Although the Trade Deadline didn’t produce as many deals as expected, ripple effects of the trades that did occur are already being felt and will impact fantasy rosters for the rest of 2015-16 and, in some cases, beyond.
Here’s a few pieces of quick post deadline advice.
Don’t forget to give non-traded UFAs-to-be a minor boost in value. Why? There’s as much motivation, if not more so, for them to succeed as those who were actually traded. Plus, their current teams will want to get the most out of them before they most likely go elsewhere this summer.
Based on their deadline moves, Calgary, Carolina, Arizona, and Winnipeg signified they’re looking past this season. They stand to join teams like Toronto, Edmonton and Buffalo in not only giving increased opportunities to youngsters between now and game 82, but also shutting down players who might’ve been hobbling through injuries. Watch box scores for these teams carefully over the stretch run.
As teams secure playoff spots, they might give aging players or overworked netminders a rest. For skaters, this could be in the form of less ice time or even a game off here and there, while a goalie who’d seen action in 80 per cent or more of his team’s previous games might see fewer starts.
Lastly, team schedules matter more every day. If a team has two more remaining games than another, that’s over a 10 per cent difference at this stage of the season. Use that as a deciding factor between two otherwise similar players.
With all this in mind, let’s move onto this week’s buy lows and sell highs.
Four buy low players
Craig Smith – The recent jump in production from Smith looks to be the beginning of a late-season sustained scoring binge, rather than a temporary surge. Simply put, Smith shoots too much to be at his current scoring pace, as only three of the 40 forwards with more shots than him for the season had fewer than his 30 points.
He could be a realistic threat for a dozen (or even more) points in his final 16 games, so grab him if you can, and enjoy the ride.
Dmitry Orlov – First Orlov had to show he could stay healthy. Check. Then he had to gain trust among the Caps coaching staff to be put in a position to produce. Check.
He was already doing quite well in limited duty; and now, because of the injury to John Carlson, Orlov should only perform better. Grab Orlov in one-year leagues or keepers to enjoy solid scoring, while crossing your fingers his injury woes are truly behind him.
Clarke MacArthur – It would be easy for poolies to overlook MacArthur, who’s missed all but a handful of games this season with concussion complications but finally seems poised to return very soon.
Once he does, his fresh legs could be just what poolies need for a last minute push. Plus, this is a player who posted 0.64 points per game over the prior two seasons, which was better over that span than Tomas Plekanec, Evander Kane, Brandon Saad, Martin Hanzal, and Mikkel Boedker to name just a few.
Snag MacArthur if he’s on your waiver wire, and stash him in your reserves; chances are you’ll soon end up rewarded with an upgrade over at least one player on your current roster.
Max Domi – What makes Domi an attractive buy low is how far his scoring pace has fallen. After all, he had 23 points in his first 26 games, which means he posted only 20 in his next 38.
There’s a good chance Domi finishes 2015-16 nearly as strong as he started it, especially with Arizona being even more open to give the keys to its youngsters after trading away Boedker.
Four sell high players
Ryan Callahan – Although Callahan had been producing below what would be expected given his role and ice time, his recent 14 points in 12 games was completely unsustainable.
Resist the urge to assume Callahan is reborn, and focus instead on his yearlong totals, which are now close to where they should be and, more importantly, suggest he might not even post a point every other game over the remainder of the season.
Zack Smith – Although the void left by Kyle Turris being hurt was bound to open the door for other Sens forwards, Smith’s double-digit scoring in February doesn’t pass the sniff test. After all, this is a 27-year-old with a previous career-high of 26 points.
Since you’re unlikely to be able to find a taker for Smith, you should be prepared to drop him for another player who starts doing well or who has a more favorable schedule.