Fantasy Hockey Pucks on Net: Take advantage of Leafs' upcoming schedule

Fred Zinkie
Yahoo Fantasy Contributor
Auston Matthews and the rest of the Leafs could pay fantasy dividends this week. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

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 October 21-27, along with specific targets who could tip the scales in close fantasy matchups.

4 Games

Anaheim Ducks (@NSH, @DAL, @COL, @VGK)

Chicago Blackhawks (VGK, PHI, @CAR, LAK)

Detroit Red Wings (VAN, @OTT, BUF, STL)

Los Angeles Kings (@WPG, @STL, @MIN, @CHI)

Ottawa Senators (@DAL, DET, NYI, SJS)

Philadelphia Flyers (VGK, @CHI, CBJ, @NYI)

San Jose Sharks (@BUF, @MON, @TOR, @OTT)

St. Louis Blues (COL, LAK, @BOS, @DET)

Toronto Maple Leafs (@CBJ, BOS, SJS, @MON)

Vegas Golden Knights (@PHI, @CHI, COL, ANA)

3 Games

Arizona Coyotes (@NYR, @NYI, @NJ)

Boston Bruins (TOR, STL, @NYR)

Buffalo Sabres (SJS, @ NYR, @ DET)

Calgary Flames (WSH, FLA, @ WIN)

Colorado Avalanche (@STL, @VGK, ANA)

Columbus Blue Jackets (@TOR, CAR, @PHI)

Dallas Stars (OTT, ANA, PIT)

Edmonton Oilers (@MIN, WSH, FLA)

Florida Panthers (PIT, @CGY, @EDM)

Minnesota Wild (EDM, @NSH, LAK)

Nashville Predators (ANA, MIN, @TBL)

New York Islanders (ARI, @OTT, PHI)

New York Rangers (ARI, BUF, BOS)

Pittsburgh Penguins (@TB, @FLA, @DAL)

Washington Capitals (@CGY, @EDM, @VAN)

2 Games

Carolina Hurricanes (@CBJ, CHI)

Montreal Canadiens (SJS, TOR)

Tampa Bay Lightning (PIT, NSH)

Vancouver Canucks (DET, @WSH)

Winnipeg Jets (LAK, CGY)

1 Game

New Jersey Devils (ARI)

Schedule Analysis

With 51 percent of the league heading into either a high volume (four games) or a low volume (two or fewer games) week, this is a great time for gamers to find schedule advantages.

-Toronto’s wide array of firepower could be on full display when the Maple Leafs play three of their four games against clubs that are in the bottom half of the league in goals-against this season.

-The Ducks are the least desirable of the four-game clubs, as they are set to take on a quarter of stingy teams and will not have home-ice advantage against any of them.

-The Sharks started slowly, but their upcoming road trip could help their offense. They face three clubs who rank among the bottom half of the NHL in goals against.

-The Red Wings have a favorable schedule next week. They have three home games, with their one road trip coming against a lowly Senators squad.

-The Rangers have a tough three-game week that includes a trio of clubs who have been stingy so far this year.

Volume Plays

Alex Kerfoot, Toronto Maple Leafs (C/LW/RW, 14 percent rostered)

The multi-position Kerfoot has been the focal point of a productive third line in Toronto. He ranks third on the club in faceoffs won and fifth in hits. He is also +4 and could pick up additional responsibilities while John Tavares is out of the lineup.

Cody Ceci, Toronto Maple Leafs (D, 13 percent)

One of four Maple Leafs defensemen who are logging at least 21 minutes per game, Ceci leads the club with 21 blocked shots. His pairing with Morgan Reilly should ensure Ceci plenty of opportunities during his four-game week.

Brenden Dillon, San Jose Sharks (D, 3%)

Dillon has already amassed 26 hits and could make a massive impact in that category during his upcoming four-game week. He is unlikely to contribute many points, but the rearguard ranks third in the Sharks in TOI (21:26) and could accumulate a few blocks and shots.

Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks (C/LW, 13%)

Marleau may not make a long-term impact this season, but he is clearly revitalized by his return to San Jose and has the potential to pick up a few points during a favorable four-game stanza. The veteran has logged a solid 15:28 minutes per game since joining the club.

Marleau is back home. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Luke Glendening, Detroit Red Wings (C/RW, 3%)

Glendening is among the most under-appreciated assets in leagues that count face-offs won (44) and hits (20). Although gamers may not start their week with the 30 year old in their lineup, they would be wise to turn to him late in the stanza if needing to win tight races in his specialty categories.

Andrew Shaw, Chicago Blackhawks (C/RW, 10%)

Always a feisty competitor, Shaw averages roughly a penalty minute per game and collects his share of hits (14 this season). He has also compiled 11 shots in four games and has found the back of the net twice.

Vladislav Namestnikov, Ottawa Senators (LW/RW, 6%)

A recent three-point game highlighted the fact that Namestnikov should get plenty of opportunities with the rebuilding Senators. The widely available winger could hurt your +/- during a four-game week, but he should also compile a few points and shots.

Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers (RW, 45%)

Having played just five games, Konecny has had few chances to make a major impact thus far. But the talented winger has already picked up three goals and four assists, and three of his points have come on the power play. Just 22 years old and having produced 96 points in the previous two years, Konecny fits the description of someone who could be on the verge of a breakout season.

Paul Stastny, Vegas Golden Knights (C, 35%)

The many fantasy gamers who scooped up Stastny after his four-point game are on the right track. The 33 year old was on pace for a 69-point season across 82 games in 2018-19, and so far this year he ranks among the league leaders in power-play points and faceoffs won.

Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings (G, 25%)

Although Howard may not help your GAA (3.81 so far this season), he could pick up a win or two across three starts during a four-game week.

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