Looking Ahead: Lightning Line

by Adam Daly-Frey on October 13, 2017 | (0 Comments)

Vladislav Namestnikov is playing on a top-level line with a great schedule ahead.

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. Stats in this article updated through October 11 games

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

Jesper Bratt, W, New Jersey (Available in 66 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Although they pop up in the Steer Clear section towards the end of next week, the Devils have five games between the 13th and the 20th. As a team that looks much faster and more high-event than years past, it’s a good time to grab Bratt, a top-6 winger that impressed in preseason (8SOG, 2G-2A in 3GP). Bratt is currently slotted into Drew Stafford’s spot, and the way he’s played since Stafford got hurt may end up with Bratt Wally Pipp’ing Stafford: 3G, 3A in 3GP. Bratt plays both on the PP and PK, and while Stafford is hurt he has to be owned and started in most leagues – he saw 33 minutes of ice time in his first two games.

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

Will Butcher, D, New Jersey (Available in 74 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Two Devils to buy is a thing that probably hasn’t been written since Ilya Kovalchuk was in New Jersey, yet here we are. Butcher is a puck-moving D-man that signed with the Devils after getting drafted by Colorado but playing out the string in college to become a UFA. He was a very good point producer for the University of Denver, putting up 32 and 37 points as a d-man in his junior and senior years respectively. He’s already shown the Devils the offensive potential he has on the power play, putting up 5A in 3GP. He’ll need to start to get more ice time to truly hit his potential (14 minute average in his first two games), but he could perform even in an “Early Career Ryan Ellis”-type role.

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

Nathan MacKinnon, C, Colorado (Owned in 78 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Nathan MacKinnon is still an elite player in this league, but with only four games between the 13th and 19th against tough competition defensively (ANH/NSH/STL), his short term value is lower than his name value. Through four games he has four assists, but three of them came against a Bruins team missing Patrice Bergeron. Playing with Sven Andrighetto and Mikko Rantanen, MacKinnon has been caved in on puck possession, and playing those top teams will lead to less Avs goals and disappointment. Shelve him until late October.

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

Jordan Eberle, RW, New York Islanders (Owned in 86 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Jordan Eberle has one of the cushiest gigs in the league after leaving…one of the cushiest gigs in the league…, playing alongside John Tavares in New York. Unfortunately, he’s yet to prove his worth in belonging on that first line; with only two assists and seven SOG, and only being on for one 5v5 goal for, if NYI1 doesn’t start clicking soon Eberle could find himself the odd man out. John Tavares and Anders Lee have chemistry from having played together for most of last year, and if Eberle gets moved down the lineup his value is all but gone – there are much better players much lower owned on Yahoo!

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

Tampa Bay – Tampa Bay gets to retain the top spot in the Love ‘Em column this week, as the first line has been clicking on all cylinders (13 points between Nikita Kucherov-Steven Stamkos-Vladislav Namestnikov in three games) and their schedule continues to be a soft one. The Lightning have six games between the 13th and the 20th, but get to face Detroit, the suddenly high-event New Jersey Devils, and Carolina in that time. As well, the emergence of Brayden Point as a scoring threat (only 58% owned in Yahoo!) gives Tampa even more offensive depth.

Detroit – Detroit also retains their spot on the list, by virtue of six games against some terrible teams (Toronto, Vancouver, Buffalo). Obviously, don’t look to any Red Wings goalies over the next little while as they’re facing some stacked offenses, but the secondary scoring of Detroit remains very attractive. Anthony Mantha-Dylan Larkin-Martin Frk should continue to get soft matchups and put points on the board, and the Red Wings power play has picked up three goals in three games.

Vancouver – It’s pretty rare that a team of Vancouver’s “talents” will get thrown up here, but looking at the Canucks’ schedule it’s hard to ignore just how bad some of their upcoming opponents are. Games – unfortunately all on the road – against Boston, Buffalo, Detroit and Ottawa are some of the highlights. The Canucks have only averaged 27 SOG in their first two games and won’t be an offensive dynamo, but for people looking to deploy some of the young guns (Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi), now would be the time to do it.

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

Colorado –.After putting up 10 goals on the Bruins in their last two games, it would be easy to ignore the Avs’ schedule, play them, and hope for more of the same. Unfortunately (as was covered in the MacKinnon piece above), their schedule is too light and features too many solid defensive teams for them to have an impact over the next two weeks.

Anaheim –.With five days off between the 15th and 20th, the Ducks’ schedule is atrocious to open the year. Although home games against Buffalo and Montreal will put Ducks’ players in play, on volume alone it’s a good time to rest any Anaheim players up on your bench. After the Islanders put 41 shots against them on Wednesday, the Ducks have given up 137 shots against in just four games, so be wary of John Gibson as well.

