Late Week 1 Fantasy Hockey Pickups: Hoglander, Byram, Carter, & More

DALLAS, TEXAS - MARCH 25: Joe Pavelski #16 of the Dallas Stars celebrates with Roope Hintz #24 of the Dallas Stars, Jason Robertson #21 of the Dallas Stars, Miro Heiskanen #4 of the Dallas Stars and John Klingberg #3 of the Dallas Stars after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning at American Airlines Center on March 25, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The NHL season is underway, and that means so is fantasy hockey. After the few days we’ve all got to experience, there are always some moves to be made to your team in order to seal the deal in week one. You only have three days left in your first matchup, and you should maximize your points output by adding players from teams with multiple games left as well as players off to hot starts.

Stars & Senators Play Back-to-Back Weekend Games

The Dallas Stars and Ottawa Senators are the only two teams playing Sunday, in a matchup against each other. That could give your team the push to win at the finish line. There are three other teams that play multiple games in the back half of this week, the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, and Vancouver Canucks.

If you really wanted to work the system, you could target a player from the Blackhawks, Wild, or Canucks for Friday and possibly Saturday, then switch them out for a Stars or Senators player for Sunday and even Saturday if you like the matchup better. Personally, if you were going to go this route, all three teams that play Friday/Saturday have a more favourable matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings, and Detroit Red Wings. The Stars and Senators play Boston and Toronto in their Saturday game before playing one another.

Some notable players from each team with two games remaining in the week are as follows.

Chicago Blackhawks

Kevin Lankinen (rostered 10.2%), Tyler Johnson (10.9%)

The Blackhawks do play the New Jersey Devils and Penguins back-to-back, so Kevin Lankinen should draw the start in one of them. I assume it will be in the first game vs. the Devils since Marc-Andre Fleury has a history in Pittsburgh. Johnson has scored himself first-line duties in between Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat. At such a low percentage owned, he should be available for you to add points to your squad.

Dallas Stars

Alexander Radulov (22.5%), Denis Gurianov (12.1%), Braden Holtby (4.9%)

The Stars are a bit bare for fantasy options, so unless Radulov or maybe Gurianov are available, I’d say target another team. Radulov does play on the top line, but missed most of last season, along with linemate Tyler Seguin who missed the entire year. Gurianov plays on the third line but should be able to provide your team with some hits and power-play points. Braden Holtby was named the starter for their first game of the season.

Minnesota Wild

Mats Zuccarello (25.2%), Jordan Greenway (7.4%), Marcus Foligno (6.8%), Kaapo Kahkonen (7.1%)

With their games being back-to-back against the Anaheim Ducks and Kings, look for Kahkonen to most likely get the start in the second game vs. the Kings. Zuccarello is the best option here and should be targeted first at the forward position. He is projected to play on the top line with Joel Eriksson Ek and Kirill Kaprizov as well as on the first power-play unit. He scored 35 points in 42 games last season. Less owned are Greenway and Foligno, but these guys cover the grittier stats like hits and penalty minutes.

Minnesota Wild (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Ottawa Senators

Connor Brown (32.3%), Shane Pinto (1.5%)

Pinto and Brown are great options for a scoring threat, as they make up two-thirds of the Senators’ second line. Their goaltenders don’t pull favourable matchups with Matt Murray out against the high-scoring Maple Leafs’ offence and the underrated Stars team.

Vancouver Canucks

Tanner Pearson (27.9%), Nils Hoglander (9.8%), Jaroslav Halak (7.3%)

Both Pearson and Hoglander played very well in their loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Hoglander recorded two assists, while Pearson was right around the net getting chances, including a high-danger scoring chance in overtime.

Top Available Performers

Choose wisely, as one player who performs well in only one game can put up better stats for your fantasy team than another player who plays in two games. That’s to say anything can happen, but the safer bet is to go with the player who plays more. Avoid the Vegas Golden Knights, as they don’t play another game this week.

To name a few that have stood out, Bowen Byram potted a goal and an assist in Colorado’s first game of the season, while Jeff Carter (19.3%), Jared McCann (24.7%), Mikael Granlund (9.3%), and Max Domi (4.3%) all enter the weekend with three points apiece. Carter and McCann have assumed first-line duties in the absence of top centres and have played two games. Domi and Granlund have each started very well, recording as many points in just one game.

Other names of interest to you can be Isac Lundestrom (0.2%), Eva Bouchard (1.9%), and Mason McTavish (1.7%) who scored in his NHL debut if you are looking for that breakout rookie.

Utilize this tool if you need a late-week boost to your fantasy hockey team, the time to make moves is as soon as possible.

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