Everyone gets into a jam at some point in their fantasy hockey season. Some have this happen more often than others. The weeks are ticking down to the start of your playoffs. This has not been an easy season and for some owners, the worst injuries are yet to come. Fantasy fixes are clearly needed.
Below is a list of players that will be some short-term fantasy fixes. Early in the week, there are short slates on Monday and Wednesday. Here is what the slates look like for the early portion.
- Monday — 4 (small)
- Tuesday — 9 (large)
- Wednesday — 4 (small)
- Thursday — 10 (large)
Breaking down your fantasy week into two parts is easier. It is more beneficial to leave Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for later in the week.
Category Fixer Uppers
These are low owned players that may be able to temporarily help your fantasy teams or even provide a more permanent fix.
David Schlemko — D — New Jersey Devils
Schlemko is only owned in 7.3% of all ESPN leagues. His point production is not very good by most standards (17 points in 52 games). However, what he does help with is power play points. The New Jersey defenseman has ten points on the man advantage. He has three power play points in his last ten games played. He also averages two blocks a game and his average time on ice has crept up over 20:00 during the last month.
New Jersey plays the New York Rangers on Tuesday and the Rangers have a bottom five in the league penalty kill. Two meetings ago, New Jersey scored twice on the power play and Schlemko wound up with the game winning goal. His game may be a little high risk on the power play but the reward may be worth it.
Tomas Hertl — LW,C — San Jose Sharks
Once upon a time, Hertl was stuck in the mud in San Jose. His points and plus-minus were a disaster and fantasy owners jumped ship. In the last 21 games, Hertl has 15 points and is a plus-12. That is a far cry from the 12 points in the first 33 games. This has to do with a slightly bigger role and better chemistry with linemates.
Hertl will help you in a few ways. He is listed at multiple positions. Also, points, plus-minus, and even the occasional face-off win are a definite aid. The forward is only owned in 14.3% of ESPN leagues. Playing with Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton helps but increased power play time does as well. San Jose is on the way back up and Hertl is a big reason why. San Jose is in St. Louis and Colorado during the early part of Week 20.
Rickard Rakell — LW, C — Anaheim Ducks
The Anaheim forward is finally playing mostly on the first line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. What took Bruce Boudreau so long to figure this out?
Rakell is owned in just 11.4% of leagues — an eight percent increase from two weeks ago. Expect those numbers to continue to rise. He is easily a 20-20 player which will help your points category. Points and time on ice are very easy fantasy fixes. He has been hot of late, with 16 points in the last 21 contests. That is alone worth a much closer look. His key attributes are speed and possession which lead to more chances and hence more points. Anaheim draws a favorable match-up on Wednesday against Buffalo.
Jean Gabriel-Pageau — C — Ottawa Senators
Pageau may be the truest short-term fix on our list, but he is holding his own, playing top line even strength minutes in Ottawa. He’s not just a Montreal killer anymore.
His ownership rate is a mere 6.5% even though he has a couple assists in his previous two games. His minutes are up to nearly 18 minutes a night over the last month and he’s now up to eight face-off wins per contest, too. If you’re missing out in time on ice or face-off categories, stick with him, as Ottawa is in Edmonton and Vancouver early on this week. That will mean more chances to pad your numbers.