This article is part of our NHL Waiver Wire series.
The Avalanche are rolling, while the Sabres have hit a wall. Hope is high in Hockeytown, but supporters in the Gateway City are frustrated. Vegas is golden again, and New Jersey has recently been seeing red. It wasn't long ago when the Blackhawks and Kings were dominating the Cup chase, but both now occupy bottom-league positions.
Like the NHL teams, fantasy fates can considerably fluctuate within a short time. The key is to recognize trends before they happen and adjust as necessary. Naturally, you can't predict injuries but action should be taken if a player's form looks to be regressing or if someone else could steal his spot.
Here are a few suggestions of those who are/should be performing well but are not as popular in certain leagues:
(Ownership rates/stats as of Dec. 13.)
Nico Hischier, NJ (Yahoo: 42%, ESPN: 72%, CBS: 69%): The 2017 draft's No. 1 pick is ahead of last year's 52-point pace, yet is still owned in less than half of Yahoo leagues. While center is deep and the Devils are struggling, it's hard to resist a first-liner with 19 points. The Swiss star has registered a point in five of his last six games while logging 3:29 on the power play over that span. Although Hischier's last PPP came on Nov. 1, the remainder of his scoring stats should qualify for a spot on your roster.
Patrick Marleau, TOR (Yahoo: 41%, ESPN: 42%, CBS: 68%): Marleau may be 39, but that hasn't