Looking Ahead: Hot and Cold Coyotes

by Adam Daly-Frey on November 15, 2019


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 updated through Wednesday, November 13

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

Christian Dvorak, C, Arizona Coyotes (Available in 95 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – It’s always tough recommending forwards from Arizona, as coach Rick Tocchet plays fairly fast and loose with ice time. Dvorak is ostensibly the number two center behind Derek Stepan, is currently averaging 15:51/game (although he’s trending up in that regard over the past ten games). That’s not a judgement on Dvorak, just that Tocchet prefers his ice time allocated evenly.

Even with his ice time muted, Dvorak has produced well when playing with Nick Schmaltz, picking up two goals and two assists with 15 shots on goal. When playing with Schmaltz at 5v5 (111 min), the pair are a plus-possession duo currently picking up 3.23 G/60 – out-performing their expected goals and with an on-ice shooting percentage of 10.00%, but Schmaltz’ creativity has seen him always have high on-ice shooting percentages due to finding seams and tap-in goals.

Dvorak isn’t a league-winner, but he’s an excellent fill-in for injured players like Roope Hintz, Marcus Johansson, and can fill at least some of the big gap left on rosters with the Sidney Crosby injury.

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

Ondrej Kase, W, Anaheim Ducks (Available in 93 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Regular readers of Dobber are definitely familiar with the oft-injured Ducks winger, as he’s both a Band-Aid Boy and an annual favorite. Due to the injury problems though, Kase is now only 7% owned on Yahoo! which places him alongside plugs like Andrew Shaw, Cal Clutterbuck and freakin’ Milan Lucic.

Kase does have his warts – his career-high in games played is 66 and he’s already missed five games this season – but his underlying numbers along with his role as one of the only competent wingers in Anaheim make him very, very appealing the rest of the way. And as a bonus, he’s already burned five of the ~18 games he’ll miss this season, so he should play a good chunk the rest of the way!

The Czech winger has one goal and one assist in 14 games this season playing on the top line with Nick Ritchie and Ryan Getzlaf, and he plays with Getzlaf on the “top” power play unit for the Ducks – top in quotations as they tend to split PP time evenly in Anaheim. As a line, the Ritchie-Getzlaf-Kase combo have been dynamic and have owned possession, with 64% CF, 62% SF, and 59% xGF (78 minutes). Their actual GF/60 rate of 4.62 is obviously elevated at the moment, but their expected rate is a fantastic 3.29/60 which would place them among some elite lines. Kase is also currently sporting a 3% shooting percentage with a career average of 10.6%, so that’s sure to normalize as well.

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

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Arizona Coyotes (Owned in 85 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – A line of 2G-6A in 19 games is fine but nowhere close of what was expected ahead of the season from Ekman-Larsson, and that’s hurting his role in Arizona. OEL has lost his top power play spot to Jakob Chychrun for the moment (who has 4G-3A in 19GP) and has been trending down in ice time over the past five games while Chychrun has been trending up.

Obviously a throw-away in cap leagues, OEL is still considered a valuable asset in point leagues or leagues with less active owners, so he can definitely fetch value in a trade and shouldn’t be dropped. The main concern with Ekman-Larsson is that Arizona struggles to score in the first place (16th in GF) so any reduced PP role will have a bigger impact than it would elsewhere.

Consider benching him or looking for a trade for the time being, because injuries do crop up – Chychrun has seasons of 68, 50 and 53GP so far and would be considered a Band-Aid Boy – but don’t count on him for much these days.

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

P.K. Subban, D, New Jersey Devils (Owned in 91 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – A must-drop in cap leagues but a strong consideration to drop in all other leagues, “massive disappointment” isn’t strong enough to describe what P.K.’s first season in New Jersey has been so far. Subban has been stuck on the second power-play unit for the bulk of the year so far – playing not with Taylor Hall and Jack Hughes as expected, but rather with Jesper Bratt and Pavel Zacha – and through 17 games still has yet to record a point on the power play.

