It’s another busy week in the NHL and fantasy playoffs are just around the corner. It’s a typical week with Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday serving as the league’s busier nights. For streaming purposes, you’ll want to target teams playing on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. I’ve gone over the teams with the most streamer-friendly schedules this week and their best available options below. Good luck!
Colorado (4 games – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)
Colorado is the premier team to target on the wire this week, drawing what we like to call the perfect schedule. The Avalanche play four times this week on all four of the league’s slower nights. You should be able to fit an extra four games into your lineup this week by picking up just one Av.
While Mikko Rantanen owners certainly aren’t happy about his prolonged absence, it has bolstered the streaming value of some of his team-mates. Most notably is the recently acquired Vladislav Namestnikov. Namestnikov is expected to skate on the top line in Detroit on Monday after spending his first few games in an Avalanche sweater in the team’s bottom-six. Obviously, skating alongside Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog does wonders for Namestnikov’s short-term value. Even without Rantanen, Landeskog and MacKinnon have dominated play at 5v5 this season. All that extra offensive zone time could lead to a big spike in production for Namestnikov. He carries dual-wing eligibility and is still available in 90% of leagues, making him our top streaming option of the week.
If you’re a little slow getting to Namestnikov, @J.T. Compher makes for a fine consolation prize. Compher, Colorado’s default second-line centre with Nazem Kadri side-lined, has seen a major uptick in usage of late. He’s currently skating on the team’s top power-play unit and is averaging over 20 minutes a night over Colorado’s last six games. His shot volume leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s hard to overlook that usage given Colorado’s schedule this week. Compher is eligible to play centre or right-wing in Yahoo! leagues. His ownership currently sits at just 6%.
Anaheim (4 games – Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)
Colorado possesses the NHL’s only perfect schedule this week, but Anaheim, Detroit, Vancouver, and Calgary all play on three of the league’s slower nights. Of the widely available players on those teams, Adam Henrique might be the cream of the crop. Remarkably, Henrique has actually improved on his shot volume while playing in the middle of the offensive wasteland that is the Anaheim Ducks. Henrique has managed to score 24 goals in 65 games this season with a SH% (14.9%) that’s actually below his career average (15.3%).
Incredibly, Henrique has managed to fire just under 2.5 shots on goal per game, a drastic increase over the 1.48 he averaged a year ago. That bodes well for his production moving forward, and it certainly solidifies his case for being rostered this week. The lack of offense around him limits his upside, but he’s more than capable of contributing a goal or two to the cause this week. Henrique offers centre and left-wing eligibility and is currently available in 68% of standard leagues.
Best of the Rest
Detroit, Vancouver, and Calgary are all relatively thin on streaming options, but there a few top-six forwards that are worth mentioning here.
Tyler Bertuzzi – LW/RW
After sitting around 50% ownership for the bulk of the season, Tyler Bertuzzi has seen his stock fall of late. He’s currently owned in just 34% of leagues as the Red Wings get set to host the Avalanche tonight. Playing for the Red Wings means Bertuzzi is a potential liability in plus/minus leagues, but it’s hard to ignore his upside tonight. Bertuzzi is projected to skate with Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha on the top line tonight, with Colorado expected to go with Michael Hutchinson in goal. Colorado may be one of the best teams in the entire league, but it’s hard to hide poor goaltending. Hutchinson owns a robust 3.66 GAA and an .886 SV% on the season. It’s up to you if you want to hold on to Bertuzzi for Friday and Sunday’s games, but he’s an excellent spot-start tonight against Hutchinson.
Tanner Pearson – LW
If you can’t bring yourself to rostering a Red Wing, then consider Tanner Pearson. Pearson is currently 33% owned with Vancouver set to play on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Pearson doesn’t see a lot of power-play time, but he remains tied to the waist of Bo Horvat at 5v5. His production is a little underwhelming, but it’s reliable. Pearson is up to 19 goals and 24 assists on the year with no red flags in his underlying numbers. He’s a solid bet to make later in the week.
Andrew Mangiapane – LW/RW
Finally, in deeper leagues, Andrew Mangiapane might be worth rolling the dice on. The 23-year-old seems to have cemented himself a spot alongside Mikael Backlund and @Matthew Tkachuk on Calgary’s second line. He’s been particularly productive of late, scoring four goals in his last six games. He’s up to 17 goals in 65 games on the season and should continue to score around that pace from here on out. He doesn’t offer as much upside as the guys mentioned above him, but he’s a solid back-up plan if you’re late getting to the wire this week.