We’ve made it! There’s four games on the slate tonight, all of which are rivalry games. And I don’t mean fake rivalries that NBCSN uses every Wednesday! I’m going to look at a few different things in this post. One, the main three holdouts have reached terms on deals so I’ll take a look at the impact there. Two, I’ll look at the players who were claimed on waivers and their new situations. Three, there is no three. Lastly, I’m going to explain my general strategy for streaming and my favorite streamers for the games tonight. Let’s get to it!
HOLDOUTS / WAIVERS
No surprise by Nikita Kucherov came to terms on a three year bridge deal. The surprise is that he’s only getting 14 million over 3 years; Steve Yzerman is a God! Anyways, I never moved Kucherov in my rankings because I expected a deal to get done. He’s in my top 20 worthy of a pick in the middle to end of the second round.
Johnny Gaudreau ended up taking less than he wanted in a 6 year deal. It’s the perfect amount of time from his perspective because he’ll hit unrestricted free agency at 29 years old and he got a bonus in his contract for lockout protection. He’ll on my list of guys that I’m lower on only because he is points heavy and doesn’t give much else. He’s still worth a pick in the fourth round, maybe late third depending on your first couple picks but I assume Gaudreau is long gone at that point.
Rasmus Ristolainen also received a 6 year deal for a reasonable $5.4 million per season. He’s been practicing with the team so Risto will be ready game one and should be in your lineups. Now that’s he’s in the fold, you can safely drop Zach Bogosian in 12’ers.
P.A. Parenteau was waived by the Islanders but found a promising situation across the river in New Jersey. I suspect that he goes on the first line for the Devils with Taylor Hall and Adam Henrique so I’ll keep Parenteau where I had him, in the 160th as a middle to late round pick.
Teemu Pulkkinen was surprisingly waived by the Red Wings and was claimed by the Wild. Going to play for Boudreau is the best thing that could have happened to Pulkinen. It may only matter for deep leagues right now but I’ll be interested to see what his role is for Minnesota.
Kris Versteeg was released from his PTO with Edmonton only to sign with the Flames almost immediately. There’s a good chance he eventually ends up playing on the first line so Versteeg is an easy streamer in that case and has the potential to become a hold.
Ondrej Pavelec was waived by the Jets clearing the space for Connor Hellebuyck to be the starter. Hallelujah! Hellebuyck moves very close to my top 100 with this news and is a solid #2 goalie.
Devin Setoguchi was signed by the Kings. Apparently he’s playing on the first line because the Kings have atrocious depth, well done Dean Lombardi. Poor Anze Kopitar having to carry the corpse of Dustin Brown and Setoguchi. He’ll still manage 65ish points, Kopitar is unreal.
I’ve had a few people ask me recently about what I do in regards to streamers for fantasy hockey. I’m going under the assumption that you can edit your lineups daily and that you’re capped on the amount of moves you can make, be it over a week’s time or the course of the season. Obviously, it is up to your discretion to know whether or not it’s worth making these extra moves. Perhaps you really like your entire roster or you want to save moves for later on, that’s perfectly reasonable. Personally, I like to have a spot or two that I can cycle through players so here’s what I’m looking to do in head to head leagues (it’s very simple):
- Early in the week, if I’m looking to stream, I’m simply looking to get the best players possible. If one of the best players on the waiver wire has an excellent matchup, I’ll make the move early. Same goes with a backup goalie who has a great opportunity to win his game.
- Middle of the week, it’s mostly the same. If I’m in a big hole in an offensive category, this is the point where I decide whether to give up on the category and try to sure up things elsewhere or if I want to do my best to make up the deficit. If I get well ahead in goaltending, I won’t stream any goalie.
- End of the week is about two things. The main thing that I look to do is pick up players in the categories that I’m in a battle for. If I’m close in penalty minutes, I’ll pick up Antoine Roussel or someone in that mold. If assists are needed, Mike Ribeiro is a great target. If I need a goaltending win, I see who is available and has the best chance to win by looking at the betting lines.
- The second thing is if things aren’t close and you either have the week in the bag or you’re in trouble and want to throw the towel in, I’d look to make moves on Saturday night or Sunday morning for the following week. Other people will be streaming so getting ahead of the curve will help you out plenty.
Disclaimer: Like last season, I’m going to try and go with guys that are under 20% owned; depending on how big the slate is I may go with 25%. If there are higher owned players available in your league with great matchups, defer to them instead of the bottom guy or two listed here. If you have a question over two or more players, don’t hesitate to ask.
Mitch Marner (16.2% owned on ESPN) – I absolutely love him long term and he’s getting a chance to start on the second line. All of the attention will be on Matthews but I’d rather have Marner in game one. Look for him to get on the scoresheet in his first career game against the Senators.
Troy Brouwer (15.8%) – Going against the Oilers in his first game in Calgary is an excellent matchup. He’s on the second line which should have an advantage against the Oilers and get power play time. Brouwer could also add in some PIM on night one.
Ryan Dzingel (0.0%) – Here’s a guy who is available even in the deepest of leagues. Guy Boucher has repeatedly talked about how impressed he’s been with Dzingel in preseason and training camp. Dzingel has been rewarded with a spot on the second line. It wouldn’t surprise me if he got a point or more against the Leafs.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Thursday with a few things. One, Reid and I are probably going to do a quick podcast previewing Thursday’s games among other things. Two, I’ll have a short set of daily notes on the Wednesday night games on top of Thursday streamers. Lastly, I’m going to do a writeup on how poor ESPN’s rankings are. In the same post, I’ll make a quick list of the players that are +/- 20 spots in my rankings from consensus to give you a clear idea of who my favorite and least favorite guys are for the season. FantasyPros will keep me updated all year to see how I end up doing; if I finish behind ESPN I’ll be depressed. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below whether it’s about streaming or something else. Be sure to watch some games tonight; hockey is back!