Fantasy Hockey Buy/Sell: Week 8
Hello my fellow hockey family, I’m back! It’s been a few weeks since we last checked in and there is a lot to catch up on. Let’s do a little league recap.
In the Eastern conference, we have teams putting together winning streaks and falling into place. The Washington Capitals are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games as of this article being written and they show no sign of slowing down. Great goaltending and efficiency with the puck in the offensive zone are making the Capitals a dominant team once again. The surprise teams of the last few weeks would have to be the New York Islanders at 9-0-1 in their last 10 games. The Toronto Maple Leafs would have to be the biggest loser do to a five-game losing skid and no sense of direction at this moment.
The Western Conference is shaping up to be exactly what we may have expected. The defending champion St. Louis Blues have found their legs and sit atop the conference tied at 29 points with the Edmonton Oilers. The Chicago Blackhawks have turned the team over to the young guns and as of now, it seems to be working as they are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games and riding a four-game win streak heading into Tuesday night’s matchup against a tough Carolina Hurricanes team. The teams in California are the conference’s biggest losers. All three sit in order at the bottom of the Pacific Division. There is hope, San Jose is on a six-game winning streak after dropping four in a row, and the Los Angeles Kings have even mustered up a three-game winning streak as well.
A quarter of the season is in the rear-view mirror already so let’s get to some players.
Dylan Strome (C – CHI)
We have come to my first retraction. Earlier this year I was not sold on Strome being of fantasy value with a sliding Blackhawks team. Strike everything that was said. Strome is becoming one of the most efficient centers in the league right now, playing in between Patrick Kane, and Alex DeBrincat is certainly a big help. Strome has also been featured on the power play for the Blackhawks and has been making the most of it. He has nine points over the past two weeks and may be a stash for the rest of the year if the Blackhawks keep winning, and scoring.
Tomas Tatar (LW/RW – MTL)
Twelve points over the last two weeks on a team that is on the rise. Two weeks ago, Tartar was a waiver pick up in most leagues. If you happened to be lucky enough to grab him, hold on to the ride as this Montreal team is putting up numbers that all fantasy owners want to see. One of the highlights of Tartar is the fact he is scoring goals, and piling up assists which is great for the categories in fantasy. Buy him now for some great matchups over the next couple of weeks.
Mackenzie Blackwood (G – NJD)
Cory Schneider seems to be finished with the Devils and with that, Blackwood has stepped up in the crease and added some boost to a team many figured to be playoff-bound before the season started. Blackwood is 6-3-1 in his last ten games, but it’s not just the wins that are intriguing, it’s also a 2.36 GAA backed with a .919 save percentage. If you are in need of goalie help, I would suggest making a great offer to get him, many may not know the name, or feel confident holding onto him so you shouldn’t need to overpay for that goalie help.
Erik Haula (C/LW – CAR)
Reports are that Haula may be out longer than anyone initially thought. It may be tough to trade a guy that is injured but if you can gain any type of production do it. Haula had knee surgery last year and has not been the same since. Some owners may think to hold on to him with the IR spot. Don’t. Go for the production now and let someone else deal with the headache. How about just dropping him? That would be a last resort. With most leagues having deep starting lineups and bench spots the best option is to package him in a trade to gain production for your team.
J.T. Miller (LW/RW – VAN)
Miller has seven points over the last two weeks which are great numbers, and it is always hard for me to suggest selling a player that is part of a team’s power-play unit, however, you have now exploited his use, time to sell. Miller’s production over the last few years has been well documented when considering his points per game, it shows a fast start in scoring followed by a steady, but overall massive decline leading to the end of the year This is a classic sell high and grab steady production and value for the rest of the year.
I sure did miss my hockey friends, but it’s great to be back. I leave you with this, at this part of the season trades and roster movement should be in full swing. If you find yourself heading down the stretch into playoff time with the same team you drafted, I’m going to take a guess that you are missing the playoffs. Fantasy hockey is just like any other sport, it’s always changing and new faces are always waiting to break out. As always, have fun hockey friends.
Mat Vilcek is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Mat, follow him @Mat1Thockey.