Fantasy Hockey Trade Analyzer: Try to get these guys before they take off in the second half

By Jason Chen, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

Action was light after the NHL resumed play following the All-Star game, which unofficially marks the midpoint of the season even though most teams have played 50 of the 82 games. The break gives a chance for players to reset and, in some cases, a few of them end up playing much better in the second half. Case in point: Kevin Fiala scored 32 points in 40 games last season from October to January, but from February onwards scored 53 points in 42 games.

Here are this week's trade targets with a little help from analytics. All fancy stats courtesy

Trade For

Brady Tkachuk, LW, OTT (99% rostered)

It'll be hard to trade for Tkachuk, especially in banger leagues where he's a unicorn, but note that among forwards with at least 250 minutes played at 5-on-5, Tkachuk ranks 15th in the difference between expected goals and goals for. Even though he's scoring at a point-per-game rate, and also the highest rate of his young career, it suggests that there's potential for even better production, especially with assists.

The key to unlocking the Sens' talented offense, which ranks 23rd with a paltry 3.00 goals for per game, will be to capitalize more often on their scoring chances. According to, the Sens have the third-lowest shooting percentage in the league at 8.9 percent entering Tuesday's games. It's really prevented their offense from reaching its full potential since they generate four percent more expected goals per 60 minutes than the league average, according to

This criticism can be applied to the Sens as a whole, as nearly all of their top players are underperforming their expected goals, but the good news is that these numbers tend to revert back to the mean. If Drake Batherson and Alex DeBrincat can improve their numbers — even though they don't play with Tkachuk often at even strength right now, they do play together on the power play — it's going to elevate everyone's scoring totals on the team.

Tkachuk seems like the most logical player to acquire because of he's Ottawa's top scorer and stands to benefit the most. Already, we're starting to see signs of a potential turnaround, as Batherson and DeBrincat entered the All-Star break with points in consecutive games while Tkachuk notched two assists against the Habs.

Vincent Trocheck, C, NYR (69% rostered)

Overall, Trocheck has been good for the Rangers, but his production from month to month has really varied. He flew out of the gates with nine points in 10 games in October, struggled in November with six points in 14 games, then rallied in December with 13 points in 13 games before falling back down to six points in 12 games in January. By that pattern, February should be a really productive month.

Vincent Trocheck #16 of the New York Rangers has fantasy value
Will Vincent Trocheck deliver a big fantasy month in February? (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images)

Trocheck has increased his shot volume to nearly three shots per game this season, but he's been held back by a lower shooting percentage (9.5 percent). The Rangers offense as a whole just isn't as dynamic as it was last season, especially with linemate Chris Kreider's regression, but there's definitely some room for a reversion back to the mean. There's always the prospect that the Rangers will go big-game hunting at the deadline, and perhaps acquiring Timo Meier or Patrick Kane will bump Barclay Goodrow from Trocheck's line, who is playing higher in the lineup than he really should.

Andrei Kuzmenko, LW, VAN (51% rostered)

The big plus for Kuzmenko is his ice time. After trading Bo Horvat to the Islanders and elevating Elias Pettersson to the No. 1 role, Kuzmenko played 18:04 against the Devils, his seventh-highest ice time of the season. Kuzmenko's ice time has steadily ticked up over the course of the year, going from an average of 15:19 in October to 16:17 in January. Recently re-signed to a multi-year extension, the Canucks have acknowledged Kuzmenko as part of their core going forward and his spot next to Pettersson at both even strength and on the power play is almost guaranteed.

Kuzmenko was benched once earlier in the season for poor play, but on a team short on bodies and expected to be sellers at the deadline, it's unlikely they can afford to keep Kuzmenko out of the lineup. Additionally, in Horvat's absence, the Canucks have shown that they can still be a dangerous offensive team. Kuzmenko is an under-the-radar option for fantasy managers looking for some offensive upside.

Trade Away

Travis Konecny, RW, PHI (83% rostered)

It's a bit of a shame because Konecny has been excellent for the Flyers this season and one of the best late-round/waiver-wire pickups of the season. He's a multi-category contributor, but note he's going through his longest slump of the season, having gone five games without a point. John Tortorella penned a rare public letter informing their fanbase that the Flyers are still very much a work in progress.

Translated, that means the Flyers are going to be sellers at the deadline, and among their trade bait is Konecny's linemate, James van Riemsdyk.

Of course, the Flyers could always move Konecny back to a line with Noah Cates and Joel Farabee, but the bigger picture is that the Flyers are going to move some veterans out the door. Also in the group of potential departures is All-Star Kevin Hayes, and if the Flyers lop off a big portion of their top six, it's going to make it even harder for Konecny to score due to lower-quality linemates and tougher defensive matchups.