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Fantasy Hockey 2022-23 Week 17, Part 1: Studs, Duds, and Sleepers

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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 17:

It will be an odd week for fantasy hockey players. The week 17 matchups will start today but will stretch for two full weeks with the All-Star break smacked in the middle. Part one will look at the minimal games this week and how to jump ahead of your opponent.

2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Studs, Duds, and Sleepers: Week 17, Part 1

Stud

Martin Necas

The Carolina Hurricanes will be the only team to play twice this week before the break. You have to target here if you wish to get the bonus starts. Look no further than Necas. Carolina is on a four-game winning streak and Necas has been on fire. He has four goals and an assist during this stretch. Aside from scoring the tying and winning goal in a thriller against the San Jose Sharks, he has added two power-play points and an additional game-winner. Overall, Necas is finally having the breakout season that Carolina banked on when drafting him 12th overall in 2017. Aside from the career-best numbers he already has, the matchups for Necas should pay off for you this short week.

Those two games will be back-to-backs. Those opponents are the Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres. He has played both teams this season and torched them both with five total points in two games. There is also the weird stat that we love to analyze, and that is production on zero days’ rest. It just so happens to be his best split on the year at 13:24. Currently hot, playing teams he has already given fits this year, with favourable splits, and all signs point to needing Necas in your lineup this week. Ownership sits at 81% and 77% in Yahoo and ESPN fantasy hockey leagues respectively. He is available for some.

Dud

There are no bad starts this week. You need as many starts as possible this week to get that jump on your matchup. But some fantasy hockey leagues (most actually) have transaction limits. Adding simply to add can backfire quickly if you get essentially nothing from it. With that in mind, be mindful of Carolina’s goalie situation. Frederik Andersen has been stout since returning from injury, but left after the first period against the Dallas Stars with an upper-body injury and hasn’t seen action since. Antti Raanta has played in his place and has been OK (Carolina plays Sunday with no announcement of a starter as of this writing).

Each will most likely play a game apiece. As mentioned, Carolina’s two games are back-to-back. Both the Sabres and the Kings are tough matchups. If you already own either of these goalies, then obviously start them. But if you are a fantasy hockey owner who plays the goalie carrousel, it may not be worth the use of a transaction here. Especially if Charlie Lindgren gets the start for the Washington Capitals against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Be mindful of situations like this before deciding to use a transaction on a Carolina goalie.

Sleeper

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Kirby Dach

We mentioned Dach as a replacement for Auston Matthews to get you through the three weeks he will miss. His ice time is way up as the Montreal Canadiens try to piece together a lineup for the rest of the season. Dach has been banger league gold this season. He cuts ruts to the sin bin, throws the body consistently, and lays his body down to block shots. But the added value from top-line minutes has started to produce offensive categories for fantasy hockey owners. He is a threat on the power play, leading the team with 13 points, even with Montreal being a league-worst 14.7%. He is third on the Canadiens in even strength points as well.

Dach will also be one of the few players who will give you a game this week. The opponent is the Ottawa Senators who did just torch Montreal 5-0. But that was in Ottawa. The upcoming game is in Montreal, where Dach is not just a little better, he is much better. 20 of his 32 points and eight of his 13 power play points are at home. He has also been wildly inconsistent in the face-off circle this season…except against Ottawa. Sitting at 41% on the season, he is 60% in two contests against the Senators. His line should start with the puck more often which could help lead to a very productive game for fantasy hockey owners of his.

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