Fantasy Hockey Buy/Sell: Week 3 2019
The NHL season is in full swing. The games have been fast, and the wins are starting to spread out. As of now, we have two undefeated teams and one team without a win in the New Jersey Devils. The Devils have started in sluggish fashion but let’s not hit the panic button just yet. We have seen the Devils in action and there is no doubt they have scoring talent, and power, with new teammates learning the system, and younger players growing into the NHL, I say we take a breath for a few more games before panic mode sets in. The Buffalo Sabres and the Colorado Avalanche are raking in the early points and have not lost in regulation as of yet. Both teams look great and buying some of the top-line assets seems like a must.
Nazem Kadri (C – COL)
Kadri has only four points on the season but is backing that up with half his points being on the powerplay. The Avalanche are averaging an eye-opening 4.4 goals per game, any part of that offense is something your lineup needs. Kadri was relatively high on draft boards this year and because of that, some fantasy owners may be quick to trade him since he has only those four total points. He seems to finally be settling into the Avalanche style of play if you can grab Kadri for a single-player swap, do it. His upside in points can only help a lineup but grab him quick before he has a three or four-point game and the price goes up.
James Neal (LW – EDM)
Nothing new here. James Neal is at it again scoring goals at will. Neal has eight goals and was able to net the lone goal in Edmonton’s first loss against the Chicago Blackhawks. Six of his goals have been on the powerplay, which helps in two categories for fantasy. Every year Neal slides down draft boards, but he always seems to deliver for the team he ends up on. Last season he had a down year, but being placed on the top lines with a new team, and scoring on the powerplay at will is more than enough for any owner to offer up some depth in order to gain some tallies in goals and powerplay points
Matt Duchene (C – NSH)
Nine points in five games. That’s a 1.80 point-per-game average. Two powerplay points in that span as well. I think we can say that Duchene has found solid ground in Nashville. He has been open since the move that this is where he wanted to play, his energy on the ice has shown just that. Duchene has been inserted into the powerplay and seems to be the stick everyone wants to find. As of now he may cost more that you are willing to trade, but if his points continue to pile up, he may just be among the league leaders when all is said and done, and quite possibly a league winner.
Milan Lucic (LW – CGY)
A big man, a big name, no points. Seven games into the season and Lucic is starting to show the decline many of us thought may be coming. If you happen to be in a league that counts penalty minutes as a positive category then you may consider keeping him, after all, he leads the league with 26 penalty minutes, that’s nine more than the next closest player. With all those minutes spent in the box, Lucic is losing his scoring appeal in the sense he is not on the ice to help his team score. Flipping his name for some players now may save the headache in the long run.
Jonathan Quick (G – LAK)
If you didn’t see this one coming you may not have seen a Kings game yet, or at least a game Quick has started. He has looked awful and that’s putting it lightly. Three games started, three loses, 6.44 goals-against average. Those are numbers I want nothing to do with. Once again use the status of a once elite name to trade for something with better upside. Other options to consider would be Darcy Kuemper, Carter Hutton, or even Connor Hellebuyck. All these options have a team with higher upside and can at least get you a win, even if the goals pile up.
I have had a strong opinion for the last few months about the previous generation of hockey elite, or well-known stars finally beginning a decline. It seems we may be seeing that happen for quite a few of them, but if fairness, there is always veteran talent to keep an eye on. As always, have fun hockey friends.
Mat Vilcek is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Mat, follow him @Mat1Thockey.