Fantasy Hockey: Weekly Strength of Schedule and Streaming Targets — Week 7

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      Identifying the players with four games each week and filling your roster with those players can increase your chances of winning your fantasy hockey matchup. That’s why our Weekly Schedule tool is so helpful!

      I took that weekly schedule and combined it with a Team Defense Score I created using key defensive metrics to find which teams/skaters have the best schedule this week.

      Last Week’s Streaming Targets (Results)

      How it Works:

      • Team Defensive Ratings are given on a scale of 0-100, with 0 being the best possible defensive team and 100 being the worst. For context, CBJ currently grades as the worst defensively, with a rating of 92.16. Carolina is the best, with a rating of 12.46.
      • SCORE: The sum of all of the Defensive Ratings that the team will face this week.
      • AVG Opponent: The Average Defensive Ratings that the team will face this week.
      • Strength of Schedule is determined by the sum of defensive ratings, because we want players that play the most games but also have the easiest matchups.
      • Light Nights: A night in the NHL with eight or fewer games.

      Week 7 – Strength of Schedule

      Week 7 Opponent Ratings

      Team Ratings are based solely on defensive metrics and goaltending quality in order to identify the best matchups for skaters. They are in no way a reflection of overall team quality. The lower the rating, the better the team is defensively = worse skater matchup.

      Week 7 Streaming Targets

      • SOS = Strength of Schedule Rank (1 good, 32 bad)
      • Light = No. of games on Lighter days (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun)

      Because of American Thanksgiving, the NHL Schedule is a mess this week. There are no games on Tuesday or Thursday, so Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are jam-packed. As a result, streaming players this week will be based mainly on targeting teams with four games.

      Vancouver Canucks

      The Canucks are undoubtedly the team to target this week because they have four games, and two of them come against the San Jose Sharks. They have the best overall schedule, but their offence is so concentrated and high-owned that it’s tough to find quality streaming targets on their roster.

      Ilya Mikheyev (LW/RW – 13% Owned)

      Mikheyev is the only skater in the Canucks’ top-6 that is readily available on the waiver wire. Since making his season debut on October 21st, Mikheyev has scored six goals with four assists (10 points), averaging 2.2 SOG/gm and 14:15 TOI/gm. His contributions won’t blow you away, but he could have a solid week if the Canucks’ offence continues to operate at a high rate.

      Conor Garland (RW – 8% Owned)

      Garland saw some time on the top line last week while Andrei Kuzmenko was sidelined, but with Kuzmenko back, Garland now finds himself back on the third line. He’s been quiet this season, posting just five points (2G / 3A) in 18 games. I would scan the other teams before returning to Garland; he’s strictly a matchup-related pickup.

      San Jose Sharks

      The Sharks are not an offensive powerhouse, but Hertl is an impressive talent and is worth considering as a streaming target when the schedule aligns. This week, the Sharks have the 13th-ranked average opponent rating but the second-best among teams with four games.

      Tomas Hertl (C – 34% Owned)

      Hertl has been a solid contributor lately, registering two goals with four assists and 21 shots on goal in his last seven games. Plus/Minus is the only reason to avoid Hertl this week, because the schedule and usage (21:10 ATOI) are excellent.

      Colorado Avalanche

      The Avalanche are in the middle of the pack in schedule difficulty this week but have the third-easiest among teams with four games. They also have quite a few streaming options to consider.

      Valeri Nichushkin (LW/RW – 65% Owned)

      Available in just 35 percent of leagues, Nichushkin is probably not available to you, but it would have been irresponsible of me not to mention him in case he is. With Artturi Lehkonen sidelined, Nichushkin has been skating with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen at 5v5 and on the power play. He’s heated up, scoring five goals with two assists (seven points) and 23 SOG (3.3 per game) while playing 20:50 ATOI in his last six games. If you’re in the 35 percent of leagues where he’s not rostered, he’s unquestionably the best pick-up of the week and carries long-term value.

      Ross Colton (C/LW – 18% Owned)

      The Colorado third-line has been absolutely dominant this season. Colton, Miles Wood and Logan O’Connor are leading the NHL in 5v5 xGF% (71.3%) and 5v5 xGF/60 (5.42) among lines that have played at least 65 minutes together. Colton is the top target on the line because he’s the only one that sees some power-play time. Colton has six goals, one assist and 30 SOG (2.7 per game) in his last 11 games.

      Miles Wood (LW – 1% Owned)

      Wood would be the second-best option from that line and a consideration in the deepest of formats. Wood has picked up five points (2G / 3A) and 18 SOG (2.3 per game) over his last eight games.

      Edmonton Oilers

      The Oilers’ offence is obviously very concentrated to their superstars and elite PP1, but Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl’s low-owned wingers will always carry some weekly streaming value.

      Connor Brown (RW – 4% Owned)

      Brown is the only one widely available at the moment and hasn’t done anything this season. Brown has failed to register a point in 10 games and only has 14 shots on goal. He returned to the lineup on Saturday and only skated 10:24 TOI. Still, he’s on a line with McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, so you have to imagine he’ll get on the scoresheet soon. I would look in his direction, but I’m not picking him up in anything but deep leagues.

      Boston Bruins

      The Bruins’ schedule is not easy this week. Their average opponent rating is 22nd, but we’re looking for teams with four games this week, and the Bruins will face the Lightning, Panthers, Red Wings and Rangers.

      Pavel Zacha (C – 65% Owned)

      Zacha probably isn’t available in your league, but if he is, skating with David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand at 5v5 and on the PP makes him a good streaming target. After posting just one assist in his first five games, Zacha has settled into his new role, with 12 points (6G / 6A) and 22 SOG (2.0 per game) in his last 11 games. He carries value beyond this week if he can maintain production around a point-per-game.

      James van Riemsdyk (LW – 15% Owned)

      van Riemsdyk was a sneaky offseason acquisition by the Bruins. At 34 years old, van Riemsdyk has shown he’s still got it, picking up 12 points (5G / 7A) in his first 16 games with the Bruins. He’s averaging 0.8 points, 2.4 SOG and 0.4 PPP per game. He’ll be a solid contributor for you this week.

      Nashville Predators

      Like Boston, Nashville also ranks in the bottom third in schedule difficulty this week, but their four games and widely available roster make them a team to look at.

      Ryan O’Reilly (C – 45% Owned)

      O’Reilly is the player you want to stream in Nashville. The veteran has been eating massive minutes and has been extremely productive during his first weeks with the Predators. Through 16 games, he’s registered 15 points (8G / 7A) and 38 SOG (2.4 per game), averaging 20:25 TOI/gm. He’ll continue to play huge minutes with Filip Forsberg, and he has yet to show signs of slowing down.

      Gustav Nyquist (LW – 3% Owned)

      Nyquist is the third member of the Predators’ top line and was recently promoted to the top power-play unit. While he’s not the 60-point player he used to be, Nyquist can carry value in the short term. He has six points (1G / 5A) in his last six games, averaging 2.0 SOG and 17:21 TOI per game.

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