The difference between Mark Scheifele being a first round fantasy pick and a middling to late second round pick comes down to his shot rate.  He scored 32 goals last season but his 20% shooting percentage was due to regress.  While the shots haven’t been coming in, they did on Thursday and the goals were flowing.  Scheifele scored a hat trick on four shots in the 5-2 win over the Stars.  That brings him to 7 goals and 8 assists in 12 games, an excellent start for Scheifele.  Still, I have to assume the goals are going to drop since he has only 23 SOG on the season.  Scheifele should be a point per game regardless but again, shots are what we need for him to jump into superstar fantasy status.  Let’s take a look at what else happened around the league on Tuesday night:

Torey Krug – Two assists with two shots.  Boy, Krug has been absolutely awful in the early going.  He’s a buy low candidate because I’m not ignoring 4 years of data for 10 games.

Tuukka Rask – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 2-1 win over Vegas.  My biggest takeaway is that Vegas is in trouble and I’d start almost any goalie against them at this point.

Josh Bailey – Two assists.  He’s back on the Tavares line so Bailey should be owned everywhere.

Anders Lee – Two goals and an assist with four shots.  Ders has been outstanding and continues to be overlooked in most hockey circles.

John Tavares – Goal and an assist with six shots.  Hotter than a pistol doesn’t do it justice.

Lars Eller – Two goals and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  He’s been scoring lately but Eller is still a fantasy afterthought outside of the deepest of leagues.

John Carlson – Two assists with two shots.  He’s playing all of the minutes right now and while he’s still goalless, the assists and shots are outstanding.

Chandler Stephenson – Two assists.  Nice start for him in the pros but still not fantasy relevant.

Craig Anderson – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 3-1 win over Detroit.  You never know what you’re going to get on Anderson.

Erik Karlsson – Two assists with three shots and two penalty minutes.  Despite the -6 game the other day, Karlsson has been terrific as expected.

Mark Stone – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Dude just keep chugging along posting all of the points.  Over a point per game, +10 and finally a quality shot rate.

Henrik Lundqvist – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 2-1 OT win over Tampa.  Great game from Hank against an elite offensive team.  I still think he bounces back along with the Rangers as a whole.

Andrei Vasilevskiy – 33 saves on 35 shots in the loss.  Another great game from Vas who is arguably the fantasy MVP through the first month of the year.

Josh Anderson – Two goals on seven shots playing 18:29.  If your league includes hits, own him.  In standard 12’ers, he’s right on the fence and moving closer and closer to a hold.

Boone Jenner – Goal and two assists with two shots.  The shots have been great since Jenner’s return but it’s still only streamer worthy.

Oliver Bjorkstrand – Two goals on four shots.  He’s scoring a bunch but the minutes aren’t there and he’s not helping in the other categories.  Leaning towards elite streamer but I’ve admittedly held him in a couple places so far.

Zach Werenski – Two assists with three shots.  Solid start for Werenski who isn’t killing it anywhere but is solid across the board outside of PIM.

Vincent Trocheck – Goal and two assists with three shots.  Monster start to the season for Trocheck who is another player who seemingly goes under the radar.  I like him a lot in DFS because he’s never highly owned.

Michal Neuvirth – 33 save shutout in the 2-o win over the Blues.  Another season where Neuvirth is clearly outplaying his number one but isn’t getting the lion’s share of the starts.  I think he’s a nice own in 14’ers, or if you need a guy in 12’ers, because Neuvirth should start getting more playing time.

Claude Giroux – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Apparently all he needed was to move to left wing to get back on track.

Sean Couturier – Two assists.  I was super high on Couturier in his draft year but I never saw this kind of offense from him.

Blake Wheeler – Three assists with a shot.  Wheeler is simply a beast and I will not let anybody say anything bad about him!  Six category stud.

Brendan Gallagher – Two goals on four shots with two PIM.  Gallagher is hotter than a pistol with 8 points in 6 games with an elite shot rate.  I’ve long been a fan of Gally so while he’s playing this well, I’d own him everywhere.

Matt Dumba – Two assists with a shot.  He’s had an awful start but there’s a ton of upside here.  I would probably wait a bit to add him if he was dropped but I’d be ready to pounce if Dumba puts together a few more quality games.

Mikael Granlund – Two assists with two shots.  Granlund has started slow but the shots are there so it should turn around.

Matt Cullen – Goal and an assist.  And there’s your biannual Matt Cullen update!

Mikko Koivu – Two assists with three shots.  Koivu’s shot rate has jumped up to the point where you can justify holding him.

Mike Smith – 43 saves on 44 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Penguins.  He’s been a damn monster for the Flames.  If they start to score goals, watch out.  Smith could be a #1 goalie if that happens.

