The NHL playoff fantasy competition offers its own version of focused, compact fun. Fast-paced fantasy drama is possible thanks to a short, intense calendar combined with the possibility of losing players each round. People who are overwhelmed by the lengthy season-long game will find it appealing to use the “set-it-and forget-it” approach to building a roster. (To each their own, I suppose.
We are now entering a new fantasy field, where the number of games often exceeds the quality of individual performances. Alex OvechkinHis actions can only cause so much destruction. Washington Capitalsfive contests by the Florida Panthers.
My advice? Pick a few teams that you expect to make it to the Conference Finals. Next, target the top players with scoring guidelines (i.e. Is an assist the same as a goal? Feel free to stack. If you quit after the first round, that's okay. It's best to go big or home, which usually includes some fantasy wild cards. There is little satisfaction in finishing at the mid-tier.
Here's my list of playoff fantasy players by team. They are ranked in order from shortest to most likely to win the Stanley Cup as determined by our partners. Caesars Sportsbook.
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Colorado Avalanche (+350) vs. Nashville Predators:The Avalanche seem optimistic about welcoming their new captain after being without him for almost eight weeks. Gabriel Landeskog(leg), back in the lineup for Game 1, against the Predators. Landeskog ranks below elite fantasy performers despite scoring 30 goals in 51 healthy games and providing 30 assists. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko RantanenAnd Nazem Kadri. This is how wealthy this club is – one of my many to win it all – and why fantasy heavyweights are at the top. Goalie, barring injury or serious unravelling Darcy Kuempershould be their netminder, to ensure they get there.
Potential sleeper J.T. CompherHe is on a roll and has four goals and four assists in eight playoff games. The third-line center looks to inherit a top-six forward who has been shuffled (a very hot prospect). Artturi LehkonenPerhaps, Landeskog will be able to make his way back up the ranks if he succeeds in this. Also: Valeri Nichushkin.
Potential bustAfter a lower body injury, the defenseman was able to return to his normal life. Samuel GirardAll of the above in just 11 games. Fantasy firecracker Cale MakarColorado's blue line, and perhaps all other blue lines, is considered an elite commodity. Devon ToewsThen, rookie Bowen Byram. Girard should not be regarded as the only extra-talented member of this gaggle.
Florida Panthers (+550) vs. Washington Capitals:This goal-happy Panthers team is just overflowing with rich, stackable fantasy talent. Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Sam ReinhartNewbies and seasoned professionals Claude GirouxYou should lead an offense that's both dangerous and effective at every turn. Florida is a favorite to reach the Conference Final. However, the state also has valuable secondary scoring in Florida in the form Sam BennettOther. Top puck-moving defenseman has been out since the third week in March Aaron EkbladHe is expected to return as soon as Game 1.
Potential sleeperForward Anthony Duclair
Potential bust The Panthers will not hesitate to offer backup Spencer KnightA shot is taken if the No. 1 Sergei BobrovskyThe slightest struggle.
Toronto Maple Leafs (+900) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning:The Maple Leafs are capable of scoring goals and will have to overcome the Stanley Cup Champs (x2) but it is possible. Toronto leads the way with more regular-season goals than the Panthers. Auston MatthewsHe also set a new record with 60 goals. Top wingers are equally determined to see the Leafs reach the second round, for the first time since 2004. Mitchell MarnerExtra resolved after last summer's falling pancake-flat – and William Nylander. These three are in addition to center John TavaresAnd a 67-point defenseman Morgan RiellyThey are the club's rider-or-die. If the Leafs are dependent on this, there won't be any play in mid-May. David KampfScore.
Potential sleeperForward Michael BuntingWhen the series gets underway, it is expected that Marner and Matthews will be joining him on Toronto's top-line.
Potential bustConcerned about Jack Campbell. The effects of a recent rib fracture, the pressure to fly solo as Toronto's go–to and his limited experience AndA lack of success in postseason can lead to serious worry.
Auston Matthews is the first Maple Leaf player to achieve 60 goals in a single season.
