Mathieu Perreault Set to Shine and Other Good Options for the Week Ahead

by Adam Daly-Frey on December 29, 2017
  • Looking Ahead
  • Mathieu Perreault Set to Shine and Other Good Options for 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 December 21st – HAPPY HOLIDAYS

 

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

Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW, Columbus (Available in 92 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Bjorkstrand has bounced between the 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines in Columbus this season, which is fairly typical for a Tortorella-coached team, but he’s produced consistently for a young player – and sees power play time – and is in a great spot while Cam Atkinson and Alex Wennberg are on the mend. In the first game without the aforementioned Jackets, Bjorkstrand saw 17:16 (his third-most ice time on the year) and got on the scoresheet with an assist and a +1 with 1SOG. Bjorkstrand is more a set-up man than a Cy Young winner, with 6G-18A, so he should especially be targeted by players lagging in the assist category.

 

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

Mathieu Perreault, RW, Winnipeg (Available in 82 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – With Mark Scheifele out 4-6 weeks, that’s a great opportunity for a player that should really already be owned in most leagues, even as a 4th-liner. Perreault now gets the chance to jump up with Bryan Little and Nikolaj Ehlers, so his ice time should rise from the 12:24 he’s currently seeing on average to something closer to the 16-minute range. Perreault has 9G-11A in only 26 games with that minimal ice time – including 8PPP – and should look to improve on that with his new role.

 

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

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Arizona (Owned in 90 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – OEL is still one of the league’s best fantasy defensemen, so in no way, shape or form should he be dropped, but there are a lot of factors that make shipping him out or at the very least benching him the right decision. As mentioned below, the ‘Yotes only play three games in this next stretch which obviously hurts, but OEL has only one assist (no goals) going back to November 30th. He’s still playing 20+ minutes a night and getting the puck to the net, but as a consistently minus player that doesn’t collect a ton of hits or blocks, he needs to get points to retain value. OEL’s young counterpart Jakob Chychrun has put up 1G-4A in that time, which makes OEL’s points drying up look even worse.

 

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

Scott Darling, G, Carolina (Owned in 53 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Here’s an idea of how poorly Darling has performed this season: he’s losing his starting job (handed to him almost sight-unseen) to CAM WARD – Ward with the career .909SV and negative GSAA over his career is beating out Darling on what should be a good Carolina team. Darling is currently sporting a sub-.900 save percentage, has only eight wins in 23 starts, and has let in four or more in six games this season. There are better backup goalies sitting on the wire (Aaron Dell, Malcolm Subban, etc.), so Darling can safely be dropped.

 

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

Ottawa – The Nation’s Capital is having more than their fair share of struggles these days, especially defensively, but their schedule is loaded in this period. The Sens play seven times, which unfortunately means three separate back-to-backs, but on volume alone any Senator player still hanging around fantasy teams should be used. They play five of the seven at home, and travel only to Detroit and Columbus, which is not a lot of wear & tear.

Toronto – Ontario’s OTHER team (oft-forgotten) also has seven games in this period, and with Auston Matthews and lines that should stick together, look for lots of scoring and fantasy success with Leafs players upcoming. Once the Leafs are back from Colorado and Vegas to close out 2017, the Leafs are at home for five straight with no back-to-backs. The competition is a little tougher than what Ottawa gets, but there is a Battle of Ontario that should lengthen the scoresheet.

New York Islanders – The Islanders have one of the best lines in hockey with Lee-Tavares-Bailey, one of the most exciting second lines in hockey with Ladd-Barzal-Eberle, and have scored three or more in eight of their past ten games. With games at Winnipeg, Colorado and Philadelphia mixed with home games against the Devils and Penguins, look for the Isle to keep putting the puck in the net with ease.

 

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

Los Angeles – Los Angeles gets to spend their New Year’s shuttling back-and-forth in Western Canada, as the Kings’ road trip against Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary is split up by the holiday. Their fourth and last game in this period comes at home against Nashville, thanks to their bye week.

Washington – The Capitals have struggled to score lately – especially on the power play – getting shut out twice (back-to-back) before finally getting three non-shootout goals on the Bruins. They’ll need the mini-bye week that’s not officially their bye week to reset – they only play four times between the 30th and 9th, and have their actual bye week starting the 13th.

Arizona – The Coyotes have one of the softest schedules in this stretch thanks to the holidays and the start of their bye week: only three games for the Desert Dogs between Dec. 29th and Jan. 10th, and the three games come against much better teams (not that that’s a stretch). @ Anaheim on New Year’s Eve, then home vs. the Preds and Rangers, not much of a cakewalk. Put any Coyotes on the shelf.