Semyon Varlamov – 57(!) saves on 60 shots in the 5-3 win over the Hurricanes.  57 saves!  Sweet Jesus.  This will help fix his save percentage quite a bit but the goals against average is going to remain a disaster.  You decide how desperate you are.

Carl Soderberg – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  Remember when Soderberg was good?  That wasn’t that long ago but he’s fallen off the edge.

Nathan MacKinnon – Two assists with two shots.  The shot rate needs to go back up but the points are coming in nicely.

Robin Lehner – 25 saves on 29 shots in the 5-4 win over the Coyotes.  I know it sounds crazy to give Lehner props for allowing 4 goals but having watched this game, the Coyotes should have scored 12 goals.  Lehner was outstanding so hopefully he builds off this win.

Benoit Pouliot – Two goals and an assist with three shots.  Benny looks great lately and probably should have buried four goals in this one.  Regardless, he’s moved back into streaming status.

Ryan O’Reilly – Three assists.  After a brutal start, RoR is up to 11 points in 13 games.  The shot rate is solid so hopefully he can turn the plus-minus around.

Kyle Okposo – Goal and an assist.  Brutal start for Okposo but like Krug, I’ll go off years of data instead of 10 games and think he’s going to turn it around.  If he’s on your waiver wire, grab Okposo.

Christian Dvorak – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  He has six points in the last six games so while he’s not helping you anywhere else, that’s enough to move Dvorak into streaming territory.

Auston Matthews – Goal and an assist with six shots.  It all came in garbage time with the Leafs falling behind 5-0 but it all counts the same in fantasy!

Tanner Pearson – Three assists with a shot and two PIM.  Pearson is a safe streamer but isn’t close to hold status.

Tyler Toffoli – Two goals on four shots.  Love Toffoli getting that shot rate to elite levels.  The bounce back looks real.

Michael Cammalleri – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Cammy hasn’t taken off like I hoped since he hasn’t played on the top line.  He’s an okay streamer but nothing more yet.

There are only two games on the slate for Friday so honestly, just stream the best players available in your league.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Monday recapping all of the weekend’s action.  As always, feel free to ask any questions and leave any comments below.  Enjoy your weekend and thanks for reading!

  1. Maccer says:


    Someone dropped Krug. Do you prefer him over Provorov or Montour in a 10 team league?


    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Maccer: Man, this is tough. For now, I’d probably hold the other two and leave on the waiver wire. The shot rate has fallen off so fucking much that it scares me to death.

  2. Ron says:

    Standard categories roto plus P, BS, Hits.

    Bailey, MacKinnon, Gallagher, and Okposo are all available. I like Bailey, but he produces nothing in BS and Hits and has a low shot rate. MacKinnon seems to have the higher upside, but I am guessing most nights when teams take 60 shots on goal against the Avs, that his +/- will be ugly. That said, I could live with the minuses if he puts up near point per game a with high shot rate and one hit per game. The other two are not on the top PP which is something I usually look to avoid holding if possible.

    I’m overloaded at D and eventually need to drop one of them for a forward. I have Buff, Trouba, Green, McAvoy, Sergachev, Montour, and Del Zotto (thanks Reid, for pointing him out before anyone else noticed him). I kind of want to wait and see what happens with Montour and Sergachev before deciding, but I don’t want to fall too far behind on man games with only two BN slots in our league.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Ron: Bailey definitely takes a hit in this froamt. Okposo actually is on the first power play unit but he’s also started extremely poorly. I agree that MacKinnon has the highest upside so I’m good with him.

      I don’t love Green but he’s playing too well to dump him for now. Maybe try to swing a trade? Move 2 of your D for an upgrade?

  3. Ron says:

    Oh, and one more question. I was very high on Guentzel preseason, and own him in numerous leagues. Now he’s off the Crosby line and is barely getting PP time. At what point should I accept the whiff and move on from him?

    Thanks in advance, I read every one of your blogs and love your analysis.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Ron: First off, thanks a lot, I appreciate that! I think I’d give him another week to see if things keep trending in the wrong direction.

  4. Saints says:

    Yeah two in row nailed it with scheifele he is a special player even tough you cant bank on a lot more hattricks 🙂
    I have some questions or comments on players you mentioned since i cant link them i will make a list so its better to read and talk about:
    Stephenson: what Do you expect long term from him?
    Anderson:he looked outstanding two great goals and obviously i benched him that hurts a lot because goals are close even though i own scheifele.
    Trocheck: he is really nice: he is imo one if not the most underrated player in fantasy especially if you include the extra categories
    Neuvirth: he looked amazing to shut down this blues team was incredible and surprising. I was very lucky that darling wasnt playing therefore i started neuvirth got the shutout and he equalized the teriible reimer start against tampa.
    Couturier: What Do you expect for him going forward ? Is he slowing down i think on the top line its difficult.
    Dumba:im pretty encouraged by this game i got a little frustrated with him in my dynasty he has all the potential and is doing not so much im pretty disappointed i hope he gets going now.
    Granlund:he was hurt a long time your text sounds pretty harsh.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Saints: Pretty great to hit two in a row, and even better nobody else in on the board yet.

