Fantasy Hockey Waiver Watch – Six Start or Hide Skaters
Each week, we’ll be tapping the Least Enrolled Asset Waiver thread to help your team, whether you prefer the Dynasty format or the Revamp format, and we’ll be launching some tips for DFS players as well. Finally, we’ll take a look at a few favorite fancy old assets that may be overvalued, short or long term, for one reason or another.
Max Comtois, LW, Anaheim Ducks (registered in 48.9% of ESPN.com leagues): As discussed in last week’s “Eight Fantasy Hockey Predictions for 2022”, I expect a solid second-half increase from a now healthy Comtois. By scoring a goal – his first of the season – in Sunday’s overtime win over Detroit, the 23-year-old, who just turned 23, will soon carve out a permanent role in the Ducks’ top six. We can also count on Comtois to offer his managers a good harvest of hits and penalty minutes. Since dressing in the New Year, the spirited winger has averaged a fantastic 1.9 points / game in ESPN.com standard leagues.
Jack Eichel, C, Vegas Golden Knights (41.9%): According to vague rumors from Vegas, the elite center could be back on the ice by the first half of February. So, three to four weeks? While stashing Eichel in an unused IR spot is a no-brainer of a fantastic move, there’s even a case to be made for hiding him on your bench, depending on league settings and your current place in the standings. In the H2H leagues you want that guy on board for some fantastic playoff competition. The former Sabers captain could be a game-changer alongside Mark Stone and (possibly) Max Pacioretty, assuming he returns in full health and fitness. Picking it up now is a bet worth making, in my opinion.
Ivan Barbashev, C / RW, St. Louis Blues (40.7%): Alongside Pavel Buchnevich (for the most part), Barbashev has been a fantastic delight since December, racking up five goals and nine assists in a dozen recent games. Consistently productive, the 26-year-old has only managed to score a point in three of those games. Even including the failure of a Sunday performance against the Stars, Barbashev has averaged a fantastic 2.4 points / contest since December 4th. If Jordan Kyrou isn’t available, check the availability of the less popular sixth-year Blues skater.
Tanner Jeannot, LW, Nashville Predators (18.5%): He only scored 12:35 in Saturday’s 4-2 against the Coyotes and still managed to score a goal. After a thoroughly respectable start to the season, the 24-year-old rookie is making his way into Calder’s conversation, producing at almost a point / game pace since December 4. Filip Forsberg (COVID-19). Nashville is expected to host the Avalanche on Tuesday and the Sabers on Thursday, before visiting the Bruins on Saturday.
Alexander Kerfoot, C, Toronto Maple Leafs (4.8%): It’s hard to ignore a record of two goals and six assists in three games, especially when one of the top scorers is temporarily replaced with Auston Matthews. After a terribly unproductive December, Kerfoot rings in 2022 with a bang and fantastic managers from deeper leagues can join him for the ride too. Even once Mitch Marner reappears from the league’s COVID-19 protocol and joins Matthews in Toronto’s top unit, Kerfoot is only expected to fall back on the second goal line with William Nylander and John Tavares. Which is also a very good concert. The former Avalanche forward won’t be available for long in 95% of ESPN.com leagues.
Lawson Crouse, LW, Arizona Coyotes (3.7%): Competing on a goal line with Phil Kessel, Crouse has three goals and three assists on 15 shots in four recent games. Even more appealing, perhaps, is that the old Frontenac (and its expiring contract) would be on the trading block. I’d love to see what the 11th overall pick (2015) could accomplish with a team that tends to score more overall. (I imagine Crouse himself could take advantage of this opportunity as well.) Despite his sixth professional season, the 24-year-old is yet to reach his full productive potential. It’s worth a flyer in the deeper ESPN.com leagues.
See also: Alexander Barabanov, LW, San José Sharks (1.5%)
Zach Whitecloud, Vegas Golden Knights (27.6%): Only teammate Brayden McNabb has more blocked shots / 60 minutes among NHL defensemen who have played more than 15 games this season, and we split the thin hair between 7.80 and 7.76 BkS / 60. Unlike McNabb, Whitecloud shoots a fair amount of puck and has five goals and six assists in 26 games. It all comes down to a fantastic 2.2 points per game in ESPN.com standard leagues, good enough for a top 20 among the crowd of league defenders.
See also: Brett Pesce, Carolina Hurricanes (6.9%)
Zach Fucale, Capitals of Washington (0.8%): The Capitals replacement is set to win his second straight start of the season (and his NHL career) against the Bruins on Monday. Making his league debut on November 11, Fucale allowed a singular goal in two full games and a partial performance. If the AHL regular player lets himself be intimidated by playing on the game’s biggest frozen stage, he hides his anxiety well. Those in need of a goalie body, allowing for roster flexibility, should hook up the 26-year-old against Boston and take him from there. At a minimum it appeals as a Daily Fantasy asset.
Linus Ullmark / Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins: If Tuukka Rask does join the Bruins as planned, Ullmark and Swayman, or both, will see their playing time decrease significantly. On an entry-level contract free of waivers, Swayman could potentially move on to minors. There are still a few hurdles to jump through – Rask must first prove he’s fit and ready, whether in the AHL or the NHL – but a change in the Boston goaltending scene is coming to the fore. horizon.
Perhaps the career Bruin only ends up replacing Ullmark on occasion, who has been playing well lately. Maybe not. Invested fantasy managers need to be prepared to make the necessary adjustments no matter what the going.