We are nearing the end of the dusty trail, amigos. Since Week 20 is the one with the NHL Trade Deadline, you might call this the ol’ Tradin’ Post. Anywho, there haven’t many fantasy-relevant deals done since the Week 19 Preview and unless a Chris Kreider trade happens, we may have seen the best of the 2020 deadline already.
Ondrej Kase to Boston – This move is pretty interesting on paper. Kase is a skilled player who loves to shoot the puck. The issue is he can’t seem to stay healthy enough to make an impact. He’s never played more than 66 games in a season and even if he played tomorrow (which he won’t because he’s been dealing with some kind of flu for 10+ days) he would still have only made it into 69 games which is nice but not as many as you’d like to see. There’s a chance he makes it on to the top PP in Jake DeBrusk’s spot but that isn’t a given. If you have an IR spot open, he’s worth a stash.
Brenden Dillon to Washingon – He is a hits guy. I picked him up earlier this season when San Jose had a four-game week. Wouldn’t you know in two of the games he played that week he registered goose-eggs in the hits dept. Big fat zeroes. So pick him up if you need to stream hits and Washington has a good week, but you’ve been warned.
Chris Kreider to New York Rangers – Yeah man, I just don’t think he’s going anywhere. He’s on a tear and the team is somehow almost in the playoffs. How is this a thing? The Rangers have always been hesitant to give Kreider up and unless Colorado offers a deal they can’t refuse, he’s probably staying put.
Now for the week ahead!
Columbus Blue Jackets
Nick Foligno – Back to the well! The Jackets play three off-nights next week with one of them being the only horse in town on Monday. Foligno fills your categories and gets a heavy amount of TOI. He also isn’t afraid to pull moves like this:
Boone Jenner – Want a guy like Nick Foligno who plays on the same team but is just a little worse in all of the categories? Great! I have just the guy for you. Truthfully though, Jenner has been shooting like he’s trying to hit bottles off a fencepost lately with 20 shots in his last eight games. It hasn’t translated into a lot of points yet but he is still hitting so he’s helping to fill categories.
Gustav Nyquist – Since Oliver Bjorkstrand is on the shelf, it looks like Nyquist is going to take his spot on the top line and top PP. He’s definitely more of a points league player as his peripherals are hella weak. But, if you need points or PPP in a cats league he could chip in. He’s going to get the TOI.
Kevin Fiala – Arguably one of the hottest players in the league, week 20 is probably your last shot to pick up Fiala. With twelve points in his last eleven games, a lot of his point production isn’t entirely sustainable, but that’s ok. He’s also getting a lot of ice time and a lot of shots which are good indicators that some of this uptick could stick. The Wild have a decent playoff schedule featuring a four-game week for week 21 and a home-and-home versus the Blackhawks week 23 so he could be a hold if he keeps this up.
Zach Parise – It seems the end is near for Parise and it’s not pretty. But for this week, forget about that. He’s a solid points-league pickup – he still gets top PP time although his 5v5 TOI is going down (Fiala’s ice time has to come from somewhere I guess).
Marcus Foligno – Wow, here I am recommending people add the Foligno brothers. Not just one, both of them…how has it come to this? Well, this Foligno has also seen an increase in his TOI recently and that has translated into more peripheral stats. Shots, blocks, and hits are all up and while scoring hasn’t followed, it was never his strong suit to begin with.
Vegas Golden Knights
Paul Stastny – Generally, I don’t recommend picking up players unless they play four games in a week as I feel like that’s really the best way to optimize your roster spots. However, Vegas is playing all three of their games on off-nights during week 20 so I felt I could make an exception. Stastny is currently centering Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault and they’ve been doing some good work together. Keep an eye on his ice time though, Stastny has been moved up and down the lineup all season.
Brayden McNabb – Took me a while to get a defenseman on the list but I finally got one. McNabb is a bangers league play. He’s got 2G and 7A so far this season but his 181 hits and 118 blocks keep him fantasy-relevant.
Nate Schmidt – What?! No defensemen then two back-to-back? WTF? That’s right! Schmidt is an accumulator. He goes out every night and gets a couple shots and a block. Every couple of games he gets a point. For this week he’s a good bet in a points league but also not a terrible pick up in a categories league if you need points from your D.
New York Rangers
Pavel Buchnevich – I don’t understand. Are we all scared of a snake in the proverbial Buchnevich boot? Go pick him up already! He is still only 19% owned in Yahoo! leagues and 35% in ESPN. His scoring pace has died down a bit from where it was (to be expected) but he’s still playing with Mika Zibanejad and Kreider at even strength and they are good, y’all!
Brady Skjei – Another solid category contributor from the back-end. Skjei already has 123 shots to go along with 99 hits, 87 blocks, 40 PIMs. He’s also been able to add a few more points this year than his most recent seasons.
Igor Shesterkin – Last call here – if Shesterkin is available in your league, go get him. Seems like this goalie problem has shaken itself out and Shesterkin is the guy. He has been stellar in New York so far this year with a 2.23 GAA and .940 sv% in 10 starts. The Rangers have a pretty mediocre playoff schedule but if you need help (say you are a Rinne owner, like yours truly) then it makes sense to grab him.
Best of the Rest
A Look Ahead
If you’re sitting near the top of your fantasy hockey league comfortably with nothing to lose, then you should be looking towards next week when the playoffs begin for some leagues. Since you aren’t going to be using them, you can use a few of your adds for this week to add a couple of players for week 21. Here are the nine teams who play four games during week one of playoffs that you should be targeting:
- San Jose
More on them next week!
Week 20 Conclusions
That’ll be it for week 20 partner. We will have to wait and see what the NHL trade deadline holds. There is a sense that almost everything is done already and we may just get a few more little trades. Only time will tell!