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Looking ahead at some of the best fantasy options for Week Three.


The season has started with some odd results: Colorado is currently undefeated and leading the Central Division.  Calgary is second in the Pacific Division.  Everyone thinks Tomas Hertl is the next coming of Wayne Gretzky.  Don’t worry, things will settle back down.  If your fantasy team is struggling right now, don’t forget that we’ve only had two to five games played by each NHL team.  Hang in there.  If you’re looking for some help to turn things around, or you’re looking to maintain a lead you’re holding right now, take a look at these teams to target (or avoid) for the coming week or two.

 

Minnesota Wild = Target

 

Games: 6 (2H/4A)

Favorable Matchups:

  • @ Buffalo – Has allowed 11 goals in their past three games, all losses.
  • @ Florida – Have allowed 18 goals in four games this season, including two seven goal games against St. Louis and Tampa Bay.  Third worst defensive team in the league.   Even crazy Tim Thomas can’t save this team.
  • vs. Nashville – 13 goals against in 4 games for a 3.25 GAA.  Nashville doesn’t look very good this year.

 

The Wild finally got their first win of the season last night against Winnipeg.  They are about to hit a favorable stretch of games in the next couple weeks so guys like Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and Mikko Koivu should make their fantasy owners happy, although the Niklas Backstrom owners may not be (especially if he’s out long with that leg injury).

 

Nashville Predators = Consider

 

Games: 6 (3H/3A)

Favorable Matchups:

  • vs. Florida – Have allowed 18 goals in four games this season, including two seven goal games against St. Louis and Tampa Bay.  Third worst defensive team in the league.
  • vs. Los Angeles – Have uncharacteristically allowed at least three goals against each in the past three games.
  • @ Winnipeg – Until last night, Winnipeg had not allowed fewer than three goals in a game this season.

 

Why would anyone target a Predator?  Especially with the fact they have only put up six goals in four games this season.  I may be crazy, but I like their upcoming schedule.  They have three straight home games against the Islanders (came be susceptible to allowing goals), Florida (brutal defensively) and Los Angeles (oddly poor defensively so far).  Follow that up with road games against Montreal, Winnipeg and Minnesota, which are all non-defensively known teams.  Could be a good stretch to take a flier on a Pred.

 

Calgary Flames = Beware

 

Games: 5 (1H/4A)

Unfavorable Matchups:

  • @ Anaheim – Coming off a shutout of the struggling Rangers and have won three straight allowing five goals total.
  • @ San Jose – Have allowed five goals all season (four games) and Antti Niemi is playing insanely good right now.

 

Calgary has put up an impressive 15 goals in the first four games, which was surprising to most, myself included.  I see that coming to an end with their upcoming road trip against all the California teams and Phoenix.  Beware of counting on Jiri Hudler, Sean Monahan and Lee Stempniak to continue putting up the type of stats they have been so far.

 

New York Rangers = Avoid

 

Games: 3 (0H/3A)

Unfavorable Matchups:

  • @ St. Louis – 3-0, with only four goals against.  Ken Hitchcock behind the bench.  One of the deepest bluelines in the NHL.  Enough said.

 

St. Louis is the only really poor matchup for New York, as Washington and New Jersey are pretty good matchups in terms of allowing fantasy points against.  However, after getting destroyed two games in a row by San Jose and Anaheim, they only have three games in the next 13 days.  Things are looking rough for Alain Vigneault and company.

 

 

Possible Pickups

Here’s a list of some players, owned in less than 30% of Yahoo leagues, to target for the upcoming Monday to Sunday schedule.

 

Minnesota: Jonas Brodin (12%) – Tied for the team lead with three points in four games and plays alongside Ryan Suter.  That’s enough for me.

 

Nashville: Mike Fisher (4%) – Shea Weber and Seth Jones are the only players that are owned more than 12% on the Predators, so you can probably take your pick.  Fisher leads the team in points, penalty minutes and forward ice time.

 

Buffalo: Steve Ott (22%) – Notched his first point last night but has been skating with Thomas Vanek and Cody Hodgson.  When he’s not getting points, he’s still chipping in with PIMs, faceoff wins and hits.

 

Vancouver: Mike Santorelli (1%) – Four goals in the past three games.  He’s leading the lottery right now taking over for the injured Alex Burrows.  He’s seen over 15 minutes per game over the past three games.

 

Columbus: Brandon Dubinsky (23%) – Three points in three games.  He’s lining up with Marian Gaborik and Cam Atkinson at even strength and the powerplay.  He’s the heart and soul of this Blue Jackets team and a lot of their offense will go through him.

 

