Grab Couturier for a Boost In the Final Week.

by Adam Daly-Frey on March 31, 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.

This is the last Looking Ahead of the season, hopefully you all enjoyed this column because I had a blast writing it. If you’ve made it to the finals or are in the hunt in roto in this last week, hopefully this helps.

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

Sean Couturier, C, Philadelphia (Available in 92 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Ever since Valtteri Filppula arrived in Philadelphia at the trade deadline, Couturier’s had a slightly more sheltered role in Philadelphia which has led to loads of offensive success: 3G-8A in his last 10 games, and his advanced metrics look even better. At 5v5 since March 1st, the Flyers have had 40 Scoring Chances For vs. only 17 SCA with Coots on the ice, which has led to 12 goals. Even though he’s generally lauded for his checking – a fair comment, as Couturier still started only 25.27% of his shifts in the offensive zone – the big centre is producing points now, and seeing loads of ice time while doing it (over 19 minutes/game on average in his last five games).

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

Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Minnesota (Available in 99 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – As the season ends, it’s time for keeper leagues to look towards next year, and the crop of available rookies or surprises to come – Joel Eriksson Ek is just that, especially in peripheral leagues. Although he’s only played in 10 games to this point, the former first round pick managed 8G-8A while on loan to Farjestad of the SHL, and had some NHL production book-ending his time in Sweden. “Ek-Ek” (trying to get that nickname to stick for next season) has potted 3G-3A in his 10 games with the Wild, but also added 1.7Hits/game – all of this coming in a fourth-line role. Look for that to expand next season as he slots into the top-nine.

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

Brayden Point, C, Tampa Bay (Owned in 8 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – In general, a player on a “Love ‘Em” team won’t show up as an Odd Man Out, but Point’s recent value has fully come from his new injury-aided role in Tampa. With the probable returns of Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson – as early as Sunday – that moves Point back down the depth chart at even strength, and more importantly the power play. Over his last ten games, Point only saw less than 20 minutes once, but when he gets pushed down either to second-line winger or third-line centre, expect Point’s ice time to hover in the 15-16 minute/game range.

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

Minnesota – After struggling horrendously over the previous ten games, only picking up one win and two OTL, the Wild finally got off the schneid against the Senators on Thursday night. Even missing Zach Parise, Minnesota took Ottawa to the woodshed, which could be a harbinger of what’s to come over the next ten days; excluding one tough game with playoff implications against Nashville, Minnesota gets to beat up on Colorado twice and ends the season in Arizona – not many better medicines for an ailing team.

Tampa Bay Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson both look to return very soon as the Lightning try to squeeze into the playoffs, and with six games left and three points out, it couldn’t come at a better time. Steven Stamkos is only 85% owned in Yahoo! which could be a nice bonus for last second fantasy players, and if he makes it back in time, he’ll get some opportunities to put points on the board; the Lightning face off against the fourth, 10th and 11th worst teams in the league in terms of Goals Against, and will also see the Bruins who take the sixth-most penalties. Chances abound!

 

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

Calgary– The Flames only have four games left after tonight – not something uncommon as the season wraps, but it’s Calgary’s opponents who give pause: after playing Los Angeles at home on Wednesday, the wildcard-bound Albertans have to play against Anaheim and San Jose twice, and Los Angeles once more. They finish their season on a cold power-play streak – going three for three against Colorado doesn’t count – with 10 goals going back to February 1st (71 opportunities, 14% conversion).

Winnipeg – Winnipeg finds itself here for the second week in a row, mostly based on the fact that the Jets only have four games remaining. In a lost season, they’ll get to play the (possibly Erik Karlsson-less) Ottawa Senators, which given Ottawa’s struggles of late, is actually the only enticing matchup left for the Jets. Winnipeg faces three teams beyond the Sens who are fighting for playoff positioning, in St. Louis, Nashville and Columbus.