That lack of power play success really, really hurts Subban as he’s really counted on those empty-calorie points throughout his career to pad his numbers: 43% of his career points have come with the extra man.

On the season, Subban has picked up two goals (one of which was an empty-netter) and three assists on 44 shots, and he’s averaging around 2 hits/blocks (combined) per game. That’s simply not good enough for someone with his pedigree and with the pre-season expectations, and there’s no reason to think his special teams play changes any time soon – Sami Vatanen was running the top power play, and after he got injured they handed the role to Will Butcher without giving it any thought.

Shop him around on his name value, sell low if you want, but realistically Subban can be dropped.

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

Vegas – The Knights appear here for the second week in a row, as they play seven times this period (November 15 to 27), and finally have a full roster with Alex Tuch back on the third line/top power play. They’ve struggled to score so far (topping three goals only twice in the past ten games) but have a weak schedule with games against the Sharks, Oilers and Leafs at home along with a road game against the Kings. They also play Calgary at home, and Dallas and Nashville on the road.

Ottawa – Also making back-to-back appearances here and also with seven games this stretch, Ottawa has played some fine hockey recently – 6-4-0 in their last ten, scoring four or more four times. The Sens get to play the dregs of the Eastern Conference (#TankBattles), with games against Detroit, Buffalo, the Rangers and Columbus as well as games against Philly, Montreal and Boston. Hopefully some of you picked up J-G Pageau last week, as the schedule doesn’t get much easier than this upcoming slate of games.

Buffalo – Outside of their “Big 5” of Reinhart-Eichel-Olofsson-Skinner-Dahlin, the Sabres don’t have much fantasy relevance unfortunately, but owners of those five players should see a ton of production through November; Buffalo plays seven games between the 15 and 27, which unfortunately includes two B2Bs, but fortunately includes games against Ottawa, Chicago, Minnesota and Florida. Both Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark should get some work in given how tightly-packed the games are.

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

Winnipeg – With all the injuries the Jets have had this season – and the Blake Wheeler/Mark Scheifele duo still broken up at 5v5 –the Jets’ scoring struggles they started the season with have continued into November with only 15 goals in six games, including getting shutout once. The Jets play only five times this period, and four of the five come on the road. They play TB, NSH, DAL, CBJ and SJ.

Montreal – So many teams have six games between the 15th and 27th that narrowing down which teams should struggle is a little tougher than most weeks, but Montreal manages to squeeze in two back-to-backs during their six games this period: a game in Washington on the 15th and then home to New Jersey the 16th, and a game in Columbus on the 19th before a home game against Ottawa on the 20th. The Habs’ other two games come against the Rangers (good!) and Boston (bad!).

NY Islanders – Like Montreal, the Islanders play six times this period but there are reasons to expect a lack of production: NYI will leave the comfort of Long Island for five of the six games, which includes a California road trip (at SJ, ANA, LAK) and a Pennsylvania road trip (at PHI, PIT). Their remaining game comes against the Penguins again, but it’ll come at home.


