The Sabres got off to a hot start this season despite their top line struggling to get on the scoresheet. On Saturday, they started the turnaround against the Blackhawks, but that game paled in comparison to what they did on Monday. Against the Red Wings, the Sabres scored eight goals, led by their $50 million man, Tage Thompson. Thompson had the game of the early season, scoring three goals, dishing three assists, and putting nine total shots on goal. All it took was two games for Thompson to turn his October into a monster month with 6+6 in nine games with over four shots per game. Granato told him that he needed to start shooting the puck more, and that’s turned into 25 shots in the past three games alone. Obviously he’s not going to keep up that rate, but Thompson could turn into a top 50 player if he pushes his shot rate to over four per game. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Jeff Skinner – Goal and two assists with four shots. Monday’s goal was Skinner’s 300th, which is quite the total for a 30 year old. He’s right on the fringe depending on team needs, but I’m leaning towards hold again.
Kyle Okposo – Two assists with three shots. He’s a solid streamer as long as he sticks with Thompson and Skinner.
Rasmus Dahlin – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Dahlin is playing as well as any defenseman in the league right now. My bold prediction that Dahlin ends as a top 5 fantasy defenseman is off to a great start.
Martin Necas – Two assists with four shots and two PIM. Monster start from Necas who has a point in eight of nine games this season. He could smash all of his previous career highs.
Jonathan Quick – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 5-1 win over the Blues. Man, the Blues are a disaster right now. Quick has been a disaster so far. I have him in the desperation tier for now.
Kevin Fiala – Goal and three assists with five shots and two PIM over two games. Moving off the top line hasn’t hurt Fiala at all. As long as he stays on PP1, there’s no concern here.
Carl Grundstrom – Two goals and an assist with six shots and two PIM over two games. Nothing to see here even playing with Fiala.
Gabriel Vilardi – Goal and an assist with two shots on Monday. Vilardi has been terrific. It’s great to see him healthy and thriving. He’s fit perfectly on the first line and while he won’t keep up this place, he’s still an easy hold everywhere.
Igor Shesterkin – 19 save shutout in the 1-0 OT win over Carter Hart and the Flyers. Igor hasn’t been close to last season’s level yet, but his “slow” start is still really damn good. As for Hart, he’s been the best goalie in the league so far, constantly stealing games or points for the Flyers. I’m not sure it’ll last, but the talent is undeniable.
Nikita Kucherov – Goal and two assists with four shots. It was a slow start for Kucherov in the goals department, but now he has a goal in four straight. It was only a matter of time.
Steven Stamkos – Two assists with eight shots. If Stammer keeps up this shot rate and stays healthy, we can be looking at his first 50 goal season in 11 years.
Brayden Point – Goal and an assist with four shots. Very good start from Point who looks the best he has in a while.
Mikhail Sergachev – Goal and an assist with four shots and four PIM. Hedman was out for this game letting Sergachev play on PP1. It won’t last, but I would love to see what Sergachev could do with a top pair role for a full season. As is, he’s still an easy hold, but the ceiling is much lower.
Alex Pietrangelo – Three assists with two PIM. I have no idea why he’s playing on PP1, but it’s a huge win for Pietrangelo’s fantasy value. He has #2 upside, although I think he’s more of a #3.
Jack Eichel – Goal and an assist with two shots. Vegas is getting everything that they hoped for from Eichel this season.
Hampus Lindholm – Goal and three assists with three shots and two PIM. Lindholm was everywhere in this game, capping it with an amazing shot to complete the comeback in OT. He won’t keep up this point pace, especially when McAvoy comes back, but Lindholm has solidified himself as an easy hold again.
Evgeni Malkin – Goal and an assist with four shots. Just stay healthy!
Brock McGinn – Two assists. And there’s your annual McGinn update!
