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Fantasy Hockey Head-to-Head Primer: What to Do with Thompson and More

Some goalies who started hot are cooling down, including Vegas Golden Knights netminder Logan Thompson. Jason Chen previews the week in fantasy hockey.
Logan Thompson

Things are back to normal this week after an odd Week 15 that saw the Flyers play five games. Week 16 features only six teams that play a week-high four games, and only two teams play just twice.

What’s most quirky about this week’s schedule is that eight teams will not play a single game at home, and seven teams will not play a single game on the road. The Bruins remain the class of the league, but they also have one of the toughest schedules with four straight road games, including visits to the Lightning and Canes.

The Lightning play host three times this week, but by opponents’ points percentage, they have the hardest schedule in Week 16, hosting the Wild, Bruins and Kings. At the other end of the spectrum, the western Canadian teams catch a break with the Blue Jackets and Blackhawks rolling through. They’ll be the only teams the Oilers face in Week 16, giving them the easiest schedule in the league, while the Canucks and Flames have the fourth and fifth-easiest schedule, respectively.

Note that tankathon.com’s strength of schedule has the Kraken, Flames, Canucks and Oilers having the four easiest schedules for the rest of the season, no doubt a reflection of the Pacific Division’s ineptitude. However, that does mean fantasy managers should give players on those teams a little more consideration in their weekly matchups as the fantasy season starts to ramp up for the playoffs.

Here’s your Week 16 schedule breakdown.

Legend:
P% = season points percentage
Opp. P% = opponents’ season points percentage
Diff. = difference between P% and Opp. P%

Pick players from teams at the top of the schedule matrix to maximize games and matchups. Green is good. Red is bad. All advanced stats courtesy naturalstatrick.com. All positions and rostered percentages are courtesy of Yahoo fantasy.

Week 16

Top 10 Weekly Bangers (< 50 percent rostered on Yahoo, on teams with at least four games this week):

Blocked Shots (BkS/GP):

1. Scott Mayfield, D, NYI (2.08)

2. Andrew Peeke, D, CLB (2.00)

3. Mark Giordano, D, TOR (1.96)

4. Erik Gudbranson, D, CLB (1.91)

5. Alexander Romanov, D, NYI (1.85)

6. Justin Holl, D, TOR (1.77)

7. Vladislav Gavrikov, D, CLB (1.76)

8. Radko Gudas, D, FLA (1.74)

9. Derek Forbort, D, BOS (1.71)

10. Ryan Pulock, D, NYI (1.71)

Hits (Hits/GP):

1. Radko Gudas, D, FLA (4.08)

2. Matt Martin, LW, NYI (3.66)

3. Connor Clifton, D, BOS (2.83)

4. Mathieu Olivier, RW, CLB (2.73)

5. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C, NYI (2.65)

6. Sean Kuraly, C, CLB (2.64)

7. Alexander Romanov, D, NYI (2.46)

8. Derek Forbort, D, BOS (2.37)

9. Nick Foligno, LW/RW, BOS (2.35)

10. Casey Cizikas, C, NYI (2.34)

Goalies:

Jack Campbell, Oilers

It was really encouraging to see Campbell win five straight games during Stuart Skinner’s absence because two good goalies are better than one. Who knows how long Campbell’s hot streak will last; he does this about once a year when he goes through a stretch looking insanely good, but the rest of the time, he’s unreliable. His winning streak, however, may have forced Skinner to give back a bigger portion of their timeshare. In leagues with few goalie options, Campbell’s worth a speculative add just in case he gets more playing time.

Tristan Jarry, Penguins

Jarry’s record this season: 16-5-5. The rest of the Pens’ goalies combined: 7-10-3. The Pens desperately need Jarry to stay healthy because he’s arguably been their most important player. Given his strong performances this season, Jarry’s a must-start every night, and he’s still low-key having a very good season and remains in the top 10 among fantasy goalies.

Logan Thompson, Golden Knights

If it hasn’t been made clear, the second-half fade from Thompson is already in full effect. He played well at the start when the Knights were healthy and defending well, but his game has fallen apart since the first two months of the season.

What isn’t good for the Knights is they’re up against the cap, and their only immediate solution right now is to play Adin Hill, but he hasn’t fared a whole lot better. The Knights are slumping with Jack Eichel getting called out by Bruce Cassidy in public. It might be time for the Knights to look for goaltending help and for fantasy managers to perhaps trade Thompson away for a more reliable goaltender.

