For those of us playing fantasy hockey on Yahoo or CBS, the long first week is finally over! It’s back to your normal number of roster adjustments per game, and we’re starting to see how our teams look. For those of us who also play on ESPN, we’re on to week three! This season is moving fast, and if you’re in the 0-2 hole already, you might need to be hitting the waiver wire or making a few trades right about now.
There are quite a few hot players around that should be owned in most leagues but are still sitting on the waiver wire. Grab these guys if you can, because they look like they’re the real deal this season.
Fantasy Hockey – Waiver Wire Pickups Week of Oct 20th
Andre Burakovsky C/LW, Washington
Washington’s rookie left wing has five points in five games so far this season. The Capitals look stronger as a team this season, and aren’t relying as heavily on their power play as they did last season. However, that’s not to say that their power play isn’t still very good. The team is converting on 25% of their chances so far. Burakovsky is centering the second line, and based on the lack of quality centers in Washington, it’s safe to assume he’ll remain there for now. (Owned: ESPN 14.1%, Yahoo 12%)
Mason Raymond LW, Calgary
If you hadn’t noticed, the Flames are a lot better this season. Even though they’re still probably not a playoff team, they’ve looked competitive in all but one game so far this season while playing six of their first seven on the road. Raymond has been playing top six minutes for the Flames, netting 5 goals and 2 assists so far. Calgary doesn’t have a deep team, and Raymond will be playing a lot of power play minutes. (Owned: ESPN 42%, Yahoo 21%)
Carl Soderberg C/LW, Boston
Soderberg is one of the few Bruins performing well. Not only is he tied for the team lead in points and goals, but he’s getting a decent amount of power play time. Boston has struggled to start the season, but once they get clicking Soderberg’s number should only get better. (Owned: ESPN 27.6%, Yahoo 24%)
Sami Vatanen D, Anaheim
The Ducks are leading the Pacific division right now and Vatanen has been key for them so far. He’s not only playing top four minutes, but he’s been getting more power play time than he was last season. Anaheim has one of the best offenses in the league and if he continues to play well he could end up being a top 20 fantasy defenseman by the end of the season. Not only does Vatanen has five points already, but he has 17 blocked shots. If your league counts blocks, he would be a guy you should be picking up or possibly trading for. (Owned: ESPN 63.5%, Yahoo 36%)
Trevor Daley D, Dallas
Before the season started, a lot of experts were worried about the fantasy value of Dallas’ defense. Daley is trying to put those fears to rest. Not only does he have points in four of his five games this season, but he’s playing on the top power play unit. The Stars are currently sixth in the league on the power play, converting on 26.7% of their opportunities. (Owned: ESPN 43.9%, Yahoo 15%)
Anton Stralman D, Tampa Bay
A lot of fantasy owners are scooping up Stralman this week due to an unfortunate injury suffered by Lightning #1 defenseman Victor Hedman. Hedman could be out for up to six weeks, which means a lot more opportunity for Stralman right now. Stralman has already started the season well with 4 assists, but he’ll now be relied upon to run the power play in place of Hedman. Grab him if you can before someone else does! He’ll probably be owned in the majority of leagues by week’s end. (Owned: ESPN 46.7, Yahoo 14%)
Regarding Slava Voynov
We’ve all heard by now that Voynov has been suspended by the NHL indefinitely. Obviously the situation surrounding this suspension is horrible. Domestic abuse is not something to take lightly. Most importantly, we hope that the victim involved will be okay, and if Voynov is found guilty, he gets the help he needs to become a better person.
With that said, from a fantasy standpoint, Voynov owners want to know what’s going and how long they should hold onto him. If you’re in a deeper league, it’s probably best to hold onto him until we get more information and have an idea how long he’ll be out of the line-up. Voynov has never been a huge fantasy contributor, so if you’re in a small to midsized league, dropping him for someone else would be the best option.
Have fun this week, fantasy owners!
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