Friday  March 31st to Thursday April 6th

Best Bets

LAK 4.51 – Four games – Away VAN – Home ARI EDM CGY

MIN 4.4575 – Four games – Away NSH COL- Home COL CAR

STL 4.3475 – Four games – Away COL FLA- Home NSH WPG

DAL 4.3 – Four games – Away CAR TB – Home ARI NSH

SJS 4.29 – Four games – Away CGY VAN – Home VAN EDM

Steer Clear

EDM 2.6125 – Three games – Away LAK SJS- Home ANA

WPG 2.85 – Three games – Away STL CBJ- Home OTT

DET 2.95 – Three games – Away OTT – Home TOR OTT

NYR 2.965 – Three games – Away WSH – Home PIT PHI

BUF 2.9925 – Three games – Away – Home NYI TOR MTL

Saturday April 1st to Friday April 7th

Best Bets

TB 4.86 – Five games – Away BOS TOR MTL- Home MTL DAL

MIN 4.4575 – Four games – Away NSH COL – Home COL CAR

DAL 4.3 – Four games – Away CAR TB – Home ARI NSH

OTT 4.29 – Four games – Away WPG DET BOS – Home DET

ANA 4.2 – Four games – Away EDM CGY – Home CGY CHI

Steer Clear

NYR 1.9675 – Two games – Away WSH – Home PHI

COL 2.5975 – Three games – Away MIN – Home CHI MIN

EDM 2.6125 – Three games – Away LAK SJS – Home ANA

CGY 2.7075 – Three games – Away ANA LAK – Home ANA

WSH 2.755 – Three games – Away CBJ TOR – Home NYR

Sunday April 2nd to Saturday April 8th

Best Bets

MIN 4.695 – Four games – Away COL ARI- Home COL CAR

DAL 4.515 – Four games – Away TB – Home ARI NSH COL

LAK 4.4625 – Four games – Home ARI EDM CGY CHI

SJS 4.405 – Four games – Away VAN – Home VAN EDM CGY

NSH 4.375 – Four games – Away STL DAL WPG- Home NYI

Steer Clear

EDM 2.66 – Three games – Away LAK SJS VAN

DET 2.7925 – Three games – Away OTT – Home OTT MTL

PHI 2.7925 – Three games – Away NYR NJ – Home CBJ

WPG 2.85 – Three games – Away STL CBJ – Home NSH

NYR 2.87 – Three games – Away WSH OTT- Home PHI

Monday April 3rd to Sunday April 9th

Best Bets

OTT 5.0975 – Five games – Away DET BOS NYI- Home DET NYR

TOR 4.8775 – Five games – Away BUF – Home WSH TB PIT CBJ

STL 4.515 – Four games – Away FLA CAR – Home WPG COL

NJ 4.3 – Four games – Away DET- Home PHI PIT NYI

CBJ 4.205 – Four games – Away PIT PHI TOR- Home WPG

Steer Clear

CHI 2.85 – Three games – Away COL ANA LAK

CGY 2.5175 – Three games – Away ANA LAK SJS

WPG 2.85 – Three games – Away STL CBJ – Home NSH

NYR 2.66 – Three games – Away WSH OTT – Home PIT

BOS 2.94 – Three games – Home TB OTT WSH

Tuesday April 4th to Monday April 10th

Best Bets

STL 4.515 – Four games – Away FLA CAR – Home WPG COL

CBJ 4.205 – Four games – Away PIT PHI TOR – Home WPG

LAK 4.105 – Four games – Away ANA – Home EDM CGY CHI

NJ 4.3 – Four games – Away DET – Home PHI PIT NYI

CAR 4.0575 – Four games – Away MIN PHI – Home NYI STL

Steer Clear

CGY 2.5175 – Three games – Away ANA LAK SJS

NYR 2.66 – Three games – Away WSH OTT – Home PIT

BUF 2.84 – Three games – Away FLA TB – Home MTL

CHI 2.85 – Three games – Away COL ANA LAK

WPG 2.85 – Three games – Away STL CBJ – Home NSH

Wednesday April 5th to Tuesday April 11th

Best Bets

CBJ 3.3025 – Three games – Away PHI TOR – Home WPG

CAR 3.2975 – Three games – Away PHI – Home NYI STL

STL 3.255 – Three games – Away FLA CAR – Home COL

MTL 3.1925 – Three games – Away BUF DET – Home TB

LAK 3.1075 – Three games – Away ANA – Home CGY CHI

Steer Clear

CGY 1.615 – Two games – Away LAK SJS

CHI 1.71 – Two games – Away ANA LAK

WPG 1.805 – Two games – Away CBJ – Home NSH

BOS 1.8375 – Two games – Home OTT WSH

ANA 1.89 – Two games – Home CHI LAK

Thursday April 6th to Wednesday April 12th

Best Bets

CBJ 3.3025 – Three games – Away PHI TOR – Home WPG

CAR 3.2975 – Three games – Away PHI – Home NYI STL

STL 3.255 – Three games – Away FLA CAR – Home COL

LAK 3.1075 – Three games – Away ANA – Home CGY CHI

NJ 3.0925 – Three games – Away DET – Home PIT NYI

Steer Clear

CGY 1.615 – Two games – Away LAK SJS

CHI 1.71 – Two games – Away ANA LAK

WPG 1.805 – Two games – Away CBJ – Home NSH

BOS 1.8375 – Two games – Home OTT WSH

ANA 1.89 – Two games – Home CHI LAK