2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 14 Stock Watch

by Kyle Vaughan
2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 14 Stock Watch

Welcome to the 2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 14 Stock Watch.

Every week we’ll provide an overview of some players whose stock is trending up or down. For the players whose stock has risen, I’m hoping there is a possibility they are available to you on the waiver wire. Accordingly, I will identify players who are at, or below, 50 percent ownership in Yahoo leagues.

For the players whose stock has fallen, I’ll pay less attention to ownership as it's likely they are rostered and you may be wondering if you should drop or trade them.

Don’t forget to check out Justin's invaluable Unsustainable Players articles or any of the other great Fantasy Hockey content at Fantasy Six Pack.

Let's put the lime in the coconut and mix it all up.

All statistics from DobberHockey unless otherwise stated. This article does not include Thursday night's games. 

2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 14 Stock Watch

Stock Up

Ryan Getzlaf, C, Anaheim Ducks  (37% rostered)

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I have a love/hate thing going with Ryan Getzlaf. His playing style and leadership skills are admirable. I have fond memories of his role on the 2010 and 2014 gold-medal-winning Men's Canadian Olympic hockey teams.

But I'm an Oilers fan and Getzlaf has plagued Edmonton his entire career. He was particularly menacing in that crazy 2017 playoff series. No, I don't want to talk about it (it was goalie interference dammit!).

When rumors started to swirl this past summer that Getzlaf might sign with the Oilers to fill the third-line center role, I realized how much I liked the player. All of a sudden I needed it to happen. It would have been a perfect fit, I thought.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Getzlaf re-upped with the Ducks and will likely finish his career in Anaheim.

Given Getzlaf's numbers last year, a middle-six role made sense. Per-game points, shots, hits, blocks, and face-off wins were all at, or near, career lows. Expectations were subdued heading into this season. He was never going to return to his 2007-2017 form where he hovered around the 90 point mark pretty consistently. But it appeared his skillset had fallen off a cliff.

Getzlaf has had a minor resurgence this season. All of the statistics mentioned above have improved significantly over the last year. He's retained the first-line center role and is getting ample time on the first-unit powerplay.

In true Getzlaf-ian form, he's been a solid multi-category filler for fantasy owners. In the last seven games, he has four points, which isn't amazing by any stretch. But he also has 11 penalty minutes, 12 shots, 15 hits, seven blocks, and over 70 face-off wins. At times this season, he has been an above-average point producer. His real value, though, is his ability to consistently earn owners' points in a few categories every game.

He's not the world-beater he once was, but Getzlaf is certainly a valuable asset in leagues that count peripheral stats.

Craig Smith, RW, Boston Bruins (9% rostered)

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At this point in his career, we know who Craig Smith is.

The 32-year-old is a decent middle-six forward who will consistently score at a 0.50 point-per-game pace. Smith hit his career-high in points back in 2013-14, scoring 52 points in 79 games. He was probably driving to games listening to 'Thrift Shop' by Macklemore, or 'Radioactive' by Imagine Dragons, getting all amped up. Maybe even 'Roar' by Katy Perry, who knows. Whatever it was, it worked.

Before you close this article because I'm talking about an older middle-six forward who was barely roster-able nine years ago - hear me out.

Winning fantasy hockey leagues is about winning the waiver wire through shrewd pick-ups. Sometimes middling players hold first-line value for a short period when their situations improve due to factors outside of their control. Smith is one of those players at the moment.

Boston has recently shuffled their top-six and Smith is currently occupying the right-wing spot on the top line. His linemates are Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. In his last four games, he has four points, 13 shots, and six hits.

The Bruins have won five of their last six games. Outside of the 7-1 beatdown they suffered at the hands of the Hurricanes on Tuesday they have been very good. Keep an eye on the Bruins lines in the days to come. If Smith stays on the top line, his stock will only continue to rise.

Matt Boldy, LW, Minnesota Wild (4% rostered)

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Matt Boldy made his NHL debut two weeks ago following a call-up from Minnesota's AHL affiliate in Iowa. To date, he has played in four NHL games and has two goals and two assists to show for it.

In those four games Boldy has averaged 16:27 of ice-time including nearly two minutes on the powerplay. He's playing on the second line with Frederick Gaudreau and the red-hot Kevin Fiala. Boldy is also getting some burn on the Wild's top powerplay unit.

The trio is posting strong possession metrics and there seems to be little reason to split them up. Since Boldy's debut, the Wild have won three out of their last four games. Their only loss came in a shootout to the formidable Colorado Avalanche.

This all comes with a  small sample size caveat. However, should Boldy hold his current deployment he could be a valuable mid to late-season add for your squad.

Stock Down

Tyson Barrie, D, Edmonton Oilers (84% rostered)

Evan Bouchard, D, Edmonton Oilers (39% rostered)

I offer this Oilers defenseman double feature as a slight correction to my Week 3 Stock Watch article. In that post, I said Tyson Barrie's stock was down and that Evan Bouchard should take over his minutes before the end of the season.

I wasn't wrong, really. Barrie is not doing well this season and Bouchard should be eating his lunch. But he's not. As a result, both Barrie and Bouchard have their stock on downward trends. One due to poor play, the other due to inept management.

Tyson Barrie led the NHL in points for a defenseman last year. This year he isn't even leading his team's defensemen in points. That honor belongs to Evan Bouchard.

In just about every way you can measure it, Barrie is having a bad year. His per-game stats in points, powerplay points, shots, and blocks are all down from last year. He has four points in his last 13 games and is currently on a 41 point pace. That would be the lowest full-season total for Barrie since the 2012-13 season when he was with Colorado. Defensively he hasn't been great, either.

What's so confounding to me is why the Edmonton Oilers insist on giving him the first unit powerplay assignment when Evan Bouchard is so clearly the better option. Hell, Darnell Nurse is likely the runner-up. Barrie should be third in the pecking order.

Instead, Barrie gets the PP1 time and lately, Bouchard and Nurse share the ice on the PP2. To date, Barrie has over 100 minutes on the powerplay. Bouchard has 22.

Barrie is worse defensively than both Bouchard and William Lagesson. Why bring Lagesson into this? Because the Oilers put him on waivers earlier this week. They undervalue Lagesson's defensive abilities so severely they were willing to lose him for nothing. I think that sums up how well this regime understands its players and how to deploy them.

I bring up Bouchard and Lagesson in comparison to Barrie for two reasons. One, the idea that Barrie is more valuable to the Oilers than either of these players is patently false. Bouchard is better offensively and defensively. Lagesson is better defensively. Yet Bouchard gets worse assignments, and Lagesson is in the AHL.

The Oilers are unwilling, or unable (I'm not sure what's worse) to recognize who their better players are. I understand that Lagesson plays on the left side while Barrie and Bouchard play on the right. My point is the Oilers are getting shelled these days and they just sent one of their best defensive defensemen through waivers.

Stats (5v5)Tyson BarrieEvan BouchardWilliam Lagesson
Cap Hit ($M)4.50.860.73

Stats in table from Natural Stat Trick.

The second reason is that this inability to recognize skill and give playing time to good players impacts their fantasy value.

Like Barrie, Bouchard has four points in his last 13 games. He is on a 45 point pace, which isn't awful for his deployment and experience level. But it's below what it could be. His point totals will assuredly go up in the coming years. Bouchard is a star in the making.

But this year he isn't. And it's not his fault. It's Bob Nicholson, Ken Holland and Dave Tippet's fault. Not that any of them would ever admit it. Instead, they'll point fingers at a bunch of guys playing their guts out.

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