Even though we’re still early in the season, it’s never a bad time to scour the waiver wire to see if there are better options out there.
Of course, we’re dealing with small sample sizes, so you shouldn’t panic on underperforming superstars. However, it’s okay to look at dropping mid- to lower-tier players if there are better options out there.
For instance, Ty Rattie has done nothing playing with Connor McDavid and isn’t on the top power-play unit. Rattie owners need to seriously consider if he’s worth a roster spot.
Below are 10 players who are worth scooping up in Yahoo leagues. I looked for players that were owned in less than 35% of leagues.
10. Maxime Lajoie, 25% owned
Ottawa is one of those teams that many fantasy general managers steered clear of but forgot an important fantasy hockey rule: Even the most awful team is still going to have some players that will score, contribute on the power play, shoot and hit. Only three Sens are owned in more than 30% of leagues (Thomas Chabot at 61%, Mark Stone at 60% and Matt Duchene at 41%). However, guys like Chris Tierney, Zack Smith and Dylan DeMelo have been putting up surprisingly good numbers. Maxime Lajoie is one of the top Senators with three goals, three assists, four power-play points and 16 shots. He’s averaging more than 20 minutes a game and has been excellent in league with blocked shots as well.
9. Zach Parise, 16% owned
Parise is one of those guys who falls down the radar because of his age, his declining point totals and injury history (he’s missed at least eight games every year since the 2012-13 lockout). Actually, those are pretty good reasons. However, he can still produce in short batches and needs to be on a roster when he goes on one of those runs. He had 17 points in his final 21 games last year, and has five points in four games to start this season. He has five points in four games, averaging 18:25 per night and plays about half the of Minnesota’s power play minutes.
8. Scott Darling, 9% owned
Many had Darling pegged for a bounce-back season, but the Hurricanes netminder tweaked a hamstring in the preseason and hasn’t been played a minute of regular season action this year. Curtis McElhinney has been okay in the meantime with three wins in three games, but his .900 SV % and 2.64 GAA doesn’t mean there will be any type of goalie battle. Darling has accompanied the Canes on its current three-game road trip, suggesting he may be ready for action pretty soon.
7. Alexander Edler, 27% owned
Everyone keeps waiting for a young defenseman to become the new number one dman in Vancouver, but in the meantime, don’t overlook Edler and his accomplishments. He’s potentially going to get you 150 shots and another 150 hits, is on the Canucks top power play and is averaging almost 26 minutes a night.
6. Jaroslav Halak, 25% owned
If you’re desperate for a goaltender in a league where most goalies are taken, Halak may be able to help you out in spot starts. Even though Tuukka Rask is struggling, he is still undoubtedly the Bruins’ number one guy. In the meantime, Halak has been excellent and has been rewarded by starting two of the Bruins’ first five games. Boston has a back-to-back set against Calgary and Edmonton this week, meaning Halak should be getting another start in one of those games. As well, starting Wednesday, Boston plays seven games in 13 nights, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see Halak get three more starts this month.
5. Brady Tkachuk, 26% owned
Tkachuk pretty much gives you everything you want in a fantasy player. He puts up points, plays in a top-six role, gets some power-play time (the second unit so far, but I expect him to be on the top unit at some point), shoots, hits and even has a positive plus/minus. He’s only 19 years old, and while many expected him to be a great contributor in peripherals, his offensive skills are a surprise to many.
4. Jeff Petry, 23% owned
It’s kind of amazing that Petry is owned in less than a quarter of Yahoo leagues considering he meets all the criteria for a top defenseman. He logs a ton of minutes (23 minutes a night so far), is on the top power-play unit, can get goals and points, shoots the puck and dishes out hits. He literally contributes in every category. Of course, all this will change once Shea Weber comes back from injury, but that’s not scheduled until December.
3. Justin Williams, 21% owned
The 37-year-old Williams seems to have found the fountain of youth playing with Jordan Staal and Warren Foegele as Williams has seven points to start the season to go along with a plus-six, 16 shots and six hits. Williams is the very definition of a player to pick up when he’s hot and quickly dropping him once he cools off. You have to expect that at some point this season, he’ll lose his top-six role to one of the rookies, but until that happens, enjoy the production.
2. Josh Bailey, 31% owned
There was much talk in the offseason over who would play with Mathew Barzal, and early on, Bailey is leading the way. Barzal has been on the ice for 5-on-5 a total of 54 minutes. Bailey has been on the ice for almost 46 minutes of Barzal’s 5-on-5 minutes (by comparison, Jordan Eberle has been on the ice with Barzal at 5-on-5 for just 52 seconds). Bailey is also on the top power-play unit. Better yet, he’s been producing. He has four points in four games, three on the power play.
1. Kasperi Kapanen, 32% owned
I’m not too sure how aware people are because of the lack of media attention, but the Leafs are scoring lots of goals this year. Kapanen has been moved to Auston Matthews’ line and it’s been paying off. Kapanen has two goals and six points in four games since moving to that line. The only knock against Kapanen is that he’s not getting any power play time and he could be easily knocked out of that spot when William Nylander signs. Pick him up for a hot run but be prepared to drop him if he’s knocked out of the top six.