The upcoming free agent market will be one of the most exciting in recent memory. With a variety of buyers, sellers and players to choose from, this year’s crop has all the makings for a wild ride.
Fantasy hockey waiver watch is a weekly column that will list the players to target for your fantasy team with their most recent game, along with some brief analysis.
The “fantasy hockey waiver wire week 2” is a weekly column that will highlight the top players to pick up on waivers for your fantasy hockey team.
Every week, we’ll scour the waiver wire for under-the-radar players that may aid your team, whether you play dynasty or redraft, and we’ll also throw in some DFS advice. Finally, we’ll take a look at some past go-to fantasy assets that may be overpriced – either in the short or long term – for various reasons.
LW Jaden Schwartz of the Seattle Kraken (46.1%): It’s better to be (little) late than never. Schwartz, who was expected to be one of the expansion team’s main performers this season, fumbled out of the gate with one assist in his first six games. With three goals and seven assists in nine games since that slow start, the former Blues striker has resembled his old prolific self. It’s helped to shoot the puck more regularly at the goal. His last seven match-ups have produced a total of twenty-nine shots, compared to an average of one per game in his first eight. The top line of Schwartz, Alex Wennberg, and Jordan Eberle is already cruising along beautifully. While Eberle is unlikely to be available in your fantasy league (but double-check), Schwartz may be.
Adrian Kempe (39.8%), C/RW, Los Angeles Kings: Kempe, who is a part of the Kings’ best power play with current linemates Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, deserves more fantasy consideration in traditional leagues. The dynamic forward has four goals and three assists since Halloween, including two assists with the extra skater. During that time, he’s also averaged roughly 19 minutes and 3.4 shots per game. Kempe has improved substantially over the last two seasons, despite just being six seasons old. Keep an eye on this trend. In deeper fantasy leagues, the just turned 25-year-old is worth considering.
Ryan Hartman, RW/C for the Minnesota Wild (16.9%): The versatile forward is finding ways to produce with encouraging consistency, whether he’s anchoring a top unit alongside Kirill Kaprizov or playing farther down the lineup. As seen by Rem Pitlick’s hat-trick against the Kraken on Saturday, when he had three assists. Hartman, who leads the Wild in shots (47) and goals (7), is also playing more minutes than he has in the past, averaging 16:53 a game. The 27-year-participation old’s on Minnesota’s secondary power play will only help him have his most productive season in his eight-year career. No Wild forward has been a more useful and consistent fantasy assist since the season began in mid-October. He’s likely to be readily available in your league.
Kevin Hayes (8.0 percent), Philadelphia Flyers: He’s returned. Hayes made his debut in Saturday’s defeat to Dallas, after missing 12 games in 2021-22 due to offseason abdominal surgery. He had a power-play assist, three shots, and a two-minute stint in the penalty box. The 29-year-old center seems to be in fine shape to score at a remarkable rate on a scoring line and power play alongside Cam Atkinson and Joel Farabee. When warmed up and in rhythm, Hayes, one of your most streaky fantasy assets, shouldn’t be overlooked.
It’s simple, free, and enjoyable. Play ESPN Fantasy Hockey by starting or joining a league. Register for free!
New Jersey Devils’ RW Jesper Bratt (4.7 percent): Bratt has scored four goals and added seven assists in his last nine games, averaging 2.4 fantasy points per game. It’s not awful. At even strength, the 23-year-old winger has developed perceptible chemistry with rookie center Dawson Mercer – another terrific under-the-radar fantasy asset in deeper leagues – and has a pair of power-play assists to show for it this week. He has the most shots on goal among all Devils forwards.
Jordan Kyrou (46.2 percent), C/LW, St. Louis Blues; Mikael Granlund, C/LW, Nashville Predators (20.8 percent )
San Jose Sharks’ Mario Ferraro (24.2 percent): Ferraro played more than 27 top-pair minutes and had an assist in Saturday’s defeat to Colorado, even with Erik Karlsson (COVID-19 procedures) returning in the lineup. The 23-year-old is quickly establishing himself as a valuable fantasy asset in leagues that reward blocked shots (he leads the NHL with 43), hits, and average time on ice, while also exhibiting the potential to contribute on the scoring sheet. Ferraro seems to be on the verge of breaking out as a valuable all-around defender. The third-year skater is also on the verge of becoming a restricted free agent after this season, which can only add to his motivation to give it his all every night.
Arizona Coyotes’ Shayne Gostisbehere (24.0 percent): At least one Coyotes skater cannot be blamed for the team’s failure to put the puck in the goal. Gostisbehere has been involved in more than half of the team’s 23 goals in 15 games (two goals, 10 assists). The former Flyers defender has assisted on four of Arizona’s total five power-play goals, leading his club in overall scoring by a wide margin. In comparison to the majority of his colleagues, his minus-one rating shines brightly (Jakob Chychrun is minus-22). Gostisbehere is the only Coyotes fantasy asset worth seriously considering right now, clearly relishing his new start in the desert.
Nate Schmidt of the Winnipeg Jets (29.1%); Ben Chiarot of the Montreal Canadiens (18.8 percent )
Carey Price (47.8%), Montreal Canadiens: When, if not now – or very soon – will it be? According to reports out of Montreal, the world-class goaltender might resume skating shortly. While “soon” is difficult to define from the outside, and no one knows how long it will take Price to feel game-ready, this is progress. Any fantasy manager with at least one IR slot and otherwise poor goaltending should use the opportunity to get ahead of the game. Price will be snapped up as soon as the Canadiens establish a more concrete timeline for his projected comeback – one that doesn’t look forward weeks and weeks – With their No. 1 back, the remainder of the team should see a big bump in performance and enjoy greater overall success going ahead.
New Jersey Devils’ Jonathan Bernier (5.6%): Bernier was flawless before the shootout against the Rangers on Sunday, filling in for an injured MacKenzie Blackwood. If Blackwood is forced to miss time due to a suspected concussion, Bernier will be forced to start every game. The next back-to-back for New Jersey isn’t until December. With the exception of one flop against the Ducks and a less-than-stellar performance against the Bruins, the club’s No. 2 has been consistently excellent when given the chance. With just four regulation defeats, the Devils are establishing themselves as a competitive force.
See also: Detroit Red Wings’ Alex Nedeljkovic (45.2 percent); Boston Bruins’ Jeremy Swayman (22.5 percent); and Los Angeles Kings’ Jonathan Quick (45.2 percent) (15.5 percent )
Expectations were lowered
Thatcher G Demko of the Vancouver Canucks (76.8%): The Canucks’ finest player in the early parts of the season has taken a step back recently, surrendering a total of 13 goals in two away games in Colorado and Vegas. While Demko’s teammates are to blame for the combined onslaught, the No. 1 for Vancouver looked shaky in his own way. (To be honest, backup Jaroslav Halak did only slightly better in Sunday’s loss in Anaheim.) Vancouver has a bad habit of letting up too many quality opportunities this season, which contributes to their dreadful 5-9-2 record. If you can’t or won’t replace Demko, at least sit him for a while. Starting with the game against the Avalanche on Wednesday.
The “fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups” is a weekly article that will give you the top waiver wire pickups for the upcoming week. The article will also include a list of players that are available in most leagues.
- waiver wire
- fantasy basketball pickups