Fantasy Hockey: Breakaways and Benders
In this weekly piece I will provide 10 players below 50% owned who should be looked into owning (Breakaways) and 5 players above 50% owned who are struggling (Benders).
We are in the playoffs, either a player is helping you win or getting dropped.
10 Playoff Matchup Breakaways:
Ondrej Palat (LW, TB) 34% owned. He has 1 goal and 7 assists in his last 7 games. He's fired 20 shots which means more goals should start trickling in. Tampa Bay is fighting (and succeeding) in their fight for that last playoff spot and he sits on the top line AND power play unit.
Brayden Point (C/RW, TB) 8% owned. He has 4 goals in his last 6 games, he has 62 face-offs won but counts as a right winger. He's heading up the top line and power play unit and is only 8% owned. That is a steal for the playoffs.
David Perron (LW/RW, Stl) 13% owned. Over his last 8 games, he has 2 goals, 3 assists and is a plus 4. St. Louis is 9-1 over their last 10 and they are playing incredibly from top to bottom.
Patrik Berglund (C, Stl) 5% owned. Over his last 8 games, he has 3 goals and 2 assists as he and Perron head up the second lines success. He also has 73 face-offs won and 12 hits to go with the point production.
Elias Lindholm (C/RW, Car) 21% owned. A Right Winger who over his last 8 games has produced face-offs (40), goals (4), assists (5), +/- (+3), power play points (2) and shorthanded points (2).
Thomas Tatar (LW/RW, Det) 31% owned. He's scoring a lot. 6 goals in 7 games. 2 power play points. It's too late but Detroit's top line of Gustav Nyquist, Henrik Zetterberg and Tatar are showing some life at the end of the season.
Mikko Rantanen (LW/RW, Col) 4% owned. There aren't stats here, it's more the eyeball test. He looks like he's finishing the season strong. He's positionally correct, he's firing shots and he looks generally comfortable which I think could be some sneaky production down the final two weeks.
Pavel Zacha (C/LW, NJ) 2% owned. My preseason pick to win the Calder, scored 7 points in his first 30 games; however, since the start of 2017, he's doubled that production with 15 points in the last 31 games. It's capped off with a current 6 game point streak. The pressure is COMPLETELY off New Jersey and I think Pavel is finally free to play as he can and it's showing in his production. He is capable of 50+ point seasons and perhaps this a precursor to it happening in 2017-2018 season.
Jonathan Bernier (G, Ana) 50% owned. This one is borderline but I put him on here because he should be 80%+ right now. Look at his stats! He's a monster right now! Won 4 of his last 5 during which time he allowed 9 goals, less than 2 GA per game!
Steve Mason (G, Phi) 46% owned. I think the Michael Neuvirth experiment is coming down. Steve Mason has averaged 17 goals against in his last 7 games. It's not ideal but if you need a quick fix, he might be the best available (excluding Bernier).
Steven Stamkos (C, TB) 85% owned. His comments lead me to believe at best he's back for 2 games before the end of the season. To me, that's not worth the stash. It's rough to drop him after holding him for so long but a few Lightning players above will offer a lot more than he will towards winning your league.
Kris Letang (D, Pit) 93% owned. Same as Steven, it looks like while he's skating he's still a few games from returning which could cost you a playoff matchup. If you don't have a DL spot, I recommend dropping him and looking at better alternatives.
Shayne Gostisbehere (D, Phi) 83% owned. He showed mild signs of production then back down again, don't let him take down your fantasy team.
Gabriel Landeskog (LW, Col) 62% owned. He now has 1 assist in 7 games. 12 hits is ALL he's providing and there are better options if you want just hits.
Ben Bishop (G, LA) 82% owned. He continues to struggle somewhat and Jonathan Quick will continue to take more of a lion share as he gets back up to 100% work load.