What’s poppin’, Razzpimples? If you’re new to this column or have no idea what the Friday/Sunday split is, it’s a simple yet effective way to maximize your weekly output no matter the format of your league. Typically — and it’s not always the case — heavy game loads are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, whereas Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays are lighter. Streaming players on those lighter days is almost a necessity to ensure you’re getting the most of each week, but this column focuses on just Fridays and Sundays. Reason being is that you get more bang for your waiver add buck in picking up a guy who will play those two days and will almost always be able to slot into your starting lineup without having to sacrifice someone else to the bench. Let’s do it to it.
Hello everyone. Welcome to the second edition of JOT This Down! It was so nice to have hockey back on the screens after so long without it. The NHL is in a really good place in terms of the level of talent in the league right now. In almost every game, you will see a jaw-dropping play or an unbelievable stat line, sometimes from someone you would have never expected it from. Take Brock Boeser for example (add him if he is somehow available), nobody could have predicted that on opening night, but you never know what will happen in the NHL. That’s why in a sport with a lot of luck and volatility, never get too upset if things don’t go your way. It’s a long season, and there’s always next week to bounce back. Treat it as a hobby and have some fun.
You guys know I like to start my posts about players who could be available in a large percentage of leagues that you can target on the waiver wire. After all, being aggressive at the bottom of your roster is a huge factor in fantasy hockey. However, sometimes a player has a weekend so good that you have to give him his due. This time, that player is Auston Matthews. Matthews scored three goals on Saturday, recording his second hat trick in as many games. Look, everybody knows the upside. We're talking about a guy who scored 60 goals two seasons ago on his way to the Hart trophy. He's obviously in that tier right behind McDavid, and the only reason I had him towards the bottom of the tier is that he tends to miss 10-15 games a season. If Matthews can play 75+ games, a repeat of 60 goals is well within reason. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It has been a terrible year for Kris Letang on and off the ice, but mostly off. He suffered a stroke and his father passed away shortly after. After almost a month away from the team, Letang returned on Tuesday and carried the Penguins to victory. Letang had a vintage performance, scoring two goals and two assists with six shots, four hits, and two blocks in the 7-6 OT win over the Panthers. I'm not going to say Letang will have a monster second half based on one game in his age 35 season. The good news is that there's a lot of games left for him to make an impact, and we know how big the upside is. If I said Letang was a top five defenseman the rest of the way, would you be shocked? I wouldn't. Now, the floor is much lower in the past, even assuming he can stay healthy. However, Pitt is starting to round into form, offensively at least, and the opportunity is there for a big finish. If your team is in position where you need to take a gamble, I would float some offers to the Letang owner. If I had him and was patient through the first three months, fingers crossed that he can salvage the season. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
One of the highest variance players for fantasy hockey this season is Logan Thompson. You can't ask for much of a better start. Thompson had a 27 save shutout on Thursday, and the Golden Knights needed every bit of it in the 1-0 win over the Blackhawks. He also had 27 saves on 30 shots in the first Vegas win, 4-3 over the Kings. I liked Thompson as a #2 this year, and this start makes me feel better about it. It's not going to be smooth, but that happens for only a few goalies in the entire league. Outside of the worst matchups, I feel good about rolling Thompson against everybody for the time being. Let's see what else happened on Thursday:
Columbus was in an absolutely miserable spot on Tuesday. They were missing their #1 goalie, their best defenseman, arguably their second best defenseman, and one of their hottest forwards. Their backup goalie was playing his first game in three weeks, and they were facing the healthiest version of Tampa that we've seen in months. Needless to say, it did not go well. Tampa was in control from the very beginning and won 7-2, led by Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point. Palat scored two goals and an assist with four shots, while Point had a goal and two assists with two shots. These two haven't spent too much time together this season as Palat has been with Stamkos for the vast majority. They didn't miss a step from playing together in the past. Point is a fringe top 20 player while Palat is solidified himself as a hold again. If he's available, grab him now, because I have no doubt that Palat will be a no brainer hold once Nikita Kucherov comes back, which should be in a couple weeks. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Hello again, Razzfolks! Closing out the Metro today with the Rangers, the Flyers, the Pens, and the Caps. Tomorrow we venture to the Atlantic Division as our culminating destination. For all the team previews up until this point, links are below:
We're keeping it moving here at Razzball with the Top 40 defensemen. If you didn't see the top 20, you can read that here. I have some good news as well! JKJ, who writes on the baseball side of things, is going to be helping me out with hockey this year. He's going to have a weekly post during the season to focus on streaming. As of now, the plan is for that to come out on Thursdays to cover the weekend since streaming is prevalent on Friday and Saturday. Additionally, he's going to do quick team previews for the entire league. Look out for those starting next week! Now let's get to the top 40:
It's time to look back at both of my posts about undervalued and overvalued players from preseason. I did ten players for both, and I'll break down each player and what went right or what went wrong. I have to say that there were quite a lot of correct predictions, especially in the overvalued. Eight of the ten predictions were clearly correct, but oh boy was there one big miss! I will not hide that prediction in shame because that would serve no purpose. If you want to look back at this posts, you can find them here and here, but it won't be necessary. Let's get to it!
While he's not getting the attention that he received in Vegas' inaugural season, Jonathan Marchessault has quietly had a terrific campaign. His best game came on Wednesday, where Marchessault had two goals, two assists, and five shots leading Vegas to a 5-2 victory over the Sharks. This let Vegas become the first team to clinch the playoffs this season, something that has been a formality for months already. Marchessault now had 13 goals and 22 assists in 46 games, along with a +12 rating, 37 PIM, and 147 shots. In other words, he's a plus across the board with elite PIM and a strong shot rate. At 30 years old, Marchessault has shown no signs of slowing down. He's getting easier matchups now which is helping him thrive on the second line. He looks every bit of a top 100 player going forward, with the upside of being top 50 if he has some shooting luck in a season like he did in his one season in Florida. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Injuries are a part of the game, but always terrible to see. Unfortunately, a Razzball favorite went down on Monday night. Brendan Gallagher broke his thumb and is out multiple weeks. If you have an IR spot, definitely stash him, but if you don't, you can sadly let him go. So who gets the boost in Montreal? Jesperi Kotkaniemi moved to the wing and took Gallagher's spot which boosts him up to a solid streamer from a middling one. Eric Staal scored the overtime winner in his Canadiens debut and is now centering Toffoli and Drouin. He looked completely shot in Buffalo, but maybe the trade plus the easier division rejuvenate him. Let's see how he looks over the next couple games before we use him. I also really like what I've seen from Josh Anderson lately who is playing more minutes. The assists are brutal, but the goals and shots should be quite good. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Injuries have robbed us of an amazing Cale Makar season. The good news is that he's back now and dominating games on a consistent basis. Makar had three assists with four shots in Colorado's 5-2 win over the Ducks on Monday. That brings Makar up to a point per game on the season with a +12 rating in 22 games that isn't a fluke at all. We've seen a slight uptick in his shot rate this season, but a big jump there is what it will take for Makar to move into being a top five defenseman instead of being a middling to bottom end #1. With how well he plays in his age 22 season, I have no doubt that it's coming. For dynasties, I think he has to be the top defenseman. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: