We’re very close to the All-Star break with most teams starting their extended break on Sunday. If you look at defensemen production, specifically in goals, you see notable names at the top. Dahlin leads defensemen in goals, and then there’s a four way tie behind him with notables like Makar and Hughes. None of that is a surprise. Weegar is one of those tied with Makar and Hughes, which is very surprising, but he went into the season locked into a big role, so let’s assume he had some good fortune. But Thomas Harley? He’s a player I really liked in dynasties, but to be one goal off the league lead for defensemen? Not even close to my radar. Harley scored two goals on Saturday, including the overtime winner for a second straight game, in the 5-4 win over the Capitals. That gives Harley a whopping 12 goals in 46 games. “Even with Heiskanen back, Harley was a factor. I’m still holding Harley even though I wasn’t expecting to when Heiskanen came back. He’s been that good for the Stars.” And that’s me quoting me from three days ago copying what Grey does! Somehow, Harley is still available in almost two-thirds of fantasy leagues. With the pool of defensemen dropping off hard at the bottom, Harley should be owned in all formats. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Two assists. OEL is stuck in a third pair role with the Florida blue line finally healthy. There’s little for fantasy now after a good start.
Bryan Rust – Two assists with four shots. Rust looks like a bottom end hold because he’s hitting of the categories well enough. The minutes are through the roof too.
Jonathan Marchessault – Hat trick. A hot streak for Marchessault puts him back on the fringe with a lean towards hold while he’s a hot schmotato.
Ivan Barbashev – Three assists with three shots. Barabshev is a fine streamer and I can’t see that changing in either direction.
Nic Roy – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. The run of good form from Roy continues. He’s still a solid streamer.
Blake Wheeler – Goal and an assist with four shots. I have no interest in shallower leagues, but Wheeler is back on the top line to give him deep league value again.
Filip Chytil – Out for the season after a setback in his recovery from a presumed concussion. I feel horrible for Chytil, who started off the season very well and has an injury history. Here’s to hoping he can get back next season. I expect the Rangers to fill the 3C spot via trade by the deadline.
Alexandar Georgiev – 26 saves on 27 shots in the 5-1 win over the Kings. Georgiev has been bad, but he’s still piling up wins to save his fantasy value. You just have to keep rolling him and hope he gets back to last season’s level.
Nathan MacKinnon – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. MacKinnon has a point in every home game so far this season. Just remarkable stuff.
Ross Colton – Two assists with a shot. Solid streamer as long as he’s on PP1.
Logan O’Connor – Two goals with two PIM. What a streak from LoC, scoring eight goals in his last nine games. He’s still getting second line minutes even with Lehkonen returning, which keeps him a solid streamer while he’s a hot schmotato.
Pavel Buchnevich – Two goals and an assist. It looked like Buch would be one of the big names available at the deadline, but the Blues are suddenly back in it. I’ve always been a big fan of Buch in real life and fantasy because of his all-around contributions. The shot rate is back up too.
Brayden Schenn – Two assists. Schenn has a point in nine of his last ten games, but I can’t get him past a middling streamer.
Robert Thomas – Goal and an assist with two shots. Bobby T. has turned into an elite center. It’s not elite in fantasy, but it’s still damn good.
Oliver Bjorkstrand – Goal and an assist with five shots. Bjorkstrand is on the fringe with a slight lean towards elite streamer more than a hold.
James van Riemsdyk – Goal and two assists with four shots. JVR has moved onto the first line with David Pastrnak (2+1, 8 SOG) and Pavel Zacha (2A, 3 SOG). JVR and Zacha are both solid to elite streamers now, with a slight preference to JVR as he’s on PP1 while Zacha is on PP2.
Charlie McAvoy – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. McAvoy has bumped his shot rate close enough to two per game that he looks more like a bottom end #1 instead of a top end #2.
Tyson Foerster – Two goals. The former first round pick doesn’t have a big enough role to be relevant for this season.
Alex Ovechkin – Goal and an assist with four shots. I’ve been holding Ovie out of stubbornness. I just can’t believe this shooting percentage will last.
