Special to Yahoo Sports
This column discussed the high number of player injuries affecting fantasy three weeks ago, and that total has significantly increased since then. The Capitals and Flyers are carrying IR lists longer than CVS receipts. And what’s with all the blueline casualties? Columbus has become so decimated on the back line that the club’s been asking defenders from the 1977-78 Cleveland Barons to try out.
But seriously, manage your rosters as best as possible. You may not be able to adequately — or even completely — fill all the holes, but daily/weekly maintenance will ease the anxiety.
The waiver wire can also help. Just think of it like that one relative who keeps giving you money and doesn’t expect to be repaid. Let’s see what lower-rostered NHLers are on offer this week.
(Rostered rates as of Nov. 18)
Trevor Moore, LA (Yahoo: 33%)
I swear I selected Moore before his hat trick Wednesday. Honest.
His 48 points from last year may not have received much attention, yet I’m pretty sure he helped several people on their way to fantasy titles. Moore carried that momentum into this season and entered Wednesday with two goals, seven assists and 35 shots across 12 outings. His three goals against the Oilers that night raised his season total to five. He’s on the Kings’ second even-strength line and second man-advantage and is averaging over 18 minutes per night.
C’mon, folks, let’s get Moore onto more rosters.
Logan Couture, SJ (Yahoo: 32%)
Even though Erik Karlsson is once again dominating, the Sharks are rather toothless on offense, scoring only 2.89 goals per game. There’s not much beyond their top five scorers, though Kevin Labanc has his moments.
When healthy, Couture has been a reliable fantasy performer. The first seven contests this season only yielded three points, but he’s notched 10 from the last 10 — including four on the power play — with 25 shots and 19 hits.
Jonathan Toews, CHI (Yahoo: 23%)
Toews battled through illness to get back to the NHL in 2021-22. Even though the results would be subpar by his standards, he displayed courage and resiliency. The projections coming into this campaign expected a similar effort, but Toews has clearly indicated he won’t be fading into the background anytime soon, producing 10 points and 29 shots in his first 13 appearances. Max Domi is centering Patrick Kane at five-on-five, though Toews and the star winger have officially been reunited on the top power play. Additionally, for those formats counting faceoffs, Toews has won 198 of 303 for a league-leading 65.3 percent.
Alex Killorn, TB (Yahoo: 23%)
Despite posting at least 40 points six times, Killorn often gets overlooked among Tampa’s flashier forwards. The career Bolt hasn’t been as consistent as he was in recent years, but he netted a goal and five assists across back-to-back games Sunday against Washington and Tuesday against Dallas. Killorn used to be a mainstay on the top power play, though there’s enough talent in the second group as well. At even strength, getting to team up with Steven Stamkos will do wonders for your stat line.
Victor Olofsson, BUF (Yahoo: 22%)
Many will remember Olofsson from his breakout rookie season overshadowed by the Cale Makar-Quinn Hughes Calder fight-to-the-finish (with Adam Fox placing fourth — sheesh, a freshman D trio as strong as that will never happen again).
There aren’t many NHLers who can claim 127 points from their first 189 games — let alone players drafted in the seventh round — but that’s what he accomplished heading into this year. Olofsson has only supplied one assist, but he sits second on the team with nine goals while averaging almost three shots on net. He also participates on Buffalo’s lead power play, though that unit has struggled of late.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, NYI (Yahoo: 14%)
Pageau will never reach elite scoring levels, and that’s just fine because he’s solid in other departments. Take the last 12 outings, where he’s accumulated nine points, 17 shots, 38 hits, 10 blocks and 141 faceoff wins. Pageau operates as the Islanders’ No. 3 pivot at five-on-five but ascends to the first man-advantage and has struck for a PPG in each of the last two games. He also eats up monster minutes and is a prominent participant on the penalty kill.
Owen Tippett, PHI (Yahoo: 3%)
An upper-body problem kept Tippett out for a few matchups early on, but he’s looked excellent since with four goals, four assists, 32 shots and 20 hits. During his last three outings, he received a big boost in ice time and responded with a goal, two helpers, nine shots and seven hits. Tippett has generally worked on Philly’s lead power play and found the back of the net there on Thursday. The Flyers haven’t done much offensively this season, though the former Panther finally appears to be hitting his stride; he’s one to watch.
