It’s been a busy couple weeks for me, with work at its most intense and a recent bout of the flu. I hope you are all securing playoff positions and building potent lineups for a championship push- for many, these next few weeks are critical. Advice comes in many shapes and forms, but here’s my extended-streamer column for the week of 2/12.
As you might know by now, my managing style and what I discuss in my advice column is maximizing games played and putting more skaters on the ice that your opponent. I use data pulled from my own league as well as the two RCL’s to give this idea some supporting data (and haven’t been able to update in more than a few weeks L )
Using the Active Stats tabs from my most competitive league as well as the two RCL’s, I’ve compiled a table of every matchup we’ve played this year (up to week 13). Out of 580 data points, managers who have played ten or more skaters (as of the end of week 13) than their opponents are 65-5-6. 65 wins, 5 losses, 6 ties. Even 5 more players on-ice than your opponent moves your meter considerably closer to the Wins column (from a coin-flip to winning 62% of the time). 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 decent skaters on the ice per week than your opponent, and wins will follow.
To wrap that up, this column isn’t for spot-streams, it is for grabbing players on Monday or Tuesday and having them play on short-slate days in order to maximize player starts.
A side note is that micro-managing your lineup this way means fewer counting stats left on the bench. An opponent I played 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.
In order to give Razzball readers a potential plus-6 or plus-8 skaters on the week of 2/12, I’m going to cover the three teams with an optimal schedule to grab additional starts.
Week of 2/12
This week doesn’t have any clear-cut ways to take advantage of the three shorter-slate days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6, 6, and 8 teams playing, respectively). You’d want a team playing all three, obviously, but there aren’t any, so my highest-priority teams will be playing M-W. Grab the early skaters to get a leg up, then cut them loose for spot starts. Even two can net you +4 Games Played on your opponent if they aren’t paying attention- or even if they are.
Florida: (M, W, St, Su)
Florida is an all-or-nothing lineup. If you don’t own one of the five skaters who are greater than 70% ESPN ownership, or Keith Yandle (50%), you probably haven’t noticed them. Nick Bjugstad doesn’t have amazing possession numbers but he has taken a ton of shots. I’m big on Expected Goals, and Bjugstad has some regression towards the mean in that regard as well. He’s worth a look in spite of his limited ice time. Nobody else blows me away, but with EDM and VAN coming up I’d also take a look at Michael Matheson, who takes a decent amount of shots from the blue line and has good productivity/expected goals stats. If Yandle is available, I’d grab him first, though.
Toronto: (M, W, St, Su)
There’s a greater depth of quality in the Leaf’s lineup. For streaming, Tyler Bozak is available in 80% of ESPN leagues and has a solid role on the power play. I mentioned Zach Hyman a while ago, who still has the second-best expected-goals profile on the team. For a super-deep cut I like Connor Carrick, with strong possession numbers and a flat expected goals profile.
Colorado: (W, F, Su)
Nathan MacKinnon going down has given me a spot of trouble recently. J.T. Compher has stepped up though, with five points in his last six and an improved possession profile; I like him a lot short-term. Carl Soderberg hasn’t been on fire lately, but like my Lars Eller mention a few weeks ago, he might be just about average enough to lend a hand during crunch time.
Columbus: (T, W, F, Su)
Cam Atkinson is available in 40% of ESPN leagues and is worth a mention if he is available. I don’t trust him because he disappeared on me last year, though. I mentioned Pierre-Luc Dubois and Josh Anderson a few weeks ago. Dubois still profiles extremely well as an all-purpose streamer, but I’ve cooled off on Anderson outside of leagues that count hits and maybe PIM. Boone Jenner has terrible Corsi numbers and the worst expected-goals profile on the team, but historically heats up between February and March (.36 PPG to around .5). The expected goals are due for some regression towards the mean, so I might take a second look at Jenner if Dubois doesn’t strike your fancy.
That’s it for now. I’ll be watching this thread as much as I reasonably can 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!!