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Two assists with a shot. Kuz has been massively disappointing this season. I’m out entirely right now.
Anthony Mantha – Goal and an assist with two shots. Bottom end streamer.
Matt Duchene – Goal and an assist with two shots. The second line for Dallas has been very good this season, with Mason Marchment scoring a goal and an assist while Tyler Seguin dished two assists. Duchene is a bottom end hold, while the other two are on the fringe.
Miro Heiskanen – Two assists with four shots. Even with the emergence of Harley, Heiskanen is poised for a big second half. He should be a bottom end #1 / top end #2.
Stuart Skinner – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 4-1 win over the Predators. What a run by the Oilers, winning 16 in a row. Skinner is now a top 5 goalie on the season. Unfathomable after the first two months of the season.
Connor McDavid – Goal and three assists with five shots. Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists with two PIM. The Oilers had four goals, and the top PP unit had two of them. McJesus and Draisaitl are together with Hyman right now so look for them to continue crushing the league.
Dylan Cozens – Goal and two assists with three shots. The Kid line has really gotten going for the Sabres, with J.J. Peterka scoring two goals on five shots. “With the Sharks on deck for Buffalo on Saturday, all are great streaming options for that game. Peterka would be my preference of the three right now.” And that’s me from Friday! Anyways, the sad thing is Jack Quinn went down with what looked like another bad leg injury. Here’s to hoping that’s not the case. We’ll see where the Sabres are once they come back from the break.
Alex Tuch – Goal and an assist with three shots. He’s found chemistry with Casey Mittelstadt (2A, SOG) again and that should help Tuch’s shot rate get back up. Tuch is on the fringe with a slight lean towards holding.
William Eklund – Two assists with two PIM. We’re seeing signs from Eklund, but for this season, he’s only a bottom end streamer.
Morgan Rielly – Two assists with two shots. I was bullish on Rielly this season because I wasn’t buying the Klingberg hype. I had Rielly ranked 125th overall, well above consensus, and he’s delivered. He’s a solid #2 in 12’ers.
Mitch Marner – Two assists. It feels like Marner isn’t doing much and then you look at his stats to see 53 points in 47 games.
Ondrej Palat – Goal and an assist with four shots. Palat is a fantasy afterthought at this point in his career.
Nico Hischier – Two assists with a shot. Hischier dropping from over three shots per game to almost exactly two is a huge blow to his value. I’ve been giving Hischier the benefit of the doubt, but he’s more fringe than definite hold.
Victor Hedman – Three assists with two shots. All of the top guys on Tampa went off in this game so I don’t feel the need to go through all of them. Hedman has bounced back from a disappointing 22-23 to be a top five defenseman at the break.
Rickard Rakell – Two assists. Rakell is down on the third line and second PP unit now. That means a massive minutes decrease and plummeting fantasy value. It can change quickly, but for now, he’s a bottom end streamer.
Marcus Pettersson – Goal and an assist with two shots. Pettersson is fine filler for deep leagues, but there’s not enough for 12’ers.
Artemi Panarin – Goal and two assists with two shots. Panarin is going to smash his previous career high in goals and should finally break 100 points if he can stay healthy. It’s great to see him at peak level.
Chris Kreider – Goal and an assist with three shots. Kreider has been fantasy across the board. With a little hot streak, Kreider could get 40+40.
Mika Zibanejad – Two assists with two PIM. Zibanejad is another guy who feels like he’s underwhelming and then you look and he’s a top 25 forward. And that’s why I’m bullish on him every season, the floor is so high.
Jonny Brodzinski – Goal and an assist with two shots. He’s filling in at 3C for now, which doesn’t do much for his fantasy value.
Zac Jones – Goal and an assist with two shots. Jones has been horrible defensively, but he’s shown offensive flashes. The problem is that his role isn’t big enough to do much.
Alexis Lafreniere – Goal and an assist with three shots. We’re starting to see signs, but it’s hard to get Laf past a middling streamer without the PP time.
Antti Raanta – 10 saves on 11 shots in the 3-1 win over the Coyotes. I can’t even call it a revenge game when he only faced 11 shots. Carolina seems to have turned the corner so I’m fine with streaming Raanta in most matchups.
