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Waiver Wire Watch - Week 3

by chewy 21. October 2013 07:52

The pickings are getting slim on the waiver wire heading into week 3.  Still, there is some value to be found:

 

OFFENSE

 

 

Kyle Okposo (NYI)

Okposo took a long time getting there, but he has finally emerged as the go-to guy on Tavares' Right Wing. That has translated nicely into 3 goals and 5 assists, over the last 6 games.  His ice time has likewise steadily climbed to a season high of 23 minutes in his last contest.

 

David Clarkson (TOR)

Clarkson has nearly finished his 10 game sentence and is poised to make his Maple Leaf debut later this week.  For leagues that value a mix of points and PIMs, take a look at adding Clarkson to your lineup before other GMs take notice.

 

 

DEFENSE

 

Jay Bouwmeester (STL)

I personally drafted Bouwmeester late in most of my drafts with the expectation that he would pick up where he left off late last season with the Blues.  He has managed to contribute 5 assists in the first 7 games, while clocking some serious ice time for St. Louis.  The last few years have been hard on him fantasy wise, but he has started to reemerge as a serious fantasy option on defense.

 

Ryan Murphy (CAR)

Rookie defensemen are tough to trust, but circumstances have given Murphy the opportunity to take the wheel in Carolina.  He has supplied a steady stream of fantasy value so far in the season.

 

 

GOALIE

 

Ben Bishop (TB)

There's a good chance that Bishop has already been claimed in your league, but it's worth a look.  He has clearly surpassed Lindback as the goalie of choice in Tampa.  Despite a rough go in his last game against Boston, his streak to start the season is the best display of goaltending the Lightning have witnessed in recent years.

 

 

 

 

Waiver Wire Watch - Week 2

by chewy 14. October 2013 09:12

We're now just about 2 weeks into the season, and already, we've seen some significant surprises pop up on the waiver front.  Here are a few guys to jump on before their swiped up in your league:

 

OFFENSE

 

Alexander Steen (STL)

Steen often kicks off the season on fire, and it's come to pass once again.  He has scored a goal in each of the first four games and has totaled four assists in those games as well.

 

Jussi Jokinen (PIT)

With James Neal out, Jokinen has slid into the sweet spot with Malkin.  The results netted him a hat trick against Carolina.  He has done nothing but score goals since joining the Pens late last season.

 

Michael Grabner (NYI)

The speedy Grabner has gotten off to a quick start with the Isles, registering 2 goals and 5 assists through the first four games of the season.  He has gone on similar hot streaks in the past, so ride him now and drop him later.

 

Tomas Hertl (SJ)

You've probably missed the boat on this rookie, given all the attentional that swell fourth goal garnered him.  If he's still available in your league, snap him up now.

 

 

DEFENSE

 

Jonas Brodin (MIN)

Brodin should have been drafted in your league, but probably wasn't.  He put together a strong rookie season last year and is looking even better in season 2.  He should be a solid fantasy contributor all year.

 

Brent Burns (SJ)

If you're playing on Yahoo, or some other site that can't seem to fathom that Burns is no longer a defenseman, take him now.  You can slot him in on defense and take advantage of a decent forward's production.  Even as a winger, he's worthy of consideration.

 

Hampus Lindholm (ANA)

Keep an eye on this rookie over the next several weeks.  He's seeing plenty of ice time for the Ducks and is starting to produce.

 

GOALIE

 

Josh Harding (MIN)

With Backstrom on the shelf (again), Harding once more finds himself with the starting job in Minnesota.  He performed admirably in the same situation during the playoffs.  Backstrom isn't expected to be out long, but either way, Harding should get his fair share of starts going forward and is worth stashing.

Waiver Wire Watch - Week 1

by chewy 7. October 2013 13:40

Just about a week into the 2013-14 season, and we already have a fired coach.  With NHL GM's quick and desperate to make a move, you ought to be just as alert in the early going in managing your fantasy squad.  Typically, a handful of top notch fantasy options get swept up in the first few weeks of the season to early waiver watchers.  With a few games played, here are some early waiver options to consider adding to your lineup, if someone else hasn't snatched them up already.

 

OFFENSE

 

Lars Eller (MON)

Through the first two games, Eller tallied 3 goals and 5 points, earning #2 Star honors.  He won't keep this pace up all year, but he may provide decent value on the year.  It's about time the Habs got some return on the deal that sent Halak away to the Blues.

