The Waiver Wire – For the week of April 6 – April 13
This will be the last regular season post for the Waiver Wire – we would like to extend a big thank you to all our readers for their loyalty this season. We hope that this column has helped you elevate your fantasy game, and assisted you in capturing the coveted title of pool champion. We hope to see you again at the start of the 2014-2015 season.
With the end of the season finally here, it’s important to pay close attention to the unique dynamic that the last games of the year exhibit.
While most pools have likely finished, those that have the playoffs running until the end of the regular season have to take into consideration that teams that have already qualified for the play-offs will be resting their players. In addition, the drive and desire to make the play-offs is gone from those teams; thus, their performance dips.
Those teams that are eliminated from the play-offs will likely be experimenting with rookies and new systems, and not really playing for anything other than pride. These teams are already dusting off their golf clubs and looking forward to the summertime.
Unlike the previous two groups, those teams still in contention will be trying as hard as possible to secure one of the remaining spots. Their production often spikes, and the wise fantasy GM will staff his or her team with as many players “on the bubble” as possible.
Here are some of the better adds this week, for players still in the hunt:
TOR – Despite an injury-shortened season, Bolland’s value to the Maple Leafs was evident in the 22 games he played this season. While he only has two points since returning on March 22nd, we expect him to pick up his production during this week, while the Leafs attempt to right the ship just in the nick of time. His ice time has steadily increased, and with Joffrey Lupul
battling an injury right now, it’s likely that Bolland will get second-unit power play time at some point this week. With an ownership rate at 8% right now, he’s probably available in your pool, too.
DET – We’re not sure how Detroit managed to pull off another play-off spot for the 23rd consecutive year, especially after losing, essentially, their top two lines for large parts of the season, but they seem to have done just that. Legwand’s acquisition at the trade deadline was key – his play with debutante Gustav Nyquist
has been the only reason Detroit isn’t looking up at a play-off spot right now. We are big fans of riding a hot hand, so check your wire to see if he’s available.
CLS – We’re pretty sure we’ve mentioned this player more than a few times this year, and with good reason. While he only has 38 points this year, he managed to crack the 20 goal mark for the first time in his career. He, and teammates Boone Jenner
, Ryan Johansen
, and Matt Calvert
, form the young core that will lead this Columbus team forward in the years to come. They’re all 25 and all of them are very talented. The Blue Jackets have Toronto nipping at their heels for the last spot in the East; if Columbus is to stay in 8th, this core will have to perform. We expect they will do just that.
DAL – In the West, the race is between Phoenix and Dallas for the right to face (likely) St. Louis in the first round. At the time of writing, that pleasure belongs to Dallas, but that could very easily be Phoenix’s by the time you read this. While most of the Dallas elite were taken in the draft – namely Tyler Seguin
and Jamie Benn
– you can still ride their coattails by picking up an available linemate in Nichushkin. His numbers resemble Atkinson’s, but with a far better +/- and a far lower shot total. This Phoenix/Dallas sprint will likely come down to the last game of the season, so it would be wise to grab a piece of it, if you can.
PHO – Currently sitting with 49 points, we’re not exactly sure how he only has an ownership level of 18%, but we largely expect that to be a result of playing in the desert. We have always found bargains to be had in Phoenix, and Boedker will be exactly that this week. He’s currently sitting on the top line with Shane Doan
and Antoine Vermette
and is on the top power play unit, meaning he’s likely to be good for power play points as well. Grab him – we expect he’ll be a beast this week.
CLS – While the numbers don’t support us on this one, we’re gutting it (yes, gutting it) on Letestu coming up big this week. He’s in a beneficial situation; Columbus is in the heat of a race that it looks like they’re going to win over Toronto, and Letestu is on both the top power play unit and the first line, meaning he’s poised for success. That being said, his year hasn’t exactly been stellar from a fantasy point of view: he only has 29 points in 77 games this year with a -1 and 110 shots – not exactly the model for a good week prediction. But then again, we’ve got a feeling on this, and we’ll go with it - Letestu will have at least two points this week.
