Samuel Girard Offers Upside for the Weeks Ahead

by Adam Daly-Frey on November 17, 2017

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 November 15th       

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

Derek Grant, C, Anaheim (Available in 99 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – With the Ryans Getzlaf and Kesler still out for a while, it’s Derek Grant – of the 80 games played with 0 goals before getting to the Ducks – that reaps the benefits. Grant is centering the top line beside Rickard Rakell and Corey Perry, has a great upcoming schedule, and is picking up peripherals at a decent clip (just under 1HIT/1BLK per game). He’s at 4G-6A on the year in 18 games, but in his last five games he’s grabbed 1G-2A with 8 shots on goal. He’s not the most amazing player by any stretch, but he’s fantasy relevant until the start of December and is an easy pickup.


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

Samuel Girard, D, Colorado Avalanche (Available in 98 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – The diminutive d-man got a huge boost in value when he got shipped out of Nashville, sliding immediately into the PP1 role as a point-man for the Avs. He saw over 20 minutes of ice time in his first two games with Colorado, picked up an assist, and got two shots on goal. Girard has shown he’s capable of putting up offensive numbers, with 75 points in 59 games his last year of junior (although it was in the Q), and 1G-2A in five games with Nashville. The cost of acquiring him alone should keep him relevant as Colorado looks to validate their Duchene trade, and he should continue in his cushy role for a long time.


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

Tuukka Rask, G, Boston (Owned in 90 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – With Boston having the worst non-Anaheim injury luck, Rask’s numbers this season are understandably disappointing: 12 starts, only three wins, and currently sporting an abysmal 0.897 save percentage. On its own, that wouldn’t be the worst thing given how banged-up Boston has been, but when compared to backup Anton Khudobin’s numbers it paints a bleak picture of Rask’s value: Khudobin has three wins in only five starts, is sitting 0.26 points higher in SV% (0.923). He shouldn’t be shopped when his value is this low, but consider putting Rask on the shelf for now.


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

Adam Henrique, C, New Jersey (Owned in 15 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Although the Devils do have a relatively nice schedule in this upcoming slate of games, the return of one Travis Zajac will demolish any fantasy relevance Adam Henrique has. Given the surprise play of Nico Hischier as an 18-year old, Henrique’s now working third line minutes for the Devils and will be shifted to the second-unit power play. Henrique has only picked up 3G-6A and 31SOG while seeing 18:35 a night, which will soon drop in his new role, and shouldn’t be owned in any format.


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

Anaheim – Anaheim gets seven games in this stretch, which unfortunately means two back-to-backs (Florida-San Jose home-road, Winnipeg-LA home-road), but this is a great time to deploy the Anaheim d-men that are finally healthy in Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm, and a great time to pick up some of the Ducks’ depth given all their injuries at forward.

New York Islanders – With six games upcoming including a home-road against Philadelphia, Islanders players can be rolled out with no issues. As their secondary scoring has been picking up with Jordan Eberle alongside Mathew Barzal, there’s a lot to like from an Isles team that can almost score at will; their only tough game will come against Ottawa and #TheSystem, but beyond that they have an easy road.

New Jersey –One of the highlights of the Devils’ six games between the 17th and 29th is that they get games against both Winnipeg (13th-worst PK) and Florida (2nd-worst PK), while they sit with the third best power play. They also get games against Vancouver (9th-worst PK) and Detroit, although their game against the Red Wings is on the back half of a home-road b2b.


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

Boston – There’s a pretty good team to be made out of all the Bruins’ injured players, and with only five games in this upcoming stretch – at least one (against San Jose) without Brad Marchand – the Bs will be in tough to produce. They do have two games against teams giving up a ton of shots in Pittsburgh and New Jersey, but beyond those games they can be safely ignored.

Vegas – Another team with only five games in this stretch, the Golden Knights are still on their fourth-string goalie (so if you have any Vegas players in +/- leagues…woof) and have a very tough road ahead of them: home-road against LA and Anaheim, then home to San Jose, then off to Arizona, then back home to host Dallas. It’s nonsensical scheduling and very tough matchups both defensively and offensively for Vegas.

St. Louis – The Blues are the last team with just five games in this period, but going in their favour is that four of the five are home games. Unfortunately, that includes games against Nashville, the defensive wall that is Minnesota (back-to-back after Nashville) and then Anaheim. Their opponents over the next little while could shut down the Blues’ big boys, so be wary.

