The gap between Brad Marchand and the rest of the league right now for fantasy hockey is incredible. Marchand scored five points on Monday, tallying two goals and three assists and a +4 rating. It’s nothing new, but the first line in Boston has managed to find a way to get even better. Marchand is crushing every category with 10+18 in 15 games with a +13 rating, 28 PIM and 41 SOG. He’s as good of a bet as any to finish as the #1 player in fantasy this season. Honestly, he’d be my pick as long as he avoids a lengthy suspension. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Evgeni Malkin – Assist with a shot. Nice to see Malkin back in the lineup. Just stay healthy! Nick Bjugstad is also back now (goal on two shots, two PIM) and is a solid streamer.
David Krejci – Two assists with two shots and two PIM Monday, then only one SOG on Tuesday. I’m not holding Krejci at this point, but he’s a great streamer for assists.
David Pastrnak – Two goals and an assist with nine shots and two PIM over two games. Pasta is the #2 player in fantasy right now, and the gap between him and #3 is almost as big as the gap between Marchand and him. Those two are lapping the field right now. Fifteen goals in fifteen games with fifteen assists. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.
Vladislav Namestnikov – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM Monday, assist with two shots Tuesday. Nice revenge game for Names, who has slowed down a bit but has still been great for Ottawa. I’ve actually been holding him on a team, but I lean more towards elite streamer.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Three goals with six shots and two PIM over two games. He’s +15 on Ottawa. That deserves a trophy. Pageau is also an elite streamer at the moment.
Brady Tkachuk – Goal and an assist with nine shots and four PIM. Easy hold in all formats.
Kappo Kakko – Goal and an assist with two shots. We’re starting to see some signs from Kakko. In 12’ers, I’m fine with being patient or dropping him to the wire.
Matt Duchene – Two goals on six shots. Duchene hit a bit of a rough patch, but now that Filip Forsberg (1+1, 2 SOG) is back, I’m expecting both of them to get back to elite level production.
Roman Josi – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. Josi has been so good that he’s actually ahead of Carlson right now for the #1 overall spot for defensemen. He’s been a massive plus in all categories.
Pekka Rinne – 23 saves on 24 shots in the 6-1 win over the Red Wings. Things are back to normal for Rinne with an excellent 2.07/.923 stat line with 8 wins in 10 starts.
Ben Bishop – 36 saves on 37 shots in the 4-1 win over the Avalanche. Bishop and the Stars are back on track after a brutal start. He’s given up two goals or less in six straight games. I’m fully buying the Stars defensively going forward.
Radek Faksa – Two goals on seven shots. Decent player in real life, but Faksa is a bottom end streamer at best.
Thomas Greiss – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 4-1 win over the Senators. Greiss is an auto-start every time he gets the nod from Trotz. He was a top 10 goalie last season despite splitting with Lehner, and there’s a great chance he does it again with Varlamov.
Cal Clutterbuck – Goal and an assist with two shots. And there’s your annual Clutterbuck update!
Casey Cizikas – Goal and an assist with five shots. Nothing to see here for fantasy purposes.
Carter Hart – 33 saves on 34 shots in the 4-1 win over the Hurricanes. Hart has had a brutal start to the season. I believe in the talent so I would lean more towards buying high than trying to get rid of him.
Matt Niskanen – Two assists with a shot. Bottom end option at best, but I prefer to leave him on the waiver wire.
Claude Giroux – Goal and an assist with five shots. Not the best start for Giroux, but I’m loving the shot rate. He’s pushing four shots per game and if that holds, he’s going to be get back on track. He’s another great trade target.
Sean Couturier – Goal and an assist with two shots. Couts is on fire right now with six points in the last four games. I expect that come the end of the season, his totals are in the ballpark of the previous two seasons.
Reilly Smith – Two goals on three shots, both assisted by William Karlsson. Smith and Karlsson are both well on their way to a big bounce back. I don’t think they get back to their level of two seasons ago, but it’ll definitely be better than last year.
Marc-Andre Fleury – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 2-1 win over the Blue Jackets. Fleury has been great and will continue to be great. He’s also a decent bet to lead the league in starts which is huge for his value.
Tomas Tatar – Goal and an assist with two shots. Bottom end hold.
Jeff Petry – Two assists with a shot. I don’t love Petry, but he’s good enough to be held, especially while the shot rate is at a career high.
Ben Chiarot – Goal and an assist with two shots. He is fantasy irrelevant, plain and simple.
Victor Mete – Two goals on five shots and two PIM. Mete is another case of solid player in real life, but doesn’t do anything in fantasy.
Frederik Andersen – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 3-1 win over the Kings. Right now, I don’t think there’s a team that I want my goaltender to go against more than the Kings. Maybe the Red Wings, but those two teams take a lot of poor quality shots. We know what Andersen is at this point in his Maple Leafs career.
William Nylander – Goal and an assist, as did Auston Matthews. Nylander is right on the fringe for me. I barely lean hold, but it’s very close.
MacKenzie Blackwood – 32 saves on 33 shots in the 2-1 SO win over the Jets. I like Blackwood long term, but I see him as a desperation option right now.
Connor Hellebuyck – 31 saves on 32 shots as the tough luck loser. Hellboy has been remarkable this season keeping the Jets afloat. The longer the season goes on, the more he’s making me look like a fool.
Matthew Tkachuk – Two goals and an assist with three shots. Tkachuk has been the best player on Calgary so far this season and it’s not even close. He’s pushing towards being a top 10 forward.
Mark Giordano – Goal and an assist with nine shots. Gio hasn’t been at last year’s level, but anybody expecting that would be foolish. He should still be a bottom end #1 D.
Sean Monahan – Two assists with a shot. Monahan remains Boring Sean Monahan.
Rasmus Andersson – Two assists. I like what I’m seeing for Andersson in terms of his dynasty value, but he’s not doing nearly enough for redrafts right now.
Tomas Hertl – Goal and an assist with three shots. While he hasn’t started as poorly as most of his other teammates, I do expect things to get better for Hertl and all of the Sharks.
Barclay Goodrow – Two assists with four shots. He’s getting a chance in the top six making him a very nice streamer for deep leagues. I’m not quite there in 12’ers unless you need penalty minutes.
Timo Meier – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. Meier is probably my favorite buy low target. He’s too good to keep struggling.
Jordan Binnington – 33 saves on 34 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Canucks. Binnington has done well over the first month to erase the doubt over whether or not last season’s success was a fluke.
Mats Zuccarello – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. Zucc has a goal in three straight and a point in four straight. I’m not holding him while he’s only getting 15 minutes per game, but he’s still a strong streamer.
Three Point Challenge: For those who aren’t familiar, for each Tuesday and Thursday of the season, you can make a pick in the comments section. That player needs to get 3+ points for you to win. You cannot take a player in the top 10 in points in the league. We will now transition to the current top 10 in points. There’s a big tie right now, which means all of those players can not be chosen. You can not take any of Pastrnak, Marchand, Draisaitl, McDavid, Carlson, Pettersson, Ovechkin, Matthews, M. Tkachuk, Huberdeau, Stone, or MacKinnon. Aurelius and Matt are one top with 2 correct picks, while Fungazi is on the board with one. We’ll be doing Thursday’s games this time around. I am going to take Johnny Gaudreau against the Devils.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action from the next two nights. Feel free to ask any questions, give any comments, or leave any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!