Looking Ahead: Jake Guentzel is Here to Stay

by Adam Daly-Frey on February 17, 2017 | (0 Comments)

All fantasy owners need help in the short term AND the long term. The Looking Ahead feature identifies one player to plug into lineups in the short term, a second to invest in for the long term, a third to bench for the coming week, and a fourth who will struggle to meet expectations for some time. All players discussed are selected based on their upcoming schedule.

The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)

Ivan Barbashev, C, St. Louis Blues (Available in 100 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Since getting called up just before the firing of Ken Hitchcock, Barbashev has started to settle down into a great third-line role with the Blues. Along with Kenny Agostino and Magnus Paarjarvi, the third Blues’ line gets to face softer competition with three players that have all scored at the AHL level. Barbashev has lots of speed and a Tarasenko-esque release, and as long as he continues to play sheltered minutes he should keep getting scoring opportunities. In his last five games (including Thursday night), Barbashev has scored two goals and added an assist. His Offensive Zone Starts are extraordinarily low for a rookie, but his production should keep up in the short term.

 

The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)

Jake Guentzel, C, Pittsburgh (Available in 92 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Riding shotgun with Sidney Crosby will do a lot for short-term value, and this AHL stud gets that prime role after spending large parts of his previous ten either with Nick Bonino or Evgeni Malkin (when healthy) centering him. After scoring 23G-25A in 44 AHL games, and for a time leading the AHL in goals, Guentzel got the call-up and after a brief demotion, shouldn’t be going back any time soon. Guentzel is averaging a little over 1.4SOG/Game, has three points in his last five games, and although he’s shooting an unsustainable 23.1% he’s a great add for the rest of the season. GM Jim Rutherford has already said that Guentzel should spend the rest of the season on the big team.

 

The Odd Man Out (His short term value is cause for concern)

Nick Foligno, LW, Columbus (Owned in 85 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – With the call-up of Oliver Bjorkstrand during the Jackets’ bye week, Foligno suddenly finds himself on a third line role in Ohio. After a dominating offensive performance against Toronto (for two periods), it looks like the Columbus lines may stick at even-strength for a handful of games at least, leaving Foligno the odd man out. The captain still gets first-unit power play time, but playing on a line with Josh Anderson and William Karlsson will dry up his offensive potential over the next little while.

 

The Anchors (They’ll do nothing but disappoint even over the long haul)

Petr Mrazek, G, Detroit (Owned in 59 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – The young Red Wings goalie is still a very talented tender but on a quickly declining Red Wings team that’s been giving more opportunities to backup Jared Coreau, Mrazek’s value is nearing an all-time low. Jimmy Howard has been in and out of the lineup in Grand Rapids as he tries to get over an MCL strain, but will be back with the team sooner than later which makes for a three-headed monster between the pipes.

Over his last ten starts, Mrazek has topped .900 SV% only five times, and let in four or more four times. In leagues that only track Wins and Shutouts, Mrazek needs to be ditched for anything of value in season-longs, but could be an asset to target in keeper leagues for next year.

 

Love ‘Em (These squads are sure to pay dividends in the coming days)

Tampa Bay – The Lightning have five games between the 17th and 27th, against very poor defensive teams: the reeling Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche on the road, and then a home stand against the Alberta teams and Ottawa. There’s no better cure for the “bye-week blues” than getting to play the Stars, which will be a great way for the Lightning to continue their thee goal/game average in February.

Los Angeles – With a seven-game stretch between now and the end of the month, the Kings have one of the best schedules in the league during this stretch, even with a road back-to-back against Minnesota and Calgary. The Kings get to face Arizona and Colorado, two teams always ripe for picking on, and although they face some of the tougher teams in the West just on volume alone make sense to target.

Nashville – Another team with the seven-game schedule, Nashville has lots of fantasy potential with their spread-out scoring. The Predators don’t have as good of a schedule as the Kings given some tougher opponents, but they have a four-game home stand including a game against the forever doormat Avs.

