Stats are as of Thursday, Jan. 5; advanced stats courtesy of Corsica.Hockey.
Pay the price for Leon Draisaitl
Draisaitl has recently been practicing on the Oilers' top line with C Connor McDavid and LW Patrick Maroon. With 33 points through 39 games this season his fantasy stock is firmly established, but this is a rare instance of when to buy high. Extra ice time with one of the league's top players will mitigate any potential decline in his slightly high shooting percentage of 15.4.
Get Jimmy Vesey in keeper leagues
After a hot start to the season, Vesey is widely available on waiver wires and he's likely to be an easy get via trade in the rare spots he is already owned. His value for this season isn't overly high, as he has just 65 shots on goal through 40 games. A staggering 16.9 shooting percentage has helped him get to 11 goals.
His average shot distance of 19.20 feet is second-closest among all skaters with at least 400 minutes played at 5v5. His style of game is very conducive to future success.
Cherish Cam Atkinson
Atkinson is among the biggest surprises of the season and the key to the Columbus Blue Jackets' extended winning streak. He sits seventh in league scoring with 18 goals and 20 assists through 36 games. His unprecedented success and slightly high shooting percentage of 17.3 makes him seem like a logical sell-high candidate, but owners are highly unlikely to receive equal value in return.
Just enjoy the success of your late-round lottery ticket.
Trust Vincent Trocheck
Trocheck has had a phenomenal run since the middle of December, largely while replacing C Aleksander Barkov as the Florida Panthers' No. 1 center. Trocheck is nearly halfway to last year's career-best 25 goals, scored in 76 games. He's averaging an additional four more minutes of ice time per game, allowing for an increased shooting rate.
Should his shooting percentage rebound toward the marks of years past, he could reach 30 goals.
Don't trade for Devan Dubnyk
Touched on more heavily in Thursday's column, Dubnyk's career year is rife with unsustainable numbers. Don't get tempted by the allure of chasing the No. 1 goalie in fantasy hockey right now. Minnesota's defensive system has regressed, as only six teams allow more shot attempts per 60 minutes of 5v5 play.
Know the schedule
The NHL's new "bye" weeks will enter full swing in Week 13, with six teams playing just two games. Should any players from the Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, or Toronto Maple Leafs be barely clinging to a spot on your roster, it may now be time to drop them in favor of someone with a more hectic schedule.
Downgrade to Corey Crawford
Back from injury, Crawford has gone just 2-2-1 in his first five games, bu a lack of goal support has been the major reason. He allowed three goals in three of the five games, but he made more than 30 saves in four of the five. Among regular starters, only Dubnyk and Carey Price have a better 5v5 save percentage on all shot attempts.
No goalie with a minimum of 1,000 5v5 minutes played has a better SV% on high-difficulty shots. He offers as a good pivot from goalies perceived as better, while also allowing for an upgrade at forward or defense.
Dodge high-priced Blue Jackets
Fourteen Blue Jackets players have racked up a minimum of 10 points this season, with four having 30 points and an additional three having at least 20. The league's third-highest scoring team provides plenty of resources for fantasy owners. Tournament owners should be choosing quantity over quality when it comes to rostering Blue Jackets skaters.
Give Brian Elliott another chance
Completely written off after a horrendous start to his Calgary Flames tenure, Elliott is regaining starts from backup G Chad Johnson. Elliott has won each of his past five starts, allowing more than two goals just once. He hasn't had to face more than 29 shots against in a single game, as the Flames' defensive scheme has helped make things easy for him.