December 29th to January 4th

Best Bets

STL 4.415 – Away DAL – Home CAR NJD VGK

ANH 4.3 – Away VAN EDM- Home CGY ARI

TOR 4.28 – Away COL VGK – Home TBL SJS

PIT 4.2375 – Away CAR DET PHI – Home CAR

NYI 4.185 – Away WPG COL PHI- Home BOS

Steer Clear

VAN 1.9425 – Away – Home LAK ANH

WSH 2.1 – Away CAR – Home NJD

FLA 2.7025 – Away MIN BOS- Home MTL

SJS 2.755 – Away DAL MTL TOR- Home

BUF 2.8025 – Away NJD MIN- Home NYR

December 30th to January 5th

Best Bets

PIT 4.19 – Away DET PHI NYI- Home CAR

NYI 4.1325 – Away COL PHI – Home BOS PIT

VGK 3.9475 – Away STL CHI- Home TOR NSH

FLA 3.795 – Away MIN BOS DET- Home MTL

SJS 3.6575 – Away DAL MTL TOR OTT- Home

Steer Clear

VAN 1.9425 – Away – Home LAK ANH

CGY 1.995 – Away – Home CHI LAK

PHI 1.995 – Away – Home PIT NYI

NYR 2.095 – Away BUF – Home CHI

WSH 2.1 – Away CAR – Home NJD

December 31st to January 6th

Best Bets

TOR 4.4475 – Away VGK – Home TBL SJS VAN

ANH 4.195 – Away VAN EDM CGY- Home ARI

PIT 4.19 – Away DET PHI NYI – Home CAR

NYI 4.1325 – Away COL PHI – Home BOS PIT

EDM 3.995 – Away DAL- Home WPG LAK ANH

Steer Clear

NJD 1.9 – Away STL DAL – Home

VAN 1.9475 – Away TOR- Home ANH

MTL 2.0475 – Away – Home SJS TBL

CAR 2.645 – Away PIT BOS- Home WSH

BUF 2.8025 – Away MIN WPG – Home NYR

January 1st to January 7th

Best Bets

NYR 4.28 – Away BUF ARI VGK- Home CHI

PHI 4.2 – Home PIT NYI STL BUF

STL 4.1675 – Away PHI WSH- Home NJD VGK

PIT 4.1475 – Away PHI NYI – Home CAR BOS

NYI 4.1425 – Away PHI – Home BOS PIT NJD

Steer Clear

CAR 2.645 – Away PIT BOS – Home WSH

ARI 1.995 – Away – Home NSH NYR

VAN 2.8025 – Away TOR MTL- Home ANH

WSH 2.0475 – Away CAR – Home STL

NJD 2.85 – Away STL DAL NYI- Home

January 2nd to January 8th

Best Bets

TOR 4.2 – – Home TBL SJS VAN CBJ

STL 4.1675 – Away PHI WSH – Home NJD VGK

PIT 4.1475 – Away PHI NYI – Home CAR BOS

PHI 4.2 – Home PIT NYI STL BUF

NYI 4.1425 – Away PHI – Home BOS PIT NJD

Steer Clear

ARI 1.995 – Away – Home NSH NYR

WSH 2.0475 – Away CAR – Home STL

CAR 2.645 – Away PIT BOS – Home WSH

VAN 2.8025 – Away TOR MTL – Home ANH

BUF 2.85 – Away MIN WPG PHI – Home

January 3rd to January 9th

Best Bets

OTT 4.19 – Away DET – Home SJS TBL CHI

STL 4.115 – Away PHI WSH – Home VGK FLA

CHI 4.0625 – Away NYR OTT- Home VGK EDM

TBL 3.9525 – Away MTL OTT DET – Home CAR

BUF 3.9525 – Away MIN WPG PHI – Home WPG

Steer Clear

ANH 1.9 – Away EDM CGY – Home

NJD 1.9 – Away DAL NYI – Home

LAK 1.995 – Away CGY – Home NSH

ARI 1.995 – Away – Home NSH NYR

DAL 2.1 – Away – Home NJD EDM

January 4th to January 10th

Best Bets

MIN 4.3 – Away COL CHI- Home BUF CGY

TOR 4.1475 – Home SJS VAN CBJ OTT

STL 4.115 – Away PHI WSH – Home VGK FLA

CHI 4.0525 – Away OTT – Home VGK EDM MIN

OTT 4.0475 – Away TOR- Home SJS TBL CHI

Steer Clear

ANH 1.9 – Away EDM CGY – Home

NJD 1.9 – Away DAL NYI – Home

LAK 1.995 – Away CGY – Home NSH

ARI 1.995 – Away – Home NSH NYR

DAL 2.1 – Away – Home NJD EDM