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When it comes to the fantasy playoffs, you’re looking for two things.  One, you want to get as many starts from your players as possible.  Getting one or two extra starts from your bottom end guys / streamers goes a long way.  The other thing you want is your superstars to carry you.  Because I was in California for the last four days, my time for writing was non-existent.  The good news is two fold.  One, I got to meet Grey!  He is the man, plain and simple.  Secondly, I’m here to catch up on everything that’s happened since last Thursday and it starts with Sidney Crosby.  On Friday, Crosby scored two goals and an assist with four shots to push the Penguins past the Devils.  He followed that up on Sunday with a hat trick on six shots against the Panthers.  Both are huge wins for the Penguins given their current injury situation and it was massive for people in the fantasy playoffs.  Here’s to hoping you have Crosby because you’re ahead of the field right off the bat.  He’s the number 1 skater at the moment and as of now, I’d rank him first overall going into next season.  That can be debated at a later time but there’s no denying that Crosby is having one of the best seasons of his illustrious career.  Here’s what else happened over the last four days:

Thursday’s Games:

Eddie Lack – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 3-1 win over the Wild.  He’s been solid since Bill Peters ripped him to shreds in the media but it’s still “desperate for starts.”

Taylor Hall – Two goals on four shots with two PIM.  Hall has been solid this season but not in the truly elite class.  It would do him wonders if the Devils get lucky in the draft lottery.  Regardless, I still expect him to be in my top 50 next season.

Adam Henrique – Two goals on four shots.  After being ice cold, Henrique has a four game point streak through Sunday.  I could see streaming him next weekend when they close the week on a back-to-back but would cut him right after that with only 2 games next week.  Schedule breakdown is available here.

Kyle Palmieri – Goal and an assist with three shots.  He actually could surpass last season’s breakout totals which would be a pleasant surprise.  That said, I would hold this week but then cut bait when he only has two games next week.

Bryan Little – Two goals on four shots.  Their schedule in the finals received a big boost with the postponed game against the Devils.  I’m holding Little through this week and deciding from there.

Nikolaj Ehlers – Two assists with a shot.  He’s avoided a prolonged cold streak this season which is extremely encouraging.  He’ll be fringe top 50 next season.

Pekka Rinne – 22 saves on 23 shots in the 2-1 win over the Capitals.  Surprisingly, the biggest wild card of the season settled in more towards the middle ground than being a home run or massive failure.  I’m not a fan going forward mostly because they have a better alternative ready to roll the moment Rinne struggles.

Frederik Andersen – 33 save shutout in the 5-0 win over the Lightning.  He’s solid on the whole this season but the goals against average is rough due to the shot volume.  I suspect Andersen will be a middling #2 goalie next year.

Morgan Rielly – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Rielly was a focus of Thursday’s podcast.  This game doesn’t change my opinion.

Andreas Athanasiou – Two assists with four shots.  Keep streaming him as the Red Wings have an excellent schedule the rest of the way.

Henrik Zetterberg – Goal and an assist with four shots and four PIM.  Credit where credit is due, Zetterberg has been outstanding for months.

Brad Marchand – Goal and two assists with three shots and two PIM.  The more time goes by, the more I convince myself that he needs to go in the first round next season.

Leon Draisaitl – Goal and two assists with two shots and two PIM.  Draisaitl has been a monster down the stretch and the Oilers have four games in the next six nights which is outstanding.  Ranking Draisaitl next season is going to be difficult.  I love the kid in real life but I suspect I’ll be lower on him than consensus without PIM or average shots.

Patrick Maroon – Two goals and seven penalty minutes.  Own him for this week but I’d probably dump him after this busy stretch.

Connor McDavid – Three assists with three shots.  The goals are behind the other elite guys but he still has to be in consideration for the top pick next season given his age.

Jonathan Quick – 26 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Sabres.  He isn’t going to get many easier shutouts.  This was one of the games I went to and the Kings were in complete control.  I’m still down on Quick compared to consensus but he can obviously get hot the last three weeks and make a huge impact.

Vladimir Tarasenko – Two goals on eight shots.  He’s had his typical season which means playing at a first round value or very close to it.

Friday’s Games:

Brian Elliott – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 3-1 win over the Stars.  That’s ten straight wins for Elliott who has been the tale of two seasons.  Assuming he’s back in Calgary, it’ll probably end up at the same spot with more consistency along the way.

Mark Giordano – Goal and two assists with two shots and two PIM.  It’s plus across the board which is enough to make him close to a #1D.  There are plenty of concerns though for Giordano going forward, notably the massive dropoff in his workload.  Consequently, it’s killed his shot rate.

Matthew Tkachuk – Goal and an assist with two shots.  I sound like a broken record but I’m all in on Tkachuk for next season.

Rasmus Ristolainen – Two shots.  I mostly wanted to include this shootout goal which was absolutely amazing to see in person.