Calgary Flames (+900) vs. Dallas Stars:Three 40-goal scorers are the best line in hockey, if it's possible to believe. The top combination of Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew TkachukAnd Elias LindholmThey combined for 124 goals in 2021-22. Is it really possible to close this unit with Dallas through not just one but two or three contests? I for one do not believe so. Calgary is second to Colorado in perceived chances of the West emerging after the first round. Fantasy managers should make Gaudreau and/or Tkachuk a priority if they plan to buy in.
Potential sleeperForward Tyler Toffoli
Potential bust The Stars will be able to take the Flames down, and the Flames will suffer from sub-mediocre goalie play. Jacob MarkstromThey are likely to be at fault. Calgary's No. The last few months have not been kind to Calgary's No.
Carolina Hurricanes (+1100) vs. Boston Bruins:It doesn't matter if they are skating together. Sebastian Aho, Andrei SvechnikovAnd Teuvo TeravainenIn order of their fantasy assets, rank as the Hurricanes' top three fantasy assets. They are not only known for their respective raw numbers but also for their consistency. These three are Trustworthy. They have combined for 18 points in three games against the Bruins in 2021-22. Blue line Tony DeAngelois having a great year with 51 points in 64 matches. This includes 20 with the extra skater. DeAngelo is still the club's preferred choice to anchor the No. Through the postseason, it was the No.1 power play.
Potential sleeperHe has scored four goals and assisted six times in his 10 previous contests. Seth JarvisHe is skating on the No. Aho and Svechnikov are now skating on the No. 1 forward line. It's a great gig.
Potential bust Will Frederik AndersenYou must be ready and fit to compete in Game 1. Carolina's No. My early guess is that No. 1 is still sidelined by an undisclosed injury and has not yet skate. I wonder if he will be able to continue skating in the coming weeks. Antti Raanta and/or 22-year-old Pyotr KochetkovThis is the result: a perfect record of 3-0 through his three NHL appearances. It's impossible to guess. Andersen's current state of health is too mysterious for my fantasy tastes, despite his outstanding play over the past few month.
Tampa Bay Lightning (+1100), Toronto Maple Leafs (+1100). Lightning fantasy scoring perspectives are favorable. Steven Stamkos Nikita KucherovThen there are all the rest. In the 20 final games, the top center and winger of the team combined for 29 goals as well as 47 assists. That's bananas. Toronto's prolonged playoff run of failure could be extended if Toronto can't stop this explosive team. Defenseman is also important. Victor HedmanEnd of 2021-22, with one goal and 16 assists in eight matches. Managers of Team Tampa will be asked to join a fantasy alliance with elite netminders. Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Potential sleeperForward Alex Killorn
Potential bust Brayden PointSince April, he hasn't been his usual productive self. Something's off.
Minnesota Wild (+1600) vs. St. Louis Blues: Kevin FialaHe has had 10 goals as well as 14 assists during his 13-game most recent streak. It is hard to fault this total. Even more impressive is that 108 points were accumulated by Kirill KaprizovThrough 81 contests. Kaprizov's linemates, Mats Zuccarello Ryan HartmanAlso, they are enjoying the best seasons of their careers, and extremely productive seasons. Many invested fantasy managers will want their team to be successful this spring. Minnesotans should start with Kaprizov.
Potential sleeper Rookie forward Matt Boldy
Potential bustCam Talbot's record against the Blues in regular season is not good: 0-1-2. 5.92 GAA, 0.814 SV%. Former Stanley Cup Champion Marc-Andre FleuryIt fared better.
After Kirill Kaprizov's slap shot in overtime, the Wild defeated the Flames by 3-2.
Boston Bruins (+1600) vs. Carolina Hurricanes:The Bruins are clear underdogs for this series after allowing 16 goals in their regular season games against the Metro-leading Hurricanes. Top performers in the East are capable of pulling off an upset if they believe they can. Brad Marchand, Patrice BergeronAnd David PastrnakThey are your ideal go-to for fantasy. Second-tier assets include Jake DeBruskHe's had more success scoring since he hooked up with Marchand & Bergeron and is now a second-line winger Taylor Hall. Defender Charlie McAvoyIn 78 games played with the B's this year, the B's earned 10 goals and 46 assists. This season, 21 points were scored on the power play. It is worth a healthy dose fantasy respect.