Matias Maccelli, ARI (Yahoo: 3%)
The Coyotes may be the subject of ridicule as they’ve spent a long time at the lower end of the standings, but they can’t be that bad if this column has already featured two of their defensemen (and considered a few forwards) this season. Maccelli could have made the grade in any of the last three weeks based on his power-play prowess with seven PPPs overall on a lethal second unit. The Finn, who recently turned 22, did well enough in a short stint with Arizona last year after recording 57 points in 47 AHL appearances. Maccelli looks like he’ll be staying at the top level and has a chance to develop as part of an up-and-coming core.
Noah Hanifin, CGY (Yahoo: 51%)
We’re reaching slightly over the 50 percent coverage mark for Hanifin, as he’s bound to be much less available based on his recent hot run and the fact he racked up 42 points last season. He failed to find the scoresheet through his first eight games, but he’s been successful in the last seven, with a goal, four assists, 24 shots and 15 blocks. Hanifin exceeds 22 minutes a night, including two-plus on the second power play. He hasn’t contributed there yet, though he’s sure to pick up some PPPs eventually, as he registered 13 last year.
Cam Fowler, ANH (Yahoo: 5%)
Fowler matched Hanifin’s 42 points in 2021-22 and duplicated the Flame recently by going a long time without scoring, with his drought lasting 11 contests. It’s amazing how someone ranked top 10 in ice time has only managed five points so far, but things appear to be on the upswing after he managed four assists — including his first PPP — across almost 55 combined minutes in his last two appearances. With Kevin Shattenkirk sidelined and Jamie Drysdale gone for a while, expect Fowler to maintain a decent offensive pace.
Erik Brannstrom, OTT (Yahoo: 1%)
Thomas Chabot‘s concussion has allowed Jake Sanderson — mentioned here last Friday — to quarterback Ottawa’s lead man-advantage. That’s also opened the door for Brannstrom to be provided with over 22 minutes in both matchups this week — well above his 15:14 average up to that point — while continuing on the second power-play unit. He hasn’t recorded a point since Oct. 18 and has yet to contribute on the power play, but the added responsibility should at least allow for more scoring opportunities.
Nate Schmidt, WPG (Yahoo: 1%)
Like Brannstrom, Schmidt is a backup power-play performer who’s stuck on two points. The difference is that Schmidt has handled a steady workload and only has two goals to show for his efforts. There’s hope for a turnaround since he totaled 28 assists last year, with 10 of those coming while up a man. With Winnipeg boasting high-end players up front, his numbers are bound to improve the rest of the way. He’s particularly interesting in leagues where his blocked shots give him extra value.
Filip Gustavsson, MIN (Yahoo: 20%)
Marc-Andre Fleury has hit the IR with an undisclosed upper-body injury that will keep him out for at least a week, and possibly longer depending on the eventual diagnosis. The Wild may have been tempted to call up 2021 first-rounder Jesper Wallstedt to fill the vacancy but opted for AHL teammate and journeyman Zane McIntyre.
Despite allowing five goals on Thursday, Gustavsson is still the clear No. 1 until Fleury returns, as he produced solid efforts in his previous three appearances.
Spencer Martin, VAN (Yahoo: 5%)
It’s a tough proposition to retain any netminder from the league’s 30th-ranked defense — just ask those who’ve been shedding shares of Thatcher Demko after he started with a 1-8-2 record accompanied by a 4.02 GAA and .874 save percentage.
Following an impressive six-game run last year, Martin’s current 3.49/.898 line isn’t promising. At the same time, he’s only lost once in regulation over six outings and has kept his team in a couple of games with timely saves. Demko’s spot at the top of the Vancouver goalie hierarchy is probably safe for the long-term, though Martin should at least be worth a flyer behind a strong Canucks’ attack.
Players to consider from past columns: Martin Necas, Gabriel Vilardi, Boone Jenner, Jeff Skinner, Andrei Kuzmenko, Dylan Strome, Kevin Hayes, David Krejci, Max Domi, Kent Johnson, Ryan Strome, Jake DeBrusk, Brandon Hagel, Kirby Dach, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Jordan Eberle, William Karlsson, Viktor Arvidsson, Jason Zucker, Nick Paul, Brandon Montour, Jake Sanderson, Calen Addison, Caleb Jones, Sean Durzi, Vince Dunn, Janis Moser, Juuso Valimaki, Justin Schultz, Vitek Vanecek, James Reimer, Martin Jones, Jake Allen, Stuart Skinner, Adin Hill
Source: Yahoo Sports