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If you made the playoffs in your fantasy league, congratulations! The hard part begins now, and that is bringing home the championship. The end of the season can be a tough time to find out. After Rangers acquired Patrick Kane, the assumption was that they would transform into a true cup contender, but this did not happen. On the other hand, you have a team like the Predators, who went through injuries and dealt away some veteran players, only to increase their points percentage and find a top-six center in Tommy Novak.
Here are eight under-the-radar players who can help you bring home the championship.
Tommy Novak, C, Predators
Since the trade deadline, Novak has been the Predators’ top scorer with 17 points in 15 games, leading the team in points per game. Novak is averaging 16 minutes per game, playing alongside Matt Duchene on the top line and top power-play unit. Ryan Johansson’s foot injury, Mikael Granlund’s move to Pittsburgh and Cody Glass’ low-ceiling offense paved the way for Novak to become the team’s best scoring option at center, and he has been running away from the job ever since. He scored the game-winner on Tuesday against the Wings by connecting on three shots and winning 75 percent of his faceoffs.
While Novak has battled Juuso Parsinen for the top spot at some points, Parsinen’s injury and Novak’s strong play made the decision a lot easier for John Hines. Look for Novak to finish the season as one of the Preds’ top scorers, as he tied Johansson for fourth on the team despite already playing 21 fewer games. Entering Tuesday’s game, Novak and Duchene combined for a 54.15 5v5 CF% and 71 shot attempts per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, compared to 47.81 5v5 CF% and 57 shot attempts for Johansson and Duchene. In comparison, according to naturalstattrick.com.
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Everyone knows about Clayton Keller, who has been outstanding over the past two months with 30 points in 18 games, but how about his teammates? Schmaltz is day-to-day with an injury, but since last season has scored at a pace of 0.93 points per game, which is tied with the likes of Timo Maier and Claude Giroux. Brett Ritchie has skated in place of Schmaltz and that certainly lessens the effectiveness of the line, but look for Schmaltz to return to this line once he is healthy.
Heaton was drafted as a two-way player, but has shown little improvement since being the fifth overall pick in 2018, leading up to this season. Playing alongside Keller and Schmaltz has clearly helped, and he has scored 18 points in 19 games since the All-Star Game. The lack of any other scoring centers also ensures that Heaton will play a top-six role, as only Keller and Schmaltz have averaged more ice time per game. On Tuesday, Hayton assisted on both of Keller’s goals against the Flames.
With another goal on Tuesday against Cannes, Niederreiter now has four goals and seven points in eight games for his new club. Although his line was benched and the Jets began to fall off the wagon, leading Niederreiter to play just 10:30 in that game, he averaged over 18 minutes per game in his first seven games as a Jet. was average. It’s the most ice time he’s had since his trade to the Canes in 2019, and he’s quickly outpaced Nikolaj Ehlers on the depth chart and is often playing on a line with Kyle Connors and Mark Scheifele.
Given his scoring prowess and hits, Niederreiter is a multi-category contributor whose fantasy value has skyrocketed since moving on from Prede. Rick Bowness’ grinding, defensive style is tailor-made for Niederreiter, and benching him in Tuesday’s game is likely tentative.
Sandin’s assist on Tuesday against the Rangers now gives him nine points in five games for the Capitals, including a pair of games in which he recorded three assists. He turned out to be one of the best acquisitions by any team at the trade deadline, amassing statistics in nearly every category and reinvigorating a Caps power play that was missing John Carlson. Sandin played 26:43 against the Rangers, six minutes more than Trevor van Riemsdyk, who had the next highest total, and was the only defenseman to play more than 20 minutes. Sandin should be rostered in all formats for the remainder of the season.
The Ducks (and other lowly teams) don’t garner much attention in fantasy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have any good players. Fowler is a longtime Duck and often gets lost in the shuffle because he’s not an flashy player, but he’s scored 15 points in his last 13 games since February 15, which is tied with Vince Dunn for the best in the league. . With one more point, Fowler would tie his career high in points set last season, and no one on the Ducks comes close to the number of minutes he plays.
What a turn of events for Quick, who is a perfect 4-0-0 with the Knights after going 11-13-4/.876/3.50 with the Kings. True to his word, Quick looks motivated and ready to prove the Kings wrong, as he’s never been known to have felt it prudent to move for another goalie (see below). The Knights are known for playing a goalie-friendly system, meaning they do a good job of keeping shots out, and with Aiden Hill and Logan Thompson still recovering from injuries, it looks like the Knights’ quick Would be a starter. At his best, Quick relied on his athleticism to make saves, and playing on a new team was like finding the fountain of youth. Even if Hill returns and takes back the starting job, Quick has at least proved he can be trusted, making him a strong streaming option for the rest of the season .
The knock against Phoenix Copley as the Kings contend for the division title is that he has zero playoff experience. Corpisalo has had at least a few — nine games, to be exact, including the upset against the Leafs in the qualifying round of the 2020 bubble playoffs — and has been flawless with the Kings so far, scoring just six goals in three starts. allowed, all of which were victories. The Kings are operating a 50-50 split with Corpisalo at the moment, starting against the Isles on Tuesday, and it will be interesting whether they go back to Corpisalo on Thursday when they host their former team, the Jackets. do. If they do, it’s a sign that Corpisalo could emerge as 1A, even if the Kings would not be in their current playoff position had Copley relieved him of both Quick and Cal Peterson earlier in the season. Considering how weak the Pacific Division has been, Corpisalo’s fantasy value is definitely on the rise.