Trade Targets – The Final Edition

Hello everyone and welcome in for another article. This will be the final installment of a weekly article I’ve been writing all season long in which I’ve been deep diving some hot and cold players and determine if they’re worth trying to acquire or sell off. I’m taking a little different tack on this topic in the week prior to most leagues’ trade deadlines. Before we jump in, be sure to check out the Apples & Ginos community on Discord and the Apples & Ginos Patreon for even more content including a weekly waiver wire article detailing all the best streamers and pickups for the upcoming week. I’m in the Discord every day and would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about Vladimir Tarasenko, Tage Thompson, or any other stars with great fantasy playoff schedules.

The point of this article will be to identify the absolute best trade targets for you, regardless of whether you’re trying to squeeze into that last playoff spot or you’re cruising to the finish line in first place. I’ll also identify the players that might have helped you to this point that you should be thinking about unloading. One tool you’ll need when looking through this article is this Google sheet that I’ve created detailing every team’s weekly schedule for the rest of the season:

Before we get into specifics, I want to make sure my tiering system here is understood. I’m going to recommend trying to acquire Vladimir Tarasenko and Jeff Skinner in this article. Now, I wouldn’t pay the same trade price for Skinner that I would for Tarasenko, but in terms of the potential impact for your team by adding them I think they could be very similar. For instance, I would trade Alex DeBrincat for Vladimir Tarasenko very easily; but I could probably achieve a similar increase in relative roster production by trading Brock Boeser for Jeff Skinner.

When attempting to make these kinds of trades, it’s important to look at how many games each player is going to provide you and decide on a reasonable expectation for each of them during this period in order to make a trade that gets you ahead in the long run. It’s totally viable to trade an 80-point scorer who is only playing 8 games in your playoffs for a 70-point scorer who plays 12 games (8 expected points for the 80-point scorer in 8 games, 10 expected points for the 70-point scorer in 12 games). This is the mindset that will help you get trades done while making a real improvement to your team. Let’s get it!

Fantasy Playoffs Weeks 23-25

If your fantasy playoffs run from Week 23 to Week 25 (Mar 28 to Apr 17), then this is the section for you.

Top Targets for Top Teams

If you’re a top team with a playoff spot on lock and a probable bye, you should be solely interested in who’s got the best playoff schedules and that’s the St. Louis Blues and Buffalo Sabres. Tier 1 is Vladimir Tarasenko, Jordan Kyrou, Tage Thompson, and Jeff Skinner. These are the players that I’m confident in providing scoring game in and game out when I need it. Tier 2 is Pavel Buchnevich, Ryan O’Reilly, Rasmus Dahlin, and Alex Tuch. These are still good players and worth acquiring in a lot of leagues, but I see more potential for cold streaks/inconsistency and they might not have the top-end ceiling of the others. Tier 3 will be Torey Krug, Justin Faulk, Ivan Barbashev, Brayden Schenn, Robert Thomas, and David Perron. These guys are deeper league targets with real question marks at this point.

In the fantasy playoffs you’re looking at four teams you want to be rostering zero players from if possible: NJD, VAN, VGK, & WSH. New Jersey has nine games but zero off-nights while the other three play just eight games. So look to move your Ovechkins and JT Millers if you can.

If you’re very confident in getting a first round bye you might want to also consider moving your CHI players – the ‘Hawks play only five games in the last two weeks of the playoffs.

Big Boys for Bubble Babes

I’m not sure I’ve ever called my readers “babes” before, but I think we’ve grown in our relationship over the past couple of years and it’s time to take the next step, you know? This group is for managers who could still realistically fall out of the playoffs and as such may not want to go all in on St. Louis Blues players (9 games, 0 off-nights in next 3 weeks before fantasy playoffs start Week 23). The Sabres also play only 9 games but have 5 off-nights, so those guys are still in play as targets. The Islanders are the team to target here as the only team to play 12 games in the next 3 weeks – and they still play 11 games with 4 off-nights in the fantasy playoffs. The Winnipeg Jets are also interesting, playing 10 games with 7 off-nights in the fantasy playoffs and 11 games with 4 off-nights in the next 3 weeks. Lastly, check out your Toronto Maple Leafs with 10/2 in the next 3 weeks and 11/2 in the fantasy playoffs.

What I’ll call Tier 1a are the absolute studs: Matthews, Marner, Rielly, Scheifele, Connor. Tier 1b is where you get to Thompson, Skinner, Tavares, Nylander, Dubois, and Wheeler. In Tier 2 we have Barzal, Dobson, Nelson, Dahlin, Tuch, Bunting, and Ehlers. Lastly in Tier 3 we have just two players in Morrissey and Copp. I’m also actively tracking guys like Anthony Beauvillier, Zach Parise, and Kyle Palmieri, but they’re clearly waiver wire level pickups.

In this category you need to look seriously at offloading your Seattle players who play just 7 games in the next three weeks. That’s probably just Mark Giordano and Jared McCann, but I’d be willing to move them for pennies on the dollar and potentially even drop them if I had other options.

As above, you want to be out on NJD, VAN, VGK, & WSH players as long as you’re not taking a hit on your regular season schedule in order to do so.

Hype Hogs for Heady Hopefuls

I struggled mightily with the alliteration for this category as I’m sure you can tell. If you’re right on the edge of the playoffs or just below, now is the time to pull out all the stops to secure your ticket to the dance. You want the aforementioned Islanders, but Calgary, Winnipeg, Vegas, Philly, and Nashville all have 11 games in the last 3 weeks here and are worth targeting.

