Fantasy Hockey Week 7 Preview
Before we get to the guys we lost during week six of the Fantasy Hockey season, let’s get to some positive news off the hop! A friendly reminder to activate Jack Eichel (ankle) from the IR as he could suit up Tuesday in Ottawa. Watch for Sam Reinhart and Eichel to pick up where they left off last season.
Jonathan Toews (upper-body) was the biggest name to go down last week and he’s missed the Blackhawks’ last two games as a result. Some have speculated a concussion, but the Blackhawks are saying it’s not a head injury and he’s listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Florida Panthers. Good news for Artemi Panarin owners; he is back to playing with Patrick Kane for the time being. Both players have combined for five points in their two games without Toews in the lineup.
The Predators will play Week 7 of the Fantasy Hockey season without their leading goal scorer as they placed James Neal (upper-body) on injured reserve. After a slow start to the season, Neal had found his groove of late with nine goals in his last 10 games. He also had 25 shots on goals over his last seven games. Losing him is a big blow, let’s hope he comes back soon.
Look for Viktor Arvidsson to pick up some of the slack in Nashville. He was skating on the top unit with Neal and Ryan Johnansen (who has eight points in his last eight games), and was clicking with those two before the Neal injury. As of now, Filip Forsberg has taken Neal’s spot on the top line, which is not a bad spot for Arvidsson who has the fourth- most shots on goal over the last two weeks (27 in his last seven games). Arvidsson also has two goals and seven points in his last nine games. Playing with the big boys is a big part of why his minutes per game numbers have climbed.
Alexander Steen (upper-body) is ruled out from Monday’s contest against the Dallas Stars, which will make six straight games he’s had to watch from the press box. Good news, though, as he’s been skating with his teammates and is set to return any day. Question is, will he take his spot back on the Blues’ number one line with Paul Stastny and Jaden Schwartz? Probably not right away, because David Perron has been lighting it up on that line; he has 10 points in his last seven games with big time minutes played. Look for Steen to play with Vladimir Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera when he returns. Nothing wrong with playing with those two, but after a slow start to the season, Perron is feeling it and he’s worth the add. No reason for the Blues to tinker with that. At the end of the day, it doesn’t honestly matter where Perron plays, just nice to see him going.
Zdeno Chara (lower-body) is skating with the Bruins, but he’s missed three straight games and isn’t worth a spot on any of my rosters even when he’s back to full health. Chara has lost a step and only has six points on the year. Check out a few replacements out below.
Jimmy Howard (groin) had been the better goalie in Detroit to start the season, but he’s been placed on IR and will miss at least the next 10-14 days. Petr Mrazek will get the majority of the starts with Howard out, but he’s most likely owned. Check below for a couple of goalie replacements or guys who are trending up who may be worth your while.
Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire
Michael Cammalleri – LW
Cammalleri had a hot to start the season, but left the team for about two weeks due to personal reasons. Everybody dropped him, and now everybody’s rushing to get him back on their squad. Well, at least they should be. Cammalleri has eight points and 17 shots on goal in three games since returning. On the season he has 14 points in 15 games, and has 52 points in his last 57 games dating back to last season. He can snipe with the best of them.
Patrick Marleau – C/LW
Marleau is hovering around the 50 percent mark in most leagues and although he was on the bust list to start the season, the injury to Tomas Hertl (knee) has made him Fantasy relevant again. Marleau is skating on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. It explains why Marleau has three points in his last four games and is coming off a game where he played 21:28; the most he’s played in a game this season.
David Perron – LW/RW
I touched on Perron above, but in case you skimmed over it, Perron has been red hot of late with 10 points in his last seven games. He’s played north of 20 minutes in two of his last four and has registered four power play points over the last two weeks. He can provide shots and hits if looking.
Mikko Rantanen – RW
I mentioned Rantanen a couple weeks ago, but now that he’s scoring (eight points in his last 11, and five in his last four) he’s worth another mention. Rantanen has a ton of skill and is displaying that of late with his linemate Nathan MacKinnon. Rantanen played a season high 22 minutes in his last game.
Oscar Klefbom – D
Klefbom has a ton of upside and we’re starting to see it from the former first round pick. He’s skating in the top defensive pair and power play unit, and it’s shown in his ice time as he’s played at least 24 minutes in three of his last five games. He has three goals and five points in his last six games, and he’s put 26 pucks on net over the last two weeks, which is the sixth-most in the NHL over that span. The Oilers also play four games this week. Have a feeling you may just want to keep him on your roster after the week.
Radko Gudas – D
In leagues with hits, PIMs and blocks, Gudas is your guy. The Flyers’ defenseman is fourth in the league with 74 hits and tied for sixteenth with 45 blocks. Gudas is hitting everything of late, too; 42 in his last eight games!
I’d much rather have a Klefbom, Gudas or Alexei Emelin in leagues that count hits and blocks. Those are guys who can help you across the board rather than a Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who is a better real life player than a Fantasy player. I throw Vlasic under the bus because he’s 70 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.
Cam Ward – G
Ward has allowed two goals or fewer in seven straight games. Over that span he knocked off the Capitals, shut out the Sharks, and beat the Habs, Jets and Leafs, all teams who can score with the best of them. Ward has lost his last two games, but has only allowed four goals combined in those two. The Hurricanes are a better team than their record indicates. Ward can help you.
Cam Atkinson – RW
Nine of Atkinson’s 20 points have come on the power play and the sniper has eight goals on the year. Four of his eight goals have come in the last eight games. He also has 12 points over that span. The Blue Jackets are scoring the fourth-most goals per game and Atkinson is a big reason why.
Chad Johnson – G
Johnson finally had a bad game Sunday in Philadelphia as he let in five goals, just his second outing in his last seven in which he let more than two get by him. Although Brian Elliott will get the start Monday, it’s Johnson who has started seven of the Flames’ last eight games; not to mention that Johnson has been better. The Flames allow so many shots making him a solid DFS option as well.
Boone Jenner – C/LW
Jenner has played 13 minutes or less in six of his last 11 games. He only has two goals on the year and he’s a minus six. If you don’t play in leagues with hits, just drop him and move on.
Tomas Plekanec – C
I know Plekanec has points in back-to-back games and he’s back on a line with Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher, but there’s no reason for him to be owned in 60 percent of ESPN leagues. He only has one goal on the year and spends most of his minutes on the ice against the opposing top players, making him a drop.