Being a third wheel is something that can save a non-fantasy relevant player's fantasy value. While we normally think of these types of third wheels as lower-end guys that just get thrown on a line in hopes he can mesh well enough with the other two, it's not that simple. Ryan Hartman was a good, not great, player in his own right but it wasn't until he was moved to the top line in Minnesota with Mats Zuccarello and Kirill Kaprizov that he flourished; Michael Bunting had more goals in 2021-22 than he had career points up until that season, even if he showed flashes in his brief NHL stints prior; Trevor Moore put up more shots (202) and points (48) last season than he had in his 123 career games before. Sometimes it's a guy that is taking advantage of his opportunity and sometimes it's just someone who should have had that opportunity years ago.
Regardless, these guys can be very valuable in fantasy if they can stick on that productive line for most, or all, of the year. With that in mind, here are five situations where we could have third-wheel situation with significant fantasy implications. These aren't the only situations to monitor, by the by, but ones that just piqued my interest. As always, data from our Frozen Tools or Natural Stat Trick with cap information from Cap Friendly.
One final thing: we will have projected line combinations in our 2022-23 Dobber Hockey Fantasy Guide, which is set to release tomorrow! There is a lot more in that guide of greatness than combinations, like projections, upside, team previews, and articles, but we will have lineup thoughts on digital paper for everyone to read. Head to the Dobber Shop to pre-order your copy!
Alright, let's get to it.
Montreal, alongside Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield