Hello everyone and welcome in for another article, this time looking into potential buys and sells after the sixth week of NHL action. First I want to take a second to invite you to join the Apples & Ginos Discord server where you can ask questions and chat with other like-minded fantasy managers on anything fantasy or hockey-related. With that said, let’s get into the buys and sells of the week.
Guys You Should Put on Your Watch List:
Nils Hoglander, LW – VAN (9% owned on Yahoo)
I have liked Hoglander for a while now but have felt his fantasy relevance was severely capped by the lack of room on the top line and PP1. Well, if he’s going to see time alongside Elias Petterson and Brock Boeser on the top line and lead all Vancouver forwards in 5v5 ice time like he did in his last game, I can find time for a player like that on my roster. He was good with that opportunity, firing five shots and adding a hit. Extending back over his last five games, Hoglander ranks 18th in the league at 5v5 in both individual chances for per 60 (iCF/60) and individual scoring chances for per 60 (iSCF/60), not to mention 10th in shots/60. That puts him in Tkachuk/Pacioretty/Pastrnak territory. I’m not going to tell you that he’s going to turn into a superstar overnight, but I am going to tell you that in a week where he plays three games in the first four days you could do a hell of a lot worse.
Eeli Tolvanen, RW – NSH (1% owned on Yahoo)
Tolvanen is someone I highlighted last week on Twitter, and I’ve only grown more bullish as he’s continued to produce and gotten more and more opportunity. He’s been on the Predators’ PP1 unit for the last 4 games, and in those games has posted two goals and an assist in 14:19 ATOI. He’s also moved up to the top line alongside Filip Forsberg and Mikael Granlund. The underlying numbers are really nice in that time span: 11.5 shots/60, 22 iCF/60, and 8.4 iSCF/60. It’s a small sample especially given the ice time, so I won’t penalize him too heavily for the 18% individual shooting percentage or 13.5% on-ice shooting percentage. My current projection for the rest of the season based on 15:15 ATOI has him at 23 goals and 46 points, and given that Tolvanen hits a bit too that’s a nice complementary player you can stream in. If he gets up into the 17+ minute range you could be looking at a long term hold.
If you were looking for Trevor Zegras (21% owned) in this space, I tweeted my thoughts on him earlier this week:
Honourable Mentions: Tim Stutzle, LW – OTT (22% owned) // Andrew Mangiapane, LW – CGY (9% owned) // Adam Boqvist, D – CHI (7% owned) // Anthony Beauvillier, LW – NYI (5% owned) // Max Jones, LW – ANA (0% owned) // Jesse Puljujarvi, RW – EDM (24% owned) // Oliver Wahlstrom, RW – NYI (1% owned)
Hot Streaks to Believe In:
Aleksander Barkov, C – FLA
Barkov has been on fire all season long, currently tied for 14th in league scoring with 21 points in 20 games. And it’s 100% sustainable. Barkov has elevated his individual shot and chance rates and gotten a little extra boost in ice time to boot and it’s turned him back into the absolute fantasy stud he was in 2018/19 when he posted 96 points in 82 games. Barkov’s IPP, S%, and on-ice S% are all in line or below his career averages. Simply put, Barkov is at minimum a point-per-game player the rest of the way and it wouldn’t shock me to see him go on an even bigger bender and push up to a 90-95 point pace at some point.
Kirill Kaprizov, LW – MIN
I’ll start this off by saying that Kaprizov is absolutely on fire right now and no, he’s not going to sustain the 131-point pace he’s been on for the last five games over the course of the entire season. But the facts are, this is a guy who ranks 32nd in xGF/60 and 31st in iSCF/60 in his last 5 games despite playing alongside Victor Rask and Mats Zuccarello. Kaprizov is playing a hair under 17 minutes a game and hasn’t lined up with the only other Minnesota forward of continued fantasy relevance in Kevin Fiala at really any point in the season. For those reasons I see Kaprizov as a player who still has some “gas in the tank” as it were: there’s an obvious path for him to build his fantasy usefulness even further. I’m anticipating a 65-point pace at minimum from here on out.
Hot Streaks to Fade:
Sam Reinhart, RW – BUF
Reinhart has now had back to back scoreless games after a four-game streak where he scored four goals and six points. Unfortunately, it’s more of the latter and less of the former that we should expect going forward. Prior to today’s game I grabbed Reinhart’s last five games’ worth of stats (which would encompass that four-game streak). You’re looking at a player who is 119th in shots/60, 143rd in iSCF/60, 231st in xGF/60, and 290th in on-ice SCF/60 over those five games. I heard it suggested earlier this week that Reinhart was a long-term hold and all I can say is don’t buy players who are playing poorly. Reinhart will be valuable in stretches but this Buffalo team is in triage right now and the likelihood of Reinhart providing significant value to your fantasy team in the next week or two is pretty low.
