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Fantasy Hockey 2022-23 Week Six: Studs, Duds, and Sleepers

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 27: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks fist bumps teammates after scoring a goal against the Florida Panthers during the first period at United Center on October 25, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Every Monday, Last Word on Hockey will survey the Fantasy Hockey landscape and select a handful of players to assist in your weekly match. We will attempt to select “Studs” who may be available in your league as opposed to who we know are already owned by other teams. The “Duds” will most certainly be taken and will serve as a warning when you have “who do I start/sit” questions. The “Sleepers” will be almost exclusively available in most leagues. We will also attempt to have a mix of players that will apply to traditional leagues as well as banger leagues. All ownership numbers are based on Sunday research and may be slightly different at the time of publication. Here are our selections for Week 6:

Fantasy Hockey Week Six: Studs, Duds, and Sleepers


Nico Hischier

As mentioned last week, the New Jersey Devils are fun. Currently on a nine-game winning streak, they were led last week by Hischier. On pace for a career year, he has been a fantasy hockey stud since the start of the season. A look at his numbers reveals there is a lot to like about what he provides. During his current and still active seven-game point streak, Hischier has five goals, five assists, and three game-winning goals. He leads the Devils in even strength points, and that is with a higher defensive zone start percentage. The reason for this deployment is his prowess on the dot, which is providing fantasy hockey owners additional value. If there was an area of critique it would be in his mediocre power play production. This is more of a team issue, however, and he does have two power play goals in the last six games, so perhaps this is on its way to being corrected.

His current ownership stands at 83% and 68% in ESPN and Yahoo fantasy hockey leagues, respectively. Why this should become higher this week, aside from his recent production, is the weekly matchups. New Jersey will play three games this week. Two of those opponents are top five in penalty minutes and allow over three goals per game. The penalty kill of those teams is somewhere near the middle. New Jersey will get its chances on the power play with an opportunity to right the ship. Hischeir’s 3.5 minutes per game on the power play could see an uptick. Even if the power play remains intermediate, there is going to be ample opportunity to continue the 5v5 dominance. Go grab the surprisingly available forward and watch his point streak continue.

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Brock Nelson

Nelson is another player on pace for a career year with surprisingly low fantasy hockey ownership. After a bit of a slow start, the New York Islanders have played very consistent hockey as of late, and Nelson has his fingerprints all over it. He currently leads the team in points and co-leads in goals with eight. Last week he provided three goals and an assist to complement his 21 shots on goal. It is that last stat that should provide comfort for fantasy hockey owners. He is scoring at almost exactly his career shooting percentage.  This means the goal production is sustainable if he keeps shooting, and he is. Nelson is also being deployed at a 53.9 oZS% which is quite balanced. Nelson is going to be a consistent fantasy hockey producer.

This week, the Islanders play three games. Two of the three games are against teams in the bottom third of goals allowed per game. Those two teams also struggle at 5v5 which is where Nelson is doing the most damage. Like the Devils, New York has struggled with the man advantage, so this even-strength matchup is going to be key for fantasy hockey owners. However, those two teams are top six in penalty minutes, giving Nelson and the Islanders plenty of chances to get the power play going. The third opponent is the Dallas Stars who have struggled recently defensively after their hot start. Nelson has great potential to continue his current point-per-game pace. Currently at 77% ownership in ESPN, and 56% ownership in Yahoo fantasy hockey leagues, both rising quickly, he could be available for you. This week is a great time to change that.

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Patrick Kane

The Chicago Blackhawks can be described as streaky so far this season. Kane fits this description as well. Streaky players can be a death sentence in fantasy hockey leagues, especially when there are far more consistent options available. After a decent start to the season, Kane has produced zero goals and four assists in the last eight games. His shooting percentage is at a career-low 5.3%. His CF% in all situations is also at a career-low 45.9. Kane does not provide additional fantasy value either, amassing three hits, three blocks, and one faceoff through 14 games. When it comes to power play production, the stat sheet tells a story that gives hope to fantasy hockey owners. Diving deeper, however, shows a mere one assist in the last eight games. While it is reasonable to expect Kane will turn things around, it probably will not be this week.

Four games on the schedule for Chicago. The extra game usually provides value, but not this week. Two of the four games are against top five teams in goals allowed. With the 5v5 struggles for Kane and the Blackhawks, the matchups are not great here.  The other two teams, who do struggle at even strength, happen to both be top six in penalty minutes. Two very disciplined teams that do not give many power play chances means the little value Kane has provided this season probably does not get corrected. While the even-strength opportunities may look appealing in these two games, it is hard to be bullish on Kane who has five points in 14 games in this situation. Virtually 100% owned in fantasy hockey leagues, be very cautious of starting him if faced with a roster decision.