 

Leave ‘Em (These squads will leave fantasy owners sorely disappointed in the short term)

Vancouver – There aren’t many fantasy relevant players left in British Columbia, as the Sedins are on the downslope of their careers and Bo Horvat has potential but remains inconsistent. They only have four games between the 18th and the 29th, and although their competition is mixed – Calgary, Philadelphia, San Jose and Detroit – there’s just not enough potential here.

Detroit – Much like Vancouver above, the Red Wings have a weak schedule over the next little while, with their bye week taking place from the 22nd-26th. Those four games include some tough games against the two highest-scoring teams (Washington and Pittsburgh), and a match against the streaking New York Islanders.

Winnipeg – Although the Jets have lots of players who should be automatic locks in lineups – Blake Wheeler, Patrik Laine, etc. – the Manitoba team is also heading into their bye from the 22nd to the 26th. Three of their four games are road games against high-pace teams, before coming back from a week off against the Wild.

 

Friday, February 17 to Thursday, February 23

Best Bets

Tampa Bay 4.49 – Four games - Away DALLAS,COLORADO - Home EDMONTON,CALGARY

Toronto 4.30 – Four games - Away CAROLINA - Home OTTAWA,WINNIPEG,NY RANGERS

Los Angeles 4.14 – Four games - Away ANAHEIM,COLORADO - Home FLORIDA,BOSTON

Anaheim 4.13 – Four games - Away ARIZONA - Home FLORIDA,LOS ANGELES,BOSTON

Chicago 4.06 – Four games - Away BUFFALO,MINNESOTA - Home EDMONTON,ARIZONA

 

Steer Clear

Dallas 1.10 – One game - Home TAMPA BAY

Philadelphia 1.89 – Two games - Away VANCOUVER - Home WASHINGTON

Columbus 2.00 – Two games - Home PITTSBURGH,NASHVILLE

Minnesota 2.00 – Two games - Home NASHVILLE,CHICAGO

St. Louis 2.10 – Two games - Away BUFFALO - Home FLORIDA

 

 

Saturday, February 18 to Friday, February 24

Best Bets

Tampa Bay 4.49 – Four games - Away DALLAS,COLORADO - Home EDMONTON,CALGARY

Toronto 4.30 – Four games - Away CAROLINA - Home OTTAWA,WINNIPEG,NY RANGERS

Ottawa 4.25 – Four games - Away TORONTO,NEW JERSEY,CAROLINA - Home WINNIPEG

Los Angeles 4.14 – Four games - Away ANAHEIM,COLORADO - Home FLORIDA,BOSTON

Chicago 4.06 – Four games - Away BUFFALO,MINNESOTA - Home EDMONTON,ARIZONA

 

Steer Clear

Columbus 1.00 – One game - Home NASHVILLE

Philadelphia 1.89 – Two games - Away VANCOUVER - Home WASHINGTON

Minnesota 2.00 – Two games - Home NASHVILLE,CHICAGO

St. Louis 2.10 – Two games - Away BUFFALO - Home FLORIDA

Buffalo 2.15 – Two games  - Home ST. LOUIS,CHICAGO

 

 

Sunday, February 19 to Saturday, February 25

Best Bets

Toronto 4.20 – Four games - Away CAROLINA - Home WINNIPEG,NY RANGERS,MONTREAL

Nashville 4.16 – Four games - Away COLUMBUS - Home CALGARY,COLORADO,WASHINGTON

Los Angeles 4.09 – Four games - Away ANAHEIM,COLORADO - Home BOSTON,ANAHEIM

Colorado 4.05 – Four games - Away NASHVILLE - Home TAMPA BAY,LOS ANGELES,BUFFALO

Washington 3.90 – Four games - Away NY RANGERS,PHILADELPHIA,NASHVILLE- Home EDMONTON,

 

Steer Clear

Minnesota 1.00 – One game - Home CHICAGO

St. Louis 1.05 – One game - Home FLORIDA

Dallas 1.26 – One game - Home ARIZONA

Winnipeg 1.85 – Two games - Away OTTAWA,TORONTO

Detroit 1.95 – Two games - Away PITTSBURGH - Home NY ISLANDERS

 

 