November 17th to November 23rd

Best Bets

BUF 3.98 – Away DET – Home CAR CBJ MIN

DET 3.36 – Home BUF COL EDM

PHI 3.3125 – Away NYI – Home CGY VAN

LAK 3.2925 – Away VGK – Home FLA WPG

NSH 3.255 – Home COL WPG MTL

Steer Clear

VGK 1.8475 – Away ANH – Home LAK

BOS 1.9 – Away SJS NJD

TBL 2.1 – Home NYI CHI

STL 2.1375 – Away VAN – Home EDM

PIT 2.31 – Home CHI VAN

November 18th to November 24th

Best Bets

PHI 4.3625 – Away NYI – Home CGY VAN NYI

LAK 4.3375 – Away VGK ARI- Home FLA WPG

ANH 4.315 – Away SJS – Home FLA VGK WPG

SJS 4.2325 – Away ARI VGK- Home BOS ANH

NSH 4.205 – Away STL- Home COL WPG MTL

Steer Clear

FLA 2.8075 – Away LAK ANH – Home TOR

BOS 2.845 – Away SJS NJD – Home PIT

VGK 2.845 – Away ANH – Home LAK SJS

TBL 2.86 – Away WSH- Home NYI CHI

MTL 2.9025 – Away DAL NSH – Home TOR

November 19th to November 25th

Best Bets

ANH 5.17 – Away SJS LAK- Home FLA VGK WPG

MIN 4.305 – Away BUF STL- Home NJD COL

SJS 4.285 – Away ARI VGK – Home ANH WPG

LAK 4.285 – Away VGK ARI – Home WPG ANH

NJD 4.21 – Away MIN DET- Home BOS VAN

Steer Clear

BOS 1.9425 – Away NJD – Home PIT

TBL 2.665 – Away WSH PIT- Home CHI

STL 2.8875 – Home EDM NSH MIN

VAN 2.8975 – Away PHI PIT NJD

NSH 2.9975 – Away STL – Home WPG MTL

November 20th to November 26th

Best Bets

MIN 4.305 – Away BUF STL – Home NJD COL

SJS 4.285 – Away ARI VGK – Home ANH WPG

NJD 4.21 – Away MIN DET – Home BOS VAN

ARI 4.1525 – Away TOR – Home SJS LAK VGK

ANH 4.12 – Away SJS LAK – Home VGK WPG

Steer Clear

TBL 2.665 – Away WSH PIT – Home CHI

FLA 2.1 – Home TOR CHI

STL 2.8875 – Home EDM NSH MIN

OTT 2.6175 – Away WSH CBJ – Home NYI

BOS 2.94 – Away NJD – Home PIT EDM

November 21st to November 27th

Best Bets

NJD 4.4525 – Away DET – Home BOS VAN FLA

MIN 4.2 – Away BUF STL WPG- Home COL

ANH 4.1675 – Away LAK CHI- Home VGK WPG

PIT 4.415 – Away BOS – Home VAN TBL PHI

PHI 4.115 – Away NYI PIT- Home VAN NYI

Steer Clear

TBL 2.665 – Away WSH PIT – Home CHI

BUF 2.745 – Away MTL – Home MIN EDM

TOR 2.7875 – Away FLA CAR – Home WSH

CGY 2.85 – Away CBJ DAL COL

STL 2.8875 – Home EDM NSH MIN

November 22nd to November 28th

Best Bets

NYR 4.515 – Away CAR – Home DET VAN FLA

NJD 4.4525 – Away DET – Home BOS VAN FLA

PIT 4.415 – Away BOS – Home VAN TBL PHI

NYI 4.3625 – Away PHI OTT – Home PHI VAN

SJS 4.3325 – Away ARI VGK PHI- Home WPG

Steer Clear

OTT 2.6175 – Away WSH CBJ – Home NYI

BOS 2.94 – Away NJD – Home PIT EDM

MTL 2.95 – Away NSH – Home BUF CBJ

COL 2.96 – Away MIN – Home DAL CGY

WSH 2.9975 – Away TOR – Home OTT TBL

November 23rd to November 29th

Best Bets

ANH 3.8575 – Away LAK CHI STL- Home WPG

WPG 3.79 – Away ANH SJS COL- Home MIN


NYR 3.5175 – Home DET VAN FLA

NJD 3.4025 – Away DET – Home VAN FLA

Steer Clear

DAL 2.2425 – Away VGK – Home CGY

OTT 2.7125 – Away CBJ MTL- Home NYI

TOR 2.835 – Away CAR CGY – Home WSH

CHI 2.85 – Away FLA NSH – Home ANH

VAN 2.85 – Away NJD NYR NYI