Every week, we’ll mine the waiver wire for lesser-owned assets to help your fantasy hockey squad, whether you favor dynasty or the redraft format, and we’ll also toss in some tips for DFS players out there. Finally, we will look at some former go-to fantasy assets who might be overvalued — in the short or long term — for one reason or another.
Leading the Rangers with 65 shots, Nash has eight points in his past seven games, including three goals in the past couple of contests. While the thought of the power forward replicating his 42-goal output of three seasons ago feels too pie-in-sky, his comfy roles on a scoring line and the secondary power play suggest this hot trend could endure for some period. If possible, ride Nash while he’s hot.
He’s back. Returning from a broken finger, Ryan joins Mike Hoffman on the secondary scoring line and power play that now also includes center Matt Duchene. Off to an inspired start after last season’s dismal showing, the former 30-plus-goal scorer is poised to quickly build on his six assists (plus-8) accrued though eight contests.
The Hurricanes’ top line has finally broken out. Adjacent center Jordan Staal, wingers Sebastian Aho and Teravainen exploded for four goals and three assists in Monday’s 5-1 shellacking of the Dallas Stars (not including Staal’s four helpers). That’s more like it. Don’t sleep on these two. It won’t be long before they warm back into consistent scoring form, following up on last season’s first successful year together.
Erupting for five goals in his past six games, DeBrincat is making a solid case for consistent inclusion amongst Chicago’s top six. It could happen sooner, rather than later. As it stands, the 19-year-old remains a scoring threat on a line with Patrick Sharp and on the power play with Jonathan Toews. Giving the Blackhawks organization little choice but to keep the former Erie Otter beyond his nine-game rookie audition, DeBrincat is clearly becoming increasingly comfortable, game by game. And he’s shooting the puck more often.
As outlined in a recent edition of Fantasy 31, Athanasiou remains embedded on a top power play with Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha, and on a scoring line with the former. We appreciate the extra incentive as a result of the one-year deal secured by the 23-year-old in an early-season holdout.
With three goals and three helpers in four games, Vegas’ second-line center is clearly jiving nicely with wingers David Perron and James Neal. The 26-year-old former member of the Wild is also competing on the Knights’ No. 1 power play.
Through two games after being called up from the AHL, Puljujarvi has a goal (plus-1) on six shots, four hits and a blocked shot while skating on a scoring line and power play with Milan Lucic and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. How long the 2016 fourth-overall draft selection endures this stint with the Oilers will largely depend on (A) the duration in which Anton Slepyshev (groin) remains on IR, and (B) his own performance. A strong enough showing could extend Puljujarvi’s stay, even once Slepyshev is ready to return.
Three goals and an assist in two games is enough to at least capture our attention, at minimum. A role on a forward line with Jaromir Jagr and Sam Bennett only adds to Jankowski’s fantasy intrigue. Drafted 21st overall in 2012, the 23-year-old has taken the long route to the NHL, via four years in college and one full, successful campaign with the AHL Stockton Heat. Without making any drastic roster moves, keep an eye on whether Jankowski is truly ready to take the next big step as a consistent producer in the big leagues. If nothing else, his hot scoring hand presently makes for a tempting daily fantasy play.
Shopping for blocked-shots and hits? Washington’s veteran defender could be your guy. Ranked sixth in the NHL in blocked shots and 13th in hits, Orpik also averages top-four minutes (22:39) and earns his fair share of penalty minutes. One additional note: Fellow Washington blueliner Matt Niskanen is due back after missing 13 games with an upper-body injury. The 30-year-old offensive-defenseman is immediately slated to anchor the Capitals’ secondary power play in place of rookie Christian Djoos.
Paired with Tyson Barrie at even strength and with the Avalanche’s top power play, Girard has an assist to show for averaging more than 22 minutes per game in the two contests since his trade from the Nashville Predators. That’s not a bad start to the 19-year-old’s career in Colorado. Treasured for his ability to contribute offensively, Girard collected 75 points in 59 games in the QMJHL (Shawinigan) this past season. He most assuredly is one to watch as both future keeper jewel, as well as a present-day producer in deeper redraft leagues.
Scott Darling, Carolina Hurricanes (35.6 percent)
Allowing just one goal in three of his past four starts (.937 save percentage), Darling appears to be finding his stride as Carolina’s new No. 1 netminder. Additionally, the Hurricanes appear to be improving en masse following a rather ho-hum start to the season, only adding to Darling’s fantasy stock. The former Chicago backup projects to serve as a solid No. 2 or 3 in deeper leagues.
No. 1 Jake Allen has struggled of late. Through two of the Blues’ most recent three contests, Hutton has not struggled (once as a midgame sub, once as a starter). In fact, in admittedly limited action, Hutton has played rock-solid since season’s start. As such, don’t be surprised if the club’s backup sees more action than usual for a while — especially if Allen lays another six-goals-allowed egg, like he did Monday in Calgary.
Sticking on a scoring line and the secondary power play, Foligno is clearly destined to eventually break out of his current nine-game pointless slump. However, why have the versatile forward battle through it on an active roster slot if room on the bench is available?
Scott Hartnell, LW, Nashville Predators (34.5 percent)
Diagnosed with a lower-body injury, Hartnell is expected to miss the next three to five weeks. That brings us to near Christmas. Despite competing on the Predators’ No. 1 power play, the 35-year-old veteran has only seven points, including four with the man-advantage, and 25 shots. Oh, and his minus-eight is a team-worst. So, it’s not that big of a fantasy loss.