Get On Board With Gourde

by Adam Daly-Frey on November 3, 2017

All fantasy owners need help in the short term AND the long term. The Looking Ahead feature identifies one player to plug into lineups in the short term, a second to invest in for the long term, a third to bench for the coming week, and a fourth who will struggle to meet expectations for some time. All players discussed are selected based on their upcoming schedule. Stats in this article updated through November 1st         

The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)

Chris DiDomenico, W, Ottawa (Available in 99 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Since joining Mike Hoffman and JG Pageau on Ottawa’s 2nd/3rd-tweener line on the 26th (vs. Philadelphia), DiDomenico has seen his ice time increase to the point where he’s a viable play – from five minutes in his first appearance to 17 and 14 minutes in his last two games. In the three games with Hoffman and Pageau, the 28-year old rookie has put two goals in to go along with three assists, with four shots and a +1. DiDomenico is a former WJC player for Canada who lit up the Q (1.24PPG) and had a lot of success in the top Swiss leagues (22G-54A in 94 games), so long as he can stay on his current line he’ll have value.


The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)

Yanni Gourde, W, Tampa Bay Lightning (Available in 99 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – It was easy to assume early on that at some point, Tampa Bay’s second line would either be broken up or stop scoring at an unsustainable rate. Given that that still hasn’t happened, it’s time to look at picking up the forgotten third man on that line. Gourde won’t set the world on fire, but is a tremendous depth add in cap leagues – an AAV of only $1,000,000 – and offers half-decent peripheral stats as well. He should average a hit and block every other game, and is used as the secondary face-off man on his line for leagues that track that. He sees time on the 2nd power play unit (1 PPP to date), is seeing close to 17 minutes a game, and has already put up 2G-5A with 24SOG. His on-ice S% will come down from its current 13% eventually, but Gourde also scored well in both the Q and AHL and is currently shooting 5% individually.


The Odd Man Out (His short term value is cause for concern)

Tyler Johnson, C, Tampa Bay (Owned in 34 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Tampa Bay only has four games during this next slate of games, and Johnson’s spot on this team has never looked more tenuous; he’s averaging almost three full minutes less than he saw last year, is relegated to the third line C role, and has only three even strength points in 13 games. He’s slotted beside Chris Kunitz and Ryan Callahan – not exactly Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat – and gets the scraps on the second power play unit.


The Anchors (They’ll do nothing but disappoint even over the long haul)

Nail Yakupov, W, Colorado (Owned in 7 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – With a light schedule upcoming, here are some numbers to consider from Yakupov’s previous five games: zero points, seven shots on goal, below 15 minutes of ice time four times – including two games of less than nine minutes. His shooting percentage this year is 4% above his career number, he doesn’t collect peripheral stats, and his average ice time on the year is less than at any other point of his career even though he’s ostensibly on the second line. He needs to be shipped away as soon as possible to collect any value off his hot start, before he loses his spot beside Matt Duchene.

One note here: Yakupov is only 7% owned on Yahoo!, but this should apply to those in deeper leagues or cap leagues.


Love ‘Em (These squads are sure to pay dividends in the coming days)

Edmonton – Although the Oilers are struggling like nobody’s business with only 24 goals in 11 games, their upcoming schedule is too good to ignore; Edmonton has seven games between the 3rd and 15th, against some teams not known for their defensive acumen in both New York teams as well as the Devils. Someone on this team has to heat up at some point soon if they have a hope this season, and this upcoming slate would be the time to do it.

Montreal – The Habs’ underlying numbers show a completely different team than the one that’s shown up the scoresheet, thanks to poor team shooting % and porous goaltending from Carey Price. In their last four games leading up to last night’s game against the Wild, Montreal finally put goals together (18 in four GP although they got shutout once). With a schedule that sees six games, four at home, there’s no better time to unleash the Habs or even find some on the waiver wire.

New Jersey Taylor Hall and company get to face the Oilers twice during this next stretch – two of their six games during this period – along with some lax defenses in Chicago and Florida. More importantly, they’ve got a total of FIVE games against bottom-8 penalty killing teams; the Devils currently sit as the fifth-best power play group, scoring 11 times in 41 attempts (26.83%) and should be able to feast on soft opponents. Jesper Bratt owners should rejoice, as his 2nd line minutes are augmented with time on that dynamite first PP unit.


Leave ‘Em (These squads will leave fantasy owners sorely disappointed in the short term)

Dallas – The Stars only play five games through this next stretch, including the dreaded road back-to-back (against Carolina and Florida), and while their competition isn’t incredible defensively – save for Carolina, the kings of shot suppression – the Stars just don’t have any secondary scoring. Beyond the top line who should be in starting lineups regardless of how many games Dallas plays, there’s just nothing happening from Dallas.