 

Mikail Grabovski (WAS)

Grobovski started the season in fine fashion, tallying a hat trick in Game 1.  He put up an assist in the game 2 and has now has 5 points in 3 games.  Given a helping of solid playing time with Ovechkin could mean a career year for the castoff Leaf.

 

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM)

The young Oiler center wasn't expected to start the season until November, but made a surprise early recovery.  He's expected to play this week, so snag him, and hope he's what Edmonton needs to get the offense on track.

 

 

DEFENSE

 

Jason Garrison (VAN)

Garrison has displayed streaks of fantasy gold in the past, but has never been a go-to guy over the long haul.    He has 2 goals and 2 assists through 3 games for Vanouver.

 

Matt Niskanen (PIT)

It's uknown how long Letang will be out, but as long as he is, Niskanen will carry some value as a depth defenseman.  He's filling that gap on the potent Penguins as a key puck carrier on the back end.  He registered 3 assists through the first two games.

 

 

GOALIE

 

Jaroslav Halak (STL)

I have been touting Halak as the solution for the Blues all pre-season, so it's not surprising to see him off to a hot start.  What is surprising is that he's still available in many leagues (just not any of mine, as I drafted him…).  Get him now.

2013-14 Fantasy Draft Gambles

by chewy 30. September 2013 12:50

 Take your chances with these guys. May pay off, or it may backfire. In other words, we're not offering any guarantees on these puppies.

Offense


Joe Pavelski             SAN     
Pavelski is rather streaky in terms of fantasy production. He has gone on incredible tears (particularly in the playoffs), but he has also hit some massive dry spells. He has become the more important Joe in San Jose and should he find consistency, could be a steal.

Jason Pominville             MIN     
Pominville has been a consistently good, but not great, fantasy forward for about a decade. Upon arriving in Minnesota, he had a nice offensive outburst before being hit by a concussion in the playoffs. He will be counted on to contribute on the top 2 lines for the Wild, but it remains to be seen if the head problems will linger.

Alexander Semin             CAR     
While Semin acquitted himself nicely on his first venture outside of Washington, he still carries a level of risk for investing an early pick. He put up good numbers last season and did his best impersonation of a team player. If he can stay content and rekindle his scoring touch, he could still have plenty of upside. Big swing in terms of how good and how bad he could be this season.

Chris Stewart             STL     
If you're looking for safe, consistent production each week, you may not have the stomach for drafting Stewart. Since coming to St. Louis, he has failed to live up to his potential that he flashed in Colorado, except in small spurts where he looks brilliant. Should he find consistency, he could be a steal. However, it's far from certain. Consider him a gamble worth taking.

Jiri Tlusty             CAR     
Tlusty suprised many with his consistent goal scoring last year, elevating expectations for fantasy owners. Perhaps higher than they should. Don't overreach based on one good season. On the other hand, should he remain paired up with Erik Staal for any length of time, he just may do it again.


Defense

Andrei Markov             MON     
Last season, Markov was shockingly healthy and remarkably productive. His talent and reliability have never been an issue when he's on the ice. However, last season's full slate of games was clearly an anomoly. You're rolling those dice to believe he can do it twice in a row. If the gamble pays off, you could have a top 5 fantasy option. More likely, you'll get production for 3/4 of the season and nothing for the rest.


Goalies

Brian Elliott             STL     
Elliot seemed to regain control of the goalie situation down the stretch and into the playoffs last seasons. He failed to live up to the insane standard he set the previous year, but made a strong case for #1 job. However, Hitchcock has proven to be quick to change, given his options in net. Should he secure the net full time, his stock could rise. Seems more likely to endure another split crease in 2013-14, which severely limits his viability.

Ray Emery             PHI     
High Risk, High Reward is the overused phrase that most applies to Ray Emery in the goalie discussion. Emery has paid his dues and shaken the poor reputation he earned early in his career. He put together a fantastic effort as 1B in Chicago last season, and he's ready to make a go at being the Main Man again. His only hurdle will be to dispose of Mason in training camp. His value comes down to two factors: 1. Health. 2. Flyer Rebound. Philly has to be better this year, but that depends on them finding their way defensively. Assuming they prove 2013 to be a fluke, the Flyers should re-establish themselves as a contender, making Emery a very nice (and probably cheap) option for your fantasy squad. Snag him mid-draft and look very smart come Winter.

