Fantasy Hockey: Trade deadline advice for Top 100 players: 20-1

Yahoo Sports Canada

For most fantasy hockey leagues on Yahoo, the trade deadline is Feb. 19, which means we are firmly in the heart of TradeSZN.

If you’re on the brink of the playoffs, you’re probably looking to pull off a major move to try and gear up for the stretch run.

And if you’re hanging around the top of your league’s standings, it’s probably wise to push all of your chips into the middle and give yourself the best chance you can at winning this thing.

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In case you missed it, here is the rest of the list:

Players ranked 100-81

Players ranked 80-61

Players ranked 60-41

Players ranked 40-21

Here is my trade deadline advice on the Top 100 players in fantasy hockey.

Note: This advice is catered toward season-long leagues, but some of the advice is transferable for dynasty and keeper leagues. These rankings are ordered by player ownership percentages on Yahoo on Feb. 10. The list has been made to include 20 goalies.

20. C John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs (99% owned) - GP: 53 G: 23 A: 28 P: 51

Advice: Hold

Fantasy owners that spent a second or third-round pick on Tavares certainly aren’t thrilled by the return. After setting a career-high in goals (47) and points (88), the Leafs’ captain is on pace for just 33 goals and 74 points.

19. C Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins (99% owned) - GP: 51 G: 26 A: 24 P: 50

Advice: Hold

Playing on the most dangerous line in the NHL, it’s probably wise to hang onto Bergeron. In 12 of his past 13 contests, the 34-year-old has notched three shots or more. In leagues that count faceoffs, Bergeron, a noted specialist, obviously provides some added value. The Bruins also benefit from having the fourth-easiest strength of schedule the rest of the way.

18. C Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres (99% owned) - GP: 58 G: 33 A: 41 P: 74

Advice: Hold

You’re likely not going to find anyone who wants to trade away Eichel. The 23-year-old has been cruising all season long and given just how special of a player he is, it’s very likely that he’s not going to slow down. You can try to trade for him if you want, but be prepared to pay up.

17. G Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins (99% owned) - GP: 35 W: 22 GAA: 2.08 SV%: .931

Advice: Hold

The fact that we're this late into the season and Rask still hasn't lost in regulation at home is mind-boggling. He leads the NHL in both save percentage and goals-against-average, and although he doesn't play a full complement of games due to strong backup netminder Jaroslav Halak, Rask remains one of the premier puck stoppers in the game.

16. D Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning (100% owned) - GP: 57 G: 9 A: 40 P: 49

Advice: Hold

As reliable as they come on the back-end, Hedman has been equally steady for fantasy hockey owners. He’s on pace to surpass 50 points, which will be the fourth-straight season he’s done so. He’s also useful in leagues that value blocks.

15. D Roman Josi, Nashville Predators (100% owned) - GP: 58 G: 14 A: 43 P: 57

Advice: Hold

If you’re trying to make a massive deadline splash while giving yourself a massive boost on defense, Josi is a great target. He hasn’t scored a goal since Dec. 23, but he’s still shooting the puck a lot and is currently riding a five-game point streak.

14. C Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins (100% owned) - GP: 29 G: 11 A: 25 P: 36

Advice: Hold

Crosby has more than made up for lost time since returning from injury. He’s recorded 19 points in his 12 games back and his fantasy value was given a boost when the Penguins added Jason Zucker. There’s not much more I need to say about Crosby, who plays 14 games during the fantasy hockey playoffs (Mar. 9 - Apr. 4).

13. RW Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (100% owned) - GP: 59 G: 27 A: 47 P: 74

Advice: Hold

Rarely a night goes by where Kane isn’t helping your fantasy hockey team. In his last 18 contests, the shifty winger has notched at least one point in 16 of them. If you’re shopping Kane around, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll receive a better player in return.

12. C, LW, RW Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning (100% owned) - GP: 53 G: 26 A: 35 P: 61

Advice: Hold

Riding an 11-game point streak currently, Stamkos has completely left behind his somewhat sluggish start. Stamkos has nine goals during this stretch and is a big reason why the Lightning have been able to come within striking distance of the Bruins for first in the Atlantic Division.

