to the second round.
Let’s jump into it.
Below is a similar table for week 2 of the playoffs; the ~GF is the summation of the average of the average goals scored by the team being evaluated and of the average goals against by the team that they will be playing:
The big teams on this list are the Penguins and the Maple Leafs, each with 4 games and an estimated 13 goals to be scored that week based on averages. Meanwhile the Red Wings offer little value with only 3 games that week against difficult opponents that include the Lightning and Islanders.
It’s interesting that the Bruins are on the low end of expected goals for this week as well since they play a stingier Blue Jackets team twice that week. For those in PIMs league – these two squads offer some good “bad blood” for either matchup. The Rangers play 3 games this week on off-nights which makes all of their players excellent value adds.
When discussing with a friend earlier we noticed that this year’s fantasy playoff schedule is difficult to maneuver. Usually there are more off-night games or back to backs. In the past a strategy I’ve used is to stream one goalie during the playoffs in order to open a roster spot for a skater. It’s hard to peg that stream option since there are fewer back to backs. Here are your likely B2B scenarios through the first two weeks:
The most intriguing back to back to pencil in is the Maple Leafs in week 2 against the Flyers and Ottawa; this screams a juicy backup start against Ottawa. The Sabres play the Hurricanes and Blues in week two which doesn’t bode well for Linus Ullmark. The Penguins also have a tough back to back against the surging Flyers and Blues in week two. Unfortunately both Islander goalies are likely owned in your league but one of the Isle goalies will get to play against the picked to the bone Detroit Red Wings.
Here are some of the things I am pondering going into the fantasy hockey playoffs that pertain specifically to the Eastern Conference:
- Will Andreas Johnsson be ready for fantasy hockey playoffs? His squad will offer a lot of value for those teams looking to maximize games played
- Is Mika Zibanejad available for trade in your league? The Rangers play enough off-night games during the playoffs to increase his value to your team.
- Does Patric Hornqvist provide any real value for the playoffs if he’s not on the first line – or will Penguins high games played allow him to be rostered?
- Will Taylor Hall be ready? Is it time to hedge your bets and pick up the now streaking Marcus Johansson?
- I am fortunate to have moved Duchene before the deadline – if he is dealt to a contender who will surely have a number one center already; will he get wing eligibility? Does he not get enough minutes to make the impact your roster has been accustomed to receiving?
- What is ailing Vincent Trocheck? He’s floundering on the second line with only six points in 12 games played since his return. He’s lost almost two whole minutes of power play ice time since the first quarter of this season. This is trouble for fantasy owners.
- Can a team with David Pastrnak afford to enter the fantasy hockey playoffs without their premiere RW? If you’re a Pasta owner – do you try and sell low for an asset that you can trust – or hold on tight and hope you make it through the first round?
- What is going to happen in Columbus at the trade deadline? It seems like all reports seem to indicate that Panarin won’t be traded (is that even true?) – but if he is traded how do stars Atkinson and Dubois fair without him? Should you unload pieces now in an attempt to avoid a catastrophic collapse?
- Is it worth making one last run at Nino Niederreiter – the Canes do have a favorable schedule
- Does Anthony Mantha take off after Nyquist is traded? If he does – how do you move assets to make space for Mantha on a Detroit team that doesn’t have a favorable playoff schedule?
- Does Kucherov win leagues or does his 17% shooting percentage and 84% IPP have a market correction at the worst time for fantasy owners?
What thoughts have you been pondering as you setup for playoffs? This is a great week to share with others the things that you find concerning in the comments.
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