November 15 to November 21

Best Bets

OTT 4.185 – Away BUF DET MTL – Home PHI

MTL 4.11 – Away WSH CBJ – Home NJD OTT

BUF 4.1 – Away CHI BOS- Home OTT MIN

BOS 4.1 – Away TOR NJD – Home WSH BUF

VGK 4.0575 – Away LAK – Home CGY TOR SJS

Steer Clear

N.Y. Rangers 1.9475 – Away FLA – Home WSH

N.Y. Islanders 2.75 – Away PHI PIT – Home PIT

ANH 2.755 – Away STL WSH FLA- Home

WPG 2.8025 – Away TBL NSH DAL- Home

COL 2.8975 – Away VAN CGY MIN- Home


November 16 to November 22

Best Bets

OTT 4.2375 – Away BUF DET MTL – Home NYR

PIT 4.1525 – Away NYI – Home TOR NYI NJD

BUF 4.1 – Away CHI BOS – Home OTT MIN

VGK 4.0575 – Away LAK – Home CGY TOR SJS

CHI 4.0525 – Away NSH – Home BUF CAR TBL

Steer Clear

CBJ 2.31 – Away – Home MTL DET

N.Y. Islanders 2.75 – Away PHI PIT – Home PIT

ANH 2.755 – Away STL WSH FLA – Home

TOR 2.755 – Away PIT VGK ARI – Home

WPG 2.8025 – Away TBL NSH DAL – Home


November 17 to November 23

Best Bets

VGK 4.3575 – – Home CGY TOR SJS EDM

CHI 4.195 – Away DAL- Home BUF CAR TBL

CGY 3.905 – Away VGK STL PHI- Home COL

DAL 3.36 – Away – Home VAN WPG CHI

MTL 3.26 – Away CBJ – Home OTT NYR

Steer Clear

ANH 2.7075 – Away WSH FLA TBL- Home

N.Y. Islanders 2.75 – Away PIT SJS- Home PIT

EDM 2.755 – Away SJS LAK VGK- Home

VAN 2.85 – Away DAL NSH WSH- Home

BUF 2.8925 – Away CHI BOS – Home MIN


November 18 to November 24

Best Bets

CAR 4.2375 – Away CHI DET- Home PHI FLA

DET 4.1575 – Away CBJ NJD – Home OTT CAR

FLA 4.1525 – Away CAR – Home PHI ANH BUF

ARI 4.0575 – Away LAK – Home LAK TOR EDM

EDM 3.705 – Away SJS LAK VGK ARI- Home

Steer Clear

BUF 2.7975 – Away BOS FLA- Home MIN

ANH 2.7075 – Away WSH FLA TBL – Home

VAN 2.85 – Away DAL NSH WSH – Home

N.Y. Islanders 2.75 – Away PIT SJS – Home PIT

TOR 2.8975 – Away VGK ARI COL – Home


November 19 to November 25

Best Bets

CBJ 4.42 – Away WPG – Home MTL DET OTT

VGK 4.3525 – Away DAL- Home TOR SJS EDM

CAR 4.2375 – Away CHI DET – Home PHI FLA

DAL 4.41 – Home VAN WPG CHI VGK

PHI 4.1575 – Away FLA CAR – Home CGY VAN

Steer Clear

WSH 2.205 – Away NYR – Home VAN

ANH 2.855 – Away FLA TBL – Home NYI

TOR 2.8975 – Away VGK ARI COL – Home

COL 2.9075 – Away CGY MIN – Home TOR

WPG 2.9975 – Away NSH DAL – Home CBJ


November 20 to November 26

Best Bets

DAL 4.2475 – Away CHI- Home WPG CHI VGK

N.Y. Rangers 4.0325 – Away OTT MTL – Home WSH MIN

MIN 3.9525 – Away BOS NYR NJD- Home COL

CBJ 3.3175 – Away WPG – Home DET OTT

MTL 3.3075 – Away – Home OTT NYR BOS

Steer Clear

TOR 1.9475 – Away ARI COL – Home

COL 1.9575 – Away MIN – Home TOR

WPG 2.095 – Away DAL – Home CBJ

WSH 2.205 – Away NYR – Home VAN

BUF 2.7075 – Away BOS FLA TBL – Home


November 21 to November 27

Best Bets

CBJ 4.3675 – Away WPG – Home DET OTT PHI

LAK 4.305 – Home EDM ARI SJS NYI

PIT 4.2575 – Away NYI – Home NJD CGY VAN

DAL 4.2475 – Away CHI – Home WPG CHI VGK

TBL 4.195 – Away CHI – Home ANH BUF STL

Steer Clear

MTL 2.1 – Away – Home NYR BOS

WSH 2.2575 – Away – Home VAN FLA

NJD 3.0075 – Away PIT – Home DET MIN

TOR 3.04 – Away ARI COL DET- Home

WPG 3.045 – Away DAL SJS- Home CBJ