Inside the Fantasy Coop: NHL Week 2


(Image from nhl.com)

Now two weeks into the NHL season, fantasy owners will begin to decide who from their draft is worth keeping for the long haul, which players to trade away and which players to trade for.

In this article, we will delve into all of those players, including guys to sell high now, players to buy low on, and some sleepers that should be picked up from the waiver wire.

(The following article will use standard Yahoo Fantasy Pool settings and stats for our fantasy hockey articles; recognized stats: goals, assists, +/-, shots, hit and blocks are stats for skaters, as well as wins, goals against average, shutouts and save percentage for the goalies).

Sell High:

Dougie Hamilton - Defence - Carolina Hurricanes - Yahoo Rank 3

(Photo from sportsnet.ca)

As great of a start as Carolina has had, it's not a trend that will likely continue long-term. The same can be said for defenceman Dougie Hamilton, who is currently on fire with a stat line of 5G, 4A, +8, 27 Shots, 10 Hits,10 Blk. This is an incredible stat line for a defenceman of Hamilton’s calibre, especially with only 8 games played. This, however, will not be a long-term trend.

The Hurricanes, although a better team in a dwindling Metro division, is a team that produces by committee. With names such as Aho, Niederreiter, Staal, and Teravainen yet to find their scoring touch, it seems that the Hurricanes have benefited from some much needed help from their depth forwards and defence.

With the loss of Justin Faulk in the off-season, Hamilton took over the majority of the offensive responsibilities, but it won't take long before he's tasked with facing the league's top forward lines, which is when you'll see his production drop as well as take a hit in the +/- department.

With goaltending still a big question mark, Hamilton’s production rides solely on the success of his team. Look to cash in big and deal him now while his value is at its max.

Carter Hutton - Goalie - Buffalo Sabres - Yahoo Rank 8

(Photo from buffalohockeybeat.com)

Oh Buffalo, will this be another year where your fans see the team take a nose dive into yet another non-existent postseason? Probably…

Buffalo is another team that just seems to be taking advantage of an easier schedule that has allowed them to go 5-1-1 and find a spot at the top of the Atlantic division. Carter Hutton has helped lead the team to such a scorching hot start with a stat line of 4 wins, 1.74 GAA, a .931 SV%, and 1 shutout. Does that statline seem too good to be true? Yes, yes it does.

Just like last year, the Sabres are bound to hit a wall after another end to an otherworldly win streak, and that will come at the hands of a declining Hutton. Don't expect these numbers to continue for too long, and with the lack of quality starting goaltenders available around most yahoo leagues, your best bet would be to cash in now with a big trade involving Carter Hutton.

Look to make a trade for a position player and fill your goaltender void with a sneaky waiver pickup such as Alexander Georgiev (20% owned) or Boston’s other half of the tandem in Jaroslav Halak (48% owned).

Buy Low:

Aleksander Barkov - Centre - Florida Panthers - Yahoo Rank 257

(Photo from twitter.com)

If you’re one of those fantasy owners who likes to keep a close eye on your opponents' cold players before swooping in and offering a trade for them, then you’ve probably noticed that Florida Panthers centreman, Aleksander Barkov, hasn't had the best start to his season.

This is partly due to the teams lack of early success. However, you shouldn’t let that get you down on the Panthers or Barkov. The Finnish centre currently holds a stat line of 0G, 5A, -3, 14 shots, 3 hits, and 2 blocks, which is far from impressive, which unfortunately put a damper on his value, especially in head-to-head leagues where you need all the points you can get on any given night.

Depending on how desperate the current owner of Barkov is in your league, you should be able to make a trade offer that sees you coming out as the winner in the long haul. It won't be an easy trade to make, but if you're high on Barkov, the best time to acquire him would be right now.

Jamie Benn - Centre/Left Wing - Dallas Stars - Yahoo Rank 153

(Photo from nhl.com)

Here’s another name that a lot of fantasy owners have moved on from in the past few years. After looking like the next big name in hockey, Jamie Benn has seen his production take a steep fall.

This year seems to be more of the same.

After a horrendous start to the season, with a stat line of 1G, 1A, -3, 19 shots, 18 hits, and 7 blocks, Jamie Benn found himself demoted to the third line. Whether that was a message being sent by the coach or not, the message was definitely heard as he's now playing again on the top line with Seguin and Radulov.

Don’t expect Benn to produce the way he did in 2015 and 2016, but considering his versatility in all fantasy stats, he’s a player you’d like to have regardless of past performance. He’s a significant depth addition on any fantasy team, and the time to buy low on him is now, before Dallas begins to play up to its expectations.

Waiver Wire:

Erik Haula - Centre/Left Wing - Carolina Hurricanes - Yahoo Rank 40

(Photo from newsobserver.com)

The Carolina Hurricanes have surprised everyone this season, starting off with an incredible 6-2-0 record. As impressive as this start has been, what makes it even more impressive is where the production is coming from.

The Hurricanes' depth forwards have been carrying a lot of the load this year and Erik Haula leads them in that “storm surge”. Currently owned in only 53% of pools, Haula has seen a drastic increase of +18% in ownership over the past week. Carrying a stat line of 6G, 1A, +2, 24 shots, 5 hits, and 3 blocks, Haula has caught the attention of a lot of owners.

Given his utility status as a Centre and Left Winger, he’s a great addition to any team, so make sure to put a claim on him before it's too late.

Corey Perry - Right Wing - Dallas Stars - Yahoo Rank 677

(Photo from dallasnews.com)

Before you decide to close this article due to this blistering hot take, hear me out on this one.

Corey Perry, after being bought out by the Anaheim Ducks in the off-season, signed a one-year contract with the Stars with a cap hit of $1.5M. This is a year where he will have less responsibility, expectation, and all around difficulty of opposition, while looking to make bank one last time before ending his career.

Perry has always been a power play specialist and now has the opportunity to do that again on a high-powered Dallas Stars team. He’ll see himself slotted on the third line most likely, lowering his chances of accumulating those annoying minus stats, while also reaping the benefits of the powerplay.

Currently owned in only 8% of Yahoo leagues, Perry could be a low risk, high reward addition to any team. He played his first game of the season on October 16th against the Columbus Blue Jackets, so expect him to find his comfort zone in the coming days, and begin to remake a name for himself as a solid depth scoring player.