This last week has been brutal for fantasy owners. As we make our way through the season we’re used to struggling with injuries, but you don’t normally see so many key players go down in one week. Luckily the bulk of the injuries haven’t been severe, but there are quite a few players who will be out for either an extended period or at least through the end of this week. This means you’ll need to find replacements for them.
Forwards Paul Stastny and Ryan Callahan both went down with week-to-week injuries. While Anze Kopitar, Michael Cammalleri, Mason Raymond, and Nick Foligno are day-to-day. If you have Stastny or Callahan you should have already put them in your IR spots and picked up a replacement. For the latter group of players, who will be clogging up your bench this week, you can still find some serviceable replacements on the waiver wire to get you a few points this week.
Fantasy Hockey: Waiver Wire Pickups Week of Oct 27th
Chris Higgins, VAN – LW (Owned%: ESPN 6%, Yahoo 5%)
Higgins had four points in four games last week (1G, 3A) and is currently playing on the second line for the Canucks. He and recently-acquired center Nick Bonino seem to be finding chemistry together, which is a good sign for Vancouver and for fantasy owners. All of Higgins points last week came 5v5, but he is currently on the Canucks 2nd PP unit which could help boost his fantasy stats even more.
Nikita Kucherov, TAM – RW (ESPN 4.2%, Yahoo 5%)
Tampa Bay not only lost Callahan to injury, but Alex Killorn is sidelined for a few games as well. Losing those players has bumped Kucherov up to the Lightning’s second line. So far he’s made the most of his time there, scoring four points in three games last week (1G, 3A). Kucherov is also now on the second PP unit, and without many other options for now, he should remain there until players start returning from injury.
Damien Brunner, NJ – RW (ESPN 0.7%, Yahoo 1%)
Brunner made an immediate impact in his first week back from injury, scoring 3 points (1G, 2A) in his first five games this season. Brunner could be a 20-30 goal player when he’s healthy. He’s on the Devils second line right now, but more importantly was playing on the team’s 1st PP unit this week, where he netted two of his points. With Mike Cammalleri day-to-day right now, Brunner should continue to get chances on the PP all week.
On the defensive side of things, the biggest loss of the week came in Boston, where Zdeno Chara is gone for a few weeks due to a knee injury. For fantasy owners, you’re probably not going to find a player to replace a guy like Chara, but there a couple options that could help you this week.
Jared Spurgeon, MIN – D (ESPN 62%, Yahoo 13%)
With four points already this season, Spurgeon is playing well. The Wild aren’t scoring on the PP, but with the talent they have they should be able to turn that around at some point soon. ESPN fantasy owners seem to already be jumping on his bandwagon, so he probably won’t be available for much longer if he’s not already taken in your league.
Kevin Klein, NYR – D (ESPN 0.1%, Yahoo 0%)
This might be a stretch, but let’s look at what the Rangers are working with. Dan Boyle is hurt right now, and John Moore is likely getting suspended for at least this week. Klein has two goals already this season, and without a lot of other options he’ll probably be on the 2nd PP unit until at least one of these guys is back.
Today we got news that Sergei Bobrovsky will be out for a bit with a fractured finger. This is unfortunate for the Blue Jackets, who are already struggling with a plethora of injuries this season. However, this does provide an opportunity for some fantasy owners to pick up his backup this week.
Curtis McElhinney, CLS – G (ESPN 0.1%, Yahoo 3%)
With all the injuries in Columbus it’s a little concerning picking up a backup goalie, but there aren’t a lot of better options this week. McElhinney isn’t a horrible backup goalie. He has a career GAA below 3.00 and he’s shown some flashes of brilliance at times. The Blue Jackets have a good system and play hard every night. As long as he can stay consistent, he should be able to grab a few wins depending on how long Bobrovsky is out.
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