      There’s some upside there but didn’t exactly light up the AHL last year so more than likely he ends up a middling guy who doesn’t do a ton in fantasy.

      He’s starting to become what I hoped.

      Absolutely agree on Trocheck.

      I hope to god Neuvirth starts playing more.

      I don’t think he stays a point per game guy but he should remain a hold all year (60 points?) if he sticks on that line, which all indications are that he will.

      There’s still a lot of hope for Dumba, I’m not overly concerned.

      Sure, he was hurt, but he had only 1 point in 5 games being a -2 with 0 PIM and poor hits and blocks for those who play in those leagues.

  5. Kevin Friel says:

    What would you do with Marner? He has been absolutely brutal so far this year

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Kevin Friel: Talked about him extensively on the podcast but long story short, I’d give him another couple games but if he’s still putting up goose eggs, I probably cut bait.

  6. Quick Sycamore says:

    I drafted Duchene with my final pick, hoping for either a rebound or early trade. And he got off to a fairly good start, but he’s cooled off. I was going to drop and watch for trade news because I really do think he can turn it around on a new team. Then I get an alert that a three team trade involving Duchene fell apart. Apparently Ottawa would’ve sent Turis to Nashville and I’m assuming Duchene would’ve gone to Ottawa. Anyway, what the hell is Sakic doing? I just can’t believe how long they has been going on for.

    • Quick Sycamore says:

      @Quick Sycamore: Well, he was traded. Now I just need to see if he can return to his old form in Ottawa.

      • Viz

        Viz says:

        @Quick Sycamore: Writing about it for the lead tonight but I think this could potentially help a bit.

  7. Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:

    yeah PIT has improved their D simply from schultz getting hurt (or since it anyway). i wonder if we ever find out what really happened with VGK and shipachyev.

    – is VGK literally that stupid
    – are they just like a really bad fantasy owner who WAY overvalues a player more than the entire rest of the league, but are so flighty that in the span of like a week completely reverses on that evaluation?
    – is it really impossible for him to opt out of that contract and sign with another NHL team? (this is the part that speaks to how weird it was that VGK paid him pretty good money then to dump him after 3 total games)

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey: There’s a chance that Shipachyov just came over too late and he’s not good enough at this point. I find that a little hard to believe but not impossible. My guess is that he goes home so he can play for Russia in the Olympics but we’ll see how things develop

  8. G 3, A 2, PIM 0.5, PPG 2, PPA 1, SOG 0.5, HIT 1, DEF 0.5. I am considering dropping Mikael Granlund. These options are still available in our 10 teamer: Boeser, Josh Anderson, Marchessault or Okposo. Do any of these standout to you Viz? All are currently better options in our format right now, but GranIund did have a scoring breakout last season. I read all of your blogs and really appreciate your great insights. Many thanks!

    • @madden_curser: I could drop Jonathan Toews, instead of Granlund, 1 G & 1 A last two games, but nothing the 3 before that. Not a big bounce back, but we know he has been a star in the past… Mitch Marner, Dadonov, Aho, Duchene, Cam Atkinson, Galchenyuk & Buchnevich are other guys out there.

      • Fundle Bundle Life says:

        @madden_curser: probably easy dadonov, in 10’s you can just stream it.

        • Fundle Bundle Life says:

          @Fundle Bundle Life: oh yeah anderson if hits league.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @madden_curser: Man, tough to drop Granlund after such a monster season. I’d probably give him a little longer although Anderson is very tempting with the inclusion of hits.

  9. Varlamov won his second straight game, three wins in his last four starts, but he’s allowed at least three goals in each of those games. Darling stopped 23 of 24 shots in Saturday’s shootout loss to the Coyotes. He owns a .903 save percentage and has managed just three wins in nine appearances. He sees plenty of action for a #3 goalie, But I don’t expect impressive numbers. Is Varlamov a better option?

    • @madden_curser: Varlamov last 4; 13.5, 27.5, -12, 16 (45 pts.). Darling; 9.5, 5, 14.5, 1 (30 pts.).

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @madden_curser: I still prefer Darling although it’s closer than I thought. Varlamov should pile up the saves giving him higher upside but I think Colorado is going to fall off, especially since they got primarily futures for Duchene, while Carolina should start to improve.

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