Finding volume plays and schedule advantages is essential in head-to-head and roto leagues. With that in mind, here are the schedule details for the week of December 16-22, along with specific targets who could tip the scales in close fantasy matchups.
Anaheim Ducks (@PHI, @NJD, @NYI, @NYR)
Colorado Avalanche (@STL, @CHI, CAR, CHI)
Columbus Blue Jackets (WSH, @DET, LAK, NJD)
Dallas Stars (EDM, @TBL, @FLA, CGY)
Edmonton Oilers (@DAL, @STL, PIT, MTL)
Nashville Predators (@NYR, @NYI, @OTT, @BOS)
Ottawa Senators (@FLA, @TBL, NSH, PHI)
Arizona Coyotes (@SJS, MIN, @DET)
Boston Bruins (LAK, NYI, NSH)
Buffalo Sabres (@TOR, @PHI, LAK)
Calgary Flames (PIT, MTL, @DAL)
Carolina Hurricanes (@WPG, @COL, FLA)
Chicago Blackhawks (COL, @WPG, @COL)
Detroit Red Wings (CBJ, @TOR, ARI)
Florida Panthers (OTT, DAL, @CAR)
Los Angeles Kings (@BOS, @CBJ, @BUF)
Minnesota Wild (@VGK, @ARI, WPG)
Montreal Canadiens (@VAN, @CGY, @EDM)
New Jersey Devils (ANA, WSH, @CBJ)
New York Islanders (NSH, @BOS, ANA)
New York Rangers (NSH, TOR, ANA)
Philadelphia Flyers (ANA, BUF, @OTT)
Pittsburgh Penguins (@CGY, @EDM, @VAN)
San Jose Sharks (ARI, STL, VGK)
St. Louis Blues (COL, EDM, @SJS)
Tampa Bay Lightning (OTT, DAL, @WSH)
Toronto Maple Leafs (BUF, @NYR, DET)
Vancouver Canucks (MTL, VGK, PIT)
Vegas Golden Knights (MIN, @VAN, @SJS)
Washington Capitals (@CBJ, @NJD, TBL)
Winnipeg Jets (CAR, CHI, @MIN)
-The Blue Jackets have one of the best four-game slates we have seen this season, which includes three contests against teams (DET, NJD, LAK) who rank in the bottom-10 in goals-against average. They also play three games at home.
-The Coyotes have a terrific three-game slate that includes a trio of clubs (DET, SJS, MIN) who have a negative goal differential and are in the bottom-5 in goals-against average.
-The Maple Leafs could maximize the production of their inconsistent but tantalizing firepower during a matchup with the lowly Red Wings and two teams (NYR, BUF) who have decent results but are far from intimidating.
-Although the Oilers can clearly score goals, they face three teams (DAL, STL, PIT) who have excelled at keeping the puck out of their net. Beyond their top-line players, Edmonton may struggle to score goals.
-The Flames are trending in the right direction of late, but two of their three games next week are against teams (PIT, DAL) who excel defensively.
-Although the Bruins do not have especially attractive matchups, they are at home all week, and they have been among the best clubs on home ice this season.
Ryan Miller, Anaheim Ducks (G, 3 percent rostered)
The Ducks have a rare four-game slate that consists of a pair of back-to-back games. Miller, who has posted four wins, a 3.00 GAA and a .908 SV% in nine appearances, should appear in two of the contests, making him a must-have in many formats.
Gustav Nyquist, Columbus Blue Jackets (LW/RW, 19 percent)
Nyquist is not a diverse fantasy asset (15 hits, 10 blocks, -5), but he does collect his share of points. During a favorable four-game week, the veteran winger — who leads the team with 19 points — should find his name on the scoresheet a handful of times.
Oliver Bjorkstrand, Columbus Blue Jackets (LW/RW, 11%)
Bjorkstrand is another good option for managers who want to capitalize on the Blue Jackets’ favorable upcoming schedule. The 24 year old has produced five of his 16 points on the power play, and he leads the club with 103 shots on goal. Also, 10 of his points have come in the past 30 days.
Joonas Donskoi, Colorado Avalanche (LW/RW, 55%)
Donskoi is among the hottest players in the NHL, having produced nine points and a +7 rating across the past 14 days. With the winger heading into a four-game week, this is the perfect time for managers to give him a chance to prove his hot streak is sustainable.
Ryan Graves, Colorado Avalanche (D, 42%)
Graves is the defense version of Donskoi, having gone bananas (five points, +12, 12 hits, 17 blocks) across the past 14 days. With many managers needing help on the blueline, the 24 year old should be rostered in virtually all leagues for his upcoming four-game week.
Jason Dickinson, Dallas Stars (C/LW, 1%)
Available in virtually every league, Dickinson is a solid option next week in deep formats. The multi-position asset has been useful of late, having collected seven points, 22 hits, 13 blocks, 39 face-offs won and a +6 rating across the past 30 days.
Zack Kassian, Edmonton Oilers (RW, 47%)
Kassian is making the most of getting regular opportunities alongside Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, having produced 22 points and a +9 rating. And for those in leagues that value toughness, the bruising winger has already amassed 91 hits and 43 PIMs.
Ryan Johansen, Nashville Predators (C, 38%)
Managers in leagues that value face-offs won will want Johansen during his four-game week, as he ranks 23rd in the NHL in that category. He also has a respectable point total (19) and has produced eight points on the power play. Johansen may not always hit the lofty expectations once expected of him, but he can help managers next week.
Mark Borowiecki, Ottawa Senators (D, 41%)
Currently ranked second in the NHL with 127 hits, Borowski has been an all-around performer and a top-100 asset in many formats. He also places ninth overall with 69 blocked shots, and his point total (10) is not abysmal for a defensive defenseman.