The players you need to add to improve in each category
If you are reading this, there is a very good chance that you are still playing in your fantasy hockey league. That means there is only a week of action in the NHL between you and this sweet, sweet fantasy league trophy. Trust your gut feeling, because that’s what got you here, but here are some deviation recommendations I have for the next seven days.
Goals: LW Anthony Beauvillier, New York Islanders (9% on Yahoo)
Anthony Beauvillier is starting over, I repeat, he is starting over. The 23-year-old is on another of his goal streaks for the second time this season, as Beauvillier has scored four goals in a four-game streak. In those last four games, the 2015 first-round pick leads the New York Islanders in the expected individual goals of all strength for Corsi For, scoring chances and high danger chances for, with four games this week. , including two against the Buffalo Sabers and two more against the New Jersey Devils, Beauvillier is a great addition for those in need of lighters.
Assists: LW / RW Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers (43% on Yahoo)
Nothing has gone really well for the Philadelphia Flyers this season and the team will surprisingly miss the playoffs in the Eastern Division. Although the Flyers don’t have much to play for, Jakub Voracek has racked up assists. He’s recorded at least one assist in four of his last five games and he’s had six assists in that streak. He is currently seeing ice time on a very formidable header that also includes Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, so he is certainly in a position to pull it off. With four games this week too, he’s a solid player to add.
Plus-minus: RW Craig Smith, Boston Bruins (41% Yahoo!)
Fresh off a hat-trick against the Sabers on Saturday, Craig Smith, with the rest of the Boston Bruins’ second row, rolls. Smith, Taylor Hall and David Krejci combined for 34 points in 11 games the trio have played since assembling after the trade deadline. More importantly, Smith produced a plus-11 rating through these contests and his plus-seven rating is tied for 10th in the NHL in the past 14 days. Boston is playing four games this week, all against teams not making the East Division playoffs.
Power play points: D Matt Grzelcyk, Boston Bruins (35% on Yahoo)
What is old is new again. A litany of injuries has kept Matt Grzelcyk from being a mainstay of fantasy hockey rosters, but once again in good health, the Bruins defenseman is very well prepared for the week ahead. Quarterback for the team’s best power play unit, Grzelcyk and the Bruins have a pair of games against the New Jersey Devils. New Jersey has the worst penalty score in the league with a horrific 70.4% success rate. While the rearguard hasn’t produced a ton of production recently with a single point in their last five games, I like their chances of coming out.
Penalty Shootout: C / LW / RW Yegor Sharangovich, New Jersey Devils (12% on Yahoo)
New Jersey might not be playing for something big, but that certainly didn’t stop Yegor Sharangovich from completing the annual totals. In his last three games, Sharangovich has scored four goals and five points and he has netted 16 pucks in his last five games. Seeing a few minutes on the New Jersey front row alongside Jack Hughes and Janne Kuokkanen, Sharangovich is well positioned to continue producing, even with a tough schedule for this week. He and the Devils will play four games over the next seven days, which means Sharangovich’s eligibility will certainly be a boon when you bring him into your roster.
Faceoff wins: C / LW / RW Casey Mittelstadt, Buffalo Sabers (20% registered on Yahoo)
If you’re looking for a way to increase your head-to-head win totals without sacrificing production from other categories, Casey Mittelstadt is the player you are looking for. Over the past 14 days, the 22-year-old has won a respectable 61 faceoffs that ranks 16th in the NHL during that span. In addition, Mittelstadt provided a nice offensive production, registering six points during the five-game streak where he is now. By playing four games this week, you will likely be able to fit the Sabers into your roster for each competition due to his position eligibility.
Hits: LW / RW Marcus Foligno, Minnesota Wild (14% registered on Yahoo)
If you are looking to strengthen your fantasy hockey team, look no further than Marcus Foligno. The man nicknamed “Moose” is the prototypical avant-garde of modern times. He uses an elite mix of skill, size, and speed to remain a relevant member of the Minnesota Wild forward squad. His ability to shed his weight is evidenced by his 26 body checks over the past 14 days, which is tied for seventh in the NHL. Plus, he’s no stranger to scoring the scoresheet as Foligno has collected six points in his last eight outings. Minnesota are playing four games this week, so there will be plenty of penalties to hand out, as well as opportunities to rack up points. He is criminally underestimated.
Blocks: D Jonas Brodin, Minnesota Wild (14% registered on Yahoo)
Jonas Brodin really helped propel the Wild to victory on Saturday, registering a goal and a third-period assist to help his team come out of a 3-1 deficit and an eventual overtime victory over the St. Blues. Louis. Consider any Brodin attack as a bonus though, as the rearguard makes fantasy relevant with their ability to pass pucks. Over the past 14 days, Brodin’s 14 blocks are tied for ninth in the NHL. The Wild are scheduled to play four games this week, which means there will be a lot of rubber to contend with for the 27-year-old.
Goalkeeper: G Elvis Merzlikins, Columbus Blue Jackets (43% on Yahoo)
With goalie Joonas Korpisalo sidelined for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Elvis Merzlikins has appeared in seven of the team’s last eight games. He played really well during that time, as he limited the opponent to two goals or less in five of those seven outings. In leagues that have saves, expect Merzlikins to be among the weekly leaders in the category as he has seen 30 or more shots in three of his last four starts and the Blue Jackets allow the fifth most shots. per game of any team in the league. Columbus is set to play four games this week, including a pair of dates against the Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings. The volume he’ll likely see will definitely help your team in the backup category.
More Yahoo Sports coverage