Fantasy hockey: Swing for the fences at the fantasy trade deadline

Patrick Kane's OT goal wins it for Red Wings in Chicago reunion (1:03)

Patrick Kane gets out on a breakaway and buries the winner in overtime to take down the Blackhawks. (1:03)

We are still in the calm before the storm that will inevitably be the NHL's trade deadline, as the schedule during the next 12 days will help confirm whether some teams are buyers or sellers.

Here at the start of Week 20 of the fantasy season, you might be at a similar crossroads. Well, perhaps in keeper or dynasty leagues. In those league types, you might have a similar feeling to some GMs trying to determine if it's the season to push in your chips or perhaps cash some out.

Remember, in standard leagues, the fantasy season trade deadline is March 1.

But in standard redraft leagues, you have one goal: Win now. That doesn't mean you should throw in the towel if you are sitting in last place. The fun is in trying to improve your standing by swinging for the fences in a trade or two. Even if you don't end up winning, your league-mates will remember that time you bought Tage Thompson at his lowest before he went on a tear.

Hold it! That is not an actual prediction backed up by any information. In fact, Thompson has done the same this month as he has all season -- which is perform below the lofty expectations we set prior to the campaign at your fantasy draft. He is just an example of the type of player you would target in a swing-for-the-fences type trade.

You want a player with a spectacular track record -- and it doesn't have to be an overly long one; just enough to have proof that the player has the ability to really pop off and make a difference. But you want them to be squarely in the doldrums, the longer the better. Thompson is just a great example because he was a top-10 fantasy player last season but has barely cracked the top 200 so far this season.

Who else fits this description at this stage?

Erik Karlsson has struggled to find his offense with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but we know it could come out at any moment.

Roope Hintz, Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson were the best line in hockey last season but aren't even the best line on the Dallas Stars for fantasy this year.

Alex Ovechkin, fortunately or unfortunately depending on whether he's on your fantasy team, has recently followed this exact pattern. He doubled his goal count for the season in the past 10 games. So it's probably too late for him, but he would have fit this description two weeks ago.

Pierre-Luc Dubois could find his legs with the Los Angeles Kings.

Brandon Montour is already starting to heat up for the Florida Panthers.

And take your pick of the goaltenders! Ilya Sorokin, Alexandar Georgiev, Jake Oettinger, Andrei Vasilevskiy, they all owe us an explosive run in the crease for fantasy.

The point is to not bow out of the fantasy trade deadline just because your team is in a tailspin. All that means is that you should increase how boldly you shoot for the moon.

The start of Week 20 of the fantasy season features 18 games across Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with 12 of the contests on a busy Tuesday.

Monday's four games features an important one for the losing-lately Boston Bruins, who have gone to at least overtime in six of their past seven -- including for their two wins in their past eight. They visit the Seattle Kraken to close a four-game road trip.

Tuesday's 12 games features the second leg of a back-to-back for the Washington Capitals. They take on the Ottawa Senators at home Monday and then visit the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday. Both are good matchups for an offense that has been starting to shine through more of late -- though they'll be without T.J. Oshie, most likely, as we still await word on the extent of his noncontact injury.

On Wednesday, the New York Rangers get a rematch with the unlikeliest of teams that ended their 10-game win streak Sunday, as they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets. My guess would be that they crush them as revenge for killing the streak.

All told, the Edmonton Oilers, Stars, Capitals, St. Louis Blues, Kings and Senators all play twice in the early part of the week. The Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks are off until Thursday.

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Stock up

Matt Dumba, D, Arizona Coyotes (96.6% available): Dumba has looked like a fantasy asset across nine games since returning from a brief injury spell to start the month. Since he returned Feb. 8, he's blocking more than two shots per game and has four points. Those four points are even more impressive if you note he had five in 44 games prior.

Chris Tanev, D, Calgary Flames (85.1% available): Someone seems motivated to increase his own trade value. Since Jan. 22, which is pretty close to when hockey writers collectively start writing about the trade deadline on a daily basis, Tanev has been on fire. Prior to that date, he averaged 1.77 fantasy points per game (FPPG) across 43 contests. Since then, he's sitting at a delicious 2.33 FPPG. Most of that work has come through shot blocking, with Tanev averaging a whopping 3.75 blocked shots in his past 12 games.

Shane Pinto, C, Ottawa Senators (82.4% available): In 14 games since his season debut in late January, Pinto has proved himself a roster-worthy fantasy asset. He's even pushed his way up the depth chart to some top power-play unit shifts and regular even-strength ice time with Brady Tkachuk.

Bobby McMann, C, Toronto Maple Leafs (93.0% available): McMann's emergence seems to be the missing piece the Leafs have been waiting for to try a novel idea in the hockey world: Using more than two lines. Sarcasm aside, the Leafs have divided up their big four across three lines for the past four games, extending their winning streak to seven. McMann and Nick Robertson have been holding down a line with John Tavares. For his part, McMann meets the fantasy threshold only when he scores, so he may not be for all leagues. It's notable that this new distribution has also woken up Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi as they play on a line together with William Nylander.

Shea Theodore, D, Vegas Golden Knights (17.0% available): After what seems like ages on the sidelines with a slowly pushed back return date, Theodore is back with the Knights and anchoring the top power-play unit again. Oh, right, it seems like ages because it has been; Theodore missed time from Nov. 22 to Feb. 20. He is very much back though, earning five points in his first three games, including two on the advantage.

Stock down

Sam Reinhart, C, Florida Panthers (0.5% available): Just a note that the goal barrage has started to slow down, but his shooting percentage remains on record pace. Does that mean even more downtime or is he going to pick the pace back up and manage a record shooting percentage? I'd lean more toward the former, but it's hard to argue against his 40 goals so far. On the plus side, even when things are slow, Reinhart has still managed 1.73 FPPG in his past 10 games.

Trevor Moore, W, Los Angeles Kings (39.4% available): Speaking off cooling off, Moore has had a rough February. With only two assists in eight games this month, he's been a burden on the roster. That said, players like Moore, who surprise with value from a third line, tend to be underappreciated. There is a decent chance you can drop him for a hot hand and still get him back later, as he never did get the full fantasy respect he deserved for his 1.93 FPPG through the end of January.

Streamer specials

Connor McMichael, C, Washington Capitals (99.3% available): With T.J. Oshie potentially sidelined for a while, the Caps juggled the lines. McMichael looks like he'll get some runway with a streaking Ovechkin. The matchups with the Red Wings and Senators are favorable.

Brandt Clarke, D, Los Angeles Kings (96.3% available): Now could be another chance to kick the tires on Clarke. He's not quite getting the total minutes required to be a roster lock, but he's at least playing regularly with the Kings. He has four points in six games this month and will get secondary power-play looks when he's in uniform.

Mathieu Joseph, W, Ottawa Senators (96.0% available): Playing between Tim Stutzle and Claude Giroux, Joseph and the Senators have two games early in the week against the Capitals and Nashville Predators. He has posted 12.9 fantasy points across his past five outings.