Tier 1a aka absolute studs: Gaudreau, Tkachuk, Lindholm, Scheifele, Connor, Josi.

Tier 1b: Dubois, Wheeler, Pacioretty, Eichel, Theodore, Forsberg.

Tier 2: Barzal, Dobson, Nelson, Ehlers, Duchene, Pietrangelo, Toffoli.

Tier 3: Mangiapane, Andersson, Konecny, Atkinson, Giroux, Granlund, Morrissey, Copp, Smith, Marchessault, Stephenson.

As above, you can’t be rostering Seattle players through this stretch if you’re trying to catch up to snag that last playoff spot.

Fantasy Playoffs Weeks 24-26

If your fantasy playoffs run from Week 24 to Week 26 (Apr 4 – Apr 29), then this is the section for you. You should be aware that the difference between the best and worst playoff schedules in this period is not nearly as pronounced as in Weeks 23-25, so be sure you’re evaluating how big of a change you’re really making when looking to make moves.

Top Targets for Top Teams

If you’re a top team with a playoff spot on lock and a probable bye, you should be solely interested in who’s got the best playoff schedules and there’s a big group of teams who play 14 games: BOS, CGY, DAL, MIN, NYI, SJS, STL, TBL, TOR. You might want to include SEA as they play 13 games with 6 off-nights. Here’s how I’d rank the players for fantasy impact:

Tier 1a aka absolute studs: Pastrnak, Bergeron, Marchand, Gaudreau, Tkachuk, Lindholm, Hintz, Robertson, Pavelski, Kaprizov, Meier, Kucherov, Hedman, Matthews, Marner, Rielly.

Tier 1b: McAvoy, Fiala, Tarasenko, Kyrou, Stamkos, Point, Tavares, Nylander.

Tier 2: Hall, Toffoli, Seguin, Zuccarello, Boldy, Barzal, Dobson, Nelson, Hertl, Couture, Burns, Buchnevich, O’Reilly, Killorn, Bunting.

Tier 3: Mangiapane, Andersson, Benn, Gurianov, Heiskanen, JEEK, Hartman, Spurgeon, Schenn, Perron, Barbashev, Thomas, Krug, Palat, Sergachev.

There aren’t many truly terrible schedules for Weeks 24-26, but I’d be looking to offload Anaheim, Buffalo, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Winnipeg players if I’m a top team likely to receive a bye in Week 24. These teams only play 4 or 5 times in the extended Week 26 and only the Jets play 9 times between Weeks 25 and 26.

Big Boys for Bubble Babes

This group is for managers who could still realistically fall out of the playoffs and as such may not want to go all in on San Jose or Boston players (just 12 games each in the 4 weeks remaining before the playoffs). Essentially you’re looking to balance the last 4 weeks of the season with trying to be in a good playoff position as well. Really this just slims down the list from the previous section by removing SJ and BOS and focusing attention on CGY, MIN, & NYI in particular as the teams with the best regular season schedules that still have solid playoff setups. That leaves us with this group:

Tier 1: Gaudreau, Tkachuk, Lindholm, Kaprizov, Fiala.

Tier 2: Toffoli, Zuccarello, Boldy, Barzal, Dobson, Nelson.

Tier 3: Mangiapane, Andersson, JEEK, Hartman, Spurgeon.

Anaheim, Los Angeles, and Vegas each play just 11 games in weeks 24-26 so those would be your players to potentially trade away in this group. Make sure you’re not hurting yourself too badly in the regular season (both LA and Vegas play 14 games Weeks 20-23 which is above average), but move on where you can.

Hype Hogs for Hopeful Heads

If you’re right on the edge of the playoffs or just below, now is the time to pull out all the stops to secure your ticket to the dance. The Islanders players are your top focus given their 16 games from now until the fantasy playoffs, but Edmonton and Arizona are the second tier ROS schedules while the Flames, Rangers, Golden Knights and Jets players would be valuable adds as well. Let’s tier it up:

Tier 1a aka absolute studs: Gaudreau, Tkachuk, Lindholm, Zibanejad, Panarin, Fox, Scheifele, Connor, McDavid, Draisaitl.

Tier 1b: Kreider, Pacioretty, Eichel, Theodore, Dubois, Wheeler, Kane, Nugent-Hopkins, Nurse, Keller.

Tier 2: Toffoli, Strome, Trouba, Pietrangelo, Ehlers, Hyman, Barrie, Barzal, Dobson, Nelson.

Tier 3: Mangiapane, Andersson, Smith, Marchessault, Stephenson, Morrissey, Copp.

Seattle is the only team playing 11 games or fewer for the rest of the regular season so I’d be actively trying to move those players off my roster by any means possible if you’re scraping by trying to make playoffs. Boston, San Jose, and Washington play just 12 games each so if possible I’d like to be out of those stocks and into the guys listed above.

That’s all for this one folks, I hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it! 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. If you want to learn more about any of the advanced stats I mentioned in this article, be sure to check out my article on applying advanced stats to fantasy hockey, or check out Natural Stat Trick’s advanced stats glossary.

Thanks for reading, you are appreciated!


Soundtrack to my writing: gg bb xx – LANY

Advanced stats credit: Natural Stat Trick

Published by Apples & Ginos

Apples & Ginos Fantasy Hockey Advice

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