2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 5 Planner

by Matt Johnson
2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Weekly Planner

I don't know about you, but JACK EICHEL, C, VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS is going to take some getting used to. At least we have at least 3-5 months to let it sink in before we see the Knights ice their latest investment. I'm not going to spend too much time on this, we have the rest of our 2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 5 Planner to detail.

However, some quick thoughts: I saw a lot of people thinking Buffalo got boned in a return. This isn't EA's NHL Franchise mode. It's tough to sell a guy that's a 10 million dollar certified band-aid boy with his injury history.

I think the Sabres made the best of a really, REALLY bad situation. They had zero leverage. Everyone knew what their business was, and in a tight salary cap, it's tough to want to lose those futures and ELC contracts.

But Eichel is Eichel. If he comes out unscathed he's still a top 10 target, those don't come knocking all the time. If owners have been holding him through this period it's probably safe to say they will continue until Eichel arrives. He will be able to party with Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Shea Theodore, Alex Pietrangelo... oh my.

Moving on, how did we do last week?

WEEK 4 RECAP

Artem Zub (25% rostered on Yahoo) garnered quite a bit of attention in the hockey fantasy world, and here I thought he was going to be my sneaky pick. He did what I expected, threw his body around a bunch more. Hopefully that benefited you.

Mark Stone is coming around, if you did pick up the most boring player in the world, Reilly Smith(19%), you are probably safe to drop him soon. Just so, so boring.

Time to be a bit of a homer. Y'all see Thatcher Demko save the day on Tuesday? My goodness. Most people predicted he would get the starts so in a league that counts saves and SV% he'd be worth the ride. If Green can get the lines gelling, the wins might start to roll in for him as well.

Did Anyone manage to snag Marner last week? That door has probably closed now. Mitch Marner electrified the home crowd with an absolute beauty goal to open the game and added 2 apples. Pretty good.

This week we have 13 teams playing 4 games (BOS, CGY, EDM, FLA, LAK, MTL, NJD, OTT, PIT, STL, TOR, VAN, WSH). There are 5 teams with 2 (CHI, COL, CBJ, DAL, TBL) and the Islanders are out of luck again with only 1 game on the bill against New Jersey.

Let's go.

2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 5 Planner: ZACHA-TACK

Top Targets

Pavel Zacha, C/LW, New Jersey Devils (16%)

OPPONENTS: FLA, NYI, BOS, @NYR

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Zacha has always had pedigree (6th overall pick in 2015) but on a floundering Devils team, he never found his groove. Devils added two young centers a couple of years later in Nico Hischier and more recently Jack Hughes (currently on IR).

Zacha has slowly but surely increased his scoring rate, which currently sits at a 62 point pace. While his current shooting percentage (225) is likely to come down, his P/60 is right in line with his ability and his PDO suggests there's even room for a bit of an uptick.

He doesn't bring much in the peripheral department unfortunately, you might get a hit out of him, and his SOG has increased ever so slightly to 2.3, but that's about it.

With some injuries to the lineup (Jack Hughes and Dougie Hamilton) the points may be more difficult to come by, but Zacha is eating up a lot of minutes. And when there are goals to be had, he's likely to be around for them.

IVAN BARBASHEV, C/RW, ST.LOUIS BLUES (25%)

OPPONENTS: @WPG, NSH, @CAR, EDM
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If he's good enough for Jon Hamm, he's good enough for me. Ivan has quietly put up 6 points in his last 7 games and spent most of his time beside sniper Vladimir Tarasenko and recording artist Robert Thomas (terrible joke, I'm sorry).

A word of caution, he's been a little too hot to start the season, his 23.1 S% isn't sustainable and his 3.2 P/60 is about to double his career average. But that's why we ride the waiver wave, grab them while they are hot, and either trade them to unsuspecting managers or drop them when the ice age comes.

Still, even if/when the points start to dip, he's throwing about 2 hits a game and sprinkling in a couple of blocks. The Blues have a decent schedule this week and if he stays with Vlad he will be worth a look.

EVAN BOUCHARD, D, EDMONTON OILERS (28%)

OPPONENTS: @DET, @BUF, @BOS, @STL

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Imagine if Edmonton had solid goaltending? I shouldn't complain about a team 8-1-0 but watching Mikko Koskinen in net is just... woof. However, it does feel that Edmonton has really started to round out their team. The invaluable powerplay has 2 of the greatest NHL threats on the planet, and now their defensive core is coming around. Enter Evan Bouchard.

I like this kid. In fact, if I could think of a witty title with his name he might have been my top target. You know what, sweeping declaration, he IS my top target. Defensemen are difficult to find, and while there are limitations with Darnell Nurse and Tyson Barrie in the mix, he is being given top pairing minutes.

