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The Waiver Wire: Ott To Get Much Better

Mike Wilson

Mike Wilson writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Dan Waldner

Dan Waldner covers hockey for RotoWire, and has been involved in fantasy hockey pools for 15 years. He's a lifetime Toronto Maple Leafs fan, a passion his wife puts up with and his daughter is starting to emulate.

The Waiver Wire - For the week of November 17-23


Steve Ott BUF - WATCH - With the change in leadership in Buffalo this week, we expect a shakeup throughout the entire roster. We feel coach Ted Nolan is precisely the person to right the ship; while this season may be too far gone to save, Buffalo is going to be a much harder team to play, and Ott will be at the forefront of this transformation. Look for increased production from him - but it may take a few games to become fully evident.

Brayden Schenn PHI - WAIVER ADD - If there-s any hope of Philadelphia turning the season around, players such as the Schenn brothers are going to have to elevate their respective games. The younger Schenn has registered five points in his last three games, with a +2 and 2 PIMs - exactly the type of play that will be needed in the weeks and months to come. Consider taking a flyer on him if he-s available and you-re in need of a center; even with the poor play of the team, his game log indicates a stable defensive presence with the emergence of improved offensive production.


Loui Eriksson BOS - CONSIDER TRADING - So far this season, the trade of Tyler Seguin is looking like a big mistake for the Bruins. Eriksson has tallied 3G 4A 7P in 13GP, and while he-s a +5, consider that on Boston, that puts him 11th on the team. While he currently has a four-game point streak going, we-re pessimistic that this will continue, and that his earlier output of 2G 1A 3P +3 in 9GP is going to be more like what we can expect from him this year. If you can get good value off his current streak, trade him now.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard NYI - WAIVER ADD - With the injury of new acquisition Thomas Vanek, the line juggling has resulted in Bouchard splitting time with red-hot Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey, and top line time with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. We don-t see any downside to either situation; in his last five games, he-s seen dramatically increased ice-time, and responded with a promising two goals. With the Islanders playing against the Leafs and the Flyers this coming week, he should be money for a few points.

Tyler Toffoli LAK - WAIVER ADD - We were split on our opinions of Toffoli at the beginning of the year, but his performance of late has made us agree - he-s a sparkplug for an already deep LA team. Since being called up 5 games ago, he-s tallied 3G 4A 7P and a +4 rating. He-s also given LA a scoring threat on their third line. If someone hasn-t already beat you to the punch, add him and see how long this streak holds out for.

Mats Zuccarello NYR - WAIVER ADD - Playing on the new second line with Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider is starting to pay dividends for this 26-year old. After missing the October 24th game against Philadelphia, the following ten games have resulted in all of his points this season - 2G 8A 10P - in addition to a much-improved +6 in that time. His recent performance has solidified his spot in the Rangers top-six; if you need a winger on a roll, he-s your man.

Kris Versteeg CHI - WATCH - Reclamation projects seldom work, but this may be the exception to the rule. Versteeg has not been able to find a solid home in the league since leaving Chicago the first time in 2009. His time in both Toronto and Philadelphia were brief; both attitude and lack of effort were quoted as key factors in his departure. His time in Florida ended, reportedly, for these very reasons. If Versteeg can find his game again in Chicago, he could be the scoop of the year off the wire - he was a 50+ point scorer twice in his career, and a 20+ goal scorer three times.


Phillip Larsen EDM - WATCH - There haven-t been many positives this year in Edmonton, but one of the bright lights has been the recent play of Larsen. After being called up Nov 2, he has netted 1G 4A in 6GP and has been an Edmonton-respectable -5 in that time. I know that last stat doesn-t sound too impressive, but consider that the top-six of the Oilers are now a combined -64, and that -5 doesn-t sound too bad. We-re not sure he-s worthy of an add just yet, but flag him on your list and watch him over the next five games.

