2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 9 Planner

by Matt Johnson
2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 10 Planner

It is our 2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 9 Planner! Exclamation marks just add to the excitement, don't they? No? I guess punctuation isn't all that exciting.

Do you know what is exciting? Looking to see who put some exclamation marks in the NHL this week.

How about JT Miller angrily steaming through a couple of defencemen to pad some of his fantasy owner's stats? Gotta like that! I mentioned a couple of weeks back that the Canucks would be good buy-low options right now. This 6-2 win was a glimmer of hope.

Before you say it, no, they aren't going to get to play Montreal and Ottawa for the rest of the season. The defending team here looked completely flat-footed, won't always be the case. BUT! It does show they can pay dividends if you buy now and wait.

I also said in the latest Waiver Wire post that Boeser is droppable in redraft formats. This showing increases that thought process; 6 points on the night, Boeser got none. His role as the shooter is diminishing.

Did you put your money down on the Maple Leafs after hearing Darcy Kuemper would be a late scratch from a nagging injury? Well, you should have.

In last week's Planner, I showcased an effort by the Avs when they squeaked out a 7-5 win against the Senators and how Colorado needs to sort out their goaltending. That was amplified when they played the Leafs and were trounced 3-8. Jonas Johansson (6% rostered) has done nothing to show he's NHL ready. I've seen him picked up speculatively with Kuemper's injury but I don't think it's worth it, even with the Avs in front of him.

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Anyone reaping the benefits of Timo Meier ownership? When did he go in your league? In a couple of drafts, I was lucky to grab him in the 8th-9th round. A lot of analysts had him as a big bounce-back candidate, and boy is that paying off.

Here's a fun table

TIMO MEIER VS.TIME ON ICEGOALSASSISTSSHOTS ON GOALHITSBLOCKS
NEW JERSEY18:3320601
CHICAGO18:3020632
TORONTO17:4400700
OTTAWA21:5112432

In his last four games, he's FILLED the stat sheet. His advanced stats suggest he's running hot, which of course isn't far off. However, a lot of his numbers are mired in a Sharks team that has had a less than stellar couple of years.

In his 2018-2019 season (draft year + 3) he played 78 games and put up (66) points, (3.2) shots per game and strong hits and blocks totals. The talent was there. He just needed Evander Kane to step aside.

Let's look at what went right and wrong in last week's suggestions.

Week 8 Recap

I mentioned Seth Jarvis was worth a waiver add. In Justins' Unsustainable this week he (rightfully so) mentions how picking him up didn't help you at all, so I'll take a slap on the wrist on that one. I did say be careful with rookies, but still a bad take. 'Canes were plagued with some COVID-protocols on the blueline and have had a rough go the last couple weeks. They are bound to bounce back with their talent, but Jarvis can be safely dropped at this point until further notice.

I'm not going to get too carried away with the other picks, Blake Coleman had a good peripherals week and Jaden Schwartz and Anthony Beauvillier were quiet. Not much to dive into here, these are all waiver guys and there's a reason for that. You just try to look for weeks where they will pop.

Evan Bouchard (43%) is the man, I've mentioned him in a couple of weekly pick-ups, it's time to hold. Darnell Nurse will come back and take away some production but he's coming into his own and proving he can be relied on.

Hey man, nice shot!

Let's get into the picks. Try to reverse last week's mediocre returns.

2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 9 Planner

Top Targets

Rickard Rakell, LW/RW, Anaheim Ducks (25% Rostered)

Opponents: @WSH, @BUF, @CBJ, @PIT, @STL

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It's Rakell's fifth breakout! Yes, the moment we've constantly been waiting for seems to be unfolding in front of our eyes!

Ok so maybe that's a stretch, he probably isn't going to tickle a point-per-game but his current deployment along with Adam Henrique and Trevor Zegras makes him relevant.

He currently has been shooting at (3.5) shots a game, that's what you want from your snipers. His shooting percentage is higher than his norm, but he's had years passed (2015-2018) where he averaged (15.06%) which is where he is right now. Zegras is a future superstar playmaker, so if he keeps feeding Rakell, things should maintain.

Ice time is good, powerplay time is good, go and get Troy Terry lite!

Valeri Nichushkin, LW/RW, Colorado Avalanche (22%)

Opponents: @PHI, @NYR, DET, FLA

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Here is my standard warning, don't go chasing yesterday's points. That said, he's lining up alongside Nazeem Kadri who currently possesses the golden stick. So let's try and saddle up next to him this week and get some points.