Anders Nilsson – 39 saves on 40 shots in the 2-1 SO win over the Ducks.  As a Sabres fan, I’m hoping they resign him to be the backup again.  Nilsson has posted a strong .920 sv% which is what you’re hoping for.  He’s worth streaming right now outside of the worst matchups.

Saturday’s Games:

Dylan Larkin – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Despite the dreadful season, I’m fine with streaming him right now.  The minutes are up and his line is producing.  I can see him being a polarizing figure come draft time next year.

Tomas Tatar – Two goals and an assist with four shots.  It’s beginning to like last two seasons ago was the outlier and that Tatar is going to settle in as a decent streamer.

Zach Werenski – Two assists with two shots.  Incredible rookie campaign for the 19 year old.  He’s been super streaky but that’s expected for a rookie.  I think he’ll have to be ranked as a #1D next season.  Even with some potential regression, it’s great in all categories besides penalty minutes.

Jeff Skinner – Two goals on six shots.  Look for him to be a huge difference maker over the last three weeks with the volume of games Carolina has.

Erik Karlsson – Goal and an assist with six shots.  I doubt he’ll get serious consideration but Karlsson deserves to be in the Hart discussion.  You could make a legitimate argument for almost ten guys this season which is remarkable.  I think it’s still wide open going into the last three weeks.  As for Karlsson’s rank next season, I think it’s more towards the wheel or high second round pick than a surefire first.

Nicklas Backstrom – Four assists with two shots.  Just a monster season from Backs which I didn’t expect.  He’s another guy that will be incredibly difficult to rank.  Is he the guy who looked like he should go around 50th overall or is he this second round pick?  I lean more towards the former but I shouldn’t underestimate Backstrom’s abilities.

T.J. Oshie – Hat trick and an assist with four shots and two PIM finishing +2.  Seems like a decent overall line for Oshie.  He’s played at a 40+30 pace this season while being solid in the other categories.  I expect some regression next season (Oshie is shooting 24.2%) but it’s still worth considering in the top 50.

Nikita Kucherov – Two goals on four shots.  He’s eliminated all doubt in my mind as to whether or not he’s a first round pick next season.

Corey Crawford – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Maple Leafs.  Crawford has settled into the second tier of goalies year in and year out.  It makes him a solid #1 despite lacking elite start volume.

Jake Allen – 31 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Coyotes.  He’s failed to break out like I projected but Allen has become a solid #2.  The offseason for the Blues will go a long way towards determining Allen’s value next year.  The supporting cast means a ton for Blues goaltenders and Allen is no different.

Alex Pietrangelo – Goal on four shots.  The past five weeks after the trade deadline have gone swimmingly for Pietrangelo as expected.  I expect to be higher on him than most next season assuming they don’t acquire a big time defenseman in the offseason.

Cam Talbot – 33 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Canucks.  The overall numbers are outstanding making him a solid #1.  My only worry for next season is that his start volume will surely go down.

Sunday’s Games:

Sergei Bobrovsky – 35 saves on 36 shots in the 4-1 win over the Devils.  Bob has been a monster all season providing the best value out of any player in the entire league this season.  I’ll have him down a tier next year only because we’ve seen the downside but Bob is the man.

Boone Jenner – Two goals on five shots.  I like the idea of taking a flier on Jenner at the end of drafts next season if you need a PIM boost with some goals / shots.  Even in a disastrous season, Jenner could still reach 20 goals.

Jake Guentzel – Three assists with five shots.  His other linemate Conor Sheary also assisted all of Crosby’s goals.  Hopefully you grabbed both of them a couple weeks ago when Hornqvist went down.  Keep using them both.

Marc-Andre Fleury – 21 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Panthers.  This has been MAF’s worst season in almost a decade.  At this point, he’s useful for wins and not much else.

Blake Wheeler – Two assists with four shots.  While he took a step back, Wheeler is still easily in my top 50 going forward.

Mikhail Grigorenko – Two goals.  At this point, I have a hard time believing that Grigorenko will ever pan into something relevant in fantasy circles.

John Hayden – Two assists with a shot.  In three games since his recall, Hayden has three points and 15 hits.  I’d grab him in deep leagues right now if you need hits.

Patrick Kane – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Monster second half for Kane who will be in the top tier again next year.

Paul Byron – Goal and an assist with three shots.  As far as unlikely 20 goal scorers go, Byron is at the top of my list.  Okay streamer but nothing more.

Carey Price – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 4-1 win over the Senators.  Not much to add on Price.  He’s in that top tier of goalies going forward, probably second behind Holtby.

Elias Lindholm – Goal and an assist.  He has a point in five straight games so I’d grab Lindholm right now due to their playoff schedule.

Sean Couturier – Three assists with five shots and two PIM.  Couts has been tearing it up lately and surprisingly taking a ton of shots.  I could see grabbing him Tuesday against Winnipeg and deciding from there what to do with him.

Ivan Provorov – Goal and two assists with two shots.  Clearly they view him as their #1 going forward.  I’m fine with taking him towards the end of drafts next season but I don’t think we see Provorov take a big step forward for another season or two.

