Looking Ahead: The Oilers Upcoming Schedule is Favourable so Pick Up Maroon

by Mike Schmidt on January 13, 2017 | (2 Comments)
  • Looking Ahead
  • Looking Ahead: The Oilers Upcoming Schedule is Favourable so Pick Up Maroon

Pick up Maroon to enjoy his deployment and the Oilers’ favourable upcoming schedule.

 

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 team’s upcoming schedule. Without further ado…

 

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

 

Patrick Maroon, LW, Edmonton (Available in 53 percent of Yahoo leagues) -  The 28-year-old winger has never quite put it all together on the ice for any extended period of time. He likely never will, either. But all poolies should care about right now is Maroon is playing on the same line as all-world centerman Connor McDavid. As a result, Maroon’s current role on the Oilers portends fantasy relevance in the short term. The Oilers winger has registered nine points in his last 10 games, including five goals in his last four appearances. McDavid has tallied five assists in his last three, so it’s been a mutually beneficial partnership for the Edmonton forwards. Keep something in mind, though: Maroon has been in the NHL since 2011-12, and he’s never posted more than 34 points in any season (and his 16 goals this year already marks a career high through 43 games). It would be unwise to expect his .167 shooting percentage to remain so high during the season’s second half, but playing alongside McDavid should help him continue to put the puck in the back of the net. Consider Maroon as a viable plug-and-play option, as Edmonton has a fantastic schedule coming up.

 

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

 

Anthony Duclair, LW/RW, Arizona (Available in 85 percent of Yahoo leagues) - Sometimes fantasy owners have to take a leap of faith and just go ahead and add a player who may not be deserving of a roster spot in one-year leagues just yet. Duclair is one such player. The 21-year-old Coyotes forward is starting to put a terribly slow start to the season behind him and put up the sort of numbers expected a player who posted a 20-goal, 44-point rookie campaign of a year ago. Duclair has registered four points in his last seven games, and he has seen more ice time than the 13 minutes and 47 seconds he averages for the season in five of his last six contests. He’s certainly a Hail Mary play right now, but why not grab the talented young winger and stash him on the bench in the hopes Coyotes coach Dave Tippett gives him an opportunity to establish himself as a core member of the lineup in the season’s second half? It’s not like there are a lot of players standing in his way. Should he be added and deployed in shallow leagues? No, absolutely not. A speculative add in deeper formats, though? For sure. Give Duclair a look, as he’s available in the vast majority of Yahoo leagues.

 

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

 

Brayden Schenn, C/LW, Philadelphia (Owned in 87 percent of Yahoo leagues) - This Flyers forward (quite literally) continues to get better with time, as he has increased his point total in each season he has been in the NHL since breaking into the league for good in 2011-12. His rise to prominence culminated with a career-best 26 goals and 59 points a year ago. It was a campaign in which Schenn transformed himself from a fringe fantasy option into a trustworthy one, largely because he matched his career high in shots on goal and saw increased time on the man advantage for the third straight season. However, Schenn is a good-not-great fantasy option, and is by no means worthy of being considered a fixture in poolies’ lineups. So when Philly’s schedule is less than advantageous, activating and deploying him is not always the best idea. Given how little the Flyers play in the coming days, there are likely better options available.

 

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

 

Antti Niemi, G, Dallas, and Kari Lehtonen, G, Dallas (Niemi is owned in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues, and Lehtonen is owned in 36 percent of Yahoo leagues ) - It hasn’t been a great year to be a goaltender for the Stars. Niemi has registered an unspectacular .910 save percentage in 18 starts, while Lehtonen has posted a disastrous .897 save percentage in 24 starts. Neither veteran netminder has been deserving of the lion’s share of work between the pipes this year, and they’ve both been pretty unexceptional for a few consecutive seasons running. Lehtonen, a longtime Star who has been with the organization since 2009-10, hasn’t posted a solid campaign since 2013-14.  Meanwhile, Niemi hasn’t been really all that good since 2012-13, when he was employed by San Jose. Consider their recent fantasy-relevant statistics:

 

 

Kari Lehtonen

Save Percentage

Goals-Allowed Average

2014-15

.903

2.94

2015-16

.906

2.76

2016-17

.897

2.9

 

 

 

Antti Niemi

 

 

2013-14

.913

2.39

2014-15

.914

2.59

2015-16

.905

2.67

2016-17

.910

2.88

 

 

Simply stated, Dallas has two below-average, veteran netminders and zero netminders the fantasy community can count on as regular contributors for their teams. That has been the case for a while now, and will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future.

 

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

 

San Jose -  The Sharks will be quite busy in the second half of January. San Jose will play  a whopping eight games between Saturday, Jan. 14 and Thursday, Jan. 26.  During that same stretch, the squad will play five times between Saturday, Jan. 14 and Saturday, Jan. 21. That’ll do… That’ll do...

 

Arizona - The Coyotes lack for fantasy-relevant players, as only two skaters on their roster are owned in more than 23 percent of Yahoo leagues: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (this fantasy hockey enthusiast’s favorite player) and Max Domi (who is currently on injured reserve while he recovers from a broken hand). That being said, feel free to deploy OEL and the aforementioned Mr. Duclair in the short term, as the team will play eight times between Friday, Jan. 13 and Thursday, Jan. 26.

 

Edmonton - Starting Saturday, Jan. 14, the Oilers will play four straight games at home over seven days. The team will then travel to Calgary on Saturday, Jan. 21 for a game against rival Calgary. Only one other team (see below) benefits from home-ice advantage more than Edmonton in the short term. Don’t squander the opportunity, poolies.