Ville Husso, Red Wings

The good news is Magnus Hellberg is not a threat to steal the starting job, and less so for Alex Nedeljkovic. The Wings managed to stay in contention for much of the season, but Husso’s recent struggles and the Wings losing four of their past five games means their playoff hopes are starting to fade. Until Husso, who has fared much better in his past two games, gets back on track, it might be best to keep him on the bench since the Wings haven’t provided enough goal support lately to earn wins.

Pheonix Copley, Kings

Copley’s hot run looks like it may be over. He allowed just one goal against the Hawks but he faced just 19 shots. It’s a nice bounce-back game after getting pulled 39 seconds into his start the previous night after he allowed two goals on three shots, but now you have to really wonder if the Kings will make a move to bolster their goaltending. They desperately need it, and if their goaltending is not good, it will adversely affect the offensive production of their players, who will have to worry more about providing defensive support than scoring goals.

Matt Murray, Maple Leafs

If Murray keeps slumping, Ilya Samsonov will start getting more playing time. Samsonov already started three straight games, though he did lose his most recent game against the Habs in overtime. Given their history, it’s reasonable to expect Samsonov to hit a road bump between now and the end of the season, which means Murray will see playing time again sooner than later. For now, roll with Samsonov but keep Murray rostered just in case things go sideways.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Sabres

The Sabres have a ton of cap space, but they’re creating more by papering UPL to the minors during their off days, perhaps to facilitate some trades at the deadline. However, despite the constant re-assignments, UPL has basically emerged as the Sabres’ No. 1 choice. Eric Comrie played one game upon his return and was not sharp, and over the past week, UPL started three games while Craig Anderson started only one. UPL’s the goalie to have, and if you have an NA slot on your roster, you can stash Luukkonen in that spot and stream a goalie in his place.

Short-Term Streamers (< 50 percent rostered on Yahoo):

Jack Roslovic, C, Blue Jackets (Five percent rostered)

Roslovic is back on the top line in Columbus and carries a five-game point streak into Week 16. The Jackets have split up Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine, and Roslovic has been skating with Laine and Gustav Nyquist on his wings. The Jackets play four games this week and face the Canucks and Kraken, two teams with awful goaltending, which will surely give Roslovic a chance to score a few points this week.

Josh Anderson, RW, Canadiens (Four percent rostered)

Cole Caufield’s season-ending injury means Anderson has moved onto the top line with Nick Suzuki, though Anderson remains on PP2 while Evgenii Dadonov and Mike Hoffman play on PP1. The necessary lineup shuffle saw some immediate results, with Anderson scoring a goal in three straight games. He’s streaky and doesn’t offer much upside other than goals and shots, but as long as he is on Suzuki’s wing, the scoring chances will keep coming.

Mid-Term Holds (< 50 percent rostered on Yahoo):

Anton Lundell, C, Panthers (23 percent rostered)

Look for Lundell to get LW eligibility soon since he’s been a fixture on a line with Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart over the past little while. Not having to play the role as the shutdown center has helped awaken some of Lundell’s offense, who has scored three goals and five points in his past four games. It looks like he may stay on the top line for a while, so fantasy managers looking for some scoring and lineup flexibility in the future should consider Lundell.

J.T. Compher, C/RW, Avalanche (26 percent rostered)

It doesn’t look like the Avs’ lineup will change much going forward barring a big trade. Gabriel Landeskog’s return seems remote, and with Mikko Rantanen playing right wing, Compher has remained the team’s No. 2 center. He’s very much a utility-knife player who can play on any line and play just about any role, but he possesses immense upside in leagues with categories due to his dual-position eligibility, faceoff wins and a pretty steady stream of points. Compher is on pace for career highs across the board in a contract year.

Teuvo Teravainen, LW/RW, Hurricanes (50 percent rostered)

Max Pacioretty’s unfortunate injury means Teravainen is back in the top six, and he’s been skating on a line with Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis. It’s been a really disappointing season for Teravainen, who at one point skated on the fourth line, but he’s now scored a point in three straight games to bring his total in January to eight points in 10 games. Pacioretty is likely out for the season, so Teravainen gets a chance to re-affirm his spot in the top six for the rest of the season. 

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