Colorado – With only four games in this period, the Avalanche can safely be ignored – especially with a home/road back-to-back against the Senators making up two of those games. The Senators, a couple games excepted, have been staunch defensively and the Avs don’t have enough firepower to break through #TheSystem. Their other two games also come on a back-to-back, in Philadelphia Saturday night before going to Brooklyn to face the Isles on Sunday.

Ottawa –Ottawa only has three(!) games during this period, obviously with two coming against the Avs in the road/home split and the third at home against Vegas. The Sens top players have been their best players and are clicking tremendously well, but just on volume they should all be ignored even with the relative ease of their matchups.

November 3rd to November 9th

Best Bets

EDM 4.2575 – Away NYI NJD- Home NJD DET

ANH 4.105 – Away SJS – Home NSH LAK VAN

MTL 4.1 – Away WPG CHI – Home VGK MIN

VAN 4.0525 – Away CGY ANH- Home PIT DET

NJD 3.9475 – Away EDM CGY – Home STL EDM

Steer Clear

BUF 1.79 – Away DAL – Home WSH

WPG 1.895 – Away DAL – Home MTL

COL 1.995 – Away PHI NYI

FLA 1.995 – Away CAR – Home NYR

SJS 2.0475 – Away – Home ANH TBL

November 4th to November 10th

Best Bets

TOR 4.1525 – Away STL – Home VGK MIN BOS

MTL 4.1 – Away WPG CHI – Home VGK MIN

WSH 4.095 – Away BOS BUF – Home ARI PIT

VAN 4.0525 – Away CGY ANH – Home PIT DET

CBJ 3.9525 – Away TBL NYR – Home NSH CAR

Steer Clear

SJS 2.0475 – Home ANH TBL

PHI 2.2575 – Home COL CHI

OTT 2.3525 – Away COL- Home VGK

TBL 2.65 – Away SJS LAK – Home CBJ

CHI 2.7975 – Away MIN PHI – Home MTL

November 5th to November 11th

Best Bets

MTL 4.2575 – Away CHI – Home VGK MIN BUF

TOR 4.1525 – Away BOS- Home VGK MIN BOS

NYI 4.105 – Away DAL STL- Home COL EDM

NJD 4.095 – Away CGY – Home STL EDM FLA

CBJ 4.095 – Away NYR DET- Home NSH CAR

Steer Clear

TBL 1.7575 – Away SJS LAK

PHI 1.9425 – Away – Home CHI MIN

LAK 1.9525 – Away ANH – Home TBL

DAL 2.1525 – Home WPG NYI

ANH 2.205 – Home LAK VAN

November 6th to November 12th

Best Bets

TOR 4.1525 – Away BOS – Home VGK MIN BOS

WSH 4.1425 – Away BUF – Home ARI PIT EDM

CBJ 4.095 – Away NYR DET – Home NSH CAR

NJD 4.0475 – Away CHI- Home STL EDM FLA

VAN 4.01 – Away CGY ANH SJS – Home DET

Steer Clear

DAL 2.1525 – Home WPG NYI

COL 1.9 – Away OTT – Home OTT

OTT 2.3 – Away COL – Home COL

PHI 1.9425 – Home CHI MIN

CGY 2.4675 – Home VAN DET

November 7th to November 13th

Best Bets

STL 4.2 – Away NJD CGY- Home ARI NYI

CAR 3.9575 – Away CBJ – Home FLA CHI DAL


NJD 4.0475 – Away CHI – Home STL EDM FLA

CGY 3.5175 – Home VAN DET STL

Steer Clear

DET 1.89 – Away CGY – Home CBJ

COL 1.9 – Away OTT – Home OTT

PHI 1.9425 – Home CHI MIN

VGK 1.9575 – Away MTL – Home WPG

DAL 2.0475 – Away CAR- Home NYI

November 8th to November 14th

Best Bets

MIN 4.005 – Away TOR MTL PHI – Home PHI

EDM 3.92 – Away NJD NYR WSH – Home VGK

WPG 3.34 – Away VGK ARI – Home ARI

LAK 3.3075 – Home TBL SJS VAN

STL 3.2025 – Away CGY – Home ARI NYI

Steer Clear

DET 1.89 – Away CGY – Home CBJ

COL 1.9 – Away OTT – Home OTT

NYI 1.9 – Away DAL STL

VGK 2.005 – Away EDM- Home WPG

NYR 2.0475 – Home BOS EDM

November 9th to November 15th

Best Bets

CHI 4.1425 – Away PHI CAR – Home NJD NYR

EDM 3.92 – Away NJD NYR WSH – Home VGK

ANH 3.36 – Home VAN TBL BOS

CGY 3.35 – Away DET- Home DET STL

WPG 3.34 – Away VGK ARI – Home ARI

Steer Clear

NSH 1.785 – Home PIT WSH

COL 1.9 – Away OTT – Home OTT

NYI 1.9 – Away DAL STL

NYR 1.9475 – Away CHI- Home EDM

TOR 2 – Away BOS – Home BOS