JT Miller and the Rangers are Primed for Success in the Coming Weeks

by Adam Daly-Frey on January 12, 2018
  • Looking Ahead
  • JT Miller and the Rangers are Primed for Success in the Coming Weeks


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 January 9th

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

J.T. Miller, RW, New York Rangers (Available in 63 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – The Rangers’ right-winger has seen an uptick in both ice time and role thanks to the unfortunate Chris Kreider blood clot situation, and has a ton of value these days. Since Kreider went down, Miller has seen between 17 and 21 minutes of ice time (six games) and potted two points on 11 SOG. Although those numbers don’t jump off the page, Miller has put up 8G-19A as a second/third line tweener, and as he finds chemistry with Mika Zibanejad, that total should climb. Miller’s seen at least two minutes of power play time in five of those six games as well, but that one game where he missed the Rangers had only one opportunity.


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

Vinnie Hinostroza, LW, Chicago (Available in 92 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Although “My Cousin Vinnie” has only played a few games alongside Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad, he’s already the best fit that line has seen this season. Since moving up, Hinostroza is better than a point-per-game, with 2G-6A in six games. One thing going against Hinostroza currently is his lack of special-teams time, which hurts his overall ice time quite a bit – he’s only playing between 13-14 minutes a night, all at even strength. If the ‘Hawks struggles on the PP continue (against teams better than the Senators), then look for Joel Quennville to try Hinostroza on a unit to let the obvious chemistry continue. Given Hinostroza’s AHL numbers – 51pts in 66 in his AHL rookie year, 22pts in 23 this season – and NCAA numbers (1.00PPG), he does have some scoring pedigree, and should be owned in deeper leagues even if he loses his spot on the first line.


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

Vladislav Namestnikov, LW, Tampa Bay (Owned in 85 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – This is definitely more of a “situation to keep an eye on” than anything more drastic, but in recent games (both Tampa wins) Namestnikov has been relegated to third-line duties. Going from playing alongside Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov on the second-best line in hockey, to playing alongside Alex Killorn and Yanni Gourde is a real kick in the teeth from a fantasy value perspective. To add to that, Namestnikov also lost his role on the potent first-unit power play. Don’t do anything as drastic as dropping Namestnikov if you’re a Vlad owner, but with Tampa’s bye still to come and the role reduction don’t expect anywhere close to the same production for the next little while.


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

Craig Anderson, G, Ottawa (Owned in 67 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – It took a long time to get to this after writing that Scott Darling and Petr Mrazek should be dumped, but waiting this long was probably the optimistic Sens fan in me. Unfortunately for both Ottawa fans and Craig Anderson owners, the horse has left the barn. Anderson’s numbers are horrendous no matter how they’re sliced: 3.14GAA, 0.899 Sv%, -12.71Goals Saved Above Average, 11 wins in 28 starts. The last time Anderson was this bad, he ended up getting moved from Colorado to Ottawa in 2010-11 (0.897, 13W in 31 starts) and ended up salvaging his season, but unfortunately at age 36 there won’t be many contenders looking to upgrade in net to save Anderson. Ottawa is giving up the fourth-most shot attempts per hour, so Anderson will be able to collect saves if that has value in your league, but allowing 10.1% of shots against will hurt no matter what stats are counted. Drop him now and save yourself the headache.


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

NY Rangers – Between the 12th and 24th, the Rags have a whopping seven games. Unfortunately, that does mean two back-to-back scenarios (home/road vs. NYI and PIT, road/road vs. COL and LA) but with half the league on bye it’s hard to ignore NYR on volume. In addition to the amount of games the Rangers get, they get to face teams just a bit lacking in defensive prowess: Buffalo, NY Islanders, Pittsburgh are three of the match-ups that really jump out as being advantageous.

San Jose – The Sharks also manage seven games coming out of their bye, and also have two back-to-back situations (at LA/Arizona, home/road vs. PIT/Anaheim). Also like the Rangers, the Sharks have some games that should see strong offensive numbers from the teal team: Arizona (twice!), Pittsburgh, and Winnipeg.

NY Islanders – The second-best offensive team in the league has a strong schedule in this stretch, and luckily should be close to full health coming out of the bye after Josh Bailey and Andrew Ladd got hurt recently. Beyond a game against Boston where their big guns may get shut down by Patrice Bergeron and company, the Islanders face some soft competition in Montreal, Arizona, and the high-event New Jersey Devils as part of their six-game schedule.


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

With all the bye weeks during this period, this week’s Leave ‘Em will be a little different.

NHL teams on bye Jan 10th-15th: Nashville, St. Louis

NHL teams on bye Jan 11th-15th: Ottawa (-17th), Toronto

NHL teams on bye Jan 12th-17th: Buffalo, Tampa Bay

NHL teams on bye Jan 13th-17th: Columbus, Florida (-18th), Washington

NHL teams on bye Jan 14th-19th: Edmonton, Winnipeg

NHL teams on bye Jan 15th-19th: Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Minnesota, Vancouver

This period is much improved from last week’s Looking Ahead, with 15 bye weeks ending, but there are still 16 teams taking a week off. In simple terms, avoid the teams listed above.

