Welcome to our first Last Word On Fantasy Hockey Report of 2018. The main message we have going into the new year is: Don’t Forget The Vets.
Don’t Forget The Vets
The three top NHL performers over the past two weeks combined for 33 points. They also have a combined 35 years of NHL experience. Claude Giroux, Ryan Getzlaf, and David Backes all closed out 2017 on a high note with 11 points apiece over the last 14 days.
Giroux had 11 assists in his last six games, with four of them on the power play. Now with 46 points in just 38 games, he is having his best campaign in seven years. Back in 2011-12, Giroux put up 93 points in 77 games, matching his current pace of 1.21 points-per-game.
Getzlaf is another vet enjoying a resurgence this season at a slightly better 1.25 points-per-game. This is a career-high pace for Getzlaf, although it’s only in 20 games played. Getzlaf took one extra game than Giroux to get his 11 points, with a goal and 10 helpers in his last seven games.
Giroux is 96% owned and Getzlaf is 89% owned in Yahoo! leagues. If you drafted or otherwise acquired either of these players then give yourself a pat on the back. If not, David Backes at only 42% owned might still be an option for you. Backes scored five goals and added six assists in his last seven games. He’s less likely to continue that pace than either Giroux or Getzlaf, but he could be a nice short-term add if you have a hole to fill in your fantasy hockey lineup.
Other Veteran Options
Thomas Vanek put up five goals and five assists for 10 points in his last five games. Vanek is only 19% Yahoo! owned so he’s probably available in your league. There is a good reason to temper your expectations with Vanek as he is an inconsistent fantasy performer. However, as long as he is playing on a hot Vancouver Canucks line with Sam Gagner and rookie sensation Brock Boeser, Vanek is worth a look.
Surprisingly, Josh Bailey is still available in about one in five Yahoo! leagues. Bailey continues his career year with 10 points in his last six games for the New York Islanders. If your league is one of those where he is still out there find a spot for him.
Rickard Rakell is just entering his prime for the Anaheim Ducks. The former first-round pick is on fire with eight points in his last five games. Rakell is still available in about one in four Yahoo! leagues.
While our main message today is “don’t forget the vets”, a couple of hot rookies are worth mentioning.
The aforementioned Brock Boeser is showing why he deserves to be in the Rookie of the Year conversation. In his last five games of 2017, he scored four goals and added four assists for eight total points. While Boeser is hardly a secret and is owned in 80% of Yahoo! leagues, fellow rookie Danton Heinen is quietly having himself an incredible season. Heinen has eight points in his last seven games, giving him a total of 26 points in 33 games for the year. He’s still only 33% owned in Yahoo! and triple position eligible which makes him a great player to spot start from your bench.
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