New York Islanders –.The Islanders have done all they can to get pucks into the net through their first four games, firing 29, 33, and above 40 shots (twice) – but beyond a 6-3 game against Buffalo, New York’s best efforts have gone for naught. A shutout in Columbus and two two-goal efforts are should be closer to the expectation for this team going forward, and with a tough West Coast swing followed by games against the Rangers and Sharks (twice in a week), they’ll be hard-pressed to score. Pay them no mind for a week or two.

October 13th to October 19th

Best Bets

OTT 4.2625 - Away CGY EDM - Home VAN NJD

TBL 3.9475 - Away DET NJD CBJ- Home STL

NYR 3.905 - Away CBJ - Home NJD PIT NYI

COL 3.9 - Away DAL NSH - Home ANH STL

CBJ 3.8525 - Away MIN WPG - Home NYR TBL

Steer Clear

FLA 1.9 - Away PIT PHI

PIT 1.9525 - Away NYR - Home FLA

SJS 1.995 - Home NYI MTL

WPG 1.995 - Home CAR CBJ

ANH 2.2475 - Away COL - Home BUF

October 14th to October 20th

Best Bets

BUF 4.1575 - Away LAK ANH VGK - Home VAN

VAN 4 - Away OTT BOS BUF- Home CGY

TBL 3.9475 - Away DET NJD CBJ - Home STL

NJD 3.8525 - Away NYR OTT - Home TBL SJS

MTL 3.71 - Away SJS LAK ANH- Home TOR

Steer Clear

ANH 2.1 - Home BUF MTL

VGK 2.205 -  Home BOS BUF

CGY 2.2425 - Away VAN - Home CAR

NYI 2.66 - Away SJS LAK NYR

TOR 2.8225 - Away MTL WSH - Home DET

October 15th to October 21st

Best Bets

BUF 4.2525 - Away ANH VGK BOS- Home VAN

TBL 3.8425 - Away DET NJD CBJ - Home PIT

BOS 3.555 - Away VGK - Home VAN BUF

OTT 3.4125 - Away - Home VAN NJD TOR

DAL 3.3025 - Away ARI - Home ARI CAR

Steer Clear

COL 1.9525 - Away NSH - Home STL

CGY 1.995 - Home CAR MIN

MIN 1.995 - Away WPG CGY

ANH 2.1 - Home BUF MTL

MTL 2.66 - Away SJS LAK ANH

October 16th to October 22nd

Best Bets

DET 4.1 - Away TOR - Home TBL WSH VAN

VAN 3.99 - Away OTT BOS BUF DET

TBL 3.8425 - Away DET NJD CBJ - Home PIT

OTT 3.4125 - Home VAN NJD TOR

BUF 3.35 - Away VGK BOS - Home VAN

Steer Clear

NYI 1.9 - Away NYR - Home SJS

LAK 1.7525 - Away CBJ - Home MTL

COL 1.9525 - Away NSH - Home STL

WPG 1.785 - Home CBJ MIN

CGY 1.995 - Home CAR MIN

October 17th to October 23rd

Best Bets

VAN 3.99 - Away OTT BOS BUF DET

TOR 3.815 - Away WSH OTT - Home DET LAK

SJS 3.795 - Away NJD NYI NYR- Home MTL

NYR 3.99 - Home PIT NYI NSH SJS

OTT 3.4125 - Home VAN NJD TOR

Steer Clear

WPG 1.785 - Home CBJ MIN

NYI 1.9 - Away NYR - Home SJS

COL 1.9525 - Away NSH - Home STL

CGY 1.995 - Home CAR MIN

MIN 1.995 - Away WPG CGY

October 18th to October 24th

Best Bets

CHI 4.1325 - Away STL ARI VGK- Home EDM

DET 4.095 - Away TOR BUF- Home WSH VAN

VAN 3.895 - Away BOS BUF DET MIN

LAK 3.605 - Away CBJ TOR OTT- Home MTL

BUF 3.4175 - Away BOS - Home VAN DET

Steer Clear

NJD 1.9 - Away OTT - Home SJS

ANH 1.99 - Away PHI- Home MTL

CBJ 1.995 - Home TBL LAK

COL 2.1 - Home STL DAL

VGK 2.1 - Home STL CHI

October 19th to October 25th

Best Bets

BUF 4.225 - Away BOS CBJ- Home VAN DET

VAN 3.895 - Away BOS BUF DET MIN

CGY 3.8475 - Away NSH STL- Home CAR MIN

STL 3.335 - Away COL VGK - Home CGY

MIN 3.255 - Away WPG CGY - Home VAN

Steer Clear

TOR 1.8475 - Away OTT - Home LAK

NJD 1.9 - Away OTT - Home SJS

MTL 1.9525 - Away ANH - Home FLA

ANH 1.99 - Away PHI - Home MTL

COL 2.1 - Home STL DAL

 

 

Comments are closed.