Top 10 waiver wire pickups

by Tom Collins on November 9, 2015

Collins looks at the 10 best waiver-wire grabs for your roto league


No matter how bad the start to your fantasy season has been, you're not out of contention yet.

There's still plenty of time left, and the waiver wire can be your friend in this situation. There's lots of good players still out there in the majority of leagues. You can rotate players in and out depending on who is hot or cold at any given time.

A lot of poolies are already on top it. Dale Weise, for example, is now owned in 37 per cent of Yahoo pools.

Below you will find 10 players who are owned in less than 30 percent of Yahoo leagues as of Sunday night.


10. Oscar Lindberg, 24 per cent

The Rangers forward is seeing third-line duty and virtually no power play time. But he is doing several things very well. He's shooting the puck a ton. He's taken at least two shots in five of his last six games. He's also throwing his body around, getting at least five hits in three games this year. And he's on a hot streak. In his last six games, he has three goals, three assists, a plus-four, eight penalty minutes, 14 shots, 15 hits and even a power play point. As a bonus, the Rangers play four games this week. Easy pickup.


9. Jacob Markstrom, 2 per cent owned

After a hot start to the season, Canucks goalie Ryan Miller is slowly turning into the Ryan Miller we all knew was coming. He has allowed at least three goals in seven of his last 10 starts, and has posted a sub-.900 save percentage in six of those games. He's also won just two of those games. Enter Jacob Markstrom. He was sent to the Canucks AHL team for a conditioning stint after recovering from a hamstring injury. Once Markstrom is called back up, it's just a matter of time before he has the opportunity to start stealing starts.


8. Kyle Palmieri, 27 per cent

Palmieri has five goals, seven assists, a plus-two, seven power play points, 38 shots, 23 hits, and 11 pims so far this season. In other words, he's contributing in almost every facet of fantasy hockey. He also has nine points in his last six games. It's not like his shooting percentage of 13.2 per cent is that much higher than his career average of 11.1 per cent. As a huge bonus, Palmieri has dual eligibility in Yahoo, able to play both left and right wing on your fantasy squads. 


7. Victor Rask, 4 per cent

Quick, who leads the Hurricanes in points this year? If you guessed Rask, well, you'd be wrong. The Canes' point leader is actually later on in this list, but Rask is just one point behind the leader. The 22-year-old sophomore is quietly producing with Carolina with four goals and nine points in 14 games. Rask is on the team's top power play unit and is getting over 18 minutes of ice time per game. He has eight points in his last nine games after a slow start. And he's still available in 96 per cent of Yahoo leagues.


6. Travis Zajac, 18 per cent

I have no faith in Zajac being able to keep up his hot start. He's only five goals away from matching last season's totals, and he's only two off his career high of six power play goals. He is shooting 33.3 per cent, which has to come down at some point. But you ride the hot hand until it does. Zajac has also won 53.1 per cent of faceoffs for leagues that include that category.


5. Morgan Rielly, 29 per cent

Don't pick up Rielly if you need power play points. Pick him up if you need almost anything else. Despite Leafs head coach Mike Babcock saying Rielly needs to prove himself before getting more power play time, Rielly is proving himself in fantasy circles. He's already got three goals, 10 points (leading the Leafs), two power play points and 30 shots on net. He's still playing more than 20 minutes a game. The Leafs also play five games in the next nine days.


4. Mikael Granlund, 12 per cent

There's a reason Granlund isn't owned by that many poolies. He's simply not getting the job done. He has just one point in his last 10 games. There is plenty of reason for optimism however. He's still getting lots of ice time. In his last 10 games, he's only been below 18 minutes twice, and played more than 21 minutes last Thursday against Nashville. The second reason to expect a turnaround is that with Zach Parise injured, Granlund has taken Parise's spot on the top line. Granlund is also on the number one power play unit.


3. Kris Versteeg, 14 per cent

Versteeg has very quietly found himself on top of the Hurricanes points chart. The right winger has 10 points already. What's even scarier is that despite taking 2.1 shots a game, Versteeg's shooting percentage is at 6.7 per cent. That's 4.6 percentage points below his career average. He's near the top for the Canes' power play time on ice leaders and is on the top line at even strength. There's lot of data showing he should be doing even better. That bodes well for Versteeg owners.


2. David Desharnais, 26 per cent

The waiver wire was created for guys like Desharnais: a third-line player who can go on a hot streak for a couple of weeks before  you drop him when he goes cold. He's scored in two straight games and has seven points in his last five outings. The Habs play just three games in the next 10 days, but follow that up with six games in 10 days. So if you can afford to use a roster space for a guy with limited games, then Desharnais could be your man.


1. Martin Hanzal, 29 per cent

It's kind of amazing how high Hanzal is ranked in Yahoo pools considering he has yet to score a goal this year.  In the experts Yahoo league made up of Dobber writers, we count goals, assists, plus/minus, power play points, shots and hits. Hanzal is ranked 63rd overall in our pools like ours. Yet he is owned in just 29 per cent of Yahoo pools. He also averages about penalty minute per game. It's just a matter of time before he gets a goal, and then he'll be ranked much higher (and that's when you sell high on him if you are an owner).