Top 10 WW Grabs (November 2014)

by Tom Collins on November 24, 2014



Top 10 guys likely available on the waiver wire in your fantasy hockey league…


Not everyone can have a perfect draft. That’s why the waiver wire was created.

Some of the most successful managers know how to use the waiver to their benefit. They look for players on hot streaks, rookies making their debut, or penalty guys playing against their former teams.

But for even the least diligent owner, there are always great options available. Below you will find 10 players who are owned in less than 30 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Of course, in shallower leagues, there’s a good reason why these guys are on the waiver wire. An eight team league with 12 guys a team probably has no use for these players. But a 14-team league that has 24 players per team would find value in some of these names.

Here are the top 10 guys who are available in more than 70 percent of Yahoo leagues.


10. Mike Fisher, 4 percent owned

Fisher has missed every game this season thanks to a ruptured Achilles injury. However, he has been cleared for contact and is participating in a full practice, so he should be returning soon.  It’s unclear where he will fit into the Nashville roster, as the Preds are rolling (seven players already have 10 points). However, when he does come back, fantasy owners know what to expect from him: A point every two games or so, just under a penalty minute a game, power play points, and two shots a game.


9. Nino Niederreiter, 16 percent owned

Despite playing on the third line for most of the season, Niederreiter leads the Wild with nine goals, and is second on the team in points with 12. His minus-two is a little disconcerting, and he’s shooting a crazy-high 23.7 percent (way above his 9.4 percent career average). He’s also not getting a ton of power play time (his 1:55 per game average is just sixth on the Wild among forwards). However, this is just a case of running with the hot hand. He’s got five goals and six points in his last five games. Pick him up, and drop him when he starts to cool off.


8. Matt Beleskey, 18 percent owned

The Ducks forward is second on the team in goals with nine (which is just two off his career high), and despite averaging just 1:33 of power play ice time per game, he still has three power play goals. What’s helping his cause is his high number of shots, as he has 59 this year (his career high is 123, but he’s on pace right now for 230). He’s also contributed 48 hits so far, and has a plus-four, so he’s helping out in many categories. (Note: All these numbers are before the Ducks game last night).


7. Shane Doan, 29 percent owned

When he’s not battling Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Doan has shown he still has it on the ice, at least from a fantasy perspective. He has seven goals and 14 points this season, to go along with a minus-five and four power play points. He also has 55 points and 43 hits, and his 15 penalty minutes are a bit of a bonus. There’s good reason to think his numbers will continue: His 3:31 power play ice time per game is just one second behind Antione Vermette for the team lead among forwards, and his 11.9 shooting percentage isn’t that far off from his career average of 10.3 percent.


6. Zemgus Girgensons, seven percent owned

Girgensons has been one of the bright spots for the Sabres this season, and it’s amazing that he’s been able to do it without a lot of power play time. Girgensons so far has six goals and 11 points in 21 games, but he also has a plus-five (he’s one of only three Sabres with a positive plus-minus this season). His 40 shots and 49 hits is a bonus as well for leagues that count those categories, but he’s averaging just 1:04 of power play time a game (11th on the team).


5. Leo Komarov, 10 percent owned

Komarov’s value goes up immensely in leagues that count hits (his 90 hits has him second in the league), but he’s been an undervalued offensive cog for the Maple Leafs as well. So far on the season, he has two goals and 14 points (tied for fourth on Toronto). He’s also a plus-two and 32 shots. Komarov takes a bit of a hit in leagues that count penalty minutes (just four so far this year), but he’s a bonus everywhere else.


4. Johnny Gaudreau, 29 percent owned

Is there anything the rookie can’t do? Okay, so he can’t hit (just one in 21 games so far). But for the purposes of most fantasy hockey leagues, he’s been money this season. He has 15 points in 21 games to go along with a plus-eight and five power play points. He’s been doing it with less than 16 minutes of ice time a game, but there are some good things to watch out for. His time on the ice has been increasing from about 12 minutes a game early in the season to anywhere from 13 to 24 minutes a game lately (including 22:17 in a game against Anaheim last week and 24:25 against New Jersey on Saturday).  


3. Derick Brassard, 27 percent owned

It’s a shame that a guy who is the top 50 in the league in scoring is not owned in 73 percent of Yahoo leagues. Despite a plus-minus in the negative (he’s a minus-six, but he was a minus seven in a six-game stretch recently that brought it down), Brassard is becoming a must-own in fantasy hockey. He has 15 points, and averages 2:44 a game on the power play (third among Ranger forwards). He also plays most often with Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis, so the signs are there for him to continue this pace.


2. John Klingberg, 10 percent owned

Klingberg is the latest hot thing in defensemen this season (following in the footsteps of Damon Severson and Trevor Daley), but there are some good signs that he can keep it up. In just seven games, Klingberg has two goals, six points, a plus-three, six pims and eight shots. He’s already averaged 2:20 per game of power play ice time per game and 23:36 overall per game.


1. Marcus Johansson, 18 percent owned

While Johansson has slowed down a little bit recently (just one point in his last five games), there’s plenty of optimism for Johansson this season. Here are the top Washington power play lines so far this year, according to Frozen Pool:




Line Combination




















The fact that he’s playing on the Capitals top power play line more than half of all Caps power plays is a great omen. He averages 2:47 a game on the power play, although he’s averaging just 16:24 overall. So while his last five games haven’t been that great offence-wise, it’s a great sign that the coach trusts him enough to keep putting him out there with the likes of Ovechkin and Backstrom. 



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