Week 3 Fantasy Hockey Preview; Zach Parise Replacements
Two weeks into the Fantasy Hockey season and Connor McDavid is tied for the league lead in points with 12 and Shea Weber is your number one rated Fantasy Hockey skater according to both Yahoo! Sports and ESPN.
McDavid has five goals and four multi-point games through nine contests and his Oilers are in first place in the Western Conference. Weber has four goals (three game winners), 10 points (4 PPP) and has a league high plus-12 rating. The Habs’ defenseman ranks 13th in hits with 25, 16th in blocks with 18 and 7th in ice time per game (25:59). All ranks that are sustainable, minus the point per game pace.
Both ESPN and Yahoo! Sports had Weber ranked well outside their Top 12 defensemen heading into the season, and although it’s early, he seems like a lock to finish as a Top 10 defenseman yet again this season, as the change from Nashville to Montreal has had no negative effect on his game thus far and I don’t expect it to.
NHL DFS TIP: Shea Weber is about the only player you can trust from the lineup despite Montreal having the second highest goals per game total through the first couple weeks. They’re a team getting goals from all four lines, but Weber is chipping in almost every night.
Week 2 Fantasy Hockey News, Notes & Injuries
Zach Parise (lower-body) was the biggest name to go down during Week 2 of the Fantasy Hockey season, and although he was on the BUSTS list, many drafted him anyway. Let’s just hope you didn’t reach! Even still, six points in his first eight games screams nice start to the season, but you’ll need to head to the waiver wire to replace Parise. Good news here, though, is that it seems to be a foot injury and not his back, which had him thinking about surgery and a possible early retirement during the offseason.
Parise has seen a major dip in his offensive numbers since his most productive season with the Devils when he put up 94 and 82 point in back-to-back years. 62 points is his best mark in four seasons with Minnesota and last year Parise only managed 53 points, his worst season with Minny to date.
My first replacement for Parise?
Foligno is doing what I though Boone Jenner would, but are we shocked that Jenner – who scored 30 goals last season – is playing third and fourth line minutes? Last week Jenner played eight minutes! That’s John Tortorella for ya. Good news for Jenner owners who have hung on – and I think you should – as he skated in a top six role Monday, so his minutes should go back up. But again, nothing is for sure with Tortorella. If you play in a straight points leagues there are better options out there.
Like Foligno for instance, who has eight points through his first seven games. Basically one-fourth of what he did last season. Foligno came back down to earth, notching only 37 points in 72 games last year, after a fantastic 2014-15 season; 31 goals and 73 points in 79 games. That’s a number he can flirt with again this year. He’s not a 70 point guy, but he’s also not a 30 point guy.
This year the Blue Jackets’ captain has 10 shots, 12 hits and four blocks. Four of his eight points have come on the power play and he’s played north of 18 minutes three times this year. Torts seems to like him for now and it’s a trend I think will continue.
Some other news and notes; Chris Kreider (neck) is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday against the Blues. Kris Letang (upper-body) skated in a contact jersey Monday and should return this week. Thomas Vanek (lower-body) was off to a hot start, but he’ll be sidelined for the next couple weeks.
Week 3 Fantasy Hockey Preview (Oct.31-Nov.6)
There are nine teams playing four games during the week. Below is an add from each team if you’re into getting the most out of your moves. Let’s also not drop the following slow starters with no slash in their name…
- Evgeny Kuznetsov
- James Neal
- John Carlson
JohnKlingberg – he’s hanging on… Torey Krug – You could drop Krug. Andrew Ladd– shouldn’t of drafted him – deal away after his first run of points. Loui Eriksson – let’s hope you’re not in a hits and PIMS league. Jaromir Jagr– I’d drop him. Adam Henrique – I’m hanging on. Justin Williams– Bye Bye! Patrick Marleau – You can do better.
Nick Ritchie – LW – 11 percent Y! – 9 percent ESPN – Ritchie has been playing top line minutes with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf this season, and has two goals and three points to show for it – one on the power play. His value comes in leagues with PIMS and hits, as he has a league high 37 hits. Ritchie also isn’t afraid to shoot the puck with 23 shots though nine games.
Troy Brouwer – RW – 24 percent Y! – 26 percent ESPN – I’m shocked to see Brouwer’s ownership so low, as he was drafted on 90 percent of my teams and is playing with some skilled players in Calgary. He was the last pick in most leagues, and is available in most leagues. He isn’t as appealing in straight points leagues, but gets a boost with hits, PIMs and shorthanded points.
Brouwer has three goals and six points so far with three of those points coming on special teams (one shorthanded goal). Brouwer gets ice time with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan on the top PP unit, and he has 26 hits on the year, which ranks ninth in the league.
A shout out to Sam Bennett who likes to throw his weight around as well (25 hits), and he also has three goals and six points on the year.
