We’ve reached the finish line.
It’s been a very unique year for fantasy, so if you’ve made it this far, hats off to you. It hasn’t been easy.
While most head-to-head leagues have already handed out the hardware, the rest are deciding their champion this week.
Points and rotisserie leagues will likely wrap up next Thursday or beyond, depending on league settings.
(Note that the various fantasy websites have differing rules regarding the end of the season. Some websites are ending their championship week this Saturday, omitting Sunday games, while others are continuing through until the middle of next week. Check your settings before making any decisions.)
Logistics aside, there’s still at least one week of fantasy hockey to be played. So one last time, let’s analyze the upcoming weekly schedule and see where we can gain an edge over our opponents.
Week 16 Notes
It’s a very evenly balanced schedule this week, with the majority of teams playing four games. Only seven teams will play fewer times.
Nashville, Tampa Bay, Toronto, and Winnipeg will all get three games. While the big losers of the week will be Calgary, Detroit, and Florida, all with only two games apiece.
Florida has the least-favourable opponents of the bunch. They’ll play the Stars on Monday before a four-day layoff. They’ll finish their week against Andre Vasilevskiy and the Lightning on Saturday. They’re a team to avoid.
Calgary plays Winnipeg on Wednesday and won’t play again until Sunday. Obviously, the entire team is droppable after the Wednesday game if the Sunday game doesn’t count in your league.
Top Teams to Stream
The big winners this week are the Oilers, with four games against the Canucks. Vancouver gives up the seventh-most goals per game this season at 3.24. They’ve also given up 15 goals over their past three games.
The Islanders are also big winners, as they’ll play the Sabres twice and the Devils twice this week. New Jersey was the only team in April to give up more than four goals per game, while Buffalo was fourth-worst in goals allowed per game over that span.
Any week the Avalanche don’t face the Golden Knights or Wild, they have a favourable schedule. Outside of the big three, the West has been awful this year. Colorado will face the Sharks and Kings twice each, with the L.A. games coming in a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday. Both teams are among the bottom seven in goals allowed per game since the start of April.
Pittsburgh also has another extremely favourable week with two games against each of the Flyers and Sabres, the two worst defensive teams this season.
W, Anthony Beauvillier, New York Islanders (28 per cent rostered, up 2 per cent)
Beauvillier has five goals and eight points over his past six games and is enjoying time on the top power-play unit. The 2015 first-round pick was a popular breakout candidate heading into this year, but disappointed with just six points through his first 22 games. He’s been a different player since then, with 11 goals and 17 points over the last 20 games. The Islanders get the Sabres and Devils twice each this week. They have allowed the second and fourth-most goals per game this season, respectively.
C, Jeff Carter, Pittsburgh Penguins (27 per cent rostered, up 8 per cent)
Carter has fit in very well since his trade to Pittsburgh at the deadline. The veteran forward has four goals and six points in his past eight games with the team. He’s been skating on the second line with Jared McCann and Kasperi Kapanen and is on the second power-play unit, which, in fairness, doesn’t see a lot of ice time. The question will be where Carter is moved to with the return of Evgeni Malkin. Malkin has been fully practising with the team and his return could be any day now. Despite that, Carter is worth a look wherever he is on the high-flying Pens offence. They’ve scored the fourth-most goals per game since Carter made his team debut on April 15.
W, Yegor Sharangovich, New Jersey Devils (11 per cent rostered, up 7 per cent)
The Devils don’t score a lot of goals and they don’t have a great schedule, facing the Bruins and Islanders twice each this week, but what rookie Yegor Sharangovich is doing right now cannot be ignored. Since April 4, Sharangovich is a point-per-game player with eight goals and eight assists in 16 games. The numbers look even better more recently, with six goals and 11 points over his past nine games. Sharangovich actually started the year in the KHL with Dinamo Minsk, where he put up 17 goals in just 34 games – a 41-goal pace over an 82-game season. He’s playing on the red-hot top line with Jack Hughes. He’s worth a look for the final week, and someone to remember in the late rounds of drafts next season.
W, Joonas Donskoi, Colorado Avalanche (23 per cent rostered, up 3 per cent)
Donskoi just returned from an extensive absence due to COVID protocol, and although he only has an assist in two games since the return, he is seeing time on the top power-play unit. Donskoi can get hot at any moment if given the right opportunity. He had a two week stretch in March where he put up nine goals and 15 points in just 10 games. The Avs will face the Sharks and Kings twice each this week, both great matchups.
W, Kailer Yamamoto, Edmonton Oilers (59 per cent rostered, down 4 per cent)
Yamamoto has been streaky all season and we’ve all likely been burned by him in the past. But his production really comes down to where he’s playing, and right now he’s back on the top line playing alongside Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. It didn’t go well on Saturday and there’s a very good chance it won’t last, but any time he’s on that top line he has an opportunity to contribute. It’s a situation worth taking a flier on if he’s been dropped in your league. McDavid and the Oilers are going to score a ton of goals this week, with all four games coming against the Canucks.