Marc-Andre Fleury – 34 saves on 35 shots in the 4-1 win over the Canadiens. It’s been a nightmare start from Fleury, but at least he’s still getting wins in the meantime. Don’t expect a Vegas type of season from him, but he should get back to being a #2.
Kirill Kaprizov – Two goals on five shots. It feels like Kaprizov is struggling a bit, but he has eight goals. That’s the sign of a true superstar.
Joel Eriksson Ek – Two assists with six shots. JEEK has played his way into being a bottom end hold. The shot rate is excellent and he’s a big factor on the Wild’s first power play unit.
Matt Boldy – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Excellent start to the season for Boldy, who is taking a lot more shots and being rewarded for it. Everything he is doing looks sustainable.
Ilya Sorokin – 21 saves on 22 shots in the 3-1 win over the Blackhawks. Sorokin looks every bit of the part for being a top 5 goalie this season.
Brock Nelson – Goal and an assist with five shots. Nelson is getting massive minutes right now, a clear step up with Lambert. It makes me very bullish on his chances of setting a new career high in points.
Roope Hintz – Two goals and an assist with four shots. The shot rate needs to take a jump up, but the points have been excellent from Hintz. The Dallas PP finally looks to be getting back on track.
Jason Robertson – Goal and two assists with six shots. Dallas’ top line certainly belongs in the discussion for the best line in the league. It’s not quite there, but it’s one of the best going.
Jamie Benn – Two assists with seven shots. Benn is a fine streamer as long as he stays on the first power play unit, but his days of being a clear hold are over.
Miro Heiskanen – Two assists with four shots. Nice to see Heiskanen back in the lineup and producing right away. I still think we see his best offensive season by a mile this year.
Oliver Bjorkstrand – Two assists with two shots. Bjorkstrand cooled off after a strong start, but the shot rate is still elite. I’m more in the elite streamer category unless you’re desperate for shots.
Tyler Toffoli – Goal and an assist with four shots. The Flames shuffled their lines, which resulted in Toffoli ending up on the second line, but he’s still with Elias Lindholm (2A). While the start has been disappointing, I’m still holding both without hesitation and expect a turnaround sooner than later.
Filip Forsberg – Goal and two assists with two shots. The top players did all the damage for Nashville, as Matt Duchene, Roman Josi, and Mikael Granlund all had two assists. The problem was that they were no match for Edmonton’s top guys. Nashville is off to a slow start, but I fully expect the top three guys to be stars, while Granlund should be a decent streamer for assists and PPP.
Leon Draisaitl – Goal and four assists with three shots. Connor McDavid had two goals and two assists with eight shots, while Evander Kane had a hat trick on eight shots. In his last nine games against the Predators, Draisaitl has 22 points. Is that good? McDavid looks like a man on a mission this year to score all of the goals. Kane is taking full advantage of playing with these two superstars and performing like a fantasy superstar once again.
Yegor Sharangovich – Goal and an assist with three shots. He’s a middling streamer while he’s with Jack Hughes (1+1, eight shots).
Bo Horvat – Two goals on five shots. Dr. Bo quietly is up to eight goals as he continues to cut up the competition.
J.T. Miller – Two assists. Miller is going to be good regardless, but his shot rate has to tick back up if he wants to come close to being as valuable as he was last season.
Clayton Keller – Goal and an assist with four shots. Keller is above a point per game, but the shot rate is below two per game and the plus-minus is dreadful. Moreso than almost every player, his value is greatly determined by your league format.
Karel Vejmelka – 41 saves on 42 shots in the 3-1 win over the Panthers. Vejmelka has these type of games seemingly once a month. The overall numbers are going to be very ugly, but if you play DFS and mass enter, he’s worth a dart throw because he’s always going to be incredibly low owned and can break a slate.
Adam Henrique – Two goals on four shots. Check out Henrique’s second goal because I didn’t think he had a move like that in his repertoire. He had one point before this game, so it’ll take a good stretch of hockey for Henrique to get back on the streaming radar.
