With less than 20 games left, it is at the point in the season for many teams where wins become a necessity rather than a luxury. The same goes for all you fantasy poolies out there. With that 82nd game on the horizon, a strong performance over the next couple weeks may result in a playoff appearance, whereas an absence of production could result in a season cut short.
With that in mind, here is this weeks edition of weekly fantasy roundup.
In this article, we take a look at the last seven days of hockey in the NHL. The article will focus on players who have been putting up solid numbers and are likely still available in fantasy pools. We also look at the stars of the game who aren’t getting on the score sheet for their team.
Putting up Points
Tyler Johnson – Owned in 78% of Yahoo leagues
Tyler Johnson has 24 points in #TBLightning wins this season (11 G, 13 A) & just 3 points in Lightning losses (0 G, 3 A)
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) March 3, 2016
Usually this section is reserved for under-the-radar players. However, due to his lack of production and injury struggles over the first half of the season, Johnson, a player who is certainly talented enough to be owned in 100 percent of leagues, is owned in less than 80 percent. It appears that Johnson is finding his old form, producing eight points in his last eight games. With the Lightning looking like one of the league’s best teams right now, if still available, Johnson would be a fantastic pick up at this point in the season.
Mark Scheifele – Owned in 59% of Yahoo leagues
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 6, 2016
The fact that Scheifele is only owned in just over half of all leagues is astounding. He has been on an absolute tear as of late, putting up 14 points over his last 10 games. After teammate Bryan Little went down with a season-ending injury, Scheifele really stepped up as the No. 1 center. He now has 41 points in 54 games for the Jets and his numbers should continue to improve during his time on the top line. If you are lucky enough to have him on your team, play with confidence, and if he is still available in your league, jump on him while you still can.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Owned in 11% of Yahoo leagues
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 2, 2016
Sitting only six points out of a wild-card spot, the Sens are going to be looking to their players to come up big over the next couple of weeks. Pageau has been doing just that, putting up nine points over his last 10 games. With 32 points in 67 games this year, Pageau’s numbers are not outstanding, but he may be a good pick-up in deeper leagues. He is playing centre on the second unit alongside Mark Stone, who was on fire at the tail end of last year for the Sens, and fellow surging forward Zack Smith, who has five points in his last five games. Pageau also benefits from playing on the first power-play unit with the likes of Bobby Ryan and superstar Erik Karlsson.
Johansen’s production has certainly diminished over the last couple weeks. With only two assists and no goals over his last 10 games, Johansen’s offensive production has almost reached the point of nonexistence. Despite this, his team continues to win, losing only three games during the aforementioned 10-game span. Johansen is a gifted player who should be producing at a much higher rate, like he was at the beginning of the season. He appears to be stuck in a funk, but it is only a matter of time before he finds the back of the net again.
Zuccarello started the season off at a stellar pace, producing point-per-game numbers for the first quarter of the season. He continued to put up impressive numbers, leading the way for the Rangers in points. While he still leads his squad with 48 points in 66 games, his production has slowed as of late. In fact, Zuc has only two points over his last eight games. With teammate Rick Nash still nursing an injury, Zuccarello will have to return to his early season form as the Rangers continue to battle for top spot in the East.
Larkin has had a fantastic rookie season and is without a doubt one of the front runners for the Calder Trophy. Lately however, his production has not been the same. He has only one point in his last 11 games and is a minus-8 rating over that span. Larkin is not the only Red Wing struggling, as fellow star teammates Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have also been held off the scoresheet. Zetterberg has not recorded a point over his last seven games and Datsyuk has scored only one point over his last six. The Red Wings need these three to step up their production as they sit in the eighth spot in the East, with a number of teams right behind them.
I am a recent Carleton Journalism graduate with experience working as a sports reporter for The Charlatan, Carleton’s campus newspaper and as an editor for Journalists for Human Rights.