I’ve mentioned this a few times before but now is the time when I make serious contending moves. Having seen what players can do you, we have enough information to disseminate who is legit and who was a flash in the pan for the first 20 games. Most leagues have a bunch of people sleeping at the wheel, pounce on that, now.
Here are 25 possibly useful players that will help you sneak by the sleeping counterparts and start extending leads and climbing the standings.
Mika Zibanejad, C, NYR (61% owned) Ranking pre-season 132nd, current 52nd
Season Line: 12 goals, 25 assists, -14, 30 PIM, 12 PPP, 2 SHP, 131 SOG, 438 FW
I find it interesting that a first line center is only 61% owned even on a team like the Rangers who are clearly in rebuild mode. He’s never been the superstar so to some degree I get it, he has only scored above 50 points once in his career but he is having a career year. Through just 45 games he is on pace for two things: a record number of points 37 points and a record number of PIM which are already higher than any year. He has uncovered a new grittiness which is helping his game and he can help you out in shallower leagues.
Alex Tuch, RW, VGK (57% owned) Ranking pre-season 224, current 110
Season line: 15 goals, 22 assists, +16, 5 PPP, 96 SOG, 32 FW
He’s shooting about the same that he did last year but with experience comes goals. He has already matched his goal AND point total in half the games so far. Thanks to a slightly inflated 15.6% shooting he is flourishing with Max Pacioretty and Paul Stastny and it makes all the sense. Last year Vegas was full of young grinders who were flying around the ice shooting when they had the opportunity and generally forechecking at all times. Now with the added experience of Max and Paul, Alex can slow down a bit and really put together plays with more defined shots.
Alex Tuch will look to extend his point streak to 10 games for the Golden Knights when they play the Jets in a rematch of the 2018 Western Conference Final (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, ATTSN-RM, https://t.co/yFcpGmLbfE).https://t.co/niZ096LJRs— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) January 15, 2019
Vincent Trocheck, C, FLA (53% owned) Ranking pre-season 41, current 473
Season line: 3 goals, 11 assists, -4, 26 PIM, 8 PPP, 50 SOG and 172 FW
He played just 18 games before fracturing his ankle. He’s starting to skate and while that doesn’t mean he plays tomorrow, now would be a good time to consider picking him up before more news breaks out.
Erik Gustafsson, D, CHI (46% owned) Ranking pre-season 549, current 218
Season line: 8 goals, 21 assists -10, 14 PIM, 10PPP, 79 SOG
He is now playing on Chicago’s top line With Duncan Keith. Being on the Blackhawks means his plus minus will continue in one direction (they are the 2nd worst team in goals for vs. goals against); however, he is the lone defensemen on their top PP unit that boasts Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Dylan Strome. That means you get the only defensemen who is on this unit and his 10 PPP are good enough for tied for 14th among defensemen.
Kasperi Kapanen, RW, TOR (44% owned) Ranking preseason 503, current 201
Season line: 15 goals, 13 assists, +15, 14 PIM, 1 PPP, 1 SHP
Toronto is ground zero for producing quality young talent. Fresh of Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner, here is Kasperi, who is playing more than half a season for the first time and he is not disappointing. His 16.5% shooting rate is likely a product of being alongside Auston Matthews and Andreas Johnsson. Either way, this guy is going to eclipse 50 points, potentially 60.
Blake Coleman, C/LW/RW, NYJ (35% owned) Ranking pre-season 334, current 71
Season line: 16 goals, 10 assists, 22PIM, 1PPP, 3 SHP
Some of this is unsustainable but he is eligible at all three spots and being on New Jersey’s 2nd line with Travis Zajac and Miles Wood will help keep some of his stats up there. He’s all effort and that rarely fades.
Noah Hanifin, D, CGY (33% owned) Ranking pre-Season 267, current 188
Season line: 3 goals, 20 assists, +7, 10PIM, 4PPP, 2SHP
Calgary is definitely streaky and Noah was the beneficiary of their hot streak. Calgary has won 25 of their last 36 games. Over that time, he has scored 21 points. More recently they have won seven of their last eight and he put up five points over those eight games. No matter how you cut it, he’s doing better in Calgary, then he did in Carolina.
Ryan Dzingel, LW/RW, OTT (26% owned) Ranking pre-Season 233, current 282
Season line: 18 goals, 15 assists, -14, 23PIM, 7PPP, 102 SOG
Currently 34th in goals, the -14 is a hit but that comes with being on Ottawa right now (3rd worst team in goals for vs. goals against ratio). He is very talented though and will likely continue his emergence as an above average player who is in for a career year likely north of 30 goals and 50 points.
Matt Duchene said a couple days ago that Ryan Dzingel can score 30 this season.— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) September 18, 2018
Brock Nelson, LW/C, NYI (25% owned) Ranking pre-Season 289, current 98
Season line: 16 goals, 14 assists, +13, 16 PIM, 2 PPP, 331 FW.
Islanders in general should be coming in at a discount. The team collectively really stepped it up and started playing well after many in fantasy stop paying close attention to daily moves. Brock not only has 16 goals but a plus 13 and a TON of faceoffs won.
Justin Schultz, D, PIT (17% owned) Ranking pre-Season 214, current 781
Season line: 0 goals, 4 assists, +1, 1 PPP
He had four assists in four games before he broke his ankle. I have no actual evidence to back this up but I would speculate he’s back within the next 20 days. He is worth a good flier for the potential upside on a dominant Penguins squad.
