There are just three weeks to go in the fantasy hockey season. We do want to remind people of the potential AlexRadulov return. Please check your leagues to see about availability but ESPN definitely has him in their database.Anyway, most leagues continue their playoffs this week and it is time to go “Between The Lines” once again.
Tyler Ennis-Marcus Foligno-Drew Stafford (Buffalo) -- This is a surprise but a pleasant one. A healthy Tyler Ennis is a scary proposition for the opposition. Although Buffalo played four games this week, it was good enough for Ennis to rack up seven points. Drew Stafford had his best week of the year with six points and rookie Marcus Foligno shocked people with five points. Buffalo plays four games this week and Lindy Ruff’s new second line has potential to surprise people once again, especially Ennis and Stafford.
Marian Gaborik-Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards (NY Rangers) -- There was a fear that this line could cause damage if it was given time and sure enough it has. Brad Richards had eight points on the week while Marian Gaborik tallied seven points. The player to keep an eye on is Carl Hagelin. Yes he only had five points but his speed and hands is the dynamic catalyst on this line. With a four game week (three at home), this new line is cooking with gas and a must add.
Matt Cooke-Sidney Crosby-Tyler Kennedy (Pittsburgh) -- It was a line combination that seemed destined not to last but Matt Cooke owners can take advantage of this while it lasts. Sidney Crosby had four assists while Cooke scored a whopping four times. Now Crosby is going to see more time on the power play as time goes by but the even strength scoring chances with Cooke and Tyler Kennedy should remain solid. Hence the two “wingmen” should continue to see ownership rises into this coming week.
Shane Doan-Ray Whitney-Antoine Vermette (Phoenix) -- Sometimes we like to take risks and this is one. Phoenix plays four games this week and although this line combined for only seven points last week, there is a feeling they could do it again or better. Their 50% frequency on the power play and rising 21.7% at even strength shows a tendency that this line is the one that will see the most first line ice time this week. Antoine Vermette is the biggest beneficiary of this shift and GM’s should pounce.
Martin Erat-Mike Fisher-Sergei Kostitsyn (Nashville) -- It will be interesting to see what line Alex Radulov does wind up on but in the meantime, do not sleep on this combination. Also the Kostitsyn brothers are used more and more on the power play but for a couple games this week at least, it is a solid idea to keep this line in mind. This could be a six to nine point week with a four game schedule that has Edmonton and Winnipeg at home.
Lead Us Defenders……
Travis Hamonic-Mark Streit (NY Islanders) -- This Islanders team is becoming the defense led by Travis Hamonic more and more over Mark Streit. Hamonic had six points last week overall. Streit chipped in with five points but it seems the younger defenseman is slowly figuring how to combine his above average skills into a higher reward type of game. The hands, shots, and physical nature are all there and with the ice time, it is just now a question of putting it together consistently. Hamonic is getting close.
Erik Karlsson-Filip Kuba (Ottawa) -- The redemption of Filip Kuba continued as he had a solid three point week while Erik Karlsson faded into the background a little bit. However, do not expect that to continue in this next seven day stretch. New Jersey, Montreal, and Pittsburgh are all conducive to optimal fantasy performance for this duo so do not be shocked to see a few more points for Karlsson and Kuba at a very crucial time in your leagues.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Keith Yandle (Phoenix) -- This pairing could be intriguing especially if they are used in power play and come from behind situations. Their frequency is relatively low but has potential to increase as the Coyotes are desperate to make the playoffs. Ekman-Larsson had five points and three goals last week. Since Phoenix is playing mostly battle tested bubble and playoff teams this week, it makes sense to go with a player that’s ownership rate has jumped by 20-30% over the last 14 days. Expect more opportunities for Ekman-Larsson to showcase his fantasy value as Keith Yandle continues to chip in while getting more physical.
As always you can follow @TheProgramBTR and fire away those questions. Some finals start next week so keep those questions coming. Good luck this week.