Johnny Gaudreau – Goal and two assists as did Sean Monahan.  While the Flames have caught fire, both of these guys have been strong but they still haven’t come close to where most people had them ranked preseason.  <checks FantasyPros> <pats self on back>

Monday Streamers:

Andreas Athanasiou (3.3%) – As mentioned above, it’s a great time to get on the Red Wings with their schedule. A home game against the Sabres who have their last road game of a long road trip is a great spot

Drew Stafford (5.4%) – He’s slowed down a bit but Stafford is getting great opportunity for Boston.  A game against Toronto isn’t a bad spot at all.

Calle Jarnkrok (3.9%) – The minutes have been strong lately and it doesn’t get much better than a game against the Coyotes.

That’s all for now guys.  With five games on the slate, I’m going to see how the games develop before deciding if I’ll have daily notes or not.  Regardless, there will be a podcast out on Tuesday morning so be on the lookout for that.  If you have any questions, comments, or subjects you want us to talk about on the podcast, please post them below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. Dell says:
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    Got myself a bye for the first week of playoffs thanks to your drafting recs and general intel. Thanks a million.

    In a situation right now where I’m working to optimize my lines for 2nd and 3rd week of playoffs.

    I’ve got 3 Nashville players (Johansson, Neal, Forsberg), and Nashville is playing a ton each week.

    I have the opportunity to grab some players this week without eating up my week transactions for next week’s goalie streaming.

    Pietrangelo, Steen, Schwartz and a handful of other STL players are available and are playing a ton of games.

    We do G,A,Pts,Hits,+-,STP, GWG

    Thoughts on grabbing any of these 3? Would involve getting rid of Niederiter or Stepan which I’m okay with.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Dell: Excellent, congrats! Thanks for the compliment. Looks like you’re in pretty good position. I’d be good with grabbing Schwartz for Stepan. You take a slight step back in plus-minus but that’s unpredictable over a 3 week sample. You get the extra games for Schwartz plus some extra hits in general. I’d probably hold Nino over Steen but it’s pretty close. I love Pietrangelo right now but I wouldn’t want to cut a forward to carry an extra defenseman.

  2. Jon says:
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    Lack or Bernier the better add for the next 2 weeks? Or add both, dropping Bishop?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Jon: Man, I think I would drop Bishop and grab both hoping to just catch lightning in a bottle with the start volume. I haven’t heard any update on Gibson but with their playoff spot looking locked in, I’ll sure they’ll play it safe and Lack has been playing more. Given their heavy schedule, I don’t expect that to change. The Kings can’t afford to be dropping games and Quick is still their guy so unless they have a back to back, I don’t see Bishop playing much. Maybe they shut Quick down if they eliminated but that wouldn’t be until the last week of the season in my opinion so you don’t need to worry about that over the next two weeks.

  3. Shitwolf says:
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    Hey bro I ended up grabbing larkin and won ppp and goals by 1 so it worked out… Streamer Success!!! I’m using him and Tatar tonight and swapping out Tatar for borowacky… I’m worried about 2 of my players though. OEL and dubnyk… do I just keep running dubnyk out there? I sat him Sunday thankfully Cuz I wouldn’t be playing this week if I started him. As for oel I’m gonna use him tonight and tomorrow if he doesn’t produce he’s cut lol

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Shitwolf: Haha excellent, good stuff. Smart plan, Red Wings have an excellent schedule right now. I would just keep running out Dubnyk, the Wild are slumping mightily but I don’t think it’s going to last. He got you this far, I think we have to have some faith in him. Sounds like a plan with OEL, I’m fine with dropping after those two games if he doesn’t produce.

      • Shitwolf says:
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        @Viz:

        Sweet thanks how was your trip

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          Outstanding, really enjoyed it outside of getting stuck in LA traffic haha. Arenas were great, made our way to Santa Monica on Saturday, just an all around good time for three days.

          • Shitwolf says:
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            @Viz:

            Nice! Did you meet grey? Did you 420 in cali? Sounds like a sweet trip!

            • Viz

              Viz says:
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              @Shitwolf: I did meet Grey for lunch which was terrific, thrilled to finally meet him in person! Probably will talk about it a bit on the pod tomorrow. I don’t smoke but I did have copious amounts of alcohol haha.

  4. Playoff round 1. I have Luongo & Okposo in my 2 IR slots. Now Trouba is out for maybe another week. Which one do you suppose is safest to cut loose to waivers Viz? Thanks for a seasons worth of advice. Will be great if you plan to return next season! Thx

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @madden_curser: I’d say Okposo although it’s close between him and Trouba. I just think it’s easier to find a better replacement forward than defenesman and Okposo was playing kind of poorly before going down. It was a lot of PPP but not much else. Thanks man, I appreciate, as of now that’s the plan! I’ll probably be doing a weekly piece for baseball too. It may just be a review of the past week and a short preview of the week ahead but I’ll have something.

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