Monday, February 20 to Sunday, February 26

Best Bets

Nashville 4.31 – Four games - Home CALGARY,COLORADO,WASHINGTON,EDMONTON

Florida 4.25 – Four games - Away ST. LOUIS - Home EDMONTON,CALGARY,OTTAWA

Arizona 4.20 – Four games - Away CHICAGO,DALLAS - Home ANAHEIM,BUFFALO

Calgary 3.90 – Four games - Away NASHVILLE,TAMPA BAY,FLORIDA,CAROLINA

NY Rangers 3.73 – Four games - Away TORONTO,NEW JERSEY - Home MONTREAL,COLUMBUS

 

Steer Clear

Vancouver 0.89 – One game - Home SAN JOSE

Winnipeg 0.95 – One game - Away TORONTO

Minnesota 1.00 – One game - Home CHICAGO

San Jose 1.05 – One game - Away VANCOUVER

Detroit 1.05 – One game - Home NY ISLANDERS

 

 

Tuesday, February 21 to Monday, February 27

Best Bets

Nashville 4.31 – Four games - Home CALGARY,COLORADO,WASHINGTON,EDMONTON

Ottawa 3.99 – Four games - Away NEW JERSEY,CAROLINA,FLORIDA,TAMPA BAY

Los Angeles 3.95 – Four games - Away COLORADO,MINNESOTA - Home BOSTON,ANAHEIM

Montreal 3.90 – Four games - Away NY RANGERS,TORONTO,NEW JERSEY- Home NY ISLANDERS

Calgary 3.90 – Four games - Away NASHVILLE,TAMPA BAY,FLORIDA,CAROLINA

 

Steer Clear

Vancouver 0.89 – One game - Home SAN JOSE

St. Louis 0.90 – One game - Away CHICAGO

Winnipeg 0.95 – One game - Away TORONTO

San Jose 1.05 – One game - Away VANCOUVER

Detroit 1.05 – One game - Home NY ISLANDERS

 

 

Wednesday, February 22 to Tuesday, February 28

Best Bets

Florida 4.36 – Four games - Home EDMONTON,CALGARY,OTTAWA,CAROLINA

Arizona 4.15 – Four games - Away CHICAGO,DALLAS,BOSTON - Home BUFFALO

Nashville 4.14 – Four games - Away BUFFALO - Home COLORADO,WASHINGTON,EDMONTON

Boston 4.11 – Four games - Away ANAHEIM,LOS ANGELES,DALLAS - Home ARIZONA

Los Angeles 3.90 – Four games - Away MINNESOTA,CALGARY - Home BOSTON,ANAHEIM

 

Steer Clear

Winnipeg 0.84 – One game - Home MINNESOTA

Detroit 1.05 – One games - Away VANCOUVER

NY Islanders 1.62 – Two games - Away MONTREAL,COLUMBUS

Anaheim 1.86 – Two games - Away LOS ANGELES,- Home BOSTON

New Jersey 1.89 – Two games - Home NY RANGERS,MONTREAL

 

 

Thursday, February 23 to Wednesday, March 1st

Best Bets

Carolina 4.15 – Four games - Away FLORIDA,TAMPA BAY- Home OTTAWA,CALGARY

Arizona 4.15 – Four games - Away CHICAGO,DALLAS,BOSTON - Home BUFFALO

Nashville 4.14 – Four games - Away BUFFALO - Home COLORADO,WASHINGTON,EDMONTON

Los Angeles 3.90 – Four games - Away MINNESOTA,CALGARY - Home BOSTON,ANAHEIM

Montreal 3.89 – Four games - Away TORONTO,NEW JERSEY - Home NY ISLANDERS,COLUMBUS

 

Steer Clear

Anaheim 0.81 – One game - Away LOS ANGELES

Winnipeg 0.84 – One game - Home MINNESOTA

Detroit 1.05 – One game - Away VANCOUVER

NY Islanders 1.62 – Two games - Away MONTREAL,COLUMBUS

New Jersey 1.89 – Two games - Home NY RANGERS,MONTREAL

 

 

You can follow me on Twitter @adalyfrey.

 

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