Looking Ahead: Oliver Bjorkstrand Offers Value in the Week Ahead

by Adam Daly-Frey on February 23, 2018
  • Looking Ahead
  • Looking Ahead: Oliver Bjorkstrand Offers 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 February 16th

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

Oliver Bjorkstrand, LW, Columbus Blue Jackets (Available in 94 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – It’s a shame that Nick Foligno got injured, because the line of Bjorkstrand-Foligno-Alex Wennberg had been clicking on all cylinders, really showing off what the blossoming Bjorkstrand can do. After scoring 118 points in 59 games in his last year in junior, Bjorkstrand hadn’t shown much of his scoring prowess until recently: the Dane has 2G-4A in his last 10, and 34SOG in those games. His ice time is climbing into the 17:00 range – up from 13:00 earlier in the year – and although Columbus is struggling to score, Bjorkstrand is a great depth down the stretch with the Jackets’ schedule.

 

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

Derrick Brassard, C, Ottawa (Available in 72 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – This is a speculative addition for the rest of the year (assuming Brassard gets moved at the deadline as expected), but even staying in Ottawa, Brassard has been performing incredibly well recently and should be added in all formats. On a line with Mark Stone, the two are combining for 20 high-danger chances per 60 minutes at 5v5 which is an insane rate (almost tops in the league), and he should continue that with any half-decent possession winger beside him. Leading into the deadline, Brassard has put up 6G-4A and fired 35SOG while skating heavy minutes on the PP and at even strength. His best landing spot for value is staying with Stone in Ottawa, but if he ends up in Winnipeg, Nashville, or St. Louis, he maintains a high ceiling.

 

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

T.J. Brodie, D, Calgary Flames (Owned in 40 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Playing Russian Roulette with Calgary Flames defensemen is always a dangerous proposition, but with the re-emergence of Dougie Hamilton as the offensive threat he was always supposed to be, Brodie’s value is taking a significant hit. At times, Brodie’s been on the top power play unit, which is where most of his 10 PPP have come from, but that spot is now Hamilton’s for the foreseeable future. Brodie still eats minutes, but lately he’s seeing about two full minutes less per game than his past averages. In leagues with peripherals, he’s still good for a few blocks, hits and shots (combined) per game, but in standard leagues he’s waiver fodder.

 

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

Mika Zibanejad, C, New York Rangers (Owned in 40 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Although Zibanejad has a lot of potential, the rebuilding Rangers – and fantasy owners – aren’t getting enough out of their #1 centre. Although he plays some of the penalty kill and sits atop the Rangers’ top power play unit, Zibanejad is still only averaging 17:40/game on the year, and has only 31 points on the year. With the expected departure of Rick Nash, the scoring is thinner then ever in Manhattan, and those not in keeper leagues should try to dump Mika for anything of value.

 

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

Vancouver – The rebuilding/not-rebuilding Canucks have five games between February 23 and March 2, against some absolute tire fire organizations: at Arizona, and home games against both New York teams, and Arizona again. Their other games will be a bit tougher, on the road against Vegas and Colorado and home to Nashville, but the Canucks that are fantasy-viable should pour it on.

Florida – With a strong power play and a top-6 that are getting 40 shots per 60 minutes, the Panthers are shooting on all cylinders these days, and have a great schedule. They finish this slate on the road against Tampa, but all five of their other games come at home where Florida can get the matchups they like, and that includes games against New Jersey, Buffalo, and Toronto which should make for some high scores and firewagon hockey.

Minnesota – Another team with five games in seven days (Feb 23 – Mar 2), the Wild have a sneaky-good schedule upcoming: at the Rangers, at Arizona and home to both the Red Wings and Hurricanes should make for some strong fantasy games from the relevant players. The Wild have only scored less than 3 goals in seven of their last twenty, and as the playoff push continues, look for good things from the top-6, Matt Dumba and Ryan Suter – to say nothing about how valuable Devan Dubnyk will be to fantasy owners.

 

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

Anaheim – Anaheim makes this list on a lack of volume, with only five games in this period. Games against Chicago and Arizona are tempting from an offensive perspective, as is their home match against the Capitals, but travelling from Anaheim to Edmonton on a back-to-back kills the potential from that matchup. Their fifth game is a home game against Columbus.

Chicago – The Blackhawks have a half-decent amount of games in the next two weeks (six), but they come against very strong defensive opponents, making them a team to avoid: San Jose (both at home and on the road), Los Angeles, Anaheim and Colorado aren’t easy teams to get pucks in the net on, and Columbus – who the ‘Hawks face on the back half of a home/road – are no slouch defensively either.

NY Islanders – It’s always tough to write the Islanders as a Leave ‘Em squad, given how strong offensively the team is. Unfortunately for NYI owners, the team only has five games in this period and haven’t scored more than 3 in six straight games – a high bar for most teams, but a disappointment for NYI. The Isle have one home game against Montreal, and road games against New Jersey, Montreal (again), Pittsburgh and Vancouver.

