Welcome to week 18 of the Fantasy Planner, getting you ready for next week's fantasy hockey action. (2/1 through 2/7).
Week 18 Matchups
Teams with 4 games:
Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Washington
Teams with 2 games:
The Islanders have cooled off a bit on the fantasy front over the past week. Don't expect great things from them next week either, as they're the only team in the league with just 2 games to play.
Sooner or later, the misery of the Flames has to come to end, and they couldn't ask for a better schedule this week to make that happen. Calgary has four Eastern Conference matchups, mostly against non-playoff teams: Philly, Carolina, Florida, and Tampa Bay. Look for Iginla and company to snap out of their funk and put some points on the board.
All Things Capitals
If there's an available Capital, you may want to take a chance on him, going as deep as Mike Knuble. The Caps have been unstoppable lately, scoring at a frantic pace, averaging about 5 goals a game. In addition to the obvious stars (Ovie, Backstrom, Semin and Green), there is still plenty of scoring down the roster. Fleischman has 11 points in 10 games. Knuble has 6 points in 8 games. Even Brendan Morrison has 8 points in 9 games.
All Things Flames and Rangers
As I mentioned already, the Flames have a pretty nice schedule next week, but it's hard to ignore how hurting they are, particularly on the fantasy front. The Rangers are just as bad. Here are a few pointless streaks worth crying over:
○ Daymond Langkow - 6 games
○ Rene Bourque - 5 games
○ Jay Bouwmeester - 1 point in his last 12 games
○ Marian Gaborik - 4 games (only 1 goal in his past 11 games)
○ Brandon Dubinsky - 4 games
Here are a few names who may be available in your league and are worth a look:
Antero Niittymaki (G - TAM)
If you are facing injury woes in net for the next couple of weeks, you may want to roll the dice on Niittymaki as a short term fix. Mike Smith is still hurt, and Niittymaki has been on a bit of a hot streak. He's won three of his last 4, which is rare for Tampa. His numbers on the season are actually quite strong, .914 save percentage and a winning record. Just don't put faith in a Lightning netminder to lead your team come playoff time.
Cody Franson (D - NAS)
The rookie defenseman is starting to emerge as a fantasy threat with his recent play in Nashville. Over the past 6 weeks, he's contributed with multiple points 3 times. His playing time for the Predators is also climbing. He started the season hovering around 12 minutes a game. In January, he's averaged over 15 minutes and is seeing regular power play time. With Ryan Suter's play being a bit inconsistent this season, we may see Franson emerging as the #2 defenseman in Nashville soon.
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