Fantasy hockey forecaster: Dec. 27 to Jan. 2

Paul Stastny of the Winnipeg Jets has seven goals and eight assists in 22 games. Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

If you haven't seen the notice already, ESPN Fantasy announced that Week 11 of the fantasy season has been extended. For weekly leagues, this creates an on-the-fly two-week scoring period that you probably didn't anticipate (although maybe you had a feeling) when you set your lineup on Dec. 20.

As of this writing (Friday morning), all of next week's games are still scheduled after Tuesday, including an outdoor contest in Minneapolis on New Year's Day.

The NHL has already announced that Monday's games will be postponed, and teams will return to action on Tuesday.

But we are going to approach this for the Forecaster with rose-colored glasses, assuming the vast majority of players are going to be ready to play again.

Of course, be ready to react to the news that starts coming on Sunday and into Monday. If it turns out some teams are still sidelined, you'll need to adjust. With only two games taking place last week, you will likely be in a tough position for counting stats and goaltender minimums if there are more cancellations.

Fantasy Forecaster: Dec. 27 to Jan. 2

A whooping 25 teams feature a four-game schedule next week, so there are no shortage of games scheduled to fill up this new two-week scoring period. And of the remaining seven teams, only the Minnesota Wild have a lighter, two-game schedule.

The Wild are likely without Joel Eriksson Ek for the next little while (though there is nothing official on the injury yet), which already takes the second line out of fantasy consideration, so the light schedule shouldn't impact fantasy planning.

Team notes

Winnipeg Jets: It's been two games since Paul Maurice made his own call to step away from the bench. The Jets are without Blake Wheeler on a week-to-week basis, so whatever we can glean from new coach Dave Lowry's lineups in those games can probably be leaned on for the next little while. The newly assembled line of Mark Scheifele, Nikolaj Ehlers and Paul Stastny absolutely popped off on Dec. 19, scoring all four of the Jets goals. Ehlers and Scheifele had played together a lot this season, but Stastny was the missing puzzle piece. They scored three of those goals at even strength, where they dominated possession (65.9 percent SAT). Stastny is the pickup here, as Scheifele and Ehlers have done just enough to not be dropped, despite playing below expectations.

The Jets have three games with none of them back-to-back next week, so we could even go a little deeper. Evgeny Svechnikov seems to be Lowry's first choice to complete the other scoring line with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Connor, but an injury allowed Kristian Vesalainen to step into the role in Lowry's second game behind the bench. Either could make for a deep-league roster fill next week, depending on Svechnikov's health. The Dubois-Connor-Svechnikov combo has played plenty together already this season and already rank 27th in the league for SAT percent (minimum 100 SAT for).

Philadelphia Flyers: It's been seven games since the Flyers fired Alain Vigneault and put Mike Yeo behind the bench. Yeo has settled on pairs over lines, attaching Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny at the hip for one scoring line, while tying Claude Giroux and Cam Atkinson together for the other. It's actually worked well; Only Couturier doesn't have at least six points in those seven games.

Some of that production comes from the new power play, where Yeo elevated James van Riemsdyk to join the top unit with Keith Yandle, Couturier, Giroux and Konecny.

The wins are starting to come, too. After losing the first two games after taking over, the Flyers have points in five straight. The key contributors on the Flyers have slipped in their rostership in ESPN leagues as the offense dragged for the first few months of the season. They aren't widely available by any means, but Couturier has slipped to being on 82 percent of rosters, Konecny on 80 percent and Atkinson on 72 percent. With the uptick in production, it may be worth revisiting some of these players.

The Flyers only have three games on the schedule, but they are solid matchups on the road against Seattle, San Jose and Los Angeles. Atkinson is a key target here, as he remains the Flyers leader in fantasy points per 60 minutes (FPP60) and is the most available of the top options. Joel Farabee is also back and has joined Couturier and Konecny on a scoring line.

Player notes

Laurent Brossoit, G, Vegas Golden Knights: Robin Lehner tweaked something earlier this week and might need a little more time, which leaves Brossoit to handle the crease. For what it's worth, Brossoit is doing slightly better than Lehner for FPP60 with a 27 percent crease share so far. That makes him a decent choice for a three-game week.

Valeri Nichushkin, W, Colorado Avalanche: Nichushkin is possibly a must-start, stepping up to the top line with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen while Gabriel Landeskog is sidelined. The only question is whether the Avs use J.T. Compher up there instead, which wasn't an option when they were last in action.

Quick hits

  • Mitch Marner is eligible to play again if he is healthy. He's through most of the three-to-four week timetable for his injury, so could be back when the Leafs are. It mostly means Ondrej Kase's short run with fantasy relevance is over, but remember how he stepped up in case another Leaf scorer is injured.

  • Brayden Point is expected back for the Lightning when the schedule resumes. Obviously he should be back in fantasy lineups, too. But the overall impact is tough to gauge, as the Lightning have been performing as a team more than a collection of fantasy individuals. Also, Nikita Kucherov might not be far behind him, so it's probably better to wait before targeting the sidekicks.

  • Evander Kane probably isn't going to get called back up to the Sharks given the relationship with the team, but it's worth noting that he's killing the AHL with eight points in five games. If he gets traded, you know what to do.