The Fantasy playoffs are here. This is what you have worked hard all season for. Now is the time to lock in a key addition or make a key drop that will propel you to the championship. Sit back and buckle up as we dive into the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 22 Unsustainable Players.
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 22 Unsustainable Players!
2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 22 Unsustainable Players
Moritz Seider, D, Detroit Red Wings (94% rostered)
With just 35 points through 66 games, this season has not been all rainbows and sunshine for Moritz Seider. Call it a sophomore slump, or just a "down year". But over the past two weeks, Seider has been dialling it up as Detroit tries to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Over his past eight games, Seider has a goal and four assists. He has also added 18 shots, 30 hits, and 21 blocks. Here, you can see his real value shine in banger leagues.
This recent production has Seider looking a lot like last season. He is on pace for 51 points over this hot stretch - comparable to the 50 points he finished with last season. His shot totals also work out to an 82-game pace of 185 shots. This is right in line with the 187 shots he finished with last season.
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) March 12, 2023
Despite the resurgence as of late, I would not bank my playoff hopes on this continuing.
For starters, his on-ice shooting percentage (oiSH%) is a touch high. It currently sits at 12.9% - a couple of percentage points higher than the 10.9% he finished with last season. Additionally, his playing time is down slightly this season to just over 23 minutes, compared to 23:48 last season.
While his underlying statistics do not suggest significant regression, Detroit's atrocious playoff schedule should scare you off. This week, Detroit plays only once more - against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. Next week is not much better, with Detroit playing on the three heavy nights. There is a very good chance that Seider is not even cracking your starting lineup next week.
Evan Rodrigues, C/LW/RW, Colorado Avalanche (24% rostered)
Talk about being put in a place to succeed. Evan Rodrigues got that opportunity this week when Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar informed him that he would be playing on the top line alongside Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen.
This promotion could not have come at a better time. Rodrigues has been struggling over the past couple of weeks. Prior to the game on Monday night, Rodrigues had just two goals and an assist through seven games. This 35-point pace is a far cry from the success he had as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins last season.
There are signs that he should be able to turn it around.
Evan Rodrigues with the redirect to cut the Kings lead in half. ? pic.twitter.com/7Z2kZNqIB1
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 10, 2023
First, his promotion to the top line immediately makes him one of the best streaming options on the waiver wire. Regardless of whether he has the requisite skill to be a top-end Fantasy player, just playing alongside two superstar players immediately makes Rodrigues a must-own.
To add to this, the Colorado Avalanche have one of the best schedules through the remainder of the playoffs. This week, they have three more games. They play Toronto (ouch), Ottawa, and Detroit. Next week, they play the Blackhawks, the Penguins (who cannot seem to keep the puck out of their own net), and the Coyotes twice.
This is far and away the best schedule that a GM could look for going into the Fantasy playoffs. If you can get your hands on any member of the Colorado Avalanche, I would do so right now. And Rodrigues might be the best way to get a small piece of the Avalanche pie.
Viktor Arvidsson, LW/RW, L.A. Kings (24% rostered)
Sometimes, it's the players that don't knock your socks off that push your team over the edge. One player that fits this bill is Viktor Arvidsson.
Over the past two weeks, Arvidsson has been a value add, with three assists in six games. While he hasn't scored a goal during that span, he did score five in the prior seven games.
This is the kind of player that can bolster your fantasy depth over the next week. He has been averaging almost 19 minutes per game - up from the 16:59 he averaged last season. He has seen his role elevated to the first line and first powerplay unit as L.A. makes a push for the playoffs.
Viktor Arvidsson puts some POWER into this goal. ? pic.twitter.com/n8Q4pwbV4d
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 18, 2023
Arvidsson is also providing peripheral value when he isn't scoring. He has 34 shots, four hits, and eight blocks in his last six games.
Finally, there will be few players with a more favorable schedule over the next week. Later this week, L.A. plays Columbus and Vancouver - neither of which is known for their strong defensive play. Following early next week, the Kings play Monday against the Flames. After the Monday off-night game, you can drop Arvidsson for someone with more upside through the rest of the week.
Nikolaj Ehlers, LW/RW, Winnipeg Jets (77% rostered)
If Nikolaj Ehlers is available in your league, snatch him up fast. The speedy Dane has fallen off of a lot of people's radars after a shoulder injury limited his action early this season. Since returning, his production has been inconsistent, and he has often been the odd one out of the top six as the Jets juggle their lines to find some scoring.
Despite this, Ehlers has turned it on in recent weeks. In the past two weeks, Ehlers has scored a goal and added four assists through seven games. This puts him on pace for 59 points over that span and 71 points on the season. His season pace is right in line with the 73-point pace he finished with last season.
Sometimes I see Nikolaj Ehlers' stats on Evolving Hockey and kind of do a double take. He's consistently been a top ~20 forward in the league no one ever talks about him pic.twitter.com/ktsxSXKXG7
— EvolvingWild (@EvolvingWild) September 13, 2022
There are some signs that suggest that Ehlers should be able to maintain around a 70-point pace production through the rest of the season. For starters, his shooting pace is sitting at just 6.6% on the season, compared to 11.4% last year. He will start to get a bounce or two - and hopefully, for Fantasy GMs, this happens over the next couple of weeks.
Additionally, his individual points percentage (IPP) is sitting at 79.4%, with an oiSH% of 10.2%. This is right in line with the 79.5% and 10.4% that he has averaged over the past three seasons. By all metrics, it appears as though this is the player that Ehlers is - a 70-point player. And how many 70-point wingers are available at this time of year in Fantasy leagues? None.
Nikolaj Ehlers lights the lamp in his 500th career game. ? pic.twitter.com/YgCvQiqO2c
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 23, 2023
To add to this, Winnipeg has a favorable schedule over the next couple of weeks. They have three more games this week, including one tonight. And next week they get to beat up some of the softer teams in the Western Conference with games against the Coyotes, Ducks, and Kings. This is a great time to pick up Ehlers if he is still available.
Patrick Kane, RW, New York Rangers (94% rostered)
When New York traded for the former Conn Smythe winner, they were hoping the change of scenery would revitalize the aging winger. However, in five games since the trade, Kane has just two goals and an assist. This puts him on a 49-point pace on a stacked Rangers team.
The major problem for Kane is that none of his underlying metrics indicate that he is in line for some positive regression. He has two goals on 15 shots - good for a 13.3% shooting percentage. This is significantly higher than the 9.1% he posted last season when he was on a 97-point pace.
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) March 11, 2023
Additionally, his oiSH% and IPP are both very reasonable at 12.3% and 42.9% respectively. Neither of these has room for significant regression.
And if that was not enough, New York has one of the more daunting schedules as we look through the Fantasy playoffs. This week, they play the Penguins twice, both on heavy nights. They close out the week against the Predators on Sunday. Looking into next week, they play just three games - all of which are on very heavy nights. If Kane finds his way onto your starting lineup, he has to face the Hurricanes twice. This is not a recipe for playoff success.
And with that, we wrap up our coverage of the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 22 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.
Click here for more Fantasy Hockey content