Potential sleeperBoston will need the support of other cast members if they are to beat the Hurricanes and other teams. Like Erik HaulaPastrnak, Hall and he are centering a scoring line.
Potential bust Goalie Linus UllmarkHe has been performing well lately. In his one and only meeting with Carolina, he also conceded six goals. It's unlikely that any of this won't seep into the mind of the netminder at least initially.
New York Rangers (+1600) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins:If you are looking for more motivation to invest in a 52 goal scorer in fantasy postseason, then this is the place to be. Chris KreiderAveraged 1.1 points/game against Eastern Conference rivals, and 1.5 through the four previous tilts with Penguins. Artemi PanarinKreider (and his 74 assists), is another gem, especially in fantasy contests that reward helpers equally with goals. Kreider's linemate Mika ZibanejadRounding out the team's top three fantasy stars, defenseman Adam FoxManagers who believe the Rangers have a legitimate shot at the Conference Final will be pleased to know that he has a unique collection of 74 point – a great acquisition. The same applies to Vezina favourite Igor Shesterkin.
Potential sleeperDoes Andrew CoppEven though he hasn't scored more than one point per game since his departure from Winnipeg in March, he still counts as a sleeper. The Rangers' top-six winger will be back in the lineup for Game 1, against Pittsburgh, after being a little sore from the end of the regular season.
Potential bust Forward Frank Vatrano
Pittsburgh Penguins (+1800), against the New York RangersThis is a huge task. Casey DeSmith. The career part-timer, who was Tristan Jarry’s trusted backup throughout the season, is now being asked to shoulder the burden through the playoff grind. It all starts in New York on Tuesday. DeSmith needs the help of prominent colleagues to keep New York City and beyond in its grasp. Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, and second line center Evgeni Malkin. Keep in mind that Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin allowed just four goals across four games with the Penguins this season.
Potential sleeperForward Rickard Rakell
Potent bust Forward Bryan Rust
Edmonton Oilers (+1800) vs. Los Angeles Kings:After Connor McDavidIf you believe the Oilers will win at most one round, this fantasy pick is a great choice. Evander KaneRates in line with Leon DraisaitlIt was a very attractive selection for the team's series against Kings. McDavid's quality minutes at even strength, and with an extra skater, McDavid's shot-happy winger rockets into the postseason. He has scored six goals in five games. After suffering injuries and/or poor performances for the first months, goalie Mike SmithA perfect 9-0-0 record with a.951 SSV% and a 1.66 GAA in April. Can the 40-year old extend his streak to May? Perhaps against the Kings. Maybe against Calgary or Colorado. Maybe not.
Potential sleeperAfter a somewhat pedestrian start to the month defenseman Evan BouchardScore tune is back. The 22-year-old sophomore will see an increase in minutes as long. Darnell NurseIt is still possible that it will be out for a while.
Potential bustLike Kane, a fellow forward Ryan Nugent-HopkinsHe is just shuffleboarding his way to next week's opener against Los Angeles. RNH's four games against the Kings won two points each, but that doesn't give him much fantasy confidence.
Connor McDavid gets one in as the Oilers lead the Penguins 4-1.
St. Louis Blues (+2000), against Minnesota Wild Blues newbie Pavel BuchnevichA joy in completing one of the NHL's most dangerous forward lines, especially in recent times. A blossoming Robert ThomasRejuvenated and completely renewed Vladimir TarasenkoThe former Ranger did not score a point in any of the matches throughout April. After scoring the opening goal in a 4-3 OT triumph over Minnesota Apr. 8 and he added two assists in the win over the Wild eight days later. Buchnevich, his linemates and St. Louis will all need to do the same if they want to beat Kirill and their friends. Blues fans will find all three worth a fantasy roll.
Potential sleeperForward Ivan BarbashevHe isn't quite ready to wrap up his best yet-young career year.