February 23 to March 1

Best Bets

LAK 4.29 – Away VGK – Home EDM VGK CBJ

VAN 4.275 – Away VGK ARI COL – Home NYR

BOS 4.0425 – Away TOR BUF – Home CAR PIT

CAR 4.0325 – Away DET BOS PHI- Home PIT

STL 4.02 – Away NSH MIN – Home WPG DET

Steer Clear

NYI 1.8525 – Away NJD MTL – Home

OTT 1.915 – Away WSH – Home PHI

ANH 2.0425 – Away ARI – Home EDM

CHI 2.7075 – Away CBJ SJS- Home SJS

CBJ 2.745 – Away LAK- Home CHI WSH

February 24 to March 2

Best Bets

LAK 4.29 – Away VGK – Home EDM VGK CBJ

FLA 4.2525 – Home PIT TOR NJD BUF

COL 4.2525 – Away CGY – Home VAN CGY MIN

CGY 4.2475 – Away DAL COL – Home COL NYR

MTL 4.205 – Away NYI- Home TBL PHI NYI

Steer Clear

CHI 1.71 – Away CBJ SJS – Home

NYI 2.7975 – Away NJD MTL – Home MTL

VGK 2.7975 – Away LAK – Home LAK OTT

SJS 2.855 – Away MIN – Home EDM CHI

PHI 2.86 – Away OTT MTL – Home CAR

February 25 to March 3

Best Bets

LAK 4.3425 – Away VGK – Home VGK CBJ CHI

TBL 4.31 – Away DAL – Home TOR BUF PHI

NYR 4.2475 – Away VAN CGY EDM- Home DET

MIN 4.185 – Away ARI COL – Home SJS STL

VAN 4.1325 – Away ARI COL – Home NYR NSH

Steer Clear

CHI 1.7575 – Away SJS LAK- Home

ANH 1.89 – Away – Home EDM CBJ

WPG 2.205 – Away – Home NSH DET

CBJ 2.5975 – Away LAK ANH – Home WSH

NYI 2.655 – Away MTL PIT- Home MTL

February 26 to March 4

Best Bets

FLA 4.4625 – – Home TOR NJD BUF PHI

MIN 4.395 – Away ARI COL – Home STL DET

LAK 4.3425 – Away VGK – Home VGK CBJ CHI

TBL 4.31 – Away DAL – Home TOR BUF PHI

COL 4.2525 – Away – Home VAN CGY MIN NSH

Steer Clear

ANH 1.9425 – Away – Home CBJ CHI

ARI 1.89 – Away – Home MIN OTT

NYI 2.655 – Away MTL PIT – Home MTL

BUF 1.9 – Away TBL FLA – Home

CHI 2.66 – Away SJS LAK ANH- Home

February 27 to March 5

Best Bets

FLA 4.4625 – – Home TOR NJD BUF PHI

PIT 4.205 – Away BOS – Home NJD NYI CGY

DAL 4.2 – Away – Home CGY TBL STL OTT

MIN 4.395 – Away ARI COL – Home STL DET

CAR 4.2 – Away BOS PHI – Home NJD WPG

Steer Clear

ANH 1.9425 – Away – Home CBJ CHI

WSH 2.0475 – Away – Home OTT TOR

CHI 2.66 – Away SJS LAK ANH – Home

CBJ 2.66 – Away LAK ANH SJS – Home

DET 2.755 – Away STL WPG MIN – Home

February 28 to March 6

Best Bets

MIN 4.4475 – Away ARI COL – Home DET CAR

FLA 4.3625 – Away TBL- Home NJD BUF PHI

TBL 4.31 – Away DAL – Home BUF PHI FLA

NSH 4.185 – Away EDM VAN COL – Home DAL

NJD 4.1525 – Away FLA CAR – Home VGK MTL

Steer Clear

TOR 1.805 – Away WSH BUF – Home

LAK 1.9425 – Away – Home CBJ CHI

SJS 1.9425 – Away – Home CHI CBJ

WSH 1.9525 – Away ANH- Home TOR

STL 2.1575 – Away DAL – Home DET

March 1 to March 7

Best Bets

MIN 4.4475 – Away ARI COL – Home DET CAR

FLA 4.3625 – Away TBL – Home NJD BUF PHI

NSH 4.185 – Away EDM VAN COL – Home DAL

NJD 4.1525 – Away FLA CAR – Home VGK MTL

PIT 4.1475 – Away BOS PHI- Home NYI CGY

Steer Clear

STL 0.95 – Away DAL – Home

TOR 1.805 – Away WSH BUF – Home

LAK 1.9425 – Away – Home CBJ CHI

SJS 1.9425 – Away – Home CHI CBJ

WSH 1.9525 – Away ANH – Home TOR

 

 

3 responses to “Looking Ahead: Oliver Bjorkstrand Offers Value in the Week Ahead”

  1. Grondini says:

    Forgot Pittsburgh for Brassard 😉

  2. starz31 says:

    VAN plays four games, not seven, between 2/23 and 3/1. Five games if you go to 3/2.
    MIN has four games as well 2/23 to 3/1; six games through 3/4.