Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Fantasy Hockey 2022-23 Week 16: Studs, Duds, and Sleepers

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 those 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 16:
Embed from Getty Images

2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Studs, Duds, and Sleepers: Week 16


Zach Hyman

The return of Evander Kane was a much-needed boost for the Edmonton Oilers. Zach Hyman seems to have greatly benefited. Four goals, five assists and a power play goal for Hyman since Kane’s return has fantasy hockey owners ecstatic. This just adds to the career year Hyman is currently having. He has already reached career highs in points, assists, and power-play goals. In the coming weeks, he should eclipse his high in total goals scored. There is no reason to believe this will slow down either. His possession metrics are miles above his career averages, and he is averaging a full shot per game more than last season’s career high. As far as the coming week is concerned, fantasy hockey owners should expect more dominance.

Only two games for the Oilers this week before the All-Star break. Both games are at home which allows for Hyman to get the proper matchups. Those two games are against teams that rank in the bottom seven for goals allowed. They are also bottom half on the penalty kill. Hyman is averaging 3.6 minutes per game on the league’s top-ranked power play. Hyman is currently on a five-game point streak. There is every reason to believe that will hit seven by week’s end. He is available in some fantasy hockey leagues.

Brandon Montour

The Florida Panthers are in a very critical stretch of games leading up to the trade deadline. A big reason for optimism for them and fantasy hockey owners is the recent play of Montour. He has grabbed the opportunity to be a top-pairing defenseman and playing major minutes, leading the team in time on ice. But the offensive production has been the major development for Montour. Currently leading all Panthers blue-liners in points, he has set career highs in assists, points, and power play points already. That last point has been key. Montour also leads all Panthers in power-play time on ice and is third in power-play points.

Embed from Getty Images

It is a tough week for Florida but there is reason to be bullish on Montour. He has points in eight of his last nine games. In the four games this week for Montour, he will face two bottom-half defensive teams and two top-seven teams. We need more fantasy hockey value than that, and the banger categories is where it is. All four opponents rank top half in shots. Three of them rank top third in percent of power play shots for that are blocked. Florida cuts ruts to the sin bin. Montour has no issue sacrificing the body and this week provides ample opportunity. While he does not play major minutes killing penalties, fantasy hockey owners should have a good week here.


Jack Eichel

“He hasn’t been the driving force for us he was at the beginning of the year at both ends of the ice.” That is a direct quote from Vegas Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy on the play of Eichel. It is also what every fantasy hockey owner of his is saying right now. Seeing his ice time start to decline recently is not a great sign. Vegas just finished a seven-game homestand against a few leaky teams. Eichel had one goal and one assist in the last six games, with Vegas losing four of them. He has provided some banger value for fantasy hockey owners. But this is not why Eichel is rostered. He is there to score and he is not getting it done lately.

Aside from the first of four games this week for Eichel, it will be against tough defensive teams. Three top-ten opponents in goals allowed is not a recipe for success for a struggling player. Those three teams also happen to be top ten on the penalty kill. While he has been effective on the power play, since coming back from injury on January 5th he has managed a single assist with the man advantage. Eichel is still a point-per-game player and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him snap out of this funk soon. Just don’t count on it being this week. If faced with a roster decision, pay close attention to your matchups. Sitting him late will probably be the right move.

Jacob Markstrom

Embed from Getty Images
Markstrom is having a setback year after posting ridiculous numbers in 2021-22. Fantasy hockey owners are starting to bail on him and it is probably the right call. His GAA is half a goal higher than last year. While that is not terrible, the concern is in when he allows goals and in his save percentage. He struggles in first periods mightily. In his last game, he surrendered three first-period goals on 14 shots. The game before he surrendered two in the first on 12 shots. The Calgary Flames have struggled when falling behind early and those early goals have led to Markstrom losing four straight contests. Daniel Vladar has started three of the last five games, all resulting in victories.

That last point is not good news for fantasy hockey owners of Markstrom. It is safe to say that a goalie controversy is growing in Calgary. They are fighting for their playoff lives right now in a closely contested Western Conference. Currently on the outside looking in, they need to ride the hot hand in net. Markstrom is not that right now. There are three games this week for the Flames and it is not unreasonable to think Vladar gets two of those starts with his recent play. He is 8-0-3 in his last 11 starts. Be cautious in starting him over another goalie.


J.T. Compher

Fantasy hockey owners should be paying attention to any player wearing a Colorado Avalanche sweater. This team is on fire, getting healthier, and climbing the standings. Widely available forward J.T. Compher is one to take a chance on. On pace for a career year in basically every category, he is embracing his top-six role and becoming a legitimate fantasy hockey option. As of late, Compher has one goal and four assists in his last four games. Two of those points came on the power play, where he is averaging 2.6 minutes per game for the ninth-ranked power play. Moreover, he is still providing his usual fantasy value with banger categories. He blocks a good number of shots, throws the body occasionally, and wins a decent number of faceoffs (January excluded where he has been terrible).

Colorado will play three games this week before their break for the All-Star festivities. All three are at home where Compher has scored six of his nine goals. Two of those opponents are bottom eight in goals allowed per game. Those two are also bottom eight on the penalty kill. If that is not reason enough to be excited about his chances, then consider his recent line play. The newly formed second line of Compher centering Valeri Nichushkin and Mikko Rantanen has been one the highest expected goals for lines for Colorado the last four games. At only 27% and 14% ownership in Yahoo and ESPN fantasy hockey leagues, now is your chance to strike before others do.

Klim Kostin

Embed from Getty Images
Our Hail Marry pick this week is more about matchup and past success. It could prove to be a genius sleeper move. The return of Evander Kane has severely limited Kostin’s ice time. Prior to Kane’s return, he had goals in three straight games. Now he becomes the odd man out and is settling back into his fourth line role. That has moved his value back to banger categories, where he is providing hits and even a tilt. But the Edmonton Oilers are in dire need of depth scoring and Kostin has shown the ability to contribute.

The two opponents this week are the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Chicago Blackhawks. Those are two of the worst defenses in the league. Yet if Kostin’s ice time is low there isn’t much value even if the opponents deploy no goalie. Unless of course, the most line minutes you play happen to be next to a player named Connor McDavid. That is how it has evened out since the return of Kane. Accidental point production is expected when you play next to McDavid, even if the minutes are because of him taking long shifts. If that continues, against inferior opponents, look for a surprise week from Kostin.

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

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images


More Posts

Send Us A Message