Jaroslav Halak             STL     
Should the Blues ever settle on a goalie, the winner of that lottery will emerge as a solid fantasy starter. Halak, Elliot, and newcomer Allen split the action 3 ways last season, to the detriment of each other. It's a bit of crap-shoot predicting the front runner, but I'm betting on Halak re-emerging this season as the top option for St. Louis. His GAA over the past two seasons has been among the best in the league. Don't bank on him as your #1 man to start the season, but you can take a flier on him late in the draft and potentially strike gold.

Jonas Hiller             ANA     
Should the specter of the shared crease be vanquished, Hiller could see his stock rise. However, given the effective split with Fasth last season, and the success Anaheim enjoyed with the pair, it's unwise to bank on a full slate of games from Hiller.

Steve Mason             PHI     
The Flyers aren't committing to either Mason or Emery heading into camp. So in theory, Mason could find himself as the starting goalie on a decent NHL squad this season. Comparing his performance over the past 4 seasons versus that of Emery, it seems more likely that Mason rides it out as a backup. Consider it a significant gamble to put your faith in Mason this season.

Avoid These Draft Day Busts

by chewy 20. September 2013 06:27
Everyone likes a big bust.  Until draft day.  On draft day, a big bust can ruin your day.  The guys in this list will get drafted far earlier than they should. Don't get caught up in the hype. Sit back and let the less-informed GM's waste a pick, while you go for value.

Offense

Chris Kunitz             PIT     
Last season was special for Kunitz.
It was fantastic. But it will never happen again. Kunitz finished 2nd overall in fantasy points and was a legitimate challenger for the Art Ross Trophy once it was clear that Crosby wouldn't return. But without Crosby, the production slowed down considerably. He should continue to provide piggy-back value from Crosby and/or Malkin, but a repeat of last year's magic is extremely unlikely.

Daniel Sedin             VAN     
It's been two straight down seasons for Daniel Sedin, following his monster effort in 2010-11. With the culture (and coaching) shift in Vancouver, it's not a warm-fuzzy feeling about the prospects for a Sedin revival. He, and brother Henrik, will probably be drafted too early based on name-recognition. Don't overreach here.

Martin St. Louis             TAM     
Sure it was somewhat cheapened by Crosby's absence, but a scoring title is a scoring title. At age 38, it was one of the great accomplishments in hockey in the last 25 years or more. Just don't bank on a repeat. He will absolutely be drafted too early based on last season's success. As long as he stays paired with Stamkos, you can count on another good season (many assists), but another scoring title has to be out of reach.


Defense

Francois Beauchemin             ANA     
Beauchemin had a surprise breakthrough / comeback season last year, even earning some consideration for the Norris at various points. At 33 years of age, it's hard to envision any amount of upside beyond a 35-point production. The positive buzz last season will likely carry over, causing some poor soul to reach too early. Wait on him as a depth option.

Drew Doughty             LOS     
Each season, expectations are out there that Doughty will be a fantasy beast, the way he was in 2009-10. After three straight mediocre seasons, the shine has started to fade. He's still a solid #1 option, but cannot be considered among the elite at this point (at least in fantasy circles).

Victor Hedman             TAM     
Hedman entered the NHL with enormous fantasy expectations, due mostly to his high draft status. While he has been serviceable for the Lightning in the real world, he has yet to become a significant factor in the fantasy world. His points per game did tick in the positive direction last season, but not enough to get overly excited. If you're satisfied with 8 goals and 32 points, he's your man.


Goalies

Carey Price             MON     
Montreal put together a surprising start, but were somewhat exposed towards the end of the season and into the playoffs. At the same time, Price was steady, but not spectacular. His stats were actually the worst he's posted since 2009. Your view on Price's value will largely be driven by your view on Montreal's direction. I see them moving in the opposite direction this season and missing the playoffs. Likewise, I don't see Price being much more than a mediocre #2 option for your fantasy squad.

Cam Ward             CAR     
With Ward, it's important to know your particular league's point system. If saves are heavily rewarded, he's your man. Ward faces more rubber each night than most, playing behind the pourous Carolina defense. However, if more traditional stats, such as GAA and Wins drive your point system, Ward may be a bit overrated. Through 8 seasons, he has gone below a 2.5 GAA just once. Last season, in limited action, he posted a 2.84. Not exactly "good" by today's NHL standards. His job in Carolina is never in doubt, so he will get his chances. Consider him a serviceable #2 goalie option.

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