Fantasy Hockey Buy/Sell: Week 16
10 days after the official halfway point of the 2018-19 season, teams will be shaping up and the cream should start to rise to the top. That being said, just because you may be down, doesn’t mean you’re out. H2H leagues can swing either direction with the acquisition or departure of some key players while there are sneaky moves to be made in points leagues that can bring you back into the thick of it. We’ll start this week where we left off last time with the St. Louis Blues.
Jordan Binnington (G – STL)
With the not-so-consistent performance of St. Louis’ number one netminder (as mentioned last week), it has opened the door for some younger talent sitting in the barn. Enter Binnington. He was originally called to action back in late December while Jake Allen was being chased out of the net by Pittsburgh. He didn’t fare too well in that bout, but only saw 11 shots.
Since then he’s 3-0-0 with a shutout, a 1.45 GAA, and .941 save percentage. He was also awarded the NHL’s second star of the week. It is only a small sample size, and the numbers will correct (unless he’s a closet backup stud) but these are encouraging signs. The situation backed by the numbers makes for a nice pick up, even more so if you’re rostering Allen.
Erik Gustafsson (D – CHI)
Trying to pick up rear guard players that produce offensive points is tricky business as the well known performers are drafted and held for that very reason. So if you’re not afraid to shake things up a bit and stream defenses that are hot, take a look at Gustafsson.
Chicago has had talent on their defensive line for many years, but the tandem of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook aren’t what they used to be. Age has caught up and the Blackhawks are struggling this year. Chicago is 3-6 in their last nine contests and Gustafsson has registered 11 points in that span. If you have a flexible D position then give him a look and see if you can capitalize on some points while he’s putting them on the board.
William Nylander (C/RW – TOR)
If you’ve been paying attention to hockey this year you’d know that Nylander was holding out for a significant amount of games due to a contract dispute. It was down to the wire, but they got it resolved and he’s on the ice as a Leaf again. Since his return he has three points and is minus-six. That doesn’t look so hot.
It’s been a pretty long stretch for Nylander without a solid fantasy performance. Mix that with him being down for most of the season so far and you could easily come across a manager who is frustrated with him and ready to deal or maybe even find him on the wire. Though the Leafs are lagging a bit right now, there’s no denying what they can do offensively. With the newly acquired talent in Toronto there may be a little growing pain to deal with but the upside is juicy and if you believe that the last two seasons of 61 points are legit, then he’s worth a stash. Plus, he’s flexible to the RW or C position.
Yanni Gourde (C/LW/RW – TB)
Tampa Bay is dominating this year. They sit atop the Eastern Conference with a 35-9-2 record. The next closest team to them in the East is Washington, which is 13 points back. That’s a comfortable lead and it doesn’t look like there is any sign of them slowing down. In fact, they’ve won nine of their last 11 and maybe he’s a good dressing room guy, but Gourde has disappeared. He does have a goal and three assists, but the Tampa has scored 46 goals in that span and unfortunately he’s not a part of the action.
He elevated his statistics early in the year so he appears to have respectable numbers. Parlay that with triple position eligibility and the prospect of playing with a number of talented players, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a buyer.
Jeff Carter (C – LA)
The Kings fall from grace this year is well documented. They sit at the bottom of the league tied at 39 points with the Ottawa Senators. There aren’t any signs that things will turn around as their goalie situation is murky and there aren’t any players on the team making a huge entry onto the scene that could be game changers for them.
Carter currently sits at 41% ownership in Yahoo! leagues and should be more around the 15% mark considering the talent available at the C position. He was ranked around 90th at the beginning of the season and I’m sure owners were hoping for some semblance of his 2017 campaign where he posted 66 points, but that is highly unlikely at this point. He has a minus-13 rating and can only really be relied upon for face-off wins.
Jeremy Farr is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Jeremy, check out his archive.