Kyle Connor and the Jets Offer Value in the Week Ahead

by Adam Daly-Frey on March 23, 2018
  • Looking Ahead
  • Kyle Connor and the Jets Offer Value in the Week Ahead

 

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 March 21st

 

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

Erik Haula, C, Vegas Golden Knights (Available in 52 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – The Ex-Wild two-way third-liner is having a career year with 28G-24A on 160 shots, mainly thanks to playing alongside James Neal and David Perron and seeing a huge bump in minutes – Haula’s gone from a 13:49 average in Minnesota up to 17:22 this year. Haula’s picked up eight points in his last ten games (5G-3A) with half of those coming on the power play, and he picks up about one peripheral stat per game (hit or block) in addition to taking faceoffs.

 

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

Kyle Connor, LW, Winnipeg Jets (Available in 79 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Connor is tied in goals with Steven Stamkos (100% owned), Vladimir Tarasenko (99%), Jamie Benn (100%) and his teammate Nikolaj Ehlers (91%). The fact that he’s only TWENTY-SEVEN PERCENT owned in Yahoo leagues this lead in the year is astounding, even taking into account Connor’s 16:52 average TOI. With 46 total points on the year, Connor is the worst of that list, but he skates beside Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler at even-strength, takes 2.4SOG/game, and projects out for a full-season of 56pts. For a 21-year old who was dominant in the NCAA, Connor should be picked up both for the stretch run and for keeper leagues.

 

 

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

Mike Smith, G, Calgary Flames (Owned in 82 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – With the Flames having a tough schedule (as noted below), Smith would be in tough to play in the death throes of the season. Non-h2h owners should also be wary of rolling out Smith though, as he’s lost four straight (getting pulled twice) and six of his last ten. In those games since returning from injury, Smith has let in 2 or less only three times – which does include one shutout – and all seven where he let in 3 or more didn’t count as Quality Starts (sv% less than league average). With games against elite offensive talent remaining, leave Smith on the bench or drop him immediately.

 

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

At this point in the season, the long haul is basically the short haul except for keeper leagues, so this will focus on someone whose value is shot down the stretch but also should decline next season.

Tyler Toffoli, RW, Los Angeles Kings (Owned in 67 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Statistically, Toffoli’s having a fine season as a late-round fantasy pick, but he’s failed to meet his lofty expectations this season. Getting relegated to third-line duty behind renowned hockey players Alex Iafallo and Tobias Rieder is a major cause for concern, as is Toffoli’s ice time gradually getting worse and worse: in 2015-16 when Toffoli put up 58pts, he was seeing 17:19 a night. Last season that slipped to 16:35, and this season is even lower at 16:16. Toffoli remains a shot machine with 233SOG for the season – which would be his fourth straight topping 200SOG if not for injury – but his apparent defensive struggles keeping him on the third line will sewer his fantasy value. Unless he gets moved off the Kings, try to shop him in the summer with the idea of untapped potential.

 

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

Boston – Even with injuries mounting, the Bruins have an incredible schedule, and enough fantasy-viable players to roll out over the next little while. Although their schedule doesn’t offer much in the way of easy blow-out games, with seven games on the schedule they’ll be hard to ignore just on volume. The Bruins play at Dallas, Minnesota, Winnipeg, Philly and Tampa, and have home games against Tampa and Florida.

Colorado – Although they have six games, the Avs must be rolled out for fantasy purposes for the rest of the season; over their last ten games, the Avs are averaging 4.1 goals per game, and impressively for a team much better at home, 19 of those 41 goals have come on the road. They split three and three games between Colorado and the road, seeing Vegas, Philadelphia and Chicago in their barn. Their road opponents are Vegas, Anaheim and Los Angeles.

Ottawa – (Author note: With the sad news of Erik Karlsson’s stillborn baby, he should realistically take the rest of the season off to be with his wife and loved ones. I won’t judge any fantasy impact of that because I’m not a ghoul.) As a one-line team, Ottawa has still performed well closing out a lost season: 31 goals in their last 10, for a team missing Mark Stone, Ryan Dzingel, and Erik Karlsson (at times). Ottawa has a very soft schedule upcoming, starting with a home/road back-to-back against Carolina, and closing out this period on the road in Buffalo. Their four other games come against the Islanders and Detroit (plus match-ups), and Florida and Winnipeg (tough match-ups).

 

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

Calgary – With only seven games left in their season, the Flames are cooked in terms of the playoffs, and don’t have an easy schedule on their way out the door. Of the five games that fall into this period, two come on the road against tough competition in San Jose and Anaheim, and they also play the Blue Jackets at home. They do have two easier games against the Oilers and Coyotes, but the Flames have been held to 3GF or less in eight of their past ten including getting shutout twice.

Philadelphia – The Flyers also have five of their remaining seven during this stretch, but four of them are road games and the fifth is a tough game against the Bruins. Philadelphia doesn’t have an easy time of it either, with those road games coming at Pittsburgh, Dallas, and Colorado, with the only easy game to circle on the schedule coming at the Islanders April 3rd.