Kevin Shattenkirk – Two assists with two shots and ten PIM. With Jamie Drysdale out for 4-6 months, perhaps Shattenkirk can get back to being 12’er relevant. He’s piling up PIM at the least.
Troy Terry – Two assists with seven shots. Terry is proving that last season wasn’t a fluke at all.
Erik Karlsson – Hat trick and an assist with five shots and two PIM. Oh my. Karlsson’s first career hat trick brings him up to eight goals already. It’s outstanding to see him healthy again and being a dominant force.
Tomas Hertl – Two assists. Hertl is on the fringe right now. I’m not liking his shot rate trend.
Timo Meier – Two goals on nine shots. One of the goals was shot by Silfverberg into his own net, but they count the same! Meier was due for some good fortune with the brutal shooting luck he had in October.
Alexander Barabanov – Two assists with three shots. Barabanov’s shot rate is so poor that he’s only a bottom end streamer.
Three Point Challenge: We’re going to transition to using the current Top 10 scorers in points. There’s going to be a bunch of ties so it’ll be more than 10 players, but it also will give more options for better players who have started slow. For now, you can’t select Draisaitl, McDavid, Pastrnak, Panarin, Bratt, Kucherov, Necas, M. Tkachuk, Robertson, Kaprizov, Zibanejad, Vilardi, or Fiala. We’ll be doing Thursday’s games. I’m going to go with Barkov against the Sharks.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action from the next two nights. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!
Are you concerned about Binnington? He’s giving up goals in bunches. Is he a cut? At best right now he is going to sit on my bench until he strings together a couple of games that aren’t disasters.
I wouldn’t cut him. The Blues have been a mess lately, but it wasn’t that long ago he shut out Edmonton. I expect the Blues to turn it around eventually. Obviously fine keeping him on the bench for now though.
thanks for the update Viz!
Goals are worth 2 points. And the league includes hits and blocks. Can you please pick 3 to start. Thank you
Horvat vs Anaheim
Scheifele vs Montreal
Larkin vs Washington
Suzuki @ Winnipeg
Pettersson vs Anaheim
Hmm, this is tough. I think Pettersson and Scheifele are locks given their plus matchups. The other three are debatable. Horvat is on fire, Larkin is probably the best player, and Suzuki has been very good and a solid matchup. I kind of want to go Horvat because Anaheim is such a mess defensively, but I think Larkin is probably the safest bet.
In a one-year points only 8 teamer
Your thoughts on Scheifele this season? Should be better than Trocheck ROS right?
Ehlers being hurt is definitely hampering Scheifele a bit. I’m not overly concerned about him, he’s too good to be stuck at 0 assists. It depends on what you need, mostly because Trocheck’s shot rate is so good, but yes, I still prefer Scheifele ROS.
Thanks, picked him up. And what about Kyrou, better than Boeser ROS?
Yeah I prefer Kyrou despite the poor start.
Viz, couple questions for you.
Are you buying low on either Demko or Saaros ?
Also, would Guentzel + Dougie Hamilton for Matt Tkachuk be an overpay ? My D core is deep and I’m looking to strengthen my RW slot. Could also try for Marner if I can’t trade for M Tkachuk
I think both are going to turn it around to some extent at least, but I would buy Saros for sure. Nashville should be much better defensively than they’ve been.
It depends a bit on your league format and your other guys. I think it’s an overpay, but it could be worth it depending on who you have to replace Dougie with.
If I move Hamilton, my D men would be Josi, Dahlin, Gudas, and Montour. I can also pick up Spurgeon.
So I’d lose a PP 1B, but my RWers would be Tkachuk and Laine, opposed to Kempe and Laine. Guentzel I can’t play most nights as I have Marchand and Kirill in front of him and its Roto settings
Hmm, that’s tough because Gudas obviously has massive flaws, and Montour will only be valuable until Ekblad comes back. I’d probably lean towards doing it, but it’s not a slam dunk.