Seth Jarvis – Two assists with six shots. Jarvis has a point in seven of the last eight games and is set as an elite streamer bordering on the fringe.
Matthew Tkachuk – Goal and an assist with three shots. Tkachuk is back to the form we expected going into the season. Once the shooting percentage regresses, he’ll be a fantasy superstar once again.
Alec Martinez – Two assists with three shots and five blocks. The blocks are what Martinez is good for. Use him accordingly.
Dylan Larkin – Two goals on three shots. It’s now a ten game point streak for Larkin who has been a top 50 player despite having a negative plus-minus like every season since his rookie campaign.
Moritz Seider – Two assists with a shot. Seider has been better than I expected, but certainly isn’t setting the world on fire. He’s a fine #3.
Lucas Raymond – Two assists with two shots. The points are at a career best pace for Raymond, btu the shot rate is quite bad. He’s more elite streamer than anything else.
Troy Terry – Two goals on four shots with four PIM. Terry has been quite good lately, but I don’t have him that close to being a hold. That said, he’s at his peak value for the season.
Adam Henrique – Two assists with four shots and two PIM. Henrique has ten points in his last seven games as the Ducks continue to feed him quality minutes. They’re certainly going to trade him which I don’t think will help his value. For now, he’s a solid streamer.
Mats Zuccarello – Two assists with two shots. Zucc is putting up plenty of assists, and the goals are only down because of a career low shooting percentage. He’s an easy hold everywhere.
Alexandre Texier – Goal and an assist. It’s nice to see Texier back in the NHL, but he’s not getting the chances he did two seasons ago. Bottom end streamer at best.
Brock Boeser – Hat trick and an assist with five shots. The Canucks went into the third period down 4-1, and then they scored three straight power play goals before winning in overtime. J.T. Miller had three assists, as did Quinn Hughes. Elias Pettersson had two goals and an assist with five shots, while Pius Suter dished two assists with three shots. We know the first four are all superstars. Suter has gone from complete afterthought to be a serious consideration for holding. He played over 21 minutes in this game so I’m going to have a very close eye on what he does in their first game after the break against Carolina.
Jacob Markstrom – 32 save shutout in the 1-0 win over Petr Mrazek (30/31) and the Blackhawks. Like Skinner, it was a rough start for Markstrom, but now he’s bordering on a bottom end #1. Mrazek has been quite good with a .910 save percentage, but he’s more of a DFS GPP play than much for season long formats.
Jordan Kyrou – Goal and two assists with three shots. I’m expecting big things down the stretch for Kyrou. He has ten points in his last nine games and I wouldn’t be surprised if the team added some depth pieces at the deadline to make life easier for their studs.
Scott Perunovich – Two assists. Nothing to see here in fantasy. Perunovich gets some PP time, but he has 0 goals in 30 games and is under a shot per game.
Yegor Chinakhov – Two goals on six shots. Chinakhov has been playing well with seven points in his last six games. The minutes are up so he’s a middling streamer.
Jordan Eberle – Two goals and an assist with three shots. Eberle looked like he fell off a cliff, but out of nowhere, he has nine points in his last six games. I can’t get him past a middling streamer, even with this streak.
Jared McCann – Goal and an assist with two shots. McCann is up to 20 goals after getting six in the past eight games. He looks to be back in Hakstol’s good graces which has McCann back on the fringe.
Three Point Challenge: With a really strange schedule this week, there’s only six games in total. You can pick anyone in the six games over the next three days. That said, if you’re picking someone on Ottawa, Nashville, or San Jose, please indicate which game you are taking them in. I will not be giving you the benefit of the doubt. Nobody in the Top Ten in points plays this week, so everyone is in play. I’ll go with Thomas against the Blue Jackets.
That’s all for now guys. There won’t be any other daily notes this week because of the schedule. I will be back at least one more time this week, if not twice. I’m going to save an updated hold/stream list for Monday, so it’ll probably be a look at how my bold predictions are doing and potentially something else. If you have anything in mind, please let me know in the comments section. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Thanks for reading, take care!