Pavel Zacha, C – NJD
Pavel Zacha has vaulted into fantasy managers’ consciousness, dropping 10 points in the 8 games since New Jersey came back from their COVID postponements. Under the hood there’s not much here to be excited about. In fact, it could be argued that Zacha was actually playing better in the 9 games prior to the break, with most of his rate stats declining since then. He’s getting some decent deployment right now including PP1, but in his last 5 games his numbers are decidedly unspectacular (222nd in iSCF/60 and 131st in xGF/60); in fact there’s not really a way to cherrypick his games that paints a positive picture for his outlook. In those 5 games he has a very high on-ice S% (14.8%), IPP (87.5%), and individual S% (25%). I seldom make strong proclamations about a player but here goes: Zacha is a player that we’re all going to remember at the end of the season and say “oh yeah remember when he was good for like two weeks?”.
Honourable Mentions: Cam Atkinson, RW – CLB // Alex Iafallo, LW – LAK // Kasperi Kapanen, RW – PIT // Joe Pavelski, C – DAL // Anze Kopitar, C – LAK
Slumps that Won’t Last:
Taylor Hall, LW – BUF
It’s an interesting study that Reinhart can be trending so clearly downward while Hall can be trending so clearly in the opposite direction. Hall’s last five games have him 29th in shots/60, 27th in iCF/60, 5th in iSCF/60, 23rd in on-ice CF/60, 19th in on-ice SCF/60, 16th in xGF/60… you get the picture. He’s got an ugly 6.25% on-ice S% in those games to go with a 50% IPP and despite averaging 3.4 shots per game he has zero goals. Hall is the easiest buy-low pick in the league right now.
Gabriel Landeskog, LW – COL
You can be excused for wondering what’s up with Landeskog after he’s registered just a single point in his last six games. But there’s nothing wrong under the hood. Landeskog has an unfortunate 25% IPP, a 6.7% S%, and a 6.25% on-ice S%. If you think those numbers won’t change and change soon I’d like to speak with your manager. Landeskog is rocking a 4.38 xGF/60 over his last five games (good for eighth best in the league) and his 10.83 iSCF/60 over the same time period sits 39th. Nothing to see here folks, except a possible buy-low opportunity.
Honourable Mentions: Viktor Arvidsson, RW – NSH // Alex Ovechkin, LW – WSH // Sebastian Aho, C – CAR // Matt Duchene, C – NSH
Slumps that Will Last:
Denis Gurianov, RW – DAL
Something’s wrong with Guri. I loved his profile this offseason and thought both he and linemate Roope Hintz were in line for another step forward this season. Unfortunately Gurianov has been as much a cause for Dallas’s recent woes as anyone else on the roster of late. Despite skating over 17 minutes a game, Gurianov has failed to register a point in five straight games and sits a miserable 303rd in the league in iSCF/60 over that stretch. His shot generation has completely evaporated (442nd in shots/60) and it’s frankly baffling. The team stats aren’t better, as he registers 405th in on-ice SCF/60 and 420th in xGF/60 over those five games. Perhaps there’s an underlying injury here because it’s extremely rare for a player of his profile to dry up to this extent. In any event, Gurianov should be dropped until we see some signs of life.
Nick Suzuki, C – MTL
I featured Suzuki’s linemate Josh Anderson in this space last week, and now it’s Suzuki’s turn. Suzuki had a decent game last night, scoring a goal in 21 minutes of work, but he’s going to have to start shooting again if he wants to keep that up. Over his last five games he ranks 405th in the league in shots/60 which is simply atrocious for a player of his caliber. In fact, he’s only taken six shots in those five games and has scored on two of them for a 33% shooting percentage. He has a roughly in-line 67% IPP in that time frame and while the on-ice S% is a little low at 6.7%, it’s not like we can expect a lot of goals when he’s on the ice (396th in xGF/60). Maybe new coach Dominique Ducharme can once again unlock the play-driving beast that Suzuki was in the first few weeks of the season, but Suzuki is very droppable right now.
Honourable Mentions: Anthony Mantha, RW – DET // Kailer Yamamoto, RW – EDM // Seth Jones, D – CLB // Justin Faulk, D – STL // Mark Stone, RW – VGK // Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW – CLB
That’s all for this one folks! Make sure you follow Apples & Ginos on Twitter and join the Apples & Ginos Discord server for more content and to ask any fantasy hockey questions you may have.
Thanks for reading, you are much appreciated!