2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 5 Stock Watch

by Kyle Vaughan
2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 5 Stock Watch

Welcome to the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 5 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 5 Stock Watch

Stock Up

Kirby Dach, RW, Montreal Canadiens (25% rostered)

Did you know Kirby Dach has played 165 NHL games in his career? That's wild. I would have guessed 95 games or something way less.

I think it's fair to say Dach's career to date hasn't met his draft day expectations. The 2019 third-overall pick scored just 59 points over the first three years of his time with the Chicago Blackhawks. He's clearly not where the Blackhawks thought he would be, which is why they shipped to him Montreal for a first and third-round pick at the draft this summer.

Maybe a change of scenery was just what Kirby needed. The early returns are certainly promising. Dach has 10 points in 13 games with Les Habitants, including a hot streak of seven points in his last five games.

Dach is playing on the top line, alongside Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield, and getting steady play on the first unit powerplay. He's definitely worth keeping an eye on as long as he is seeing healthy deployment and producing at anything near his current rate. Don't call him a bust just yet.

Evan Rodrigues, LW, Colorado Avalanche (10% rostered)

Valeri Nichushkin will be out for at least another month after undergoing ankle surgery last week. Fantasy owners were first told not to worry about the lower-body injury, but it lingered....and lingered. Now it looks like there will be a spot open in Colorado's top six for a significant amount of time.

Enter Evan Rodrigues.

Up until Colorado's most recent game, Rodrigues was playing alongside Nathan Mackinnon and Mikko Rantanen on Colorado's top line. He also saw significant time on the top powerplay unit.

Things got a little muddy on Saturday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets when Rodrigues was bumped down the lineup in favor of Artturi Lehkonen. But Rodrigues kept his role on the top unit, which is promising. His production is also promising as he's logged four points in his last three games.

The Avalanche have the best powerplay percentage in the league. If he can keep his spot on the man advantage and continue to take advantage of his plum deployment, he is definitely worth your time.

Nathan Bastian, RW, New Jersey Devils (0% rostered)

This might be the first player I've included in an article who has zero percent ownership.

Admittedly, this is an odd suggestion. Put your hand up if you had a 'fourth-liner who plays on his team's first powerplay unit on your bingo card.

Bottom six players are hard to roster in fantasy hockey. In most cases, a player like Bastian is easily ignored. But his peripheral stat coverage in the form of hits and penalty minutes is hard to pass up when he is producing offensively. Which he is doing right now.

Bastian has five points in his last five games, with nine penalty minutes and ten hits. In that span, he has played less than 2:48 on the powerplay only once. That's Tom Wilson-level production from a guy who is zero percent owned.

Listen, the offensive production is not going to last. Bastian's highest NHLe (NHL equivalency) in the American Hockey League was 24 points.  He is not Jack Hughes. But he is adjacent to Jack Hughes right now, along with Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt.

If you need a cat filler who is currently on a hot streak, there are few options better than Bastian at the moment. Ride the Nate train until the production dries up and then move on.

Stock Down

Vasily Podkolzin, LW, Vancouver Canucks (27% rostered)

Vasily Podkolzin found himself on many breakout and sleeper lists heading into fantasy draft season this year. He racked up 14 goals last season playing only twelve minutes a night and (for most of the season) in the bottom six. Towards the end of the year, he got some burn on the top line, which led some to believe he might sustain that heading into this season.

As of yet, those projections haven't panned out. Podkolzin is playing around 13 minutes a night. Most of that time has been spent in the bottom six. He is averaging only 20 seconds of powerplay time per game.

The Canucks have improved on their poor start, winning four of their last six games. Over that span, they have scored five or more goals four times. Yet Podkolzin only has two points to date.

He is too talented to maintain this low level of production. Given his deployment, however, he is hard to roster at the moment. I'd look elsewhere on the waiver wire.

 


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