11. LW Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers (100% owned) -GP: 56 G: 29 A: 49 P: 78

Advice: Buy

Panarin is a star player that I would actively try to acquire as the deadline nears. He’s averaging over 20-minutes per-game and will continue to see a large workload as forward depth hasn’t been the Rangers’ forte this season. The Blueshirts also play 14 games during the fantasy hockey playoffs.

10. RW Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning (100% owned) - GP: GP: 57 G: 28 A: 44 P: 72

Advice: Hold

Of his last 12 games, Kucherov has recorded 10 multi-point performances! That is absolutely insane. While his start wasn’t great, the Lightning forward has returned to his 2018-19 form and has been a week-winner for fantasy hockey owners.

9. LW Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (100% owned) - GP: 57 G: 40 A: 17 P: 57

Advice: Hold

Goalscorers are a streaky bunch, and since Ovechkin rattled off 15 goals in seven games, he hasn’t been able to find the back of the net in the ensuing four games. Even someone who hasn’t followed the game for long will tell you that you shouldn’t worry about Ovi, he’ll be just fine. His 14-game playoff schedule is also a plus for his fantasy value.

8. G Andrei Vasilevkiy (100% owned) - GP: 44 W: 32 GAA: 2.42 SV%: .921

Advice: Hold

The only goalie in Yahoo fantasy hockey who is owned in every single league, Vasilevskiy has completely shaken off his sub-par start. He’s won 18 of his last 19 games and has allowed three goals or more just six times in that stretch. Other top goaltenders like Marc-Andre Fleury and Sergei Bobrovsky have struggled this season, but Vasilevskiy has been solid.

7. D John Carlson, Washington Capitals (100% owned) - GP: 58 G: 15 A: 54 P: 69

Advice: Hold

It’s definitely a winning strategy to hold onto the guy who’s been the best defenceman in fantasy hockey this season. Carlson’s offensive dominance this season has made him the favourite for the Norris Trophy, as he leads all blueliners in assists and points while trailing only Zach Werenski in goals.

6. C Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (100% owned) - GP: 60 G: 42 A: 29 P: 71

Advice: Hold

One of the league’s best goal-scoring talents, Matthews has ramped it up this season. With 20+ games to go still, the former first-overall selection has already set a career-high in goals. The Leafs don’t have the greatest fantasy playoff schedule, playing 13 games, but that’s not a reason for concern given his elite talent.

5. LW Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins (100% owned) - GP: 60 G: 23 A: 51 P: 74

Advice: Hold

Marchand is on pace for his second-straight 100-plus point season and is truly an elite offensive talent. If your league counts penalty minutes, he can also help you out in that category as well. Playing on a unit dubbed ‘The Perfection Line,’ Marchand will continue to be an impact player in fantasy hockey.

4. C Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche (100% owned) - GP: 57 G: 32 A: 48 P: 80

Advice: Hold

Colorado’s offense remains one of the best in the entire NHL and that’s largely due to the play of MacKinnon. One of the most explosive talents in the league, the 24-year-old is the perfect blend of playmaker and goalscorer.

3. C Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (100% owned) - GP: 55 G: 30 A: 51 P: 81

Advice: Hold

McDavid’s current injury has been tough for fantasy hockey owners so stomach, but the positive news is it doesn’t sound overly serious. When healthy, he’s the best player in the NHL and he could potentially be heading towards his fourth-straight 100-point campaign, depending on how smooth he is able to recover.

2. RW David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins (100% owned) - GP: 60 G: 42 A: 40 P: 82

In the thick of one of the most entertaining Rocket Richard Trophy races in recent memory, Pastrnak has emerged as one of the league’s premier finishers. He gets to play on the best line in hockey, and will likely continue to be a top-5 fantasy hockey performer.

1. C, LW Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers (100% owned) - GP: 59 G: 34 A: 61 P: 95

Running away as the league’s points leader, Draisaitl has been one of the best values in fantasy hockey season - and that’s not easy to do considering he had a second-round average draft position on Yahoo. From start to finish, he’s been the NHL’s best player this year and has produced 10 points in four games since McDavid went down with an injury.

That wraps up the list! I realize I didn’t recommend you sell or buy a single player listed between 20-1, but that’s because these players are the best of the best. It wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense for me to recommend trading away any of these top talents. If you can get a fair deal and acquire or trade away one of these players, go for it. Chances are though, you’re better off keeping them on your team.

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