Friday, October 11 to Thursday, October 17

Best Bets

Pittsburgh (4.39) - 4 Games: @FLA, @TB, EDM, @PHI

Minnesota (4.23) - 4 Games: DAL, @BUF, @TOR, @TB

Chicago (4.20) - 4 Games: NYI, BUF, @CAR, STL

NY Islanders (4.12) - 4 Games: @CHI, @NSH, BUF, EDM

Detroit (4.11) - 4 Games: PHI, @BOS, CBJ, @COL

Steer Clear

NY Rangers (1.81) - 2 Games: @STL, @WSH

Calgary (2.05) - 2 Games: NJ, @ANH

Anaheim (2.26) - 2 Games: OTW, CGY

San Jose (2.80) - 3 Games: OTW, @STL, @DAL

Columbus (2.89) - 3 Games: BOS, @DET, @MTL

Saturday, October 12 to Friday, October 18

Best Bets

Minnesota (4.23) - 4 Games: DAL, @BUF, @TOR, @TB

Detroit (4.11) - 4 Games: PHI, @BOS, CBJ, @COL

Edmonton (4.03) - 4 Games: @TOR, @WSH, @PIT, @NYI

St. Louis (3.95) - 4 Games: NYR, SJ, @CHI, @WPG

Buffalo (3.95) - 4 Games: @CHI, MIN, @NYI, VAN

Steer Clear

Calgary (1.00) - 1 Games: @ANH

NY Rangers (1.81) - 2 Games: @STL, @WSH

New Jersey (1.95) - 2 Games: @WPG, @OTW

Florida (2.79) - 3 Games: LA, @NSH, BOS

San Jose (2.80) - 3 Games: OTW, @STL, @DAL

Sunday, October 13 to Saturday, October 19

Best Bets

Minnesota (4.22) - 4 Games: @BUF, @TOR, @TB, @FLA

Buffalo (4.20) - 4 Games: MIN, @NYI, VAN, COL

Los Angeles (4.14) - 4 Games: @FLA, @TB, @NSH, DAL

Ottawa (4.11) - 4 Games: @ANH, @PHX, NJ, EDM

Phoenix (4.04) - 4 Games: @CAR, OTW, @ANH, DET

Steer Clear

Calgary (1.90) - 2 Games: @ANH, @SJ

NY Rangers (1.95) - 2 Games: @WSH, @NJ

Philadelphia (2.05) - 2 Games: VAN, PIT

Dallas (2.85) - 3 Games: @COL, SJ, @LA

St. Louis (2.90) - 3 Games: SJ, @CHI, @WPG

Monday, October 14 to Sunday, October 20

Best Bets

Minnesota (4.22) - 4 Games: @BUF, @TOR, @TB, @FLA

Nashville (4.20) - 4 Games: FLA, LA, @MTL, @WPG

Buffalo (4.20) - 4 Games: MIN, @NYI, VAN, COL

Vancouver (4.04) - 4 Games: @PHI, @BUF, @PIT, @CBJ

Columbus (3.94) - 4 Games: @DET, @MTL, @WSH, VAN

Steer Clear

Calgary (1.90) - 2 Games: @ANH, @SJ

NY Rangers (1.95) - 2 Games: @WSH, @NJ

New Jersey (1.95) - 2 Games: @OTW, NYR

Philadelphia (2.05) - 2 Games: VAN, PIT

Florida (2.90) - 3 Games: @NSH, BOS, MIN

Tuesday, October 15 to Monday, October 21

Best Bets

Pittsburgh (4.35) - 4 Games: EDM, @PHI, VAN, COL

Los Angeles (4.31) - 4 Games: @TB, @NSH, DAL, CGY

Nashville (4.20) - 4 Games: FLA, LA, @MTL, @WPG

Colorado (4.15) - 4 Games: DAL, DET, @BUF, @PIT

Vancouver (4.04) - 4 Games: @PHI, @BUF, @PIT, @CBJ

Steer Clear

NY Rangers (1.95) - 2 Games: @WSH, @NJ

New Jersey (1.95) - 2 Games: @OTW, NYR

Philadelphia (2.05) - 2 Games: VAN, PIT

Boston (2.14) - 2 Games: @FLA, @TB

Washington (2.15) - 2 Games: NYR, CBJ

Wednesday, October 16 to Tuesday, October 22

Best Bets

Anaheim (4.35) - 4 Games: CGY, PHX, DAL, @TOR

Columbus (4.04) - 4 Games: @MTL, @WSH, VAN, NJ

Vancouver (4.04) - 4 Games: @BUF, @PIT, @CBJ, @NYI

Nashville (3.94) - 4 Games: LA, @MTL, @WPG, @MIN

Calgary (3.61) - 4 Games: @ANH, @SJ, @LA, @PHX

Steer Clear

Philadelphia (1.05) - 1 Games: PIT

St. Louis (1.90) - 2 Games: @CHI, @WPG

NY Rangers (1.95) - 2 Games: @WSH, @NJ

Tampa Bay (2.00) - 2 Games: MIN, BOS

Carolina (2.09) - 2 Games: @TOR, @NYI

Thursday, October 17 to Wednesday, October 23

Best Bets

Columbus (4.04) - 4 Games: @MTL, @WSH, VAN, NJ

Vancouver (4.04) - 4 Games: @BUF, @PIT, @CBJ, @NYI

Nashville (3.94) - 4 Games: LA, @MTL, @WPG, @MIN

Detroit (3.85) - 4 Games: @COL, @PHX, SJ, OTW

Phoenix (3.31) - 3 Games: @ANH, DET, CGY

Steer Clear

NY Rangers (0.95) - 1 Games: @NJ

Philadelphia (1.05) - 1 Games: PIT

St. Louis (1.90) - 2 Games: @CHI, @WPG

Tampa Bay (2.00) - 2 Games: MIN, BOS

Carolina (2.09) - 2 Games: @TOR, @NYI


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Comments (3)add comment

rjfisher83 said:

rjfisher83
... Meant to say "Rangers matchup vs. the Devils"
October 13, 2013
Votes: +0

rjfisher83 said:

rjfisher83
... @ebfenton, I didn't say the Rangers matchup vs. the Rangers was unfavorable. The only unfavorable matchup I have for them is the Blues. In fact I said: "...as Washington and New Jersey are pretty good matchups in terms of allowing fantasy points against." The Rangers, as a whole, are unfavorable because they play so few games during the upcoming two weeks.
October 13, 2013
Votes: +0

ebfenton said:

ebfenton
Rangers v Devils is unfavorable? Only thing I'd take issue with is the Rangers' matchup with NJ being unfavorable. Neither of NJ's keepers have put up stellar numbers thus far, and the rangers have a much more aggressive (and physical) blue line.
October 13, 2013
Votes: +0
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