NHL

Matchup 2 Recap – The Ol’ Pick and Roll

October 24, 2016

When you’re looking at adding a new player to your roster, there’s a couple of things you’ll want to look out for. First, keep tabs on how many players you have in each position – with forwards restricted to 6 and defensemen to 8, you’ll need to look for a player that fits in your roster.

You’ll also want a player that with theoretically get you points. This is where a bit of research comes in – are they getting good assignments? Do they play on the powerplay? Are they known to take a lot of shots, or are they more of a playmaker? Are they a winger who also takes some faceoffs?

A quick and dirty guide for determining how valuable a player can be is looking at his average ice time over the last five games. If a forward is getting somewhere around 18-20 minutes per night, that’s a good sign they’re getting some good usage. On the other side, a player may have picked up a couple of goals and assists early in the season, but if their ice time is less than 10 minutes per night, that’s a pretty good sign that the coach doesn’t really trust them quite yet.

For more in-depth analysis, DailyFaceoff.com is a great site to find line combinations and power play units, and they have another great tool with the NHL Games Per Week chart. From here you can see how many games during this matchup each team is playing. Most teams will play 2-4 times per week, so targeting players with more games in the matchup will give you more chances to collect points. And here’s a free tip – this week the Philadelphia Flyers are playing a rare 5 game week, so if you need to pick up a replacement player, the Flyers’ roster should be your first stop.

And lastly, I often try to pick players that are playing games on odd nights like Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. With the majority of NHL games falling on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, you’re less likely to be forced to leave points on the bench if you balance your roster with players that have games on off-nights. The teams that play the most odd-night games? Calgary, Chicago, Anaheim and Pittsburgh. The teams that play the least? Nashville, Dallas and Toronto.

So that’s what to look for this week – but now, let’s wrap up the week we just left.

Head-To-Head Recap
Rhys - 206.2Frank - 158.0Brennan - 156.9Davin - 108.9Justin - 154.7Cal - 141.3
Sohayl - 148.0Brett R - 177.4Brock - 181.5Brett D - 175.2Chris - 187.2Jace - 172.9

Best Forward: Artem Anisimov 22.7 (Jace)
Best Defenseman: Brent Burns 18.6 (Rhys)
Best Goalie: Cam Talbot 21.6 (Rhys)
Best Individual Performance: David Perron 13.9 (Justin)

Worst Forward: Mikkel Boedker -0.2 (Brock)
Worst Defenseman: Travis Hamonic -1.4 (Brennan)
Worst Goalie: Martin Jones -1.2 (Justin)
Worst Individual Performance: Eddie Lack -2.9 (Brett D)

We saw another expansion upset this week as Brett R took down Frank. That was also the closest matchup this week, as all of the others were pretty decisive victories.

Two weeks in we have a five-way tie for first between Rhys, Jace, Chris, Brock and Brett R.

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Watching the Waiver Wire

After the flurry of activity to start off the season, the waiver wire was silent this week, as no managers elected to use waivers. This week only Jace, Frank and Justin kept their rosters intact, as most of the league added players from free agency.

Best Unsigned Forward: Matt Cullen 16.8
Best Unsigned Defenseman:  Patrick Wiercioch 9.8
Best Unsigned Goalie: Jimmy Howard 16.2
Best Unsigned Individual Performance: Sergei Bobrovsky 10.2

Lines are always in a state of flux to start the year, as new players enter the roster and coaches experiment with their players. One player to watch right now is Viktor Arvidsson of the Predators. After his first 5 games, Arvidsson has 3 goals and an assist while skating with Ryan Johansen and James Neal on the top line and has collected 4 shots in each of his last three games. Coach Laviolette seems to like the chemistry, so Arvidsson could be a pretty savvy pickup, especially as the Preds are playing the struggling Ducks and Kings this week.

Looks like we’ve got a goalie controversy in Detroit. After Petr Mrazek took the reigns last year, it seemed like Howard would be playing out the string this year. Instead, in his first two starts, Howard has won twice, made 62 saves, has only allowed a single goal against, and collected a shutout against the high-flying Sharks. With stats like that, Howard is making a compelling case to be picked up as a third goalie on your roster.

Damon Severson was a 20th round pick by Brock, who dropped him to free agency a week into the season. Severson is still pretty young, and had a slow start to the season, but it looks like he might be finding his groove. The defensive core in New Jersey is pretty thin, so Severson has found himself playing top-4 minutes consistenly this year. He picked up 2 assists this week, and with more powerplay time in his future, we’d expect to see him start collecting fantasy points quickly.

How did the players featured in last week’s recap do this week? Zack Kassian picked up goal and an assist with 3 shots this week. Jori Lehtera was placed on the IR with an upper body injury. And Scott Darling did indeed get a start this week, picking up the win in a wild 5-4 victory over the Leafs.

Matchup Precap

This week we’ll see at least two winning streaks end, as Brett R (2-0) takes on Brock (2-0), and Jace (2-0) battles Chris (2-0). We’ll also see a losing streak end, as Sohayl (0-2) takes on Justin (0-2). In the other matchups we have several managers looking for their first wins, as Brennan (0-2) takes on Davin (1-1), Frank (0-2) takes on Brett D (1-1), and Cal (0-2) takes on Rhys (2-0).

 

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