By Neil Parker, RotoWire Hockey Writer
Special to Yahoo Sports
It’s an interesting schedule next week with no games on Nov. 23. There are a lot of back-to-back sets, which means backup goalies make for solid spot-start options. Additionally, there are 13 teams playing four games, so it’s a busy scoring period.
From a strategy standpoint, a number of the same players continue to pop up among the fantasy leaders each week but remain available in plenty of leagues. With that in mind, here’s a list of potential drops who have failed to match preseason expectations:
There is potential for each of those skaters to resurface as serviceable assets, but currently, they’re all underperforming compared to a number of early-season risers. Sitting idle is ill-advised.
Here’s the schedule for the next scoring period, Nov. 20-26:
Two games: Blackhawks, Panthers
Four games: Ducks, Coyotes, Sabres, Flames, Oilers, Wild, Predators, Devils, Sharks, Maple Leafs, Canucks, Capitals, Jets
All other teams play three games next week
Remember to keep an eye on players cut in your leagues, and note the handful of the previously covered players listed below who could still be available on your waiver wire.
(Yahoo! ownership numbers as of Nov. 16.)
Teuvo Teravainen, CAR (20 percent): With a natural hat trick Monday, Teravainen is now up to four goals, 11 points and a plus-7 rating through his past nine outings. He’s clicking on a line with Jordan Staal and Sebastian Aho, and the trio has combined for a jaw-dropping 8.55 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five this season. The offense is going to cool, but there is plenty of room for negative regression before it’s a fantasy concern.
Jakob Silfverberg, ANA (41 percent): After failing to score in the first 10 games of the season, Silfverberg now has five tallies through his past eight outings. The 27-year-old Swede has been a notoriously slow starter with just three goals and nine points through 30 October games the past three years. While the Anaheim injury situation hurts some of Silfverberg’s upside, it’s also enabled him to log a career-high 18:43 of ice time per game, including 2:31 on the power play. Additionally, even with the recent uptick in goals, the high-volume shooter still owns an unsustainably low 7.9 shooting percentage.
Jordan Staal, CAR (22 percent): A four-assist outing will always boost up a stat line, but Staal has settled into a promising line between Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen of late. The veteran center has also averaged 2:58 of power-play time per contest this season, which is his most since joining Carolina. Staal’s been on the ice for an impressive 3.68 goals and 12.72 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes at five-on-five this season, as well, so his best season as a Hurricane is now well within reach.
Rick Nash, NYR (51 percent): The eye test suggested Nash’s recent offensive outburst was in the making, as the veteran power forward appears healthy and back in prime form. He’s been on the ice for a team-high 17.74 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes at five-on-five through his past eight contests and translated it into six goals, 10 points and 27 shots. There’s always an injury risk with the 33-year-old, but it’s impossible to overlook his recent dominance.
Micheal Ferland, CGY (11 percent): Skating with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan on the No. 1 line and power-play unit has been a fantasy boon for Ferland. The trio has scored 4.33 goals per 60 minutes dating back to last season, and the 25-year-old winger has recorded seven tallies, 10 points, 28 shots and 25 hits through his past 10 contests. He’s also recorded 102 PIM dating back to 2015-16, so Ferland has the potential to be a true cross-category contributor moving forward.
Alex Kerfoot, COL (21 percent): A carry-over from last week, Kerfoot has three consecutive multi-point showings with four goals, four PIM and seven shots. The Vancouver native developed into a standout scorer at Harvard – recording 45 points through 36 games as a senior last season – and now he’s cashing in on his scoring role with the Avs. He’s obviously not going to maintain a 35.0 shooting percentage, but his hockey IQ is high, and Kerfoot is currently in position to succeed offensively.
Alex DeBrincat, CHI (11 percent): The OHL star posted 167 goals and 332 points over 191 games through his final three seasons, and he’s now recorded six tallies and two helpers through his past eight contests at the highest level. DeBrincat has oodles of offensive upside, but the jury is still out on whether he’s going to receive enough scoring-line and power-play minutes to provide consistent fantasy numbers. However, this might prove to be a rare case where his role is irrelevant.
Mathew Dumba, MIN (38 percent): There’s a significant gap between Dumba’s on-ice performance and fantasy results. He’s been on the ice for the most goals and high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes of all regular Wild defensemen but has just seven helpers through 17 games. Still, his ability to tilt the scales across all categories keeps him relevant in the majority of settings. Plus, his scoring numbers likely have statistical correction ahead, which will skyrocket his value.
Darnell Nurse, EDM (9 percent): The 22-year-old defenseman has climbed to the top pairing and averaged 22:29 of ice time through his past seven outings. While the promotion has only resulted in a single assist, Nurse has 16 shots, six PIM, 14 hits and 10 blocked shots during that stretch. His peripheral contributions will buoy his fantasy value, but with Edmonton potentially on the verge of putting it together offensively, the points should come for the talented defender.
Dmitry Orlov, WAS (21 percent): Another defenseman with untapped offensive upside who’s struggled to score this season, Orlov appears to finally be finding a groove. He’s collected a goal, an assist and 19 shots while averaging 24:03 of ice time through his past six games. Matt Niskanen’s return should also help Orlov land in softer five-on-five matchups.
Noah Hanifin, CAR (10 percent): Not only is Hanifin in solid form with three assists, 10 shots and a plus-8 rating through his past five outings, he’s also been on the ice for the most high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes of all regular Hurricanes defensemen. The third-year rearguard is beginning 64.7 percent of his five-on-five shifts in the offensive zone and might finally be coming into his own offensively at the highest level. His world-class skating ability is also a perfect fit for the talented Hurricanes.
Charlie Lindgren, MON (47 percent): With Carey Price’s (lower body) injury status up in the air, and Al Montoya out indefinitely with a concussion, Lindgren is the No. 1 for the Habs. The 23-year-old Minnesota native has been rock solid in the role, too. He’s allowed two goals or fewer in all five starts for a 3-1-1 record, .957 save percentage and 1.39 GAA. Additionally, Montreal has surrendered the second fewest high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes (9.28) at five-on-five this season.
Steve Mason, WPG (10 percent): With just three goals allowed and a .955 save percentage through his past two starts, Mason could push for a larger timeshare in the Winnipeg crease. The Jets have just a single loss in regulation through their past 11 contests and surrendered only 9.55 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes at five-on-five during that stretch. It’s been a cushy fantasy setup of late.
Jacob Markstrom, VAN (40 percent): While the recent form is underwhelming (1-3-0 record with a .896 save percentage and 3.27 GAA), the Canucks are in the midst of a tough schedule spot. Markstrom still owns the potential to provide serviceable fantasy numbers if owners are selective with his matchups, and Vancouver has just a single back-to-back set between now and Jan. 20, so he’s in line for a hefty workload. Don’t overlook the value volume can add, especially if the luxury exists to only utilize Markstrom against favorable opponents.
Players to consider from past columns: Pavel Buchnevich, Bo Horvat, Mathew Barzal, Brock Boeser, Yanni Gourde, Josh Anderson, Boone Jenner, Tom Wilson, Brandon Montour, Mattias Ekholm, Josh Manson, Darnell Nurse, Tim Heed, Esa Lindell, Erik Johnson, Joonas Korpisalo, Michal Neuvirth, Aaron Dell, Carter Hutton, Kari Lehtonen.