2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 21 Unsustainable Players

by Justin Cheng
2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 21 Unsustainable Players

We are down to the final few weeks of the regular season. Depending on your league settings, your playoff bracket may be starting as early as next week. With this in mind, it is more important than ever to dial in, and determine which streaking players can propel your team to victory. Sit back and buckle up as we dive into the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 21 Unsustainable Players.

If you are looking for further add/drop guidance, make sure to check out Kyle's stock watch or Michael's weekly planner from earlier this week.

From here on out, my approach to Unsustainable Players will be slightly different. At this point in the season, you don't have time to wait for a slumping player to turn it around. There will be a heavier focus on players who have favorable matchups as the classic unsustainable statistics are running out of time to regress to the mean!

Just because a player is unsustainably high does not mean they must be avoided. Often, a streaking player with favorable matchups for the week is exactly who you want to be streaming at this time of year. And as always, if you have any players that you want me to cover in future weeks, be sure to leave a comment down below or reach out to me via Twitter - @jchengWPG.

Without further ado, let's jump into the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 21 Unsustainable Players!

2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 21 Unsustainable Players

Unsustainably High

Jared McCann, C/LW, Seattle Kraken (48% rostered)

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There is a reason that GMs seldom give up on first-round picks. Nearly always they hold on too long to a player who is objectively hurting their team. However, the story is different for Jared McCann.

The former 24th-overall pick from the 2014 draft is having himself quite the year. McCann has scored 30 goals, and added 18 assists through 60 games, putting him on pace for 66 points on the season. If he keeps it up, he could finish with his first 40-goal campaign. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs who both let him walk as part of the expansion draft are probably kicking themselves now.

Over the past two weeks, McCann has been even more impressive. He has scored four goals and potted four assists through six games. He has also added 22 shots - a 300-shot pace.

Despite the recent hot stretch, I would be wary of McCann's production.

He is currently shooting at 18.2% over the past two weeks, and 21.8% on the season. While we have seen it before, most players are not able to sustain a shooting percentage this high over the course of a whole season. If he starts shooting at the 12.4% that he has averaged over the past three seasons, McCann may only find the back of the net six more times this year.

Additionally, Seattle has a brutal schedule over the next few weeks. Next week, they play just three games. Two of these come against strong Western conference opponents in the Stars and the Oilers. The following week, they play the Stars again and the Predators twice. I would not like to rely on a player who has to play Jake Oettinger and Juuse Saros twice each over the weeks when it matters most.

Seth Jones, D, Chicago Blackhawks (62% rostered)

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Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Seth Jones, drafted fourth overall, was supposed to be the player that turned the Blue Jackets' fortunes around. When that did not pan out and Columbus continued their long rebuilding process, the Blackhawks came in to sign the defensemen to go for one last spin with the aging remnants from the core that won three Stanley Cups.

However, one season into an 8-year deal that pays Jones $9.5 million per year, the Blackhawks have blown everything up. Patrick Kane, the franchise icon, is gone. Jonathan Toews, who once gave Sidney Crosby a run for his money as the best player in the world, may never play another game. And yet Jones remains with a contract that is so hideous that the Blackhawks do not have enough assets to trade away to get someone to take the contract off their books.

Ignoring the contract situation, Jones has actually had a decent run of play over the past couple of weeks. He has four goals and three assists in eight games. He has also added 23 shots on goal while quarterbacking the Blackhawks' first powerplay unit. As well, by virtue of how much he plays, Jones is one of the league leaders in shot blocks, with 17 in the past two weeks.

I would be wary of adding Jones if you are looking for defensive help going into the playoffs.

Over the past two weeks, Jones is scoring on 17.4% of the shots he is taking. By comparison, he has averaged a 3.5% shooting percentage over the past three seasons. If he were to revert to a more modest shooting percentage over the final stretch of the season, Jones may only find the back of the net once more before the season is out.

Additionally, the Blackhawks have one of the worst playoff schedules for Fantasy GMs. Next week, they play three games, including games against Linus Ulmark and the Bruins, and the Predators backstopped by Saros. In the final week of the season, they also only play three games. These games are not much easier, coming against the Stars, Blues, and Devils.

Unsustainably Low

Victor Olofsson, RW, Buffalo Sabres (11% rostered)

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If you are looking for a good addition in deeper leagues, Victor Olofsson is the way to go.

