Fantasy Hockey: Buy or Sell
It has been a nightmare trying to manage my fantasy hockey roster through a Covid infested NHL. The NHL has canceled nearly 40 games to date, and there doesn’t appear to be any end in sight. The NHL looks like it will trudge forward through this season despite the constant spread of the virus. We’re continually seeing teams send players to waivers to save money; NHL teams are getting creative with roster management, and fantasy owners must do the same. If you haven’t been adding or dropping players from waivers, here are a few potential buy and sell options for your roster. Depending on your league’s size, some of these players could still be available for free!
Atkinson has been on a terror over the past week. He’s tallied four goals in his last five games. Across the same period, Atkinson is a +6 on the ice; he’s still a -2 on the year; those optics lend trade seekers more opportunity. He’s playing very well with new teammates Patrick Laine and Jack Roslovic; the three are playing on the Blue Jackets top line.
Another benefit for Atkinson is his special teams play. He’s incredibly efficient on the power play and penalty kill. Atkinson has five goals on the season, but three were shorthanded; he has more shorthanded goals than he does even strength! On the Power Play, Cam lines up on the point as a defenseman, so he gets plenty of opportunities for extra shots and assists from rebounds or deflections. Atkinson had a slow start, but I’m buying into his recent strides, especially after the arrival of Roslovic and Laine; they look great together!
Shesterkin did not make me look like a smart man to start this season. I came in, banging his drum for everyone to hear. That was a mistake! The Rangers as a whole were flat to start the season. Stars like Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider are still struggling, but the Rangers look better than they did to start the year. Despite the rough start, I’m back for more; Shesterkin is on fire, and I’ve got my drum out!
Shesterkin allowed ten goals in his first three starts this season. It was a tough watch, but not all the blame was on him. Shesterkin would start 2021 0-2-1, but in his last five games, he’s 3-2. Igor has yet to allow more than two goals in a game across the same five-game stretch. The success could have more to do with Tony DeAngelo’s departure than people will let on; defensively, this team looks more disciplined! Shesterkin has found his stride allowing just eight goals across the last five games; either add him or make a buy-low offer for his recent success.
Palat is another smart buy option based on recent production. He’s tallied five points in his last three games and has 11 points in 13 total games. Palat plays on Tampa Bay’s top line, so he’ll always hold steady value playing alongside players like Steven Stamkos’s and Brayden Point.
Palat is a bit of a forgotten player and doesn’t hold a ton of name recognition. If Palat isn’t available on waivers, you could easily make a trade for him that wouldn’t cost much. Tampa has only played 13 games, so this is an excellent time to jump on his production before it grows even more once Tampa plays as many games as the rest of the league. Tampa Bay has a potent offense. They rank #1 in scoring and are an exciting team to watch; Palat’s your cheap ticket to the show!