Kevin Shattenkirk STL - ACQUIRE VIA TRADE - St. Louis has only lost twice in regulation all year, and yet, they-re in sixth place in the West. This position is deceptive, however, as they-ve played five games less than leading Anaheim, and two games less than most other teams. Shattenkirk, for his part, has tallied 1G 12A 13P +3 8PIM in that time, and with the lower amount of games, you may be able to snow another less aware GM into trading him away. If you can package up Kevin Bieksa or, ideally, Cam Fowler as part of a package to get him, you could benefit as much as 5 games in your favor.

Danny DeKeyser DET - SHORT TERM ADD - Detroit has a full schedule this week, as you can see under the Weekly Notes below. In their four games this week, they will be playing some significantly weaker teams in Nashville, Carolina, Ottawa and Buffalo. As a result, the goal differential is likely to be heavily in Detroit-s favor - resulting in more points to be spread around. DeKeyser is likely to be one of the recipients of this on the back end. Grab him for the week - he should be available in most leagues, and will be worth it.


Ilya Bryzgalov EDM - WATCH - We-re split on the outcome from this; on one hand, Bryzgalov is good enough to single-handedly win a game, as we saw from his performances in Anaheim and Phoenix. Then again, he-s bad enough to also single-handeded lose a game, as we saw most recently in Philadelphia. We don-t know which we-re going to get here, so if you have a spot on your roster from an injury, or you were going to drop someone anyway, consider grabbing him and parking him on your bench. After a few games, we-ll know which Bryz we can expect.

Viktor Fasth ANA - ADD - If he-s still available in the pool by some stretch of the imagination, grab him without a second thought. Hiller this year has been anything but stellar, and with Fasth-s return, he could easily outplay him and take over the starting job. Snatching a goaltender off the waiver wire who will eventually be the starter on a first-place team is as close to alchemy as we-re likely to get in fantasy sports.

How did we do last week (as of end-of-day Saturday November 16)?

(When we judged our correctness, we looked at whether we were expecting performance or lack thereof.)

Nazem Kadri TOR - WATCH - 1GP 0G 1A 14PIM 1PPP Suspended [Neutral]

Mike Santorelli VAN - WATCH - 2GP 0G 0A -1 [Incorrect]

Alex Killorn TB - SHORT-TERM ADD - 4GP 2G 1A +0 2PIM [Correct]

Devante Smith-Pelly ANA - DEEP POOL ADD - 4GP 0G 2A +1 [Correct]

Dustin Penner ANA - ACQUIRE VIA TRADE - 4GP 1G 0A -3 [Incorrect]

Tommy Wingels SJ - WATCH - 4GP 1G 1A +1 [Correct]

Ryan McDonagh NYR - ADD - 3GP 0G 2A -2 [Correct]

Jake Muzzin LAK - ADD - 3GP 0G 2A +1 4PIM [Correct]

Eric Gelinas NJ - WATCH - 4GP 0G 1A +0 [Neutral]

Henrik Lundqvist NYR - WARMING UP - 2GP 1-1 3.02 GAA/.891 SV% [Incorrect]

Ondrej Pavelec / Al Montoya - GOALIE FIGHT - [N/A - no prediction made]

Evgeni Nabokov / Kevin Poulin - GOALIE FIGHT - [N/A - no prediction made]

So, from our estimate, we went 5-3-2. Historically, we-re now 23-11-13.

Weekly Notes:

Avoid players from these teams this week, if you can:

1. Phoenix Coyotes - Two games this week - Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks

2. Edmonton Oilers - Two games this week - Columbus Blue Jackets and Florida Panthers

3. San Jose Sharks - Two games this week - Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils

Grab players from these teams this week, if you can:

1. Detroit Red Wings - Four games this week - Nashville Predators, Carolina Hurricanes, Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres

2. Boston Bruins - Four games this week - Carolina Hurricanes twice, New York Rangers, and St. Louis Blues

3. Pittsburgh Penguins - Four games this week - Anaheim Ducks, Washington Capitals, New York Islanders, and Montreal Canadiens