TOR – While Toronto has fallen out of home ice advantage and into an early tee time in the span of 10 games, the advantage that some fantasy GMs have is that Morgan Rielly
is getting more and more ice time as a result. He’s also responding quite nicely – he’s currently sitting 4th in the league in rookie assists, and is improving with every game. GMs who need some assists at the cost of +/- should look to grab Rielly, as he’s probably going to be good for two or three points this week.
NJ – We have mentioned him repeatedly, and people are finally starting to take notice. Gelinas might play on a relatively poor team in New Jersey, but he’s been one of the offensive bright lights for the Devils. He quarterbacks the second power play unit but his production this year on that line has him 21st in the league in PPP; try to find someone who has an ownership rate around 5% with similar numbers. You can’t.
DAL – While he’s never been a big point producer, Daley has been a consistent force for Dallas on the back end – keeping pucks out of the net, and in the hands of Tyler Seguin
and Jamie Benn
. In the last month, he’s also picked up his offensive game, scoring two goals and seven assists in 16 games. He also has contributed 12 PIM in that time, which is a solid secondary contribution. Coming down to the wire, we expect this to continue; Daley should be able to net another point this week in addition to four penalty minutes.
Below are a list of backups that should be good for a solid start, and probably a win. Those are always key in the playoffs when you need some starts.
BOS – With Boston already locked for a play-off spot, and playing a back-to-back against Buffalo and New Jersey this week, Johnson will most certainly get one – if not two – starts this week. His numbers have been crazy good this year – 17-3-2 with a 2.12 GAA / .923 SV%. Grab him if you need a few more quality starts.
ANA – With Anaheim playing a back-to-back to close out the year against LA and Colorado, Andersen is likely to get at least one of those games, but we’re unsure as to the quality of start he’ll give us. Nonetheless, Anaheim is a good choice if you’re looking for a win.
COL – The Avs have already stated they want to rest Semyon Varlamov
for the last week, in a run up to the play-offs. As a result Giguere will likely get a few starts, and Colorado is a good team to bet on for at least a win.
PIT – Pittsbugh is likely to rest starter Marc-Andre Fleury
this week, and with a back-to-back to close out the year, Zatkoff is a shoo-in to play at least one, if not both.
How did we do last week?
(When we judged our correctness, we looked at whether we were expecting performance or lack thereof.)
– POINTS – 2GP 2G 0A -2 [Correct]
– POINTS – 2GP 0G 1A 1P +0 [Incorrect]
– POWER PLAY – 3GP 0G 3A 3P +0 1PPP [Correct]
– POWER PLAY – 4GP 0G 2A 2P +2 1PPP [Correct]
– PLUS-MINUS – 2GP 0G 0A 0P +2 [Correct]
– PLUS-MINUS – 3GP 1G 3A 4P +2 2PPP [Correct]
– PIM – 4GP 0G 0A 0P -2 5PIM [Correct]
– PIM – 3GP 0G 1A +1 0PIM [Incorrect]
– SHOTS – 1GP 1G 2A 3P +4 3SOG [Correct]
– SHOTS – 3GP 1G 2A 3P +0 6SOG [Correct]
– GOALIE – Did not play. [N/A]
– GOALIE – 0-1-2 2.22 GAA / .913 SV% [Neutral]
So, by our count, we went 8-2-1 with one N/A. Historically, we’re 107-52-39 for the season.
Grab players from these teams this week, if you can:
1. Dallas Stars – Four games – Washington, Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Florida
2. Phoenix Coyotes – Three games – Winnipeg, Los Angeles, and Edmonton
3. Columbus Blue Jackets – Four games – Colorado, Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York Islanders.
Avoid players from these teams this week, if you can:
1. Nashville Predators – Two games – Anaheim and San Jose
2. Vancouver Canucks – Two games – New York Rangers and Los Angeles
3. Minnesota Wild – Three games – Los Angeles, Chicago, and Pittsburgh