I actually just managed to trade Dahlin after last nights performance for Hedman, so I’m rolling with Josi and Hedman, then I think I’ll stack up on hits and SOG guys behind them. Not sure if that changes anything
The main reason I was willing to overpay was in this league, I only have two LW slots, both filled by Marchand and Kaprizov, without a utility. So Guentzel was essentially unplayable, as the league is Roto so you only have 82 games per position.
Of all RW I tried to get, the Tkachuk owner was the only person willing. Both Pasta and Khucherov owners rejected. Think other than those two Tkachuk is the best RW to own for categories
I prefer Dahlin to Hedman at this point, you just dug yourself a bigger hole in hits and shots with the swap and Hedman doesn’t really give you anything Dahlin doesn’t besides a longer history of playing at this level, but that doesn’t really change my opinion, I’m fine with overpaying and getting Tkachuk. It’s hard to lose the trade when you get the best player.
You still like Guentzel over Boldy Viz?
Oh yeah, for sure. Guentzel is a top 20 guy for me, Boldy is probably in the 75 range? It’s a big gap.
Was offered this trade by a Rangers fan, thinking of taking it. Would love your opinion on it.
I receive: Seider, R Andersson, and Tage Thomson
I give: Trouba, Trocheck, and DeAngelo
My current centers are Hughes and McDavid so Trocheck is just a depth piece.
Feel like Seider and Andersson are the better D men no ?
So it depends a bit on what you need and what your league format is. Trouba is an absolute monster in hits and blocks so if you have those categories, it’s closer. That said, I still think I’d do that trade. It’s been a slow start from Seider, but it should turn around.
It’s definitely close, but I would still lean Laine.
So my league has hits but not blocks, does that still favour the Seider side ?
Yeah, I think so, just not as much.
One more question, do you still prefer Laine to Caufield at this point in the season ?
what the hell, how is that karlsson’s first hat trick this late into career (obv very many very good D men never have one so not that weird)
That really caught me off guard too
Would you drop 1 of these guys:
For 1 of these guys:
Hmm, I wouldn’t consider Okposo but Olofsson is in this group of players. It depends on what categories you’re looking for. I think I’d go for him over Marchment, but Jenner depends on what cats your league has.
Zegras for 3 pnt!
I have to drop someone soon to activate both Ekblad and McAvoy. First choice is between Addison, Morrissey and Bouchard. Next up is to drop one of Rakell, Bennett or Marchessault. Standard yahoo Roto league. I currently have Point, J.Hughes and Trocheck at C. Forsberg is my other LW.
As much as I like the upside, I think you can let go of Addison. He’s not shooting the puck and giving nothing in hits, so he’s pretty much assists and PPP only. The forward depends a bit on team needs. Rakell is taking all of the shots but is on 2nd line now and locked into PP2, while Bennett is also PP2 and doesn’t have Tkachuk on his line anymore. It’s between those two for me, Marchessault I would keep. It depends how badly you need the hits/PIM Bennett provides.
What do you think of Logan Thompson and Larkin for Trouba and Jarry ? Categories without blocks
Thompson has been unreal but could use more depth at the blue line and feel Jarry is at his lowest value, he was so good last year after a rough start
I prefer the Thompson side of things, mostly because Larkin has a lot more value than Trouba without blocks. Trouba is great in hits and should be in PIM, but you’re getting a negative in points in the process. The goalie swap is somewhat irrelevant to me, I think those two should be looked at fairly equally despite starting on opposite sides of the spectrum, but I don’t think Trouba helps you enough on the blue line (he’s a bottom end hold) to make up for what you lose from Larkin offensively, a top 75ish player.
nov 1: barkov
nov 3rd: stamkos vs CAR for 3 pt thurs
ahhhh, did anybody else notice pettersson could’ve been picked, not me. anybody like that vs ANA is an easy idea.
I had him originally typed in too, I had picked him once before but it did reset since then.