Fantasy hockey: Waiver wire options to target this week
Does your fantasy hockey team have holes that need filling? We've got you covered with these waiver wire suggestions.
Working the waiver wire is a crucial part of any championship fantasy hockey season. Finding players to work into your lineup every single week that can add points to your total is the number one way you can control the outcome of your matchup. In this article every week, I’ll be going over players at every position and at different levels of rostership so that you can fill out your fantasy squad with the best players available in your league. Let’s dig in.
Rostered in 41-50% of leagues: Logan Couture, C - SJS (43% rostered)
Couture is coming into the All-Star break in style, dropping two goals and three assists on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night. If you’re looking ahead to the week post-break, Couture’s Sharks play three games on three off-nights which makes Couture an attractive option to stash now and hope he can start to produce a little more consistently game-to-game. Couture is on a 68-point pace on the season, making him plenty viable in just about any format as a streaming play. Yahoo is treating Jan. 30 to Feb. 12 as a single matchup for head-to-head leagues, so make sure you’re checking on your roster to see who will actually fit into your starting lineups across these two weeks. Couture’s off-night schedule makes him an easy plug-and-play option in a very odd matchup scheduling-wise.
Honourable mentions: Reilly Smith, LW,RW - VGK (45%) & Andrei Kuzmenko, LW/RW - VAN (50%)
Rostered in 31-40% of leagues: Andrew Mangiapane, LW/RW - CGY (33% rostered)
It’s been a disappointing campaign for Mangiapane so far, with just 10 goals on the season after netting 35 a year ago. But the Flames have quietly come on of late, controlling shot-share metrics in no small part due to the Mangiapane-Mikael Backlund-Blake Coleman trio that has been racking up shots at a terrific clip. Mangiapane has averaged 16:47 of ice time over his last ten games and has posted nine points to go with 27 shots during that run. Consider as well that there could even be more upside for Mangiapane via 5-on-5 line or PP1 promotion. This is a player with a history of high-level production who seems to be finally catching his stride for this season — it may be time to give Mangiapane a second chance on our rosters.
Honourable mentions: Scott Laughton, C/LW - PHI (32%) & Boone Jenner, C - CBJ (33%)
Rostered in 21-30% of leagues: Seth Jarvis, LW/RW - CAR (30% rostered)
Jarvis has had a rough go of things lately, no doubt. But Carolina is the only team that plays twice from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, meaning you can get a head start on games played for this two-week matchup by picking up Hurricane players. And Jarvis finally netted his first goal in seven games on Sunday against Boston, making a slick breakaway move on Bruin netminder Linus Ullmark. Despite his recent cold stretch, Jarvis has maintained a spot on the Carolina top line alongside star Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen. With most of the ‘Canes best players well over 50 percent rostered in Yahoo leagues, Jarvis is the top offensive option available to most fantasy managers and he’s a great way to try and kickstart an early lead against your opponent this week. Just know that the Hurricanes only play one single game the following week, so Jarvis is nothing more than a two-game stream here.
Honourable mentions: Jared McCann, C/LW - SEA (28%) & Viktor Arvidsson, LW/RW - LAK (22%)
Rostered in 0-20% of leagues: Filip Chytil, C/RW - NYR (17% rostered)
Chytil has flown under the radar in most leagues so far but his production of late has been undeniable. Chytil has 12 points in his last 11 games, and has maintained that level of production despite spending the vast majority of that time on the Rangers’ third line, centering underperforming young wingers Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko. Chytil’s run of production feels like it should warrant a promotion sometime soon; whether that comes at 5-on-5 or on the power play it would be a huge boon to the potential sustainability of Chytil’s numbers. Either way, this is a player who is as hot as any across the league and you can jump on the train for the moment and get off at the next stop if he doesn’t get better deployment or stay hot.
Honourable mentions: Nick Schmaltz, C/RW - ARI (18%) & Mason McTavish, C/LW - ANA (15%)
Rostered in 26-50% of leagues: Brady Skjei - CAR (45% rostered)
Normally I don’t like to mention the same player twice in back-to-back weeks, but it’s warranted with Brady Skjei. As I mentioned above with Seth Jarvis, the Hurricanes are the only team playing two games from now until the All-Star break officially kicks off. So Skjei is an obvious choice as the most widely available defenseman from the team likely to provide some fantasy goodness on your roster. Skjei has gone a little cold of late with zero points in his last four games, but he’s averaging over 24 minutes a night in that span and on a team as offensively gifted as the Hurricanes are, it’s only a matter of time for Skjei in terms of point production. While Skjei isn’t a big-time hitter or shot blocker, he provides enough in those categories to still be viable even on nights that he’s not scoring a point. All told, Skjei is a priority target for anyone looking to jump out to an early lead on their opponent in this two-week matchup.
Honourable mentions: Erik Gustafsson - WSH (44%) & Dmitry Orlov - WSH (27%)
Rostered in 0-25% of leagues: Cam Fowler - ANA (15% rostered)
Don’t look now, but Fowler has rung up seven points in his last five games and remains available in over four out of every five Yahoo leagues. Anaheim’s offense has rounded into form of late and Fowler has been both a beneficiary and a contributor, generating sixteen shots in that last five game span. Fowler has maintained an iron grip on the top power play quarterback role for the Ducks while continuing to be the most used defenseman on the team at even strength. While Fowler will never be a huge asset in the hits, blocks, and PIM categories, his big role with the team all but assures he’ll continue at a 45-point pace with some upside for more if the Ducks’ young guns continue to come on late in the season. Combine all this with a terrific schedule upcoming for your All-Star week matchup, and you have a player well worth acquiring.
Honourable mentions: Timothy Liljegren - TOR (8%) & Calen Addison - MIN (10%)
Rostered in 26-50% of leagues: Pheonix Copley - LAK (47% rostered)
Last weekend, there was a fair amount of panic among Copley managers after he allowed four goals on seventeen shots against Dallas and followed it up by getting yanked after allowing two goals on the first three shots against Nashville. But the Kings went right back to Copley the next day and he responded by rattling off three straight wins while compiling a .929 save percentage. Combine that with Jonathan Quick allowing five goals in his start against Tampa Bay on Saturday and you have a recipe for Copley to continue to see the majority of the workload in Los Angeles moving forward. The Kings are likely to be in a five-team dogfight in the Pacific right until the bitter end and as long as they are I’d expect them to continue to give starts to Copley.
Honourable mentions: Anton Forsberg - OTT (43%) & Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen - BUF (36%)
Rostered in 0-25% of leagues: Daniel Vladar - CGY (24% rostered)
The Flames have been one of the league’s best teams in terms of shot share over the past couple of weeks, and they’ve gotten the results to match of late with three wins in their last four games. Vladar started all three of those games, while incumbent Jacob Markstrom coughed up four goals on 28 shots in his only outing in the past four. It’s certainly possible that the Flames view the All-Star break as a chance for Markstrom to get a mental reset and get his game back on track, but we’re past the halfway point of the season and Vladar has simply outperformed Markstrom in every statistical category to date. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that the Flames could ride the hot hand given their current position in the standings on the cusp of the playoffs.
Honourable mentions: Sam Montembeault - MTL (22%) & Joonas Korpisalo - CBJ (10%)
Nate Groot Nibbelink is the creator of Apples & Ginos Fantasy Hockey and the originator of the #ZeroG draft strategy. You can find him pontificating about obscure fantasy hockey strategy topics in the Apples & Ginos Discord Server or on Twitter @applesginos.
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