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Sergei Bobrovsky

The good news for fantasy hockey owners is that the Florida Panthers seem dead set on splitting the starts between their two netminders. The bad news for Panthers fans is the same. Bobrovsky has struggled quite a bit this season after a decent 2021-22 rebound. Sitting at 3-4-1, his current numbers are on pace for a career-worst season. Even his victories are not without drama, recently blowing a two-goal third-period lead on the way to an OT victory. Fantasy hockey owners are going to see the return of Aaron Ekblad being a possible help to the defence and thus better numbers for Bobrovsky. Do not be fooled by this. Even without Ekblad in the lineup, Florida is top third in shots allowed. The fact of the matter is Big Bob has been a big flop.

There is the possibility of a couple of starts this coming week for Bobrovsky. His counterpart Spencer Knight has started three straight and coming off a loss. Any way you slice the starts, this is not a good week to rely on him for value. In his last six starts, Bobrovsky has allowed at least three goals. Five of those games were against teams in the bottom six of goals per game. The three opponents this week are better than those teams. Two of the teams this week are top third on the power play and Florida is frankly terrible on the penalty kill. Seeing Bobrovsky’s ownership at 92% on yahoo is quite surprising. There are better options available.

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Time to Panic?

Kane fits the description of being a warning sign of possible hazards. No goals in eight games are indeed telling. Depending on how many owners you have in your league, there are more than likely much better options available. However, it is hard to imagine that he does not turn things around at some point. The question will be whether he can maintain it, or if he remains streaky and falls back into irrelevance. He should not be considered untouchable by any means, but it is also not time to panic just yet.

With Bobrovsky, the answer is yes. He is the 49th-ranked goalie according to ESPN fantasy hockey. There is no doubt that you have better options available for the position. With Knight outperforming as well, Florida would be smart in limiting Bobrovsky’s starts. Considering Knight just started three straight games for the first time this season, this very well may be happening. It is time to move on.


Logan Couture

Here is a very intriguing sleeper pick that requires some analysis. Couture has goals in back-to-back games bringing him into fourth on the San Jose Sharks in points. While that seems like value, he has only scored in three contests in the last 11 games while being deployed at a 61.4 dZS%. Power play production is also well down with a mere single assist in the last six games. Where he is creating consistent value is in the banger categories, with at least two hits and/or blocks in five straight games and dropping the gloves last time out. This is where the sneaky value should come from in boosting a few of your categories.

Three games this week for the Sharks. Two of the opponents are top six in shots. Not only does this indicate they dictate the play allowing for opportunities for hits, but also more opportunities for a player who is not afraid of laying down to block a shot. One of those two happens to be the Vegas Golden Knights, a division rival with a history of bad blood between them. Expect a physical game and the potential for a trip or two to the sin bin. The third opponent, the Detroit Red Wings, is bottom third in goals allowed and penalty kill. If Couture does remain hot on the score sheet, this game gives you another opportunity for a category boost. At only 34% ownership in Yahoo, but a much higher 79% in ESPN fantasy hockey leagues, your platform will come into play. If he is there and you’re looking for a true sleeper, consider adding him.

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Luke Schenn

Schenn is creating massive value for banger leagues/categories. He currently leads the NHL in hits, is second in penalty minutes, and is tied for second in majors. But he also provides additional, perhaps accidental, value in offensive production. Fantasy hockey owners roster Schenn for the defensive game. In the past three seasons, he has a mere 24 points. But in 15 games this season he is already at 7. A career-best 37:24 in production is quietly giving an extra boost to the few fantasy hockey teams who own him.

When considering adding a player who only plays two games during the week, the matchups are crucial. The Vancouver Canucks will face the Buffalo Sabres and the Los Angeles Kings. Both teams are in the top half of shots on goal. They control play. Vancouver does not, with 2/3 of their roster below 50% FF, Schenn included at 43.9%. Expect Schenn to get his hits as his team chases their opponent for possession. Add in that both teams are bottom third in goals allowed, there is also the opportunity for Schenn to give his fantasy owners additional boosts. Rostered in 8% and 43% of ESPN and Yahoo fantasy hockey leagues respectively, he should be available for a sneaky pickup. Those numbers have risen substantially in the last week, so do not wait too long.

Have a fantasy question? Have a Mailbag idea you would like to see a deeper analysis on? Follow me on Twitter @GromJoshua or leave a comment for me below.

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