Over the past two weeks, Olofsson has been a snake-bitten which has led to a significant decline in his ownership across Yahoo leagues. He has no points in eight games and has been limited to just over 14 minutes during that stretch.

Despite the recent struggles, now might be the perfect time to pick up the young forward.

For starters, Olofsson's lack of production has not come as a result of him not creating chances. Over the past two weeks, he has generated 1.34 expected goals. He has not been able to get a bounce to go his way so one of these chances finds the back of the net.

Over the past three seasons, Olofsson has averaged a shooting percentage of 12.6%. He is still generating shots - on pace for 205 shots per 82 games over the past week. If he can continue shooting, he should pot between six and seven more goals before the year is out, bringing him close to the 30-goal plateau.

Additionally, Olofsson is a good streaming option this week because of Buffalo's strong schedule. They have easily the best schedule next week, playing four off-nights. Of these off-nights, two of them come against teams outside of the playoff picture (Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers).

If there was ever a time for Olofsson to get hot, now would be it as the Sabres look to make a push for the playoffs.

Sam Reinhart, C/RW, Florida Panthers (82% rostered)

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After one pick for deeper leagues, this is a good pick-up in shallower leagues. Sam Reinhart has been having a rough go as of late. He has just 45 points through 64 games this season with the Florida Panthers. Over the past two weeks, his struggles have amplified. Reinhart has not found the scoresheet in four games.

I do believe that if Reinhart is available in your league, you should look to pick him up immediately.

I generally gravitate to players who play a lot. More minutes mean more opportunities to do stuff. And Reinhart checks that box. Over the past two weeks, Reinhart has seen his ice time climb as the Panthers fight for their playoff lives. He has averaged just under 22 minutes per night, alternating between the first and third lines.

Additionally, Reinhart is still shooting the puck. He has averaged a 188-shot pace over the past three seasons. This season, he is on pace for 227 and has been on a 226-shot pace over the past two weeks. Simply put, more shots will lead to more goals.

Finally, if you are looking to make a deep run this Fantasy playoff, Florida has one of the best schedules in the final week of the season. They play four games, two of which are off-nights meaning Reinhart will be getting into game action for you. That week, three of their four games come against some of the worst teams in the East. They play the Senators, Canadiens, and Blue Jackets. While one may be pushing for the playoffs, the other two will be content to drop as many points as they can in hopes of increasing their lottery changes in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes.

Sustainably High

Nick Schmaltz, C/RW, Arizona Coyotes (36% rostered)

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One player that was reportedly on the trade block last week was Nick Schmaltz. The 27-year-old winger has quietly had himself a very solid season, racking up 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points in 47 games. This has come on a Coyotes team that lacks talent and seems more willing to pay the salaries of injured players than healthy young stars. Over the past two weeks, Schmaltz has turned it up a notch. Through six games, he has scored four goals and added three assists.

If you are looking for category coverage beyond points, you may have to look elsewhere. Schmaltz has just 10 shots, two hits, and three blocks over that span. Incredibly, he has just one faceoff win as well through six games.

Despite the lack of category coverage, Schmaltz is a very good option going into the next couple of weeks. For starters, he is playing more with the departure of some of the other Coyotes' forwards at last week's trade deadline. He is up to averaging just over 19:31 per game, compared to 18:15 last season.

Additionally, the Coyotes have a very favorable schedule going into the next few weeks. Next week they play three games, all of which come against struggling teams. They play Calgary on Tuesday, Vancouver on Thursday, and Chicago on Saturday.

In the following week, the Coyotes play four games, three of which are off-nights which maximizes the number of games you should be able to get out of Schmaltz. Three weeks from now is the final week in a lot of leagues. The Coyotes play three games, two of which are off-nights. The other game is against the middling San Jose Sharks.

If you are looking for a good playoff addition to bolster your lineup, Schmaltz might be just the player to look into.

Closing

And with that, we wrap up our coverage of the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 21 Unsustainable Players.

Every Tuesday throughout this season we will be looking at the hottest and coldest players in the league. If you have any players that you want me to cover, be sure to leave a comment down below or reach out to me via Twitter @jchengWPG.

Advanced stats and analytics are taken from Natural Stat Trick.


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