Brian Campbell – D – 41 percent Y! – 59 percent ESPN – There really isn’t much here, but Campbell is decent in leagues without shots, hits or blocks. He has six points and is playing well over 20 minutes a game, but was rumored to be a healthy scratch last week, and I wouldn’t count on too much from him this year. He can hit the 40 point mark with 10 plus on the power play.
Marian Hossa – RW – 71 percent Y! – 78 percent ESPN – I also wouldn’t count on too much from Hossa this season, another from the BUSTS list. Hossa has issues staying healthy and has already been sidelined this year. See if you can flip him, as he has name value and four power play points so far.
Mikko Rantanen – RW – 5 percent Y! – 4 percent ESPN – Keep an eye on Rantanen. The rookie got the call last week and was placed on a line with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog. Nothing but four shots through his first two games, but 17 plus minutes played in both.
Like the Blackhawks, there really isn’t much here. Everyone you want is owned, but with the injury to Patrick Sharp (concussion) and the slow start to the season, Lindy Ruff will do what he can to get the most out of his top six. That could include mixing up Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Which would open things up for Radek Faksa and Patrick Eaves to play with some skilled forwards. They make for GPP plays only while playing DFS NHL. I wouldn’t rush to add either in seasonal leagues.
Kris Russell – D – 31 percent Y! – 26 percent ESPN – Russell has value in leagues with blocks as he has 26 already on the season. He’s a surprising +7 to date, but I wouldn’t count on that number to stay so high.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – C – 27 percent Y! – 52 percent ESPN – Nugent-Hopkins isn’t playing with anybody you’d want him to be playing with; Connor McDavid centers Milan Lucic and Jordan Eberle, and Leon Draisaitl is in the middle of Patrick Maroon and Jesse Puljujarvi. That said, RNH gets some power play time on the second unit and he has three points in his last five.
New York Rangers
There are a number of Rangers forwards you could stream and own in deep leagues.
Derek Stepan – C – 36 percent Y! & Jimmy Vesey – LW – 24 percent Y! – Stepan and Vesey skate alongside Rick Nash, so there’s that. Plus, Nash is feeling it with with four goals and seven points in the first month. Stepan has five points and Vesey has five goals and six points. 18 points for the trio in nine games. You could do worse.
Brandon Pirri – C/RW – 10 percent Y! & J.T. Miller – C/LW – 30 percent Y! – Pirri and Miller are more GPP DFS NHL plays than anything else really. Pirri is on the fourth line playing 11 minutes a game despite four goals and six points. Miller has nine points and gets more ice time, but he won’t keep this pace up and plays in the bottom six. He’s seen his ownership jump up 10 percent and there’s really no need of it outside of a four-game stream.
St. Louis Blues
David Perron – LW/RW – 14 percent Y! – Perron has had all of his four points come in one game. Scoreless in his other eight games, but getting big time minutes playing alongside Paul Stastny and Alexander Steen.
Perron has played north of 21 minutes in two of his last four games and has 15 shots over that span. This could be the week with games against the Stars, Blue Jackets and Avalanche.
There are really only four Jets you want to own, but the second line should be on your radar.
Nikolaj Ehlers – LW/RW – 27 percent Y! – 45 percent ESPN – Ehlers connected with Kyle Connor on his first NHL goal this past weekend in what could be a sign of things to come. No rush for Ehlers, though, as Patrik Laine is skating on the top unit with Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele. If that changes, you’ll want a piece of Ehlers. For now, hang tight. Two goals and four points through nine is nothing exciting.
Others owned in fewer than 50 percent of Y! & ESPN leagues that need to be added…
Victor Rask – C – 28 percent Y! – Rask had a breakout season last year scoring 21 goals. He’s well on his way to that number again this year as he has four goals and 10 points; At least a point in all eight games this season and shots in every contest.
Mike Fisher – C – 11 percent Y! – 21 percent ESPN – Fisher is not a must-add, but if you are playing with hits and faceoffs then he’s a must add. All four of his points have come on the power play, he plays in a top six role and he’s won 74 faceoffs to go along with 23 hits.
Frans Nielsen – C – 17 percent Y! – Nielsen is certainly worth a roster spot especially if you are lacking faceoffs. Not a lot of people play with faceoffs, but if you play with power play points, Nielsen can help you there as well. The newest Red Wing has six points so far with four of them coming on the PP.
Jeff Petry – D – 20 percent Y! – Petry is on the number one power play unit in Montreal alongside Weber and there seems to be some chemistry there. Three of his six points have come on the power play and he can provide some grit for you if needed.
The Habs’ defenseman has 19 hits and 16 blocks on the year. He’s on his way to 150 plus shots, hits and blocks as well as 10-15 power play points. If it’s hits and blocks you’re looking for grab Alexei Emelin.
Mark Streit – D – 20 percent Y! – Streit had an off year last year; he was hurt and that opened up the door for Shayne Gostisbehere. But don’t forget about Streit, who led all defensemen in power play points two seasons ago with 30. He already has four on the man advantage this year and six total points on the season. Philadelphia will have one of the best power plays all season long.