Now to add to my caution, everything about Valeri is screaming regression, his individual and even-strength shooting percentage is way too high.  Kadri is currently on a 128 point pace. Nah, not happening. But while this line is in the "it" category, they have four games this week with no back-to-backs. That's as good as it gets.

Mats Zuccarello, RW, Minnesota Wild (31%)

Opponents: @EDM, @SJS, @LAK, @VGK

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How can you not love this team right now? Their trajectory is worth putting on your radar here. Before I get into Zuccy, I think it's worth adding Alex Goligoski (32%) as a pick-up target for basically all the same reasons.

Ok, Zuccarello, he's certainly made a comeback after a nasty injury and a trade away from Artemi Panarin. It doesn't hurt that he landed next to the Breadman's successor in Kirill Kaprizov.

It's pretty simple really, the Wild tend to roll lines evenly but he's still getting quality ice time (18:15 ATOI) and powerplay deployment with one of the NHL's biggest stars. All his advanced metrics are in line with his averages throughout his career, outside of a bump in his shooting percentage. Definitely worth grabbing for his quality matchups this week.

Back to Goligoski, his metrics are unsustainable, but that's largely due to Jared Spurgeon's injury. Goligoski will be worth holding while Spurgeon is out.

Ryan Johansen, C, Nashville Predators (27%)

Opponents: @DET, @NYI, @NJD, @NYR

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RyJo is back! Smashvilles top line is absolutely en fuego! Center depth generally keeps his ownership low but while you have Brayden Point on IR, Johansen needs to be grabbed.

First off, congratulations to Filip Forsberg on his Hat Trick + 1!

I think everyone expected a dismal start to the Predators season when Forsberg went down for a long stretch at the start of the season. When that happened, Matt Duchene decided to have a renaissance season that we haven't seen since his days on the Avalanche. With it, he brought back Johansen from the brink of fantasy relevance.

Normally I try to bring up one or two guys with more peripheral potential, but it's hard to overlook Johansen's output this year. Everything is just clicking for the top line right now and there seems to be no reason it can't continue. Outside of a slightly higher shooting percentage, he is getting great deployment.

My biggest concern with him is his low shot totals (33 shots in 23 games) but he's never been a volume shooter. If he continues to be flanked by Forsberg and Duchene then there's no reason he should continue to be a free agent in your league.

Trade Targets

My apologies for the rushed info here, the computer decided to delete half my worksheet and now it's a mad panic to get the article in before the editors get out the yardstick. Here are my top targets!

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C/LW, Edmonton Oilers (95%)

RNH is quietly putting up a point-per-game season under the large shadows of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. With the emergence of Zach Hyman on the powerplay, it's easy to overlook how well Hopkins has been doing. If an owner hasn't been paying attention, make sure that you do.

Neal Pionk, D, Winnipeg Jets (90%)

Had this article come out before he had a booming night against the Devils with (2) assists and (8) hits it might have been an easier get. The Jets on the whole have been in a bit of a slump, so he's worth looking into before they turn on the... jets. If you were smart to grab Evan Bouchard, now might be a good sell-high time before Darnell Nurse returns and takes back his throne.

P.S. I still do like Bouchard long-term, I've stated this many times. But it will be Nurse's time to lose once he's back.

Sean Couturier, C, Philadelphia Flyers (73%)

The Flyers have been a team over the last couple of COVID years that just can't seem to string much together. Couturier is the poster child of consistency, yet over his last eight games, he's only had (1) assist and a big goose egg in the goals total. He is due for some positive regression, let's just hope the age bug hasn't taken over Philly just yet.

Team Schedule

This is Anaheim's week, five games total. Load up the Ducks! Here's how the rest breaks down.

Five Games

  • Anaheim: @WSH, @BUF, @CBJ, @PIT, @STL

Four Games

  • Carolina: @WPG, @CGY, @EDM, @VAN
  • Colorado: @PHI, @NYR, DET, FLA
  • Dallas: ARI, @VGK, @LAK, @SJS
  • Minnesota: @EDM, @SJS, @LAK, @VGK
  • Nashville: @DET, @NYI, @NJD, @NYR
  • New York Rangers: @CHI, COL, @BUF, NSH
  • Philadelphia: COL, @NJD, @VGK, @ARI
  • St.Louis: FLA, DET, MTL, ANA
  • Vancouver: LAK, BOS, WPG, CAR

Two Games

  • Ottawa: NYI, TBL

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