Dallas – Losers of six straight, the Stars continue to be a four-man fantasy show with little to no relevance anywhere else. In their last ten games the Stars have scored more than three goals only once (five against Toronto), and have been shut out once. They have six games between the 23rd and April 4th, but only have one easy opponent at home against Vancouver. Their other match-ups are Boston, Philadelphia, Minnesota (home & road), and San Jose.

March 23 to March 29

Best Bets

PIT 4.3475 – Away DET NJD- Home NJD PHI

DAL 4.2725 – Away MIN- Home BOS VAN PHI

OTT 4.2 – Away CAR – Home CAR NYI FLA

BUF 4.005 – Away NYR TOR – Home MTL DET

MIN 4 – Away NSH – Home NSH BOS DAL

Steer Clear

CGY 2.65 – Away SJS LAK – Home CBJ

NYR 2.755 – Away WSH – Home BUF WSH

WSH 2.755 – Away MTL NYR – Home NYR

CAR 2.8975 – Away OTT NJD – Home OTT

PHI 2.8975 – Away PIT DAL COL – Home

March 24 to March 30

Best Bets

COL 4.605 – Away VGK – Home VGK PHI CHI

VGK 4.505 – Away COL – Home COL ARI STL

TOR 4.3625 – Away NYI- Home DET BUF FLA

OTT 4.2 – Away CAR – Home CAR NYI FLA

CHI 4.1425 – Away NYI COL- Home SJS WPG

Steer Clear

MTL 2.0475 – Away – Home WSH DET

CGY 2.65 – Away SJS LAK – Home CBJ

BOS 2.855 – Away MIN WPG – Home TBL

PHI 2.8975 – Away PIT DAL COL – Home

STL 2.945 – Away CBJ VGK- Home SJS

March 25 to March 31

Best Bets

VGK 4.41 – – Home COL ARI STL SJS

TOR 4.2575 – Away NYI – Home BUF FLA WPG

PIT 4.19 – Away DET NJD – Home PHI MTL

OTT 4.19 – Away CAR DET- Home NYI FLA

DAL 4.115 – Away MIN – Home VAN PHI MIN

Steer Clear

MTL 2.0625 – Away PIT- Home DET

CGY 2.745 – Away LAK – Home CBJ EDM

PHI 2.8975 – Away PIT DAL COL – Home

ANH 2.9875 – Away EDM VAN – Home LAK

WSH 3.0025 – Away NYR – Home NYR CAR

March 26 to April 1

Best Bets

VGK 4.41 – – Home COL ARI STL SJS

TOR 4.2575 – Away NYI – Home BUF FLA WPG

COL 4.2475 – Away VGK ANH- Home PHI CHI

OTT 4.19 – Away CAR DET – Home NYI FLA

BOS 4.1425 – Away WPG PHI- Home TBL FLA

Steer Clear

VAN 2.8875 – Away – Home ANH EDM CBJ

CGY 2.745 – Away LAK – Home CBJ EDM

MIN 2.9025 – Away NSH DAL – Home DAL

DAL 2.855 – Away MIN – Home PHI MIN

WPG 2.95 – Away CHI TOR – Home BOS

March 27 to April 2

Best Bets

OTT 4.295 – Away DET – Home NYI FLA WPG

BOS 4.1425 – Away WPG PHI – Home TBL FLA

STL 4.0225 – Away VGK ARI – Home SJS WSH

TOR 4.2575 – Away NYI – Home FLA WPG BUF

NSH 3.995 – Away TBL – Home MIN SJS BUF

Steer Clear

CGY 1.89 – Away – Home CBJ EDM

MTL 1.9575 – Away PIT – Home NJD

CHI 2.195 – Away COL – Home WPG

NYR 2.8075 – Away WSH CAR – Home TBL

TBL 2.85 – Away BOS NYR – Home NSH

March 28 to April 3

Best Bets

FLA 4.9025 – Away TOR OTT BOS – Home CAR NSH

VGK 4.3425 – Away VAN- Home ARI STL SJS

TOR 4.2575 – Away NYI – Home FLA WPG BUF

BOS 4.095 – Away PHI TBL- Home TBL FLA

NSH 4.0525 – Away TBL FLA- Home SJS BUF

Steer Clear

ANH 2.1525 – Away – Home LAK COL

CHI 2.195 – Away COL – Home WPG

DAL 2.6025 – Away MIN SJS- Home MIN

CAR 2.7075 – Away WSH FLA – Home NYR

PIT 2.7825 – Away NJD – Home MTL WSH

March 29 to April 4

Best Bets

OTT 4.29 – Away DET BUF- Home FLA WPG

BOS 4.095 – Away PHI TBL – Home TBL FLA

STL 4.075 – Away VGK ARI – Home WSH CHI

BUF 4.0575 – Away NSH TOR – Home DET OTT

NSH 4.0525 – Away TBL FLA – Home SJS BUF

Steer Clear

PHI 2 – Away NYI – Home BOS

DAL 2.6025 – Away MIN SJS – Home MIN

CAR 2.7075 – Away WSH FLA – Home NYR

PIT 2.7825 – Away NJD – Home MTL WSH

COL 2.8075 – Away ANH LAK – Home CHI

 

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