Frozen Fantasy: Games Remaining Matter

Frozen Fantasy: Games Remaining Matter

This article is part of our Frozen Fantasy series.

Games remaining are just about the only things that matter right now. No games, no points. It's a pretty simple equation.

Math skills matter.

OK, so that was sarcastic. We're down to games counted by fingers and toes. And teams will start to sit their stars in preparation for the playoffs. That can be a no-win situation for fantasy managers.

Smart pickups, even for a couple games, can push you up the standings if you get lucky. Scott Wedgewood's shutout did that for me Thursday.

You can't count on luck, but it's like the lottery – you can't win if you don't get that ticket.

That Wedgewood shutout and Mark Stone's flukey sudden scoring this week has helped me in a keeper league. It's a complex formula for next year's draft, but these "lucky points" have moved me up from the 11th or 13th draft spot to 6th or 7th.

Bingo! So count your games and do whatever it takes. It's never really over until it's really over.

Now, let's take a look at who caught my eye this week.

Goalies

Nico Daws, G, New Jersey (5 percent Yahoo!) – Daws has won two straight and is looking to impress his bosses in advance of next season. The Devils have a lot of games left against really low hanging fruit like the Kraken and Wings, so you might just get lucky if you're goalie desperate.

Brian Elliott, G, Tampa Bay (9 percent Yahoo!)Andrei Vasilevskiy

Games remaining are just about the only things that matter right now. No games, no points. It's a pretty simple equation.

Math skills matter.

OK, so that was sarcastic. We're down to games counted by fingers and toes. And teams will start to sit their stars in preparation for the playoffs. That can be a no-win situation for fantasy managers.

Smart pickups, even for a couple games, can push you up the standings if you get lucky. Scott Wedgewood's shutout did that for me Thursday.

You can't count on luck, but it's like the lottery – you can't win if you don't get that ticket.

That Wedgewood shutout and Mark Stone's flukey sudden scoring this week has helped me in a keeper league. It's a complex formula for next year's draft, but these "lucky points" have moved me up from the 11th or 13th draft spot to 6th or 7th.

Bingo! So count your games and do whatever it takes. It's never really over until it's really over.

Now, let's take a look at who caught my eye this week.

Goalies

Nico Daws, G, New Jersey (5 percent Yahoo!) – Daws has won two straight and is looking to impress his bosses in advance of next season. The Devils have a lot of games left against really low hanging fruit like the Kraken and Wings, so you might just get lucky if you're goalie desperate.

Brian Elliott, G, Tampa Bay (9 percent Yahoo!)Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Bolts are scuffling right now, but Elliott was the top 'tender on the Yahoo! goalie list for the week ending Friday. So do the Bolts play Vasy a lot to see if he can improve his game before the playoffs? Or do they give him time off to rest and recalibrate for the postseason, and play Elliott more than in their two back-to-backs? At minimum, Elliott is a two-game starter. At max, maybe he gets four. They're starting him Saturday, so it looks like the Bolts are leaning to resting their star. That makes Elliott valuable and especially in head-to-head.

Mike Smith, G, Edmonton (49 percent Yahoo!) – Smith is hot – he's won five straight, including an emphatic shutout of the Preds on Thursday. The Oil finally look home-and-cooled when it comes to a playoff spot, and they'll want to rest Smith. But at the same time, Mikko Koskinen hasn't won yet in April and the team will want to carry some momentum into the postseason. Smith is worth grabbing if he's out there and you know he's in the blue paint. They have a lot of games left (seven after Saturday) and Smith will likely get at least half.

Eight Games Left (including Saturday)

Nic Dowd, RW/C, Washington (2 percent Yahoo!) – Yes, Dowd played up the lineup with Nicklas Backstrom out, but he's still worth a look. He heads into Saturday night with three points in his last two games and four in his last four. Add on 27 face-off wins, 13 hits and seven blocked shots over those four and Dowd is surprisingly valuable in a lot of categories.

Martin Fehervary, D, Washington (15 percent Yahoo!) – Need hits? Fehervary is a one-category wonder. His three goals in his last five are a complete bonus, but his 28 hits aren't. He could deliver you 40 more by season's end if you need a boost in that category.

Nico Hischier, C, New Jersey (35 percent Yahoo!) – Go get him. Now. Hischier is the best option on this list. He's on a four-game, eight-point streak, including seven assists, heading into the weekend and has delivered 37 face-off wins during that span. And his strong play is no fluke – Hischier has 34 points and 263 FW in his last 26 games. It looks like he's taken that next step. Five of his games left are against the Kraken, Wings, Sabres and Sens. Hischier is as close to an ace-ace on the wire as you can find.

Artturi Lehkonen, LW/RW, Colorado (3 percent Yahoo!) – Lehkonen is the second-best option on this list. He skates on the Avs' second line and has four points in his last two games. And two have come on the power play.  Talent + top-six minutes + games remaining? Yup, I'm jumping on, too.

Jack Roslovic, RW/C, Columbus (7 percent Yahoo!) – Roslovic channeled his inner Mike Bossy (RIP) this week. He'd gone 11 games without a goal before draining a hattie against the Wings and two more against the Habs (six points total). Yes, this is likely lighting in the proverbial bottle, but Roslovic is bursting with confidence. And that often counts for more than we think. The hometown boy may be showing off for his fans over the next couple weeks.

Best of the Rest

Rickard Rakell, LW/RW, Pittsburgh (20 percent Yahoo!) – All you really need to know is he's flanking Sidney Crosby and his adjustment phase seems to be over. After just five points in 10 games in his new uni, Rakell exploded for five assists in two games this week. After Saturday's early game against Boston, the Pens play five more and three are against the defensively-questionable Wings, Flyers and Jackets.

Paul Stastny, LW/C, Winnipeg (28 percent Yahoo!) – Stastny snagged an assist Friday night to extend his point streak to four games and six points, including two goals. He's won 30 face-offs and fired 11 shots in that span, and has a 16.7 shooting percentage over 63 games. That's about one goal every six shots, so with seven games left - including the rescheduled contest against the Kraken on May 1 - Stastny could possibly deliver three or four more. And a whole lot of face-off wins.

Back to games played.

Yes, it seems rudimentary – but some managers still hold tight to the name on the jersey and not the end goal.

Like the Evgeni Malkin fiasco this week. The suspension was warranted, but it deflated the chances of a lot of fantasy managers. Yes, he has five games left and could help this coming week.

But in head-to-head, you don't have next week if you can't get through this one. Even three games from a hot waiver pickup are better than nothing from a star.

Until next week.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janet Eagleson
Janet Eagleson is a seven-time Finalist and four-time winner of the Hockey Writer of the Year award from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. She is a lifelong Toronto Maple Leafs fan, loved the OHL London Knights when they were bad and cheers loudly for the Blackhawks, too. But her top passion? The World Junior Hockey Championships each and every year.
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