Your extended-play streamer column is here. I hope your fantasy weeks went well, and that you maximized games played and put more skaters on the ice than your opponent. I’m a big believer in accountability, and will be following up on the data I am collecting, and how the previous weeks have panned out. Because I write these over the weekend, matchups are still occurring, so I will use data from the previous completed week, pulled from my most competitive league as well as the two RCL’s.
During the week of 11/27, we had 17 matchups across three leagues. The managers who put more players on the ice than their opponent went 14-1-2, or 14 wins, 1 loss, 2 ties. One of those ties was me, at +10 (54 to 44) skaters, the other was also in my league at +4 (45 to 41). In one of the most impressive managerial feats I’ve seen, Team Euro in RCL 1 had 62 skaters on ice (I average around 52 with a max of 77 per week). The largest GP difference was I Am Score from RCL 2, who played a whopping +23 skaters (61 to 38), the greatest difference out of my 448 data points.
What I’m going to keep from column to column is this paragraph: out of 448 data points, managers who have played ten or more skaters than their opponents are 46-5-5. 46 wins, 5 losses, 5 ties. Even 5 more players on-ice than your opponent moves your meter considerably closer to the Wins column. Yes, some teams might have better players, or might put up more points (G+A), but nothing correlates more accurately to a Win than the difference of games played between teams. Points, goalie starts, you name it… the bottom line is, you want to put more skaters on the ice per week than your opponent, and wins will follow.
A side note is that micro-managing your lineup this way means fewer counting stats left on the bench. An opponent I played recently had Dylan Larkin sitting when he got a SHP, which is a total waste you cannot get back. When I play, I rarely, if ever, have a player on the bench accumulating stats.
So, in order to give Razzball readers a potential plus-8 or plus-12 skaters in a week, here is my weekly column indicating what teams you should grab free agents from, and some players who might be available in your leagues.
Week of 12/11
Teams to target:
Vancouver: 4 games, M/W/F/Su, all short-slate (!!)
Wow, Vancouver has the holy grail of schedules this week. Four games, all on off-days, meaning if you have the space, you could load up and pull away in GP early, and even have some insurance on the final Sunday (when only four games are being played). I know you might be laughed at in your league, but the players to target might be Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin, both of whom are above-average in their Corsi Against numbers. Another would be Derrick Pouliot, who has similar metrics. To expand the pool of options, Jake Virtanen has some utility as he’s about a goal behind where he’s expected to be, but no other Canucks are deeper in the expected goals hole than Michael Del Zotto or Sam Gagner. I also really like Alex Edler as a sneaky pick, lots of SOG, tons of TOI, plenty of hits and about a goal behind where he’s expected to be.
I mentioned a lot of players as starting points, but I encourage you to take a few minutes and use your own methods to select the final few streamers. Maybe you really like HITs or something. I’m rolling the dice with Del Zotto and Edler.
Dallas, New York Rangers: 4 games, Monday (6 games), Wednesday (4 games), Friday (5 games)
Dallas and New York also have an excellent extended streaming schedule. I would say it’s almost better than VAN because of added flexibility over the weekend: you could drop them Saturday morning for a goalie or for spot-starters on either Saturday or Sunday. Players to target from DAL might be Radek Faksa, who has terrific SOG and Corsi numbers despite being underused. Gemel Smith is an under-the-radar play, as he is quite productive (just lacks in TOI). Finally for DAL, Esa Lindell looks solid across the board, and should contribute in multiple categories. For NYR, Jimmy Vesey jumps off the page as a category contributor who is behind on expected goals. Rick Nash is a flexible play who is basically the league average in metrics but has room to improve. Lastly, you could take a flyer on Michael Grabner or Brady Skjei, if they are available. Both shoot a ton and contribute in hits.
Arizona, Montreal, San Jose: 2 games
If you have a mid-level player on any of these three that you can stomach dropping, you might want to free up the slot for some more starts. If that player were to be snatched up, they won’t be a threat this week anyway, depending on how long your waiver wire takes before claims go through… they might only play a single game.
That’s it for now. I’ll be watching this thread all week, so if you have questions that you want an arbiter for, I will chime in (and will work to give you the best information I have). I am sure Viz and Reid will also pop in every so often.
Good luck this week!!
Note From Viz: Just letting you guys know that I will have a massive set of daily notes go up on Tuesday morning. Feel free to ask any questions here and I’ll answer them and I’m sure LDOM will help as well.