This year couldn't be going any worse for the Columbus Blue Jackets. A horrible record, terrible injuries to key players, and dreadful goaltending have sunk them from the beginning. Now that they're in the Bedard race, their fans probably aren't even happy that they won on Tuesday night. Their prize free agent signing, Johnny Gaudreau, dominated the game with two goals and three assists, plus six shots on goal. That brings him up to 62 points in 64 games, a far cry from last season, but not a complete disaster. The question isn't about what to expect from Gaudreau for the rest of this season, but going forward. He turns 30 in the summer, but I'm not expecting drop off in the short term. Can he approach 100 points again? I have my doubts, but if Columbus is lucky enough to get Bedard, it can't be ruled out. Bedard would be the perfect compliment, and Fantilli wouldn't be a bad consolation prize. I was lower on Gaudreau than consensus so I don't have any of him this year, but there's always a chance that with his talent, he makes a huge difference over the last month. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Happy Saturday, Razzball Nation! MarmosDad is back with some names and numbers to help you fill out your DFS lineups. We’ve got a fair share of chalk plays and a couple of lesser priced gems to polish up in our lists for the DraftKings' main slate here.
One gem that certainly has sparkled a bit more over the last couple of weeks is Owen Power, (DK: $3,400). Power’s Sabres are on a 5 game winning streak and Power has been a bit part of their success. After going 42 games without a goal scored, Power has three in his last three games, including an OT game winner on Monday night against the Dallas Stars. Look for the offensive juggernaut Sabres to “Power Up” against the Wild in Minnesota tonight!
It was great to see Aleksander Barkov back in the lineup on Thursday, and if you didn't get him back into your lineup off injured reserve, well, that one is going to hurt for a while. Barkov scored a hat trick in the first period against the Canadiens and added two assists in the 7-2 win over the Canadiens. It hasn't been Barkov's best season to this point, but I'm buying Barkov going forward to get back to being well over a point per game. Florida has dug itself quite a hole in the playoff race and I expect Maurice to really ride their top six even more. Barkov's shooting percentage is also much lower than his career sh% (10.3 vs 14.0) so look for some positive regression in the New Year for the Panthers captain. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
I hope everyone had a great Holiday Season! Hopefully you weren't stuck in your house like I was in Buffalo with this blizzard. Still haven't left my house since Thursday. Anyways, it's time for an updated hold/stream list since it's been about six weeks. For a refresher course of what I'm doing this year, instead of two separate categories, I’m going to do three now: hold, on the fringe between bottom end hold and elite streamer, and any level of streamer. This is for 12 team leagues. I will only make comments on certain players that I deem noteworthy, otherwise this will be purely a list. Assume that every starting goalie is worth holding unless noted otherwise, mostly by them being in the streaming category. Let’s get to it!
Despite the Stars coming up short, Jake Oettinger had arguably the best goaltending performance in a playoff series ever last season against the Flames. Oettinger was at that level again on Thursday, stopping 45 of 46 Washington shots in the 2-1 win. While the wins are a little lower than you'd expect given Dallas' record, Oettinger has established himself as a clear #1 in fantasy. It's not quite in the top tier in redrafts, but it's not far off. Oettinger, who turns 24 on Sunday, is right near the top in dynasties. Dallas has their entire core locked up, including Oettinger, and they're thriving under DeBoer. Let's take a look at what else happened the last two nights:
At risk of ignoring the 6’7” elephant in the room, the Sabres have been absolutely cruising with Cozens for the last week. Tage Thompson (that 6’7” elephant) was one of our writeup targets earlier in the year, and he definitely had a game for the ages with 5 goals (and 6 points) on Wednesday night. But there’s more to be excited about for Buffalo fans that have been cramming into the 'Cozens cab' for the last couple of weeks
It wasn't the best start to the season for the defending Stanley Cup Champions, who were 4-4-1 in October. Time off before playing the Blue Jackets twice in Finland was just what they needed to get back on track. Colorado won 6-3 on Friday before winning 5-1 on Saturday. The stars led the way in both games. Nathan MacKinnon dished seven assists between the two games, Mikko Rantanen had a hat trick on Friday, totaling 3+2, while Cale Makar had a goal and four assists. Columbus is a complete disaster defensively, but it's great to see Colorado's stars continue to dominate. Sadly, their weekend ended on a somber note with the passing of Peter McNab. He was one of the best TV analysts in the league and he will be sorely missed. Thankfully, he survived his illness long enough to get to see the Avalanche win the Cup again. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
The Canucks have been showing signs of life lately, especially offensively. Right now, there's no better cure for early season woes than going against the Ducks. On Thursday, Vancouver scored eight goals, and their big offseason acquisition led the way. Andrei Kuzmenko had a hat trick and an assist, giving him eight points in his last four games. He's found great chemistry with Pettersson (more on him later) and Kuzmenko has kept his spot on the first power play unit. He's on the fringe, but for now, I would definitely hold while he's this hot. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
During the longest playoff drought in NHL history, there have been plenty of hot starts from the Sabres. While I still expect that drought to extend for another season, Thursday's game against the Flames felt different. Coming off a win that they stole in Edmonton, the Sabres came in with house money. They got a 4-1 lead before giving a goal with 1.6 seconds left in the second that the linesman inexplicably kicked into the middle of the ice. Then, the Flames scored a minute into the third. Old Sabres teams would have collapsed, but this one took over the rest of the game, winning 6-3 and being the better team against an elite Calgary team. Leading the way was Alex Tuch, scoring a hat trick to give him five goals in the past three games. Tuch has at least three shots on goal in all four games this season. Buffalo's schedule for the rest of the month? Vancouver, Seattle, Montreal, Chicago and Detroit. Yeah, Tuch definitely needs to be held for the time being. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
What’s poppin, Razzpimples?
If you missed my Top 20 full-bangs defensemen piece (accounting for standard cats + blocks + PIMs), you can find it right here.
Below, you'll see #21-#40. After that, I'll give a list of names to watch for various reasons, but I don't see much point ranking guys when you get to that range. It'll depend on personal preference and your team build when it comes to deciding who should be our #4 or #5 defenseman. Odds are they won't stick on your roster all season anyway.
Keep in mind, these rankings are for categories leagues.
We move through more defensemen today going through my Top 40. For those that didn't see my Top 20, you can check that out here. I have some good news before I get going with these rankings. JKJ is going to be back! He's going to shift his focus this season towards defensemen, similar to what he does on the baseball side of things with relief pitchers. Look for him to be writing again in the near future, with a rebuttal to my defenseman rankings the first thing coming. And now, let's get to it!
We've reached the home stretch with three weeks left in the season. Today, I'm going to hit on some notable things that'll help you for your fantasy playoffs and other things just to watch for future gain. Let's get to it!
Owen Power signed with the Sabres and should make his NHL debut on Tuesday against the Maple Leafs. It's not the best matchup obviously, but if you need defensemen help, I'm good with adding him. The Sabres finish the week with a back-to-back against the Flyers which is pretty advantageous.