His only real downside is a lack of PP time (averaging 30 seconds this season) but at 5v5 he's giving you peripherals and plugging away at .56 ppg which is nothing to sneeze at. I suspect without that powerplay he ends the season at around .45-.5 ppg and he backs that up with decent blocks and hits, throwing around two shots a game as well.

NICK JENSEN, D, WASHINGTON CAPITALS (7%)

OPPONENTS: BUF, @DET, @CBJ, PIT

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This is a deep league play, he barely sneaks in to the targets and largely it's on the back of a quality schedule.

I really couldn't tell you if he passes the eye test or not, this is going off his stats and his consistency through the years. He is in a shutdown pairing so you are bound to get a couple of hits and blocks, good plus/minus and he's had a handful of shots on goal and 4 points through 9 games.

Even as I'm writing this I'm wondering if I should just make him an honorable mention but I got a feeling through these next four games he should help fill up the stat sheet. I wouldn't look to keep him beyond this week.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

ANTHONY DUCLAIR, LW/RW, FLORIDA PANTHERS (42%)

Still top-line with Barkov, still not getting much powerplay time, still putting up points.

ANDREW MANGIAPANE, LW/RW, CALGARY FLAMES (61%)

Odds are he is not on the waiver wire in your league. If he is, still worth a grab while he's scorching, but this shouldn't continue long-term.

DILLON DUBE, C/LW/RW. CALGARY FLAMES (1%)

His most common linemate is Mangiapane, if he's not available, Dube should be. Ride those coattails, roster him in on any forward slot.

KALE CLAGUE, D, LOS ANGELES KINGS (1%)

Another deep dive 1%er. With Sean Walker and Drew Doughty out he's been given top pairing and first powerplay reigns. Maybe not a pick-up but worth watching; 3 assists in his first 3 games and good ice time.

JOSH ANDERSON, RW, MONTREAL CANADIENS (34%)

Averaging 3 shots a game, almost 3 hits a game and has point upside. Doing it all, with the only concern being a crummy plus/minus.

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GOALIES

Time again to put on your lucky hat/shirt/jersey and hope for the best!

We can't have a goalie breakdown without mentioning the good news that it sounds like a Carey Price return is around the corner. No idea when he returns to the ice but after his initial 30 days is up he will be coming back to the NHL which hopefully means good news for the guy!

As much as it's hard to stomach Mikko Koskinen's game if the Oilers continue with their strong play. he's worth a grab while they are scorching. He's likely been swooped up in most leagues at this point but if not, now's the time.

Ottawa will continue to struggle, but maybe less so with Filip Gustavsson. Matt Murray continues to be hot garbage, and Ottawa is showing us that outside of a Canadian-only division they are still a growing team with growing pains. Gustavsson should continue to get starts as he's been giving them somewhat of a chance at least.

Petr Mrazek (EDIT: Hopefully you didn't follow this advice with him being out for a couple weeks now) may be worth a look over this next week. He's sure to get one start in their back-to-back and I wonder if they play him against the Kings on Monday so he can get his sea legs. Jack Campbell has held his own through the season, its not his fault the team wasn't scoring. Now that they seem to be putting it together we will see how Keefe deals with this tandem.

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SCHEDULE BREAKDOWN

TEAMS WITH 4 GAMES

TEAMMONTUESWEDTHURFRISATSUN
BOSTONOTTEDM@NJDMTL
CALGARYSJS@MTL@TOR@OTT
EDMONTON@DET@BOS@BUF@STL
FLORIDA@NYR@NJD@PIT@TBL
LOS ANGELES@TOR@MTL@OTT@WPG
MONTREALLAKCGY@DET@BOS
NEW JERSEYFLANYIBOS @NYR
OTTAWA@BOSLAKPITCGY
PITTSBURGH@CHIFLA@OTT@WSH
ST.LOUIS@WPGNSH@CAREDM
TORONTOLAK@PHICGY@BUF
VANCOUVERANA@COL@BGK@ANA
WASHINGTONBUF@DET@CBJPIT

TEAMS WITH 2 GAMES

TEAMMONTUESWEDTHURFRISATSUN
CHICAGOPITARI
COLORADOVANSJS
COLUMBUSWSHNYR
DALLASNSHPHI
TAMPA BAYCARFLA

That's it. Lots of games are being played this week, make sure to check your roster so that you don't have too much overlap. It's definitely a good week to grab guys on off nights with Washington, Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton being standouts.

Good luck and remember to keep your head up.


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1 comment

2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 5 Unsustainable Players - Fantasy Six Pack November 11, 2021 - 8:00 am

[…] you are looking for further add/drop guidance, make sure to check out Matt’s most recent suggestions! Kyle also does a good job every week highlighting the trade value of different […]

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