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Fantasy Hockey Week 1 Forecaster

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Favorable schedules, player selections and waiver wire pickups.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The season is upon us and Week 1 will be starting for most leagues on Sunday night. If you are in a weekly league (whether or not it locks) here is some prognostications to help you through your first full week matchup.

Rankings are: Goals Against - a low ranking means they let in lots of goals (Edmonton let in the most goals last year, they are ranked 1). Goals for - the lower the ranking the more the team scores (Tampa Bay scored the most goals last year and is the number 1 ranking).  This is based off last year's goals for and against, it will be updated as the season progresses to be reflective of this year.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Anaheim

Vancouver

0

Arizona

0

Colorado

0

Minnesota

GA Rank

14

0

3

0

10

0

26

GF Rank

6

0

29

0

21

0

14

Arizona

0

0

@Anaheim

Minnesota

0

Boston

0

GA Rank

0

0

11

26

0

19

0

GF Rank

0

0

10

14

0

23

0

Boston

Tampa Bay

0

@Colorado

0

0

@Arizona

0

GA Rank

19

0

10

0

0

3

0

GF Rank

1

0

21

0

0

29

0

Buffalo

Columbus

0

0

@Florida

0

@Tampa Bay

0

GA Rank

6

0

0

13

0

19

0

GF Rank

10

0

0

25

0

1

0

Calgary

0

St. Louis

0

0

@Winnipeg

Edmonton

0

GA Rank

0

26

0

0

21

1

0

GF Rank

0

5

0

0

15

26

0

Carolina

0

Florida

0

0

@Detroit

@Washington

0

GA Rank

0

13

0

0

15

25

0

GF Rank

0

25

0

0

12

6

0

Chicago

0

0

@Philadelphia

@Washington

0

Columbus

0

GA Rank

0

0

7

25

0

6

0

GF Rank

0

0

22

6

0

10

0

Colorado

0

0

Boston

0

@Anaheim

0

@Los Angeles

GA Rank

0

0

19

0

11

0

24

GF Rank

0

0

23

0

10

0

20

Columbus

@Buffalo

0

Ottawa

0

Toronto

@Chicago

0

GA Rank

2

0

18

0

4

29

0

GF Rank

30

0

9

0

24

16

0

Dallas

0

Edmonton

0

@Tampa Bay

0

@Florida

0

GA Rank

0

1

0

19

0

13

0

GF Rank

0

26

0

1

0

25

0

Detroit

0

Tampa Bay

0

0

Carolina

@Montreal

0

GA Rank

0

19

0

0

11

29

0

GF Rank

0

1

0

0

27

18

0

Edmonton

0

@Dallas

0

St. Louis

0

@Calgary

@Vancouver

GA Rank

0

5

0

26

0

16

14

GF Rank

0

2

0

5

0

8

6

Florida

@Philadelphia

@Carolina

0

Buffalo

0

Dallas

0

GA Rank

7

11

0

2

0

5

0

GF Rank

22

27

0

30

0

2

0

Los Angeles

0

Vancouver

0

0

Minnesota

0

Colorado

GA Rank

0

14

0

0

26

0

10

GF Rank

0

6

0

0

14

0

21

Minnesota

0

0

0

@Arizona

@Los Angeles

0

@Anaheim

GA Rank

0

0

0

3

24

0

11

GF Rank

0

0

0

29

20

0

10

Montreal

0

@Pittsburgh

0

N.Y. Rangers

0

Detroit

0

GA Rank

0

21

0

28

0

15

0

GF Rank

0

18

0

3

0

12

0

N.Y. Islanders

Winnipeg

0

0

Nashville

0

San Jose

0

GA Rank

21

0

0

23

0

8

0

GF Rank

15

0

0

13

0

17

0

N.Y. Rangers

0

Winnipeg

0

@Montreal

0

0

New Jersey

GA Rank

0

21

0

29

0

0

16

GF Rank

0

15

0

18

0

0

28

Nashville

0

@New Jersey

0

@N.Y. Islanders

0

@Ottawa

0

GA Rank

0

16

0

9

0

18

0

GF Rank

0

28

0

3

0

9

0

New Jersey

0

Nashville

0

0

San Jose

0

@N.Y. Rangers

GA Rank

0

23

0

0

8

0

28

GF Rank

0

13

0

0

17

0

3

Ottawa

0

0

@Columbus

@Pittsburgh

0

Nashville

0

GA Rank

0

0

6

21

0

23

0

GF Rank

0

0

10

18

0

13

0

Philadelphia

Florida

0

Chicago

0

0

0

0

GA Rank

13

0

29

0

0

0

0

GF Rank

25

0

16

0

0

0

0

Pittsburgh

0

Montreal

0

Ottawa

0

Toronto

0

GA Rank

0

29

0

18

0

4

0

GF Rank

0

18

0

9

0

24

0

San Jose

0

@Washington

0

0

@New Jersey

@N.Y. Islanders

0

GA Rank

0

25

0

0

16

9

0

GF Rank

0

6

0

0

28

3

0

St. Louis

0

@Calgary

0

@Edmonton

@Vancouver

0

@Winnipeg

GA Rank

0

16

0

1

14

0

21

GF Rank

0

8

0

26

6

0

15

Tampa Bay

@Boston

@Detroit

0

Dallas

0

Buffalo

0

GA Rank

19

15

0

5

0

2

0

GF Rank

23

12

0

2

0

30

0

Toronto

0

0

0

0

@Columbus

