The 10 best players to snag from the Yahoo! waiver wire…
Taking advantage of your waiver wire, even this early in the season, can help you in your quest in a fantasy hockey championship.
This strategy helped me in the playoffs in one of my Yahoo leagues last year. We don’t have a limit on the number of players we can add. Once the playoffs rolled around, I was constantly cycling through players on my team. I made 35 moves over the last two weeks of the playoffs (which is crazy when you think we start 12 players and have just three bench spots). I never would have won without that strategy. You’re obviously not playing for a championship now. But you are setting the stage even this early in the season. Piling up wins in head-to-head leagues or accumulating a lead in roto or points-based leagues now will come in handy if your team starts to struggle. Picking up the hot hand for a week or two could be essential in the long run.
Just look at Richard Panik. He was owned in just 28 percent of Yahoo pools a week ago. Now that number is up to 55 percent. Besides the fact it’s a little amazing he’s still available in 45 percent of pools, anyone who picked him up in the past week saw him play three games and finish with two goals, one assist, plus-3, two PIM, 3 SOG and seven hits. That’s a big help in most pools.
Here are some other players who would be smart pickups that are owned in less than 40 per cent of Yahoo pools.
10. Brandon Sutter, 7 percent owned
I should obviously note at this stage that you have to remember we are dealing with small sample sizes for all these players. But that’s the nature of the beast when you’re hoping to get a week or two out of some of these players. In six games, Sutter has five points, a plus-two, 17 SOG and 54 faceoff wins. And even though he’s only got one power play point, he’s actually averaging 4:08 power play time per game as the Canucks are rolling with four forwards on their top power play unit.
9. Mikko Rantanen, 4 percent owned
You need to be a little patient with the Avalanche rookie. But it might be smart to pick him up now and stash him on the bench if you have the room. Rantanen played an AHL game last night and is supposed to play again Tuesday. He is then expected to make his season debut Friday against Winnipeg. There could be a spot on the top like with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog as Jarome Iginla is looking awful this season.
8. Victor Rask, 15 percent owned
Many fantasy general managers were counting on the kid line — Sebastian Aho, Elias Lindholm and Teuvo Teravainen — to be the top fantasy options in Carolina. But let’s not forget the line of Jeff Skinner, Lee Stempniak and Rask. Stempniak could also be on this list, but Rask is a better option. Rask has points in all five games, is a plus-one, has 13 shots and two power play goals.
7. Radko Gudas, 14 percent owned
The last game of Gudas’ six-game suspension is tonight against Montreal. He can then suit up tomorrow night against Buffalo. And just in time, as the Flyers play five games in the next eight nights. Gudas won’t get you many points, but he’s a beast in leagues that count PIM, blocked shot and hits. And he also averages about two shots a game.
6. Jonathan Marchessault, 19 percent owned
Dobber gave you a heads up on this guy at the start of the season. If you didn’t listen, shame on you. But apparently, there are a lot of you who didn’t listen. Marchessault is ranked 24th overall in Yahoo leagues before last night’s action. He’s playing on a line with Jaromir Jagr and Aleksander Barkov and doesn’t look out of place. In five games, he’s got seven points, a plus-5, 16 shots, two power-play points and six hits.
5. Zach Werenski, 38 percent owned
This is another one Dobber warned you about in the preseason. The Blue Jackets have played four games so far. Werenski has a point in all four and three of them are power play points. He’s playing 21:34 a game, although his power play time is lower at 1:48. But he is averaging four shots a game.
4. Artem Anisimov, 35 percent owned
Everything about Anisimov screams sell. His PDO is 1157, his 5-on-5 shooting percentage is 17.86 and his own personal shooting percentage is 33.3 per cent. He also starts in the offensive zone 63.27 per cent of the time. But he’s got eight points in his last four games and is playing regularly with Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin. Pick him up now and ride the hot wave.
3. Mike Fisher, 10 percent owned
Fisher is finding himself in an enviable position in Nashville. He’s centering the second line but is manning the top power play unit for most of the season. The top line combination for the Preds through five games has been Fisher, Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen and James Neal to go along with Roman Josi on the point. Fisher has responded as all four of his points have come with the man advantage. He’s also put up nine shots, 45 faceoffs wins and 14 hits.
2. Alex Killorn, 28 percent owned
Killorn owners find themselves in a great position heading into this week. He’s started the season on fire with four goals in five games. He’s playing on a line with Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov. He’s on a power play unit with Kucherov and Jonathan Drouin. And the Lightning play five games in the next nine days. All signs point to buy.
1. Jacob Markstrom, 32 percent owned
It’s a little crazy that Markstrom is still owned in the majority of Yahoo leagues. He’s got three wins in four games with a 1.95 GAA and a .923 SV%. The Canucks aren’t good enough to win a lot of games this year, but if Markstrom can outplay Ryan Miller, he’ll start to steal more starts and could be the team’s number one goalie by Christmas.
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