Phillip Danault, C, MTL (16% owned) Ranking pre-Season 316, current 78
Season line: 7 goals, 24 assists, +14, 31 PIM, 1PPP, 1 SHP, 496 FW
Another top line center, Phillip is playing well. He has Jonathan Drouin and Brendan Gallagher at his side and the team as a whole looks like it has a good swagger right now. They won three of their last four and Philip had four points over that time. The 25 year old is yet another player who is on pace for a career year in goals and points.
Brian Dumoulin, D, PIT (14% owned) Ranking pre-Season 491, current 96
Season line: 1 goal, 12 assists, +26, 12 PIM
When Justin comes back Brian’s minutes might take a hit but his +26 is currently 4th best in the league. He has two assist and 1 SHP in his last three games to go with six hits and seven blocked shots.
Dylan Strome, C, CHI (9% owned) Ranking pre-season 680, current 317
Season line: 10 goals, 11 assists, +14, 14 PIM, 8 PPP, 284 FW
The prodigal prospect turned black sheep, turned decent producing sleeper? Arizona clearly was not working for him, 20 games into the season he had six points shooting just 7.5%. He was traded to Chicago and now 24 games with the Blackhawks he has 15 points including 7 goals shooting 15.9%. He’s on a line with Patrick Kane which means assists should come easily as well.
Luke Glendening, C/RW, DET (7% owned) Ranking pre-season 525, current 54
Season line: 6 goals, 9 assists, +5, 13 PIM, 2 SHP, 424 FW
Much like the rest of people, I’m very reticent about picking him up and yet he continues to produce. He’s on their third line with Darren Helm and Andreas Athanasiou. He’s grinding it out with around 2-3 hits per game too.
Adam Lowry, C, WPG (6% owned) Ranking pre-season 505, current 86
Season line: 7 goals, 6 assists, 17 PIM, 390 FW, 118 hits
Does your league track hits. It sucks to lose a center to that stat but Adam is currently 20th in hits BUT he also gets faceoffs won and a handful of goals and the occasional short handed point, it would help if he was eligible for a wing position.
Jaccob Slavin, D, CAR (5% owned) Ranking pre-season 551, current 279
Season line: 5 goals, 13 assists, -12, 10 PIM, 4 PPP, 1 SHP, 72 blocked shots
Currently one of the top minutes beneficiaries for the Hurricanes, he is the simultaneously on pace for a career year while also being in the first year of his career to finish in the minus for plus/minus.
Jaccob Slavin took a penalty? That doesn't sound right, you might want to look at that again.— Jackie (@ladylaiacona) January 6, 2019
Mark Jankowski, C, CGY (4% owned) Ranking pre-season 603, current 146
Season line: 7 goals, 12 assists, +7, 8 PIM, 7 SHP, 220 FW.
Covered him last week.
Artturi Lehkonen, LW/RW, MTL (4% owned) Ranking pre-season 302, current 272
Season line: 7 goals, 14 assists, +7, 18 PIM, 102 SOG
He’s hit a cold stretch (no points in his last eight games) but he’s on their second line with Max Domi and Joel Armia. A young group like this will be streaky and I have faith that he’s in for a good game coming up. He’s not shy about shooting the puck which means eventually a few will sneak in.
Ty Rattie, RW, EDM (3% owned) Ranking pre-season 753, current 605
He’s on Connor McDavid’s line, season line doesn’t matter, the first five words are all that matter, IF that ceases, drop him.
What's the over/under on how long before Hitch puts Ty Rattie back on the fourth line with Spooner? I'm guess three shifts #oilers— FrankMahovlichTheBigM (@mahovlich_m) January 13, 2019
Ben Hutton, D, VAN (2% owned) Ranking pre-season 658, current 384
Season line: 5 goals, 11 assists, +14, 31 PIM, 7PPP, 76 SOG and 67 Blocked Shots
He’s a top six player on an overachieving Vancouver team. He’s on their 2nd PP unit. He has a goal and an assist in the last two games.
Henrik Borgstrom, C, FLA (1% owned) Ranking pre-season 917, current 675
Season line: 4 goals, 2 assists, -2, 1PPP, 78 FW
Florida called up three weeks ago the #23 overall pick in the 2016 draft. Through 14 games he has four goals and two assists, not too shabby. This is a deep flier, but he’s on the 2nd line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad, if he can keep his head up, he’ll get assists and some nice looks for shots on goal.
Derek Forbort, D, LA (1% owned) Ranking pre-season 589, current 303
Season line: 1 goal, 8 assists, 18 PIM, 44 SOG, 63 hits, 66 blocked shots.
Derek was recently promoted to the top LA line alongside Drew Doughty. He has not scored any points since the promotion but he’s +3 with more blocked shots and more shots on goal.
Ryan Lindgren, D, NYR (0% owned) Ranking pre-season 1310, current, 1342
Season line: —
Are you in a very deep league? Make a flier here, this is New York’s top prospect and he was just called up. It’s worth the flier to see what happens. He had five assists in 35 games with the AHL affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack this year but he will bring a grittiness with PIM, hits and blocked shots.
Craig Anderson, G, OTT (41% owned) Ranking pre-season 298, current 114
Season line: 30GS, 14 wins, 1 SO
Recovering from a concussion, he’s been out since mid-December. He could be back this weekend.
Laurent Brossoit, G, WPG (19% owned) Ranking pre-season 330, current 202
Season line: 10GS, 9 wins, 1 SO
Only use him if you have a league with daily changes in goalie. He will only play every 4th game or so but man has he looked good for the Jets.
Cheers as we have passed the halfway point!