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Fantasy hockey: Stack your early lineup with Kraken and Devils
23.02.2024
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Week 18 of the fantasy season is back to business as usual following the two-week-long Week 17 that incorporated the all-star break as well as extended layoffs for some teams.

The week starts out with all 32 teams getting at least a game in through Wednesday thanks to a busy, 11-game Tuesday slate.

The Arizona Coyotes, New Jersey Devils, Minnesota Wild and Seattle Kraken all get two games in during the first three days of the week.

If you are setting a weekly lineup, lean on the Coyotes, Devils and Los Angeles Kings, as they have four-game weeks on tap. The Vegas Golden Knights, New York Islanders, Winnipeg Jets, Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets only play twice in Week 18.

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Teuvo Teravainen, W, Carolina Hurricanes (64.4% available): Some big signs of life from Teravainen this week was followed by the return of Andrei Svechnikov in the next game. Sure enough, Teravainen played with Sebastian Aho and Svechnikov, which is about a plum spot as exists in the Hurricanes offense. Teravainen has been quiet since his fast start, but the good times tend to roll when he's hot.

Lucas Raymond, W, Detroit Red Wings (63.2% available): Raymond finished out the game after taking a head shot from Nikita Zadorov on Saturday, which is a major positive as he's had some swagger in his game lately. With 1.91 FPPG across his past 10, Raymond is holding down the wing with Dylan Larkin and Alex DeBrincat. Patrick Kane returning to the lineup gives the opposition some additional distraction, too.

Quinton Byfield, W, Los Angeles Kings (81.5% available): A change in coach hasn't resulted in Byfield coming off the Kings power play, as they came back from an extended all-star break to beat the Oilers 4-0. In fact, Byfield was the star of the game for coach Jim Hiller's debut -- which should put him the good books. 15.9 fantasy points (8 GP) 1.99 FPPG

Joonas Korpisalo, G, Ottawa Senators (76.9% available): He was a top suggested target when I went over strength of schedules for goaltenders in last week's column, and Korpisalo has already started paying out with a win against the Leafs for his third consecutive W. We'll really find out if he can string together some fantasy value this week when the Sens take on the Blue Jackets, Ducks and Blackhawks. Honestly, he could come out of the week on a six-game winning streak.

Jeremy Lauzon, D, Nashville Predators (93.2% available): He's running away with the NHL hits lead in even more convincing fashion following this past week's NHL "hits audit" (much more on that in Tuesday's column). But regardless of whether the hits have counted for your team all season or not, Lauzon remains widely available and his physical play is adding up to startable fantasy stats (1.94 FPPG in past 10).

Sean Monahan, C, Winnipeg Jets (76.7% available): The Jets have been having a on a bit of a spiral they finally pulled out of on Saturday, so it hasn't been a great start to the Winnipeg tenure of Monahan. That said, he's still in a plum spot here, holding down the second line with Cole Perfetti and Gabriel Vilardi, and also running on the top power-play unit. Give him some time and the value might come around again when the Jets start playing well again. A matchup with the Sharks to start the week should help.

Evgeni Malkin, C, Pittsburgh Penguins (9.1% available): It's been broke enough for a long enough period of time that it's actually a bit of a surprise that it took this long for the Penguins to take Malkin off the top power-play unit. Maybe it can spur the advantage to start scoring, but it's bad news for Malkin in the meantime.

Alex Wennberg, C, Seattle Kraken (98.6% available): The Kraken forwards are a good place to dip into for the start of the week with games against the Devils (fourth-most fantasy points against per game to forwards) and Islanders (seventh most). Wennberg is centering veteran Jaden Schwartz and sniper Jared McCann, plus getting plenty of power-play time. Oliver Bjorkstrand, Jordan Eberle and Tomas Tatar are also available to throw at the early week in most leagues. All players mentioned are hitting 1.7 fantasy points per game across their past five.

Adam Henrique, C, Anaheim Ducks (66.7% available): He's still getting the points rolling and the Canadiens are a great matchup for forwards, giving up the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing forwards. If this pace keeps up, Henrique won't be an option much longer.

Dylan Guenther, W, Arizona Coyotes (98.0% available): Some of the youngsters are vibing together on a line for the Coyotes, with Guenther in particular picking up his pace to the tune of 2.28 FPPG across his past five. He's getting some top unit power-play time in addition to his role with Barrett Hayton and Logan Cooley at five-on-five.

Vitek Vanecek, G, New Jersey Devils (42.1% available): The game against the Kraken is the better one for the Devils goaltender in this back-to-back set that also includes the Predators as an opponent to start the week. Vanecek has some better goaltending stats of late, though still not quite to a reliable starting level. These matchups, whichever one he gets, both look decent enough to take a chance. With Jack Hughes now in the lineup, the Devils are always a threat.

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