The Fantasy Hockey Daily Roundup highlights the most prominent fantasy hockey news in the NHL. It provides analysis Monday through Friday on the fantasy implications of the day’s biggest stories.
Kapanen Out with Concussion
Kasperi Kapanen (42% Owned) was a late scratch on Monday with what the Toronto Maple Leafs originally called an “illness.” The injury changed to a “concussion” on Wednesday, which will sideline the winger indefinitely. Luckily, the Maple Leafs have one of the deepest groups of forwards in the NHL and have the luxury of sliding William Nylander (64% Owned) up to the second-line.
New Life for Nylander
After sitting out the start of the season due to ongoing contract negotiations, Nylander has found it difficult to get going offensively. Nylander has just five goals and 12 assists (17 points) in 41 games—a 10-goal, 24-assist per 82 game pace—not the kind of production we saw from him last year or the type of output the Maple Leafs were expecting when they inked him to a six-year, $6.9M AAV extension in early-December.
If Nylander is going to breakout of his three and a half month slump, it’s probably going to happen while playing alongside Auston Matthews. Nylander has played 54.2 percent of his 5v5 ice-time with Matthews over the last three years and his numbers improve drastically when they’re together.
|With Matthews||Without Matthews|
Moving away from Kadri allows Nylander to start in the offensive-zone 10 percent more. His struggles this season has dropped Nylander’s owned percentage under 70 percent and the promotion makes him an excellent pick-up/streaming option. Furthermore, the Maple Leafs play tonight and Friday, both nights where you can definitely get Nylander into your lineup. Toronto face two teams who rank in the bottom-6 in the NHL in Goals Against per game in those games—Wednesday vs. CHI (3.70 GA/pg) and Friday vs PHI (3.29 GA/pg).
Crawford Finally Back
Corey Crawford (54% Owned) has had a really difficult season due to on-going concussion issues, but he’s finally back playing great hockey for a Chicago Blackhawks team that is fighting for their playoff lives. Crawford is riding a three-game winning streak, stopping 85 of the last 91 shots (.934 SV%) that he has faced. Crawford draws a tough assignment in Toronto on Wednesday but Saturday’s game in Montreal offers some spot-start intrigue. Looking ahead to next week, Crawford is a great streaming option with a game Monday vs. the Vancouver Canucks, Thursday vs. the Philadelphia Flyers and a home-and-home with the Avalanche on Saturday and Sunday.
Lehner Returns to Practice on Wednesday
Robin Lehner has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury that he suffered vs. the Ottawa Senators last Tuesday, but returned to practice on Wednesday. With Thomas Greiss shutting out the Blue Jackets on Monday, he will probably get the nod on Thursday, giving Lehner a few extra days of rest. Returning to practice today suggests that Lehner should be on target to start on the New York Islanders back-to-back games on Saturday/Sunday. Getting hurt at a crucial part of the Fantasy Hockey season has made Lehner available in 33% of leagues and would be a great option in Detroit on Saturday or in Minnesota on Sunday. Lehner currently ranks third in the NHL in GAA (2.19) and tied for fourth in SV% (.927).
Chabot Suffers Broken Toe
Thomas Chabot is week-to-week with a broken toe. Chabot finished Monday’s game despite breaking his toe while blocking a shot in the second period. The injury doesn’t really affect the Senators season outlook but sends shockwaves through the fantasy hockey community. The lack of talent around him has limited Chabot as of late, picking up just six points (2G / 4A) in his last 15 games. The following teams have games on Friday and Sunday, making these defensemen worth streaming in Chabot’s spot.
|ANA||Cam Fowler (21% Owned) — Fowler has picked one goal, three assists and eight shots while averaging 22:11 TOI/gm. Fowler is manning the point on the top power-play unit in Anaheim—their PP is clicking at 25.0% (t-6th) in March.|
|COL||Erik Johnson (29% Owned) — Tyson Barrie is obviously the defenseman to own in Colorado but Johnson is a decent streaming option this weekend. Johnson is averaging over 22 TOI per game and has 20 points (5G / 15A) in 68 games this season but will chip in three hits and two shots per game for leagues that count those stats.|
|DAL||Miro Heiskanen (30% Owned) — Heiskanen has cooled off recently but has had a great rookie campaign — 10 goals, 18 assists in 69 games. His usage (23:01 TOI/gm this season) is through the roof and is occasionally bumped up to the top power-play unit, boosting his value.|
|NJD||Damon Severson (12% Owned) — The Devils are a mess right now but Severson plays on their top-pair and top power-play unit. Since mid-February, Severson is tied for 13th among defensemen with eight points (2G / 6A) while averaging 23:05 TOI/gm in his last 12 games.|
|PHI||Travis Sanheim (22% Owned) — Sanheim has elevated his game as the season moved along and he is now a top-pairing defenseman and used frequently on the second power-play unit. Sanheim is tied for sixth with 14 points (4G / 10A) in 18 games since the start of February.|
|VAN||Alexander Edler (36% Owned) — Edler has missed a lot of time this season but has played well recently, scoring two goals and averaging 3.0 shots per game in five games since returning to the Canucks blueline. His usage (25:34 TOI/gm) has been massive, making him a high-floor streamer.|
|VGK||Colin Miller (18% Owned) — Miller was scratched prior to the trade deadline but has been great since re-entering the lineup. Miller has one goal and two assists while averaging an absurd 3.6 shots per game in his last seven games.|
Pettersson Looks to Snap out of Slump
Calder Trophy favourite Elias Pettersson is slumping at the worst possible time for fantasy owners. The 20-year-old phenom was a major boost to any fantasy team that was lucky enough to add him at the beginning of the season, but he has struggled down the stretch. Pettersson has no goals and just five assists in his last 10 games. He’s having a hard time generating any offense at all, registering a measly 13 shots on goal over that span.
Obviously, it’s not just fantasy owners that are feeling the effects of Pettersson’s slump. The Canucks have just two wins in their last ten games. Given their lack of scoring depth, it’s not surprising to see Vancouver’s success correlate with Pettersson’s production. The Canucks are 15-4-2 when Pettersson scores and 8-25-5 when he doesn’t. Pettersson and his Canucks have an excellent opportunity to get back on track tonight against the Rangers. New York has just a single win in seven games since dismantling their team at the trade deadline.
Namestnikov Playing Well on Rangers Top Line
While trading away Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello was a huge blow to the Rangers, it’s created opportunity and ice time for players down the lineup. Vladislav Namestnikov has taken full advantage of his chance to skate alongside Mika Zibanejad on New York’s first line. The 26-year-old Russian has three goals and four assists in his last nine games with an ATOI of 19:13. Considering the success Namestnikov had on Tampa Bay’s top line a year ago, it’s not surprising to see him flourish under heavier usage. He’s been playing with the top power-play unit and should continue to see around 20 minutes a night for the rest of the season. Namestnikov makes for an excellent mid-week streaming option with games on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. He carries triple-position eligibility and is owned in just 16% of Yahoo! leagues.