Potential bustMost of the season is pretty terrible. Jordan BinningtonAt least, the Blues goalie appeared to have some idea of what to do this spring before falling to the Avalanche 5-3 Tuesday. Even so, the Blues goalie was still better than his dreadfully inconsistent self. Coach Craig BerubeYou won't hesitate in swapping in Ville HussoBinnington should not be trusted with any real trouble signs. Binnington cannot be trusted as a fantasy asset.
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Washington Capitals (+3000), vs. Florida Panthers It would be a significant upset if the series was won over the Florida Presidents Trophy winner. Apart from Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny KuznetsovAnd defender John CarlsonThe Capitals aren’t scoring, and their netminding pair isn’t consistently performing. The average goal rate for the Panthers this season was 4.14 goals. This opening set could not last.
Potential sleeper Anthony ManthaPotentially can be a minor problem for the Panthers.
Potential bust Forward Tom Wilson
Dallas Stars (+4000), vs. Calgary FlamesThe top line Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz Joe PavelskiDallas is the scoring engine. He accounts for 44% the team's total goals between 2021-22. The Stars will struggle against the West's second best unless they are supported from lower down the lineup. However, they may be able to salvage a few series with the help of production from the top trio.
Potential sleeper Defenseman Miro HeiskanenHe was a star in postseason two years back, leading his team with 26 points in 27 playoff matches. And another blueliner John KlingbergHeiskanen could be dealing with a lower back issue that could lead to Heiskanen being able to play top power-play. The Stars are still considered to be the weaker side in this series.
Potential bust Goalie Jake OettingerHe lost both of his meetings this season with the Flames, and allowed seven goals in total. In addition, the 23-year-old is only one game away from his first playoff game, which was in 2020. Calgary is ready to compete for the Cup. Oettinger might lose the Cup in a hurry
Nashville Predators (+4000) vs. Colorado Avalanche:The Predators will have to face a tough challenge against the Avs, particularly with Vezina-contender Juuse SarosIndefinitely hurt. The shootout ended with No. 2 David RittichIn his one other appearance against the Avalanche this season, he conceded six goals. AHL call-up Connor IngramHe has only three NHL games under his belt, including Friday's 5-4 loss against Arizona. You can still grab fantasy favorites if you believe Nashville, admittedly one among the league's most difficult opponents, can pull off an unexpected first round victory. Roman Josi, Filip ForsbergFormer Colorado skater Matt Duchene– Who has scored in every match against his old team this season.
Potential sleeperWithout the Avalanche, the Preds won't be able to get past them. Mikael GranlundHe performs to his best playmaking ability.
Potential bustForsberg, Josi and Duchene are the only ones who have high expectations.
Los Angeles Kings: (+5000) vs. Edmonton Oilers:Many people doubt that the Oilers will be able to blow through their set against the neutral-zone suffocating Kings. As such, fantasy managers from the pro Los Angeles-upset camp need to be aware that Phillip DanaultThe 2021-22 season was wrapped up with six goals and one assist in seven matches. He also had three points in four games against the Kings. This series could see the rise of one of the best two-way centres in the league. Victor Arvidsson, Danault's teammate, is also there. Adrian Kempe Anze KopitarL.A.'s collection of solid forward commodities is complete in most playoff fantasy pools. Goalie Jonathan QuickIf the Kings want to win against McDavid and Co., McDavid will have to be his most stingy self. The 2012/2014 Stanley Cup Champion has won six of seven previous starts. These options are best suited for managers who want to pursue the outlying fantasy route. It will not be easy to beat the Oilers.
Potential sleeperVeteran Alexander EdlerThis series shines as an experienced, under-radar fantasy asset. The long-time Canuck saw top-pair minutes and collected eight points in his 11 final regular-season games. He also scored a goal (and assists) in his last meeting with Edmonton (Mar. 30).
Potential bust In the 2021-22 season, defenseman were on hand Sean DurziThe unexpected hero of the Kings' otherwise shaky blue line is a savior. The playoffs are an entirely different circus. And the 23-yearold has never participated in the postseason at any professional level, even the AHL. That's concerning.