Fantasy Hockey Buy/Sell: Week 20
Most leagues are a month away from the start of the fantasy playoffs. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s not forget about the trade deadline. The NHL trade deadline is the 24th of this month, and some standard fantasy hockey leagues have a trade deadline of the 19th. Most of my leagues adjust the date accordingly to the day after the NHL’s deadline, and it seems to make things a lot more interesting — and people are more willing to move players based on what other teams have done in the league. No matter what your deadline is, it’s approaching fast.
Why don’t we mix it up this week and take a look at some teams I think might be buying and selling at the deadline, along with some players to buy and sell.
Alright. As of writing this article, and from looking at the standings, the Canucks are in first place. The Oilers have dropped to second, but they still have a game in hand and are only one point behind. As young as they may be, and with many new faces, look for the Canucks to become buyers as the deadline approaches. They may sell off some draft picks with some minor league players to bring in one or two veterans, most likely a top-15 forward with a top-eight defender.
J.T. Miller (LW, RW – VAN)
The young forward is two points shy of eclipsing his career-best 56 points, and there are still 26 games left in the season. He is owned in about 90 percent of leagues, but he should be owned across the board. In the last 10 games, excluding tonight, he has 10 total points and is among the ice-time leaders on the Canucks. With the Canucks on a homestand, Miller just may rack up some points quickly. This may be someone to trade for in a dynasty league: he has youth and is on a young hockey team with promise.
Sitting in the second wild-card spot, the Flyers have seemingly been under the radar all year. It seems that’s the way they like it. With the deadline approaching, they may have to make some moves to shore up that defense, and, quite possibly, try and grab and top-five offensive player. Their record has been impressive this year, and they have a favorable schedule for their final 20-plus games. I say that because even when facing a top team, they will take them on at home — that’s the case with Boston, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh, and that plays to their favor, especially since they have one of the better home records in hockey.
Sean Couturier (C – PHI)
He’s another player that has a high ownership rate at around 85 percent. This is a player that should be near 100 even with him being a more boom-or-bust type of option. I say boom or bust because, over the last 10 games, Couturier has had four pointless performances. However, in those ten games, he has combined for 13 points. This means it’s likely to be a multi-point game when he does score. He’ll be a player that could just win you the week with a big game come fantasy playoff time.
The Golden State (Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks)
Obviously, all the California teams are in the bottom of the division and near the bottom of the league. One player will not make any of the three teams a contender, so look for all three teams to sell, and to sell a lot. Every team will be looking for young talent and draft picks in return for selling players like Anze Kopitar (LAK), Brent Burns (SJS), and Ryan Getzlaf (ANH). Yes, deals that include all of these names could happen.
Cam Fowler (D – ANH)
He is still owned in 22 percent of leagues. Why? His mark of 28 total points is mediocre at best and only seven PPP. If I’m right that the Ducks are going to sell a few pieces before the deadline, it’s going to be a struggle for the veteran D-man to try and carry a depleted team for the rest of the season — and that’s if he’s not one of the pieces sold. Fowler has six points in his last 18 games for a total of .33 points per game. His consistency has fallen off, and there are many options to stash on the bench.
Dustin Brown (RW – LAK)
Brown is slowly declining in both skill and offensive output. He is still owned in 27 percent of leagues even though he has only 24 points. Four power-play points this year is terrible. Brown has always seemed to be a player that would retire with the Kings, and it may happen after this year. No team will be interested in him at the deadline, and if the Kings become big sellers, Brown may ride his career out with players almost half his age during one of the worst years in his career.
This is definitely my favorite time of the hockey season, and the fantasy season as well. Teams are making moves, and those moves can help or hurt your fantasy team just as much as it may help or hurt the actual team. We are in for another wild ride. As always hockey friends, have fun.
Mat Vilcek is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Mat, check out his archive and follow him @Mat1Thockey.