We’re a month into the season, but don’t worry if your team is not doing too well. There’s plenty of season left and plenty of players on the waiver wire that can help.
In my 12-team Yahoo roto league we dress four centres, four left wingers, four right wingers, six defensemen, two goalies and five bench spots), I’ve hovered between second and sixth for the past couple of weeks. I’m always on the lookout for players that can help, but with at least 300 players selected (more since players on the IR don’t count as a bench spot), pickings can be slim.
We use a free agent bidding system, and have just $100 for the season, so we need to be smart about who we grab. Wasting money on a player that is only going to perform for a couple of games is going to hurt. It’s why I recently bid on a couple of players on this list.
Below are 10 players that are owned in fewer than 40 percent of Yahoo leagues that could give you at least some short-term value. Note that I am keeping this list at a max of two players per team, or else it would be made up of only Golden Knights and Canucks.
10. Josh Anderson, 10 percent owned
After starting the season pointless in two games, Anderson has eight points in his last 10 games as he’s playing regularly with Nick Foligno and Artemi Panarin. It’s great that he’s averaging almost three shots and just over two hits per game, both above his career averages. One thing to note is that he’s finally started to get some power play time in the last four games after averaging 12 seconds in the first eight games.
9. Jesper Bratt, 37 percent owned
The rookie Bratt will go through hot streaks and slumps in his first year in the league. Knowing when to take advantage of them is key. He started the season with six points in three games, was then pointless in five before notching four in his last three (not including Sunday night’s game). He’s been getting significant power play time the last few games and is averaging 15:34 ice time per contest. Unfortunately, he doesn’t contribute in other fantasy categories, so you need to be willing to drop (or bench him) as soon as he runs cold.
8. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 24 percent owned
After starting the season slow with three points in eight games, Nugent-Hopkins has been on fire for the Oilers the last five games with four goals and six points. Nothing has really changed between the first eight and the last five games (power-play usage, overall ice time and shots have all been fairly consistent). So, pick him and ride the hot hand while you can.
7. Reilly Smith, 15 percent owned
It’s kind of interesting that Vegas is grossly under owned in Yahoo pools. James Neal is owned in 91 per cent of leagues, but Jonathan Marchessault is the only other Golden Knight higher than 30 per cent ownership (at 31 per cent). They may be an expansion team, but there’s no need to overlook those players until they stop producing. Smith has four goals and 10 points (four of them on the power play) in 13 games and has been seeing increasing power-play time the last few games.
6. Bo Horvat, 33 percent owned
Horvat looks to be a frustrating own this year. His 11 points in 13 games looks great on paper, but he has points in just five games and has power play points in just two games. So, there have been plenty of nights where he’s not helping your squad in head-to-head leagues. Horvat is good for at least 50 points. Trying to figure out in what 30 games he’s going to get those points is the headache.
5. Vladimir Sobotka, 10 percent owned
Although he’s getting very little power-play time (his 1:34 is sixth among Blues forwards), there’s still a lot to like about Sobotka’s game this year. He’s entrenched on the second even-strength line with Paul Stastny and Alexander Steen. He’s on pace for career highs in goals, assists and shots. Plus, he’s on pace for 77 PIM and 131 hits. Even if his point pace slows down, his ability to contribute in other categories shouldn’t be overlooked.
4. Alex Tuch, 3 percent owned
Tuch is one of those players that you need to pay extra attention to. He’s lower in Yahoo rankings for the season as he spent the first few games in the minors. In the last two weeks, he’s the 53rd best player in Yahoo pools. Tuch has seven points in nine games, is on the top power-play unit and is averaging 2.7 shots a game.
3. Tim Heed, 10 per cent owned
Dobber Prospects contributor Zachary DeVine has been tweeting since last March that Heed would be a full-time NHLer this year. I finally heeded his advice (see what I did there?) and snagged him in two leagues this week. He’s still owned in only 10 per cent of Yahoo pools, but that number should rise quickly. He has seven points in 11 games, has played 20-plus minutes in four of his last five games and is now on the top power play unit as the Sharks go with the traditional three-forwards, two defensemen man advantage unit.
2. Mikko Rantanen, 34 percent owned
Jump on this before it’s too late. Rantanen was owned in 29 percent of Yahoo leagues on Saturday night. That was up to 34 percent as of last night. In 14 games, Rantanen has 12 points, 34 shots, eight power play points and is on his team’s top even-strength line and top power-play unit. He’s only been held off the scoresheet in five games so far, including last night’s matchup against the Islanders. Sure, his minus-6 is a cause for concern, but even with that low plus-minus, he is the 86th best player in Yahoo leagues before yesterday’s games.
1. Brock Boeser, 23 percent owned
I fully expect Boeser to be owned in at least half of Yahoo pools by tonight. He was somehow only owned in 23 percent of leagues on Saturday. His four-point night Saturday against Pittsburgh grabbed a lot of attention, and he was up to 37 per cent ownership as of last night. Remember when Boeser was foolishly a healthy scratch in three games at the start of the season? Since then, he has five goals and 13 points in 10 games and has only been shutout in three games so far. He’s also taken at least two shots in all but one game, including seven shots against the Penguins on Saturday night when he played a season high 18:32. His power-play usage could still be better, but right now he’s a must-own in all fantasy leagues.
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