Frozen Tool Forensics: Mining for Free Agent Gold

Chris Kane


For the last several weeks we have been focused on a league-wide scan of power-play defensemen.  Week 1 is here, Week 2 is here, and Week 3 is here. Now that we have wrapped up that discussion, we are going to turn to a bit of gold mining. Scouring the waiver wire is never a sure thing, and is even more difficult in deep leagues. Today, we are going to take a deep dive and try to find value in low-owned players that can augment your roster. The value of any given player will depend on how deep your league is and the specific category makeup, but we will try and find some point producers that might be available to you.

In terms of process, we will be taking a scan through Yahoo's ownership numbers as a general gauge of awareness/ownership of a player and won't be targeting players who are more than 25% owned. We will then be using the player profile and last game lines sections of Frozen Tools to take a look at their recent production and deployment. Generally, we are looking for players who have an opportunity to succeed, so good time on ice, good linemates, and who have some evidence of producing with that deployment. The list below is some of the "high" flyers that you should maybe be considering (depending of course on your league size and settings).

Without further ado, let's begin with our higher-owned players and then travel down deeper through the layers of silt to find the deepest possible fantasy nuggets. Just as an aside, all research was conducted Thursday morning, so these stats do not include Thursday evening's games.

Pavel Buchnevich – 23% owned

Buchnevich is seeing career-high power-play time, career-high total time on ice, is on pace for a career-high 62 points (full season pace), and is shooting a career-high 2.6 shots per game. Without Artemi Panarin in the lineup, it is a little hard to tell which is the top line, but he is playing with Mika Zibanejad and Alexis Lafreniere at even strength, and what looks like the second power-play unit. He is seeing upwards of 19 minutes a night on average, with almost three minutes of power-play time. He also has seven points in his last seven g