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Week 21 Fantasy Hockey Planner and H2H Streamers

Am I allowed to say it is crunch time again?  If you are reading this, you have likely been managing your fantasy hockey team for more than four months now. There are five full weeks and a six-day week left in the regular season. If you are still in the playoff hunt in your head-to-head leagues, you have only a few streamer moves yet to make.  Think ahead and make the best decisions you can, or you might regret it all summer. You can also listen to my “Fantasy Hockey Life” right here on FantraxHQ while you do your research this weekend.  All streamers listed in the Week 21 Fantasy Hockey Planner are owned in less than 50% of Fantrax fantasy hockey leagues as I write.

In addition to our fantasy hockey planner, be on the lookout for our waiver wire column and all the rest of our Fantasy Hockey content.

Week 21 Fantasy Hockey Planner

Weekly Lineup Picks

Standard disclaimer: weekly leagues are not about what days games are on, they are about how many games your guys play.  A 4-game guy only needs to be half as good as a 2-game player to match the results. Repeat after me: win most games played every week.

Week 21 Fantasy Hockey Schedule Grid:


We went from 18 teams with a four-game schedule two weeks ago to 12 teams last week. This week we are down to eight. This means tougher competition for the best players in your weekly pools. Honestly, it is not a great week for lesser-owned streamers.  Also, eight teams with four-game weeks is the lowest number of teams with that schedule until the last week of the regular season (which is only a six-day week).

The NHL trade deadline is hitting just as you are making weekly lock decisions.  By 3ET Monday we should know if our rosters will be disrupted by players switching sweaters and getting on planes to work their way into new playing situations.  7ET that night is puck drop for our one game of the day, Ottawa at Columbus.  Check your league’s rules to figure out if your whole lineup locks when that game starts or whether you can still make lineup moves for players from the other 29 teams on Tuesday.

My Week 21 4-game skater targets: 

Mikael Backlund (C/RW- CGY) is only my 2nd-favorite Mikael in the NHL (I see you, Mr. Granlund).  Nonetheless, he is on a hot line lately.  Since Backlund has settled back in with Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane this month, Backlund has put up a point per game (4 goals, 5 assists in 9 games).  He is also third on the Flames in shots this month with 29.  Expecting great things from a 30-year-old who has never topped 53 points in a full season would be foolish, but I am willing to burn a roster move on him next week.

Noel Acciari (C/RW – FLA) has shot an absurd 22% this year en route to 19 goals.  Only one of those has come after January 20, which tells us the regression monster has already struck back.  I am taking a chance on Acciari this week because suddenly finds himself on a line with Huberdeau and Barkov.  How long that lasts is an open question, but I am willing to wait to see if he can luck into a couple of points while posting his usual 1.5 shots, 2 hits, and 1.5 blocks per game.

Jesper Bratt (LW/RW – NJ) is on a last-place team actively dealing anyone they can.  Take a closer look, though, and you can see New Jersey has been surprisingly spry over the last month.  Jersey has earned a point in 8 of their last 11 contests, winning 5 outright. If we wanted to have fun with a small sample, we could note they have scored 33 goals in those 9 contests.   That 3.27 goals per game pace rates out as top 10 in the league.  Bratt has played with a rotation of Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes, and Kyle Palmieri over this time while getting power play minutes.  He has profited to the tune of 2 goals and 3 assists.

Brendan Lemieux (LW – NYR) has not been featured in this space for a while, but there is a lot to commend him.  In 10 games is February, Lemieux has been good for 1.5 shots and 3.5 hits per game.  Maybe it is time to target the out-of-position peripheral stats and try to lean into a week when there could be a vacancy (Chris Kreider) on a Rangers scoring line.

Not using Fantrax for your fantasy hockey league? Check out our Fantasy Hockey Commissioner and find out why you should be.

Daily Head-to-Head Streamers:

Week 21 is also a stark contrast to last week.  The difference between schedules is extreme.  Ottawa at Columbus is the only action Monday night. 26 of 31 teams play Tuesday for the heaviest night of the week.  No team has a Monday-Wednesday combination.  It is a dark time for daily streaming.  If you can be patient, Columbus has a Monday-Tuesday back to back with two more quality games later in the week.


Daily Streaming Targets for Week 21 Fantasy Hockey: 

Drake Batherson (C/RW – Ott) goes along with the old philosophy that if you cannot get a great streamer schedule, at least find a Monday streamer.  Batherson scores irregularly (3 points in 5 games, if you want to frame it that way).  He has been taking 2 shots and laying 3 hits each game, though.  With Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Tyler Ennis all up for grabs at the trade deadline, Batherson’s deployment should only become more prominent in the next week.  By all means, if you cannot fit him into Tuesday’s lineup, feel free to drop him after Monday and chase a Wednesday streamer.

Gabriel  Vilardi (C – LA) is perhaps one to consider for that Wednesday stream.  In his first NHL game, the oft-injured top prospect put up a goal and assist.  More than once this season, my dynasty deep dive partner Victor Nuno and I have pined over Vilardi finally making it to the show.  Vilardi’s move into LA’s top six should be the team’s long term plan.  There are a lot of vacancies in that group of Kings.

Dominik Kahun (LW/RW – PIT) is a gamble.  He has great deployment next to Evgeni Malkin and breakout player Bryan Rust when he plays.  Lately, however, he has succumbed to the injury luck plaguing the whole Penguins roster this year.  Having returned from a month’s absence due to a concussion, Kahun suffered a lower-body injury Thursday night against the Maple Leafs.  The good news is this is a move you will not have to decide on until Tuesday or Wednesday.  The Pens play a favorable Wednesday-Friday schedule, so if Kahun cannot go, Jared McCann would also be a worthwhile consideration.

Nick Foligno (C/LW/RW – CBJ) Remember that time when Foligno scored 73 points in 79 games?  Those were good times.  The Jackets captain has been a fantasy afterthought in more recent times, and no part of 26 points in 59 games spells must-start.  What I will say is Foligno averages 2 shots per game. His 3 hits per game this year is already almost a career high and way over his career average of 2 per game. His 5.8% shooting percentage this year is half his career 11.6%.  He gets 18 minutes ATOI, nearly 2 minutes of that on the power play.  You could take worse chances with 3 quality games for next week.

What else would you like to see in our Fantasy Hockey Planner? Let us know in the comments below.

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