@Pittsburgh

0

GA Rank

0

0

0

0

6

21

0

GF Rank

0

0

0

0

10

18

0

Vancouver

@Anaheim

@Los Angeles

0

0

St. Louis

0

Edmonton

GA Rank

11

24

0

0

26

0

1

GF Rank

10

20

0

0

5

0

26

Washington

0

San Jose

0

Chicago

0

Carolina

0

GA Rank

0

8

0

29

0

11

0

GF Rank

0

17

0

16

0

27

0

Winnipeg

@N.Y. Islanders

@N.Y. Rangers

0

0

Calgary

0

St. Louis

GA Rank

9

28

0

0

16

0

26

GF Rank

3

3

0

0

8

0

5

Total Games:

Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets all have 4 games this week.
Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs both have only 2 games this week.

Highlights:

Favorable Offensive matchups:

-Anaheim has three home matchups most of which are favorable (Arizona, Vancouver and Colorado all in the top 3).
-Columbus with an away matchup at Buffalo and home vs. Toronto.
-Florida has some good matchups on the road vs. Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes as well as a home matchup vs. Buffalo Sabres.

Unfavorable offensive matchups:

-Winnipeg has two road matchups to start their week at New York Islanders and New York Rangers before two home games late in the week against Calgary and St. Louis.
-New York Rangers faceoff against Winnipeg, at Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils.
-Vancouver has tough matchups at Los Angeles and home against St. Louis with an easier at Anaheim Ducks and home against the Edmonton Oilers.

Favorable Defensive Matchups:
-Columbus could have a good opportunity to pile on early in the schedule with easier offenses against them: Buffalo, Ottawa, Toronto and a more difficult Chicago late in the week.
-Tampa Bay goes up against an easier Boston and Buffalo teams on the book ends of Detroit and Dallas.
-Anaheim has Arizona and Colorado in the middle of the week with more difficult Vancouver and Minnesota on the first and last days of the week.

Unfavorable Defensive Matchups:

-Winnipeg again (avoid them if you can this week). They face off against offensively talented Islanders, Rangers, Flames and Blues teams.
-Edmonton has 4 matchups, 3 of which are on the road (Dallas, Calgary and Vancouver) with one home matchup against the Blue. Their defense and goalie have a rough week ahead.

5 Players I like to excel this week:

1. Sergei Bobrovski - He's healthy, his schedule is favorable and this team wants to make a quick statement after being riddled with injuries last year.
2. John Tavares - He has three home games in their new arena where he serves as the face of the franchise. He will look to ride of the excited crowd and put strong legs on the franchises fresh start.
3. Federik Anderson: The team is home all week with some favorable defensive matchups.
4. Jonathan Huberdeau - pairing up with veteran Jagr and Barkov on offense with Ekblad and Campbell (both good puck moving defensemen) as the primary defense in a week where they have an offensively favored matchup - I think his 2 goals in 3 games could be a sign of a good start to the season.
5. Vladimir Tarasenko - He has a tendency to start off with a fire and with a favorable 4 game week he could shine on offense.

5 Player pickups for the week (caveat - it's early so don't drop an underperforming star player)

1. Francois Beauchemin (D - Col) 14% owned - he is playing on the top d-unit and logging some good PP time.
2. Joonas Donskoi (RW - SJS) 6% owned - He's on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski now is the time to pounce on him as two things will happen - either he breaks out or he loses this prime spot.
3. Brandon Dubinsky (C - CBJ) 32% owned -  He had 15 faceoff wins in his first game and is flying out there. Plus favorable week for CBJ schedule.
4. If you are searching for PIM's look not further than Calgary's checking line: Michael Ferland (LW - Cal) 1% owned,  Matt Stajan (C - Cal) 0% owned and David Jones (RW - Cal) 0% owned. Look more toward Ferland and Stajan.
5. I'm predicting James Reimer (G - Tor) 6% owner - is the Toronto goalie before long and if he wins the job could be a nice sleeper pick.