January 12th to January 18th

Best Bets

NYR 4.215 – Away PIT – Home NYI PHI BUF

SJS 4.1475 – Away LAK ARI COL- Home ARI

DAL 4.0575 – Away BOS DET CBJ- Home COL

PIT 3.9625 – Away ANH LAK- Home DET NYR

NYI 3.91 – Away NYR MTL – Home NJD BOS

Steer Clear

OTT 1.05 – Away – Home STL

FLA 1.1025 – Away – Home CGY

TBL 1.26 – Away – Home VGK

VAN 1.615 – Away CBJ MIN – Home

WPG 1.7575 – Away CHI MIN – Home

January 13th to January 19th

Best Bets

NYR 4.215 – Away PIT – Home NYI PHI BUF

SJS 4.1475 – Away LAK ARI COL – Home ARI

DAL 4.0575 – Away BOS DET CBJ – Home COL

PIT 3.9625 – Away ANH LAK – Home DET NYR

NYI 3.91 – Away NYR MTL – Home NJD BOS

Steer Clear

WPG 0.8075 – Away MIN – Home

BUF 0.9025 – Away NYR – Home

CGY 0.9975 – Away CAR – Home

CBJ 1.05 – Away – Home DAL

OTT 1.05 – Away – Home STL

January 14th to January 20th

Best Bets

NYR 4.2575 – Away PIT COL- Home PHI BUF

NYI 3.9575 – Away MTL CHI- Home NJD BOS

SJS 3.9375 – Away LAK ARI COL – Home PIT

DAL 3.895 – Away BOS DET CBJ BUF- Home

MTL 3.81 – Away BOS WSH – Home NYI BOS

Steer Clear

CBJ 1.05 – Away – Home DAL

EDM 1.26 – Away – Home VAN

VAN 1.71 – Away MIN EDM- Home

WSH 1.9425 – Away NJD – Home MTL

BUF 1.9525 – Away NYR – Home DAL

January 15th to January 21st

Best Bets

SJS 4.84 – Away LAK ARI COL ANH- Home PIT

NYR 4.2575 – Away COL LAK- Home PHI BUF

ANH 3.98 – Away COL – Home PIT LAK SJS

NYI 3.9575 – Away MTL CHI – Home NJD BOS

DAL 3.895 – Away BOS DET CBJ BUF – Home

Steer Clear

CGY 1.1025 – Away – Home WPG

CBJ 1.05 – Away – Home DAL

EDM 1.26 – Away – Home VAN

MIN 1.05 – Away – Home TBL

VAN 1.9 – Away EDM WPG- Home

January 16th to January 22nd

Best Bets

NYR 4.2575 – Away COL LAK – Home PHI BUF

NYI 4.1475 – Away CHI ARI- Home NJD BOS

NJD 4.0425 – Away NYI PHI – Home WSH DET

TOR 4.205 – Away PHI OTT – Home STL COL

SJS 3.985 – Away ARI COL ANH – Home PIT

Steer Clear

EDM 1.26 – Away – Home VAN

VAN 1.9 – Away EDM WPG – Home

MIN 2.0475 – Away – Home TBL OTT

CHI 2.1 – Away – Home NYI TBL

FLA 2.1625 – Away NSH – Home VGK

January 17th to January 23rd

Best Bets

SJS 4.0425 – Away COL ANH – Home PIT WPG

NJD 4.0425 – Away PHI BOS- Home WSH DET

PHI 4.005 – Away WSH DET- Home TOR NJD

NYR 4.005 – Away COL LAK ANH- Home BUF

LAK 3.985 – Away ANH VAN- Home PIT NYR

Steer Clear

CHI 2.1 – Away – Home NYI TBL

CBJ 2.19 – Away VGK- Home DAL

CGY 2.2575 – Away – Home WPG BUF

EDM 2.415 – Away – Home VAN BUF

VAN 2.845 – Away EDM WPG – Home LAK

January 18th to January 24th

Best Bets

LAK 4.9825 – Away ANH VAN CGY- Home PIT NYR

TOR 4.105 – Away PHI OTT CHI- Home COL

SJS 4.0425 – Away COL ANH – Home PIT WPG

NJD 4.0425 – Away PHI BOS – Home WSH DET

PHI 4.005 – Away WSH DET – Home TOR NJD

Steer Clear

CBJ 2.19 – Away VGK – Home DAL

EDM 2.415 – Away – Home VAN BUF

VAN 2.845 – Away EDM WPG – Home LAK

PIT 2.86 – Away LAK SJS – Home CAR

DAL 2.9025 – Away CBJ BUF – Home FLA