Fantasy Take: Washington adds Conor Sheary

Michael Clifford

2020-12-22

Washington bolstered its forward depth by signing left winger Conor Sheary to a one-year deal worth $735,000. He heads to a Caps team that will be looking to add another Stanley Cup during the Ovechkin era, as he's a free agent at the end of the season.

With Ovechkin, Vrana, Wilson, and Oshie all ready, Sheary is destined for the bottom-6 unless there's an injury or under-performance. That is what changes his outlook against when he was in Pittsburgh; he was at least on the top line there for stretches. That won't happen in Washington so expecting more than what he's done the last few years, pacing 30-35 points per 82 games, is expecting too much of a bottom-6 forward.

How this affects Carl Hagelin is uncertain. He may have lost his third-line role depending on Sheary's performance here. I think it's a situation where we're going to see the them eat into each other's roles, in effect meaning neither has much value (not that Hagelin is a reliable fantasy performer). Hagelin, before 2019-20, had been able to put up good amounts of hits – regular over one a game – but if he's bouncing around the bottom-6, that becomes unreliable. Here is how it'll shake out: Garnet Hathaway is on the fourth line and that leaves three winger spots for three left shots in Sheary, Panik, and Hagelin. Panik has played often on the right side through his career so he likely stays on the third line unless he has a bad year, so that leaves the other two between the two lines.

There is a chance that Hathaway goes to the third line and Sheary plays the right side on the fourth line and then it's curtain for any fantasy value. It is not likely, just saying that could happen.

So, if Sheary is playing 13-14 minutes a night, it's hard to see him reclaiming that magic in Pittsburgh a few years ago. An injury to anyone in the top-6 changes the equation but for now he's waiver fodder outside of deeper leagues.

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