 

Toronto - After doing battle with host Ottawa on Saturday, Jan. 14, the Leafs will play four straight games at home between Tuesday, Jan. 17 and Monday, Jan. 23. So yeah, Auston Matthews is going to keep scoring a ton of goals.

 

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

 

Philadelphia - The Flyers are slated to play back-to-back road games against Boston and Washington starting Saturday, Jan 14. Then the team will be off for five consecutive days. That’s… uhhh… not promising.

 

Dallas - The Stars sure don’t have it easy in the coming days. After hosting the talented, veteran-laden Minnesota Wild on Saturday, Jan. 14, Dallas will take to the road for three straight. The matchups aren’t too difficult (at Buffalo, at New York Rangers and at New York Islanders), but spending a week on the road should be enough to give poolies pause.

 

Pittsburgh - Not-so-fun facts: Sidney Crosby and Co. only have four home games during the entire second half of the month of January. Also, the Pens had only one home game during the first half of January. Let all of that sink in for a moment…

 

New Jersey - The Devils have just THREE home games during the second half of this month. Not much to like here right now.

 

Friday, January 13 to Thursday, January 19

Best Bets

Arizona 4.90 - five games - WPGx2, ANA, EDM and MIN

Anaheim 4.29 - four games - three at home

Toronto 4.25 - four games - NYRx2, OTT and BUF

Florida 4.25 - four games - NYI, CBJ, CGY and EDM

Columbus 4.17 - four games - TBL, FLA, CAR and OTT

Steer Clear

Philadelphia 1.76 - two games - both on road

Vancouver 1.94 - two games - NJD and NSH

Pittsburgh 2.60 - three games - two on road

Chicago 2.70 - three games - two on road

Colorado 2.70 - three games - NSH, CHI and ANA

Saturday, January 14 to Friday, January 20

Best Bets

Florida 4.34 - four games - CBJ, CGY, EDM and VAN

Edmonton 4.31 - four games - all at home

Anaheim 4.29 - four games - three at home

Nashville 4.23 - four games - COL, VAN, CGY and EDM

Minnesota 4.16 - four games - DAL, CHI, NJD and ARI

Steer Clear

Philadelphia 1.76 - two games - both on road

Tampa Bay 2.47 - three games - all on road

Colorado 2.70 - three games - NSH, CHI and ANA

Washington 2.77 - three games - PHI, PIT and STL

New Jersey 2.84 - three games - two on road

Sunday, January 15 to Saturday, January 21

Best Bets

Edmonton 4.20 - four games - three at home

San Jose 4.12 - four games - three at home

Buffalo 4.06 - four games - DAL, TOR, DET and MTL

Minnesota 4.01 - four games - three at home

Anaheim 3.96 - four games - three at home

Steer Clear

Philadelphia 1.76 - two games - WAS and NJD

New York Rangers 2.20 - two games - DAL and TOR

Colorado 2.66 - three games - two on road

Pittsburgh 2.69 - three games - two on road

Vancouver 2.89 - three games - NJD, NSH and FLA

Monday, January 16 to Sunday, January 22

Best Bets

Columbus 4.61 - four games - three at home

Edmonton 4.20 - four games - three at home

San Jose 4.12 - four games - three at home

Ottawa 4.10 - four games - STL, CBJx2 and TOR

New York Islanders 4.10 - four games - three at home

Steer Clear

New Jersey 2.70 - three games - two on road

Philadelphia 1.95 - two games - NJD and NYI

Washington 2.71 - three games - all on road

Colorado 2.66 - three games - two on road

Vancouver 2.75 - three games - NSH, FLA and CHI

Tuesday, January 17 to Monday, January 23

Best Bets

Columbus 4.61 - four games - three at home

Florida 4.32 - four games - CGY, EDM, VAN and ARI

Ottawa 4.10 - four games - STL, CBJx2 and TOR

Toronto 4.57 - four games - all at home

Minnesota 4.10 - four games - all at home

Steer Clear

Philadelphia 1.95 - two games - NJD and NYI

New Jersey 2.70 - three games - two on road

Boston 2.70 - three games - two on road

Dallas 2.74 - three games - two on road

Dallas 2.75 - three games - NSH, FLA and CHI

Wednesday, January 18 to Tuesday, January 24

Best Bets

San Jose 5.06 - five games - LAK, TBL, COLx2 and WPG

Columbus 4.41 - four games - OTTx2, CAR and NYI

New York Islanders 4.25 - four games - all at home

Detroit 4.20 - four games - BOSx2, BUF and NYR

Washington 4.15 - four games - STL, DAL, CAR and OTT

Steer Clear

Vancouver 1.80 - two games - FLA and CHI

Philadelphia 1.95 - two games - NJD and NYI

Dallas 2.68 - three games - NYI, WAS and MIN

St. Louis 2.69 - three games - two on road

Carolina 2.70 - three games - two on road

Thursday, January 19 to Wednesday, January 25

Best Bets

Columbus 4.41 - four games - OTTx2, CAR and NYI

Toronto 4.36 - four games - three at home

San Jose 4.30 - four games - TBL, COLx2 and WPG

New York Islanders 4.25 - four games - all at home

Detroit 4.25 - four games - BUF, NYR, BOS and TOR

Steer Clear

Florida 2.28 - two games - both on road

Dallas 2.68 - three games - NYI, WAS and MIN

St. Louis 2.69 - three games - two on road

Carolina 2.70 - three games - two on road

Buffalo 2.71 - three games - two on road

 

  • Mike Pieters

    You’re looking ahead schedule is wrong. You show Pittsburgh only playing two games Jan 16 to Jan 22 but their schedule shows 4 games. I think someone mixed up Pitts and Phil. I’m also guessing Pitts would be a best bet.

    • Dobber

      Thank you Mike. I see that was a typo, I have fixed it. Should have read Philly