One Stat Wonders

J Status

2008-03-11

Niklas Hagman

With most leagues either entering the playoffs or racing to the regular season finish, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at some of the Western Conference sleepers that can help you in the one category you need most. In crunch time, what waiver-wire players can you turn to in order to get that one stat you need to put you over the top?

We aren’t going to look at goalie stats because tenders are usually all taken anyway. I will also avoid points because if there was ever a category fantasy players won’t ignore, it would be points. Here are some of the specializing players in a few other categories that can just as easily carry you to a win at the end of the week. Remember these are hopefully sleepers and waiver wire players… not universally owned specialized stars.

Goals:
If he was healthy, Marek Svatos would easily be the choice here. At one point that kid had 20 goals and only 2 assists. Only recently has a assist streak carried him to a more normal percentage. Still, when talking about healthy Western Conference…

Niklas Hagman, LW, DAL
This guy has been a yo-yo in many leagues this season. Up and down from fantasy squad to free agency, Hagman has done one thing well. He can score goals. With 25 so far this season, 67% of Niklas’ points have rattled the cage. Only Svatos and the heavily owned Sharp and Boyes have fewer than 20 assists and more goals than Hagman.
Honorable Mentions: Johan Franzen- 16 goals for 69% of points; Devin Setoguchi- 11 goals for 69% of points

Assists:
Dan Hamhuis, D, NSH
A preseason sleeper, Hamhuis has disappointed some fantasy owners to the point where he has been discarded in many leagues. Still, as with many defensemen, he has been good in the assists department while extremely lacking in goals and other stats. He is truly one dimensional with 21 of his 24 points being assists for 87% of his total. As a former 1st round pick he still has the ability to bounce back as a bit of a post-hype bargain and can surely help you if assists are what you need most in the short term. Considering the competition in Nashville, he still puts up respectable numbers.
Honorable Mentions: Michael Peca- 25 assists for 83% of points; Kim Johnsson- 21 assists for 91% of points

Plus/Minus:
Kent Huskins, D, ANH
No surprise here. It makes sense to see an auxiliary player from a team with a stacked defense like Anaheim’s. Huskins is able to take full advantage with a great plus/minus yet very little in the scoring department. He has 17 points and is the only player in the Western Conference to be beyond plus-20 but not have over 20 points.
Honorable Mentions: Douglas Murray- Plus-16 with only 10 points; Ku