Every week, we’ll mine the waiver wire for lesser-owned assets to help your squad, whether you favor dynasty or the redraft format, and we’ll also toss in some tips for DFS players out there. Finally, we will look at some former go-to fantasy assets who may be overvalued – in the short- or long-term – for one reason or another.
Roope Hintz, C/LW, Dallas Stars (Rostered in 37.7 percent of ESPN.com leagues): He’s back on the ice and has a goal to boot, his 10th of the year, since sitting out most of November with a lower-body injury. He’s also now pegged to center a top line with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, in addition to skating on the No. 1 power play. Before falling hurt, the 23-year-old Sophomore attracted, deservedly, plenty of attention for scoring nine goals in 16 games. Oh, and the red-hot Stars are surging. It’s time to welcome Hintz back into the fantasy fold.
Brett Connolly, RW, Florida Panthers (14.9 percent): How do you argue with five goals (and one assist) though five games? You don’t. Entrenched on a second line with Vincent Trocheck, the 27-year-old is apparently finding his scoring stride with his fourth team in nine years. He leads the Panthers with 11 goals (plus-five) altogether, one more than both Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgenii Dadonov. Already making his second appearance in this space since early October, Connelly deserves an uptick in fantasy respect ASAP.
Anthony Cirelli, C, Tampa Bay Lightning (13.6 percent): Centering the Lightning’s second line, Cirelli has scored a goal in four straight, while earning an additional three assists. In only his second full NHL season, the 22-year-old is comfortably on pace to hit the 60-point mark. Scoop him up, at least while he’s running hot.
Morgan Frost, C, Philadelphia Flyers (4.7 percent): In the space of less than a week, the 2017 first-round draft selection has leapt from making a solid impression in his first pro tour in the AHL to centering a Flyers’ scoring line and power play with Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny. Collecting two goals and one assist through three games, he’s clearly handled the promotion more than adequately. A former prolific scorer with the OHL Soo Greyhounds, Frost is worth a fantasy whirl in deeper re-draft leagues for however long he sticks in such a prominent role. Could be a while.
Oliver Bjorkstrand, LW/RW, Columbus Blue Jackets (2.3 percent): A little quietly, the Blue Jackets’ top power-play winger has amassed a goal and five assists in three games, including four points with the man-advantage. They don’t have to ring loud or attract attention to count. Fantasy managers in need of power-play production shouldn’t hesitate to invest in the 24-year-old, however temporarily.
Sam Gagner, C/RW, Edmonton Oilers (0.3 percent): Filling in for an injured Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gagner earns yet another rich opportunity to prove he can still contribute in the NHL. A perennial disappointment since being drafted by the Oilers sixth-overall in 2007, Gagner is back with his original squad following generally uninspired stops in Arizona, Philadelphia, Columbus and Vancouver. But he’s also put forth the odd stirring fit of brilliance – remember the eight-point night from back in 2012? Point is, the 30-year-old might could serve as a surprising outside-the-box Daily Fantasy asset while centering a second scoring line and (perhaps) skating on a McDavid/Draisaitl power play. Nursing a hand injury, Nugent-Hopkins is expected to miss at least a game or two.
Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim Ducks (13.6 percent): After losing six games to injury, Lindholm returned to the ice in Tampa on Saturday. By no means one of your flashier fantasy assets, the top-pair/power-play defenseman is still good for a point every couple of games or so. He has use in deeper, conventional leagues. I’m additionally interested to gauge how the entire team responds after Ryan Getzlaf publicly ripped the lot of them for lack of effort following Saturday’s loss. We might see a little more pizzazz from the club this week, beginning Monday against the visiting Islanders.
Anton Khudobin, Dallas Stars (5.6 percent): He’s been flat-out brilliant this past month, allowing only 10 goals on 192 shots (.948 SV%) in seven appearances, amounting to six wins and one overtime loss. The Stars’ no. 2 or otherwise – and look out if Ben Bishop falters somewhat – Khudobin merits rostering in much more than six percent of fantasy leagues, as handcuff to Bishop or otherwise.
Tristan Jarry, Pittsburgh Penguins (2.0 percent): In limited action (six appearances), Pittsburgh’s backup has been better-than-solid, rocking a 1.80 GAA and .945 SV%. Now that Matt Murray is struggling, we may see a little more of Jarry in the coming days. Keep a view of how Murray manages Monday against the Flames, before Wednesday’s tilt with Vancouver and Friday’s trip to Columbus. At minimum, Jarry sports genuine appeal in DFS play.
Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Philadelphia Flyers (39.7 percent): He’s projected to sit out his second-straight game as a healthy scratch Monday versus the Canucks. So this qualifies as more than a smarten-up briefing, compliments of coach Alain Vigneault. If the Flyers beat Vancouver, Gostisbehere could then find himself in the press box again on Wednesday in Columbus. Bench the struggling offensive-defenseman until he not only plays again, but rediscovers a means to produce. Two assists since before Halloween ain’t gonna cut it.