2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 20 Stock Watch

by Kyle Vaughan
2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 20 Stock Watch

Welcome to the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 20 Stock Watch.

Below I'll take a look at some players who are doing various things. And I'll tell you why I think those things have made said players more or less valuable.

Don’t forget to check out the other great Fantasy Hockey content at Fantasy Six Pack.

All statistics from DobberHockey unless otherwise stated. Wednesday's games are not included as part of the analysis below.

2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 20 Stock Watch

Stock Up

Mike Matheson, D, Montreal Canadiens (28% rostered)

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I feel like every time I decide to check in on the Montreal Canadiens some new name is running their powerplay. Chris Wideman, Arber Xhekaj, Kaiden Guhle, and Justin Barron have all seen time on the man advantage this year.  And now it's Michael Matheson's turn.

Matheson missed a healthy chunk of the season with a lower-body injury and has played in only 26 games thus far. But when he's been in the lineup, his production has been solid. He has 16 points, 59 shots, 35 hits, and 33 blocks.

Over the last three games, Matheson has been on the ice for  61 percent of the Canadiens' powerplay time. He is averaging 3:26 a night on the man advantage and 23 minutes a night overall.  Matheson has five points in his last five games and has exceeded his season average for time on ice in seven of his last eight games. That includes a 27:27 effort on February 21 against New Jersey.

It looks to me like Martin St. Louis likes what he sees and wants to play Matheson a lot. That bodes well for his fantasy production. Follow Marty's lead and give Matheson some playing time on your squad if you are in need of some offensive production from your blue-liners.

Jack Quinn, RW, Buffalo Sabres (5% rostered))

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Alex Tuch was injured during the Sabres' win over the Florida Panthers on Friday. He has a lower-body injury that will keep him out for weeks. Tuch is expected to return to the lineup towards the end of the regular season, which doesn't help fantasy managers gearing up for the playoffs.

This opens up a spot on Buffalo's top line next to the potent Tage Thompson. In the two games since Tuch's injury, Jack Quinn has been granted the opportunity and he's doing some nice things.

Quinn has four points in his last two games and six points over the course of his last five games. The chemistry with Thompson shouldn't come as a surprise. The two were electric for short stints together in the pre-season and their reunion has some serious potential.

Quinn was the 2020 eighth overall pick. He was drafted early in the first round due to his high-end shot and impressive offensive intelligence. He's a smart player who can drive the play and score. Pairing him with Thompson gives the top line two snipers who are demons in the offensive zone. This could be fun to watch.

Quinn has limited powerplay potential. He's only seeing time on the second unit. But that still amounts to about 90 seconds per game. Not ideal but serviceable. If he's able to click with Thompson and produce, it wouldn't surprise me if Quinn supplants Victor Oloffson on Buffalo's top unit. Time will tell.

In the meantime, snag Quinn and enjoy the production.

Thomas Novak, C, Nashville Predators (11% rostered)

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Nashville announced that long-time General Manager David Poile will be stepping down at the end of the season. He'll be replaced by former Predators coach Barry Trotz. It seems to be the end of an era in many ways for Nashville. They've fully entered rebuild mode and have had an outstanding trade deadline week (so far).

Nashville hasn't been an exciting source for fantasy-relevant players this season. They rank 26th in goals-for. Outside of a few standouts, like Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg and Jussi Saros, not many Predators were targetted on draft day in standard leagues.

But even 26th-ranked teams are going to score some goals. The Predators have netted 167 of them. And one player, in particular, has been filling the back of the net as of late.

Thomas Novak has 11 points in his last six games. He's one of the hottest forwards in the NHL right now. He's playing on Nashville's second-line and first-unit powerplay. This season Novak has averaged around 12 minutes a night, but he's exceeded that in seven of his last eight games.

His shooting percentage is high, but his PDO and secondary assist rate are at reasonable levels. His production is unsustainable but not to the point that I expect it to fall off a cliff.

Novak is an ideal streamer at the moment. If you are in need of some offensive help, take a look for him on your waiver wire.

Stock Down

Tyson Barrie, D, Nashville Predators (78% rostered)

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Tyson Barrie was traded to Nashville on Tuesday along with Reid Schaefer, and 2023 first and fourth-round picks in exchange for Mattias Ekholm and a sixth-rounder.

In the real world, this seems like a good trade for both sides. The Oilers bolster the defensive capabilities of their top four and the Predators continue to reap huge returns for their assets.

As far as fantasy value though, this is likely one of the worst landing spots for Barrie. Nashville has the seventh-worst powerplay in the league. Edmonton's powerplay is the best in the league by a mile, and Barrie was getting the lion's share of the quarterbacking duties. Even if Barrie were to somehow get time on the Preds top unit, his production would decline.

But Barrie will never see time on the top unit, because it belongs to Roman Josi. Barrie might get some time on the second unit, and that's fine. But his value is nowhere near where it was before this trade.

I'm hesitant to simply drop Barrie because there is a chance that Nashville moves him to another team before Friday, which could change his outlook. For now, I'd hang onto him until Friday at 3 pm ET. If he isn't traded, drop him.

Erik Gustafsson, D, Washington Capitals (43% rostered)

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I just wrote about Erik Gustafsson last week in the stock-up portion of my article. I was baffled at Gustafsson's low ownership given the fact that he was producing a ton and would be a staple on Washington's top powerplay unit until John Carlson's return from injury.

What I didn't see coming was Kyle Dubas waking up on Monday morning, drinking nine Red Bulls, and going on a trade rampage in the early week. Dubas pulled off four trades over a 30-hour period. Three of them revolved around the acquisition of defensemen.

One of them saw Gustafsson and a first-round pick heading to Toronto in exchange for Rasmus Sandin. Gustafsson now joins eight other defensemen on Toronto's active roster. That's right. As of the writing of this article, the Toronto Maple Leafs have nine defensemen on their active roster and 12 forwards.

There will obviously be some roster moves before playing against Edmonton, but my point is Gustafsson needs powerplay time to be fantasy relevant. I simply cannot see a way in which he gets any form of consistent burn on the man-advantage for the Leafs.

Morgan Rielly has been quarterbacking the first unit when healthy this season, and Timothy Liljegren is manning the second team as of late. Toronto currently has the fifth-best powerplay in the league in terms of powerplay percentage. There is little reason to shake things up.

So even if Gustafsson gets a sniff on the man-advantage, it will not be in the form of the steady minutes he needs to stay fantasy relevant. Hang onto him for a few days to see how things shake out, but this late in the season don't hesitate to drop him for better options on the waiver wire.

 


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