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Fantasy Hockey Week 18 Preview

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Damon Severson
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I hope you’ve been lifting your weights because week 18 is heavy. Using the handy off-nights tool from the Fantasy Hockey Podcast, we see eighteen teams have a four-game week. That’s great news if you’re trying to maximize your starts. “Hockey Day in America” will be celebrated or observed or whatever on Sunday so we’ll be treated to a lot of weekend hockey. Keeping that in mind, let’s dive into the preview!

Two-Game Teams for Week 18

First off, who can you drop? Welp, the LA Kings are the only team playing two games this week. With all of the other juicy options on the menu, you can go ahead and drop any Kings player you’ve picked up recently in a streaming capacity. This includes:

One player I would keep an eye on is Calvin Petersen. Now that Jack Campbell is gone, and with the Kings so far out of the playoffs, it will be interesting to see how many games finds his way into.

Stop What You’re Doing – Get These Guys

Before I get to the 4-game streams I just want to highlight these two players you should probably make room for on your roster:

Zach SanfordSleep with one eye open folks! This dude is en fuego. Eleven points in his last 10 games, I’d be remiss not to mention him here. He’s playing on the Blues’ top line with Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron but not seeing much PP time yet. I’m a tad skeptical considering he was being healthy scratched for long periods of time this season but hey, nevermind that noise you heard. Grab him!

Damon Severson – If you’re going to pick up a defenseman for week 18, I think it should be this guy. Severson has moved into a larger role with the Devils and has become a multi-category contributor in the process – 2G, 4A, 4 PPP, 16 PIM, 24 SOG, 13 hits, and 12 BLKs, in his last 10 games. What’s not to like?

Montreal Canadiens

Montreal has three off-nights this week so they’re going to be the team to target for week 18. The Canadiens have a good selection of players that could still available on your waiver wire so try to snag one or more if you can.

  • Nick Suzuki – Playing 17:11 over his last ten games, he’s got six points (2G, 5A), 13 hits, 22 SOG, and 7 blocks in that same time. He’s also seeing almost 50% of the PP time for the Habs. Great add in all leagues.
  • Phillip Danault – Would it surprise you to know that Danault the 81st ranked player in Yahoo! leagues? 100 hits, 106 shots, 39 points in 56 games, he should be owned in your league, especially next week.
  • Joel Armia – Armia is only owned in 24% of Yahoo! leagues. C’mon guys. He contributes in all categories, been playing 18+ minutes a night, and gets enough PP time to chip in.
  • Ilya Kovalchuk – The 36 year-old may be slowing down a hair, but he’s still a good pickup for next week. Roughly two shots-per-game and one hit-per-game over his last 10 games and seven points in that same time.
  • Jonathan Drouin – CHECK YR WIRE! At 31% owned in Yahoo! leagues he may have been dropped early in the season. Drouin returned to the lineup Saturday night registering one shot and three hits in 11:49 TOI. His shooting percentage was inflated (15.6%) but not crazy, leading to 15 points in 20 games before going on IR. He’d still be a solid add, especially this week and possibly rest-of-season.

Columbus Blue Jackets

After a tough Monday matchup against the Lightning (*revenge game alert*), the Jackets have a soft schedule against the Sabres, Rangers, and Devils. Hot team, two off-nights, four games, weak schedule – that’s streaming gold!

  • Nick Foligno – Over his last ten games, Foligno has seven with three hits or more, spiking 5 hits twice. He also had nine shots on Feb. 7th. He’s a certified banger who contributes in all categories and he’s playing on the top line.
  • Gustav Nyquist – Gus has been a perfectly serviceable player this season. He’s definitely a points league target as he isn’t going to fill many categories other than goals and assists.
  • David Savard – If you need a defenseman to fill your hits, blocks, and shots, Savard is your guy. He’s, unfortunately, shooting 0 percent on 72 shots this season but that could change this week!

Calgary Flames

With two early off-nights and an easy schedule overall, it’s hard not to recommend the Flames. Seriously, I tried and I couldn’t. The streaming options are limited but if you don’t like how things are shaping up after Wednesday, you can dump one of these guys for someone with 3 games remaining. Easy peasy!

  • Noah Hanifin – If you’re looking for guaranteed points, look elsewhere. However, with Mark Giordano out, Hanifin played 60 percent of the PP time so it’s possible falls into some PPPs. His hits and blocks are decent but he’s not much for PIMs.
  • Andrew Mangiapane – He’s playing on the same line as Matt Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm at even strength so that’s good news. Somehow though, he’s getting beat out of PP2 time by Milan Lucic. Yikes! Mangiapane isn’t a category filler, but he doesn’t get many zeroes anywhere either.
  • Rasmus Andersson – Another D-man who probably won’t do much in the point department but saw his ice-time shoot up when Giordano went down. Injury creates opportunity and based on some of Andersson’s underlying numbers, he ain’t half bad. If he can excel in a larger role and get some more PP time he could prove to be a solid pickup.

New York Rangers

  • Pavel Buchnevich – Hey! Wasn’t he here last week? He’s still only 19 percent owned in Yahoo! and 44 percent owned in ESPN leagues. He scored four points in the three games before Sunday’s game this week and also managed to get benched in the third period of one of those games which might have scared off some would-be Buch getters. That’s the risk you run with this guy!
  • Brendan Lemieux – If you’re in a full bangers league, Lemieux should definitely be a target. He’s got 89 PIMs in 42 games and has shown the tendency to get thrown out of games. While he’s in, though, he’s throwing the body and shooting here and there. His TOI leaves a bit to be desired but he makes the most of what he gets.
  • Filip Chytil – This is purely a points-league play as Filly Heat won’t contribute anywhere except goals and assists. His ice-time has been a bit of a rollercoaster but that’s been the same story for everyone in Rangers lineup not named Zibanejad or Panarin. Right now his IPP is low at 54.5 but the good news is his shots are up lately so hopefully, scoring will come.

Nashville Predators

The Preds have a pretty tough schedule capped by a home-at-home against the Blues over the weekend. However, their lines have shifted a little bit recently and playing time has created some decent streaming options.

  • Mikael Granlund – Playing on a line with Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene is about as good a spot to be in on this roster. Add in the fact he hasn’t played fewer than 18:00 in his last five games and I think we could be on to something here. Shout out to TJ from the Locked-On Fantasy Podcast for bringing this to my attention.
  • Kyle Turris – Another player who’s ice-time has spiked recently, Turris has been able to make it count on the scoreboard. Five points in five games playing alongside Filip Forsberg ain’t half bad. His PP time is up and down and won’t fill any other categories besides goals and assists, so Turris would be a points league grab.
  • Juuse Saros – Is the changing of the guard finally happening in Nashville? If Saros can be anywhere close to his early February numbers (2-0, 1.49 GAA, .959 SV%) then I would say, “Yes”. Pekka Rinne has been so bad this season, they might as well give Saros an extended look to see what they actually have in him.

Best of the Rest

Week 18 Conclusions

Keep in mind, this is not a fully comprehensive list. This is a long post but it could have gone longer! There are probably people I didn’t mention who will go off next week and I will have missed them. If that’s the case, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter at @TZLsports for more of my content!

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*All stats are at the time of writing and are provided by Dobber Hockey and Natural Stat Trick

Tim Lambert

Tim Lambert is originally from Olympia, WA and now resides in Philadelphia, PA with his wife and two daughters. When he's not crushing his competition in fantasy hockey and baseball, he can be found crushing slices of pizza.

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