2013-14 Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Outlook: Week 14
Happy New Year and welcome to 2014! Hopefully you enjoyed your New Year’s Eve. If you had a little too much fun, nurse your hangover with some waiver wire talk. Your fantasy team may be hurting as much as you are right now, but the fix form your team may be easier than popping a couple aspirin.
The next month is just as crucial for your team as any with the Olympic break one month away. Players on your roster and on the wire will be making their final push for a roster spot with the hopes of playing for their home country. Preliminary rosters have been and will be announced over the next few days, setting the stage for numerous play-or-stay-home battles. A handful of those involved in potential roster battles will be listed below.
Paul Stastny– Colorado Avalanche (Owned in 94% of leagues): Stastny stands to be the fourth center for Team USA, but that is no guarantee. He has made his case over the last two weeks with three goals and six points. With Colorado playing as inconsistent recently as they have been since last season, a hot streak could vault Stastny to more playing time.
Jordan Staal– Carolina Hurricanes (35%): Remember him? Yeah, the other Staal has been an abysmal fantasy option for the majority of his time in Raleigh. But the Canes offense has been producing as of late, and Jordan has been quietly playing an important role. He has 13 points in his past 20 games, and has been helping line-mate Nathan Gerbe get recognition in fantasy. It may be time to consider using Jordan every day.
Kris Versteeg– Chicago Blackhawks (33%): With eleven points in 12 December games, the 27-year-old Canadian has found the opposite wing to super-star Patrick Kane to be quite fruitful for his production. In addition to the near point-per-game December, the former Florida Panther hasn’t recorded a “minus” in 10 of those 12 games. Versteeg looks comfortable back home in Chicago, where he was a member of the 2010 Stanley Cup team. His ownership percentage is criminally low at 33 percent. Snap him up.
Mark Scheifele– Winnipeg Jets (25%): The rookie is playing at the level many expected back in October. Scheifele has four of his six goals in December and is playing between 17 and 19 minutes regularly. The reigns have been loosened for the Michigan alum, and despite his up-and-down plus/minus playing for an erratic Jets club he should yield results now.
Justin Faulk– Carolina Hurricanes (90%): The points can be tough to come by, but Faulk is being trusted to carry the load on the blue line for the Canes. He is playing a healthy 24:09 per game and has been shooting a ton lately. Faulk is averaging 3.33 shots per game over his last six contests. His recent inclusion to the U.S. Olympic roster could be a boon for his fantasy stock.
Johnny Boychuk– Boston Bruins (13%): His shots and points have been on the rise the past 10 days, and who knows if that will stick. A lot of his recent progress is due to the loss of fellow blueliner Dennis Seidenberg to a torn ACL. If you are desperate for a quick fix, Boychuk could be your guy. His one constant all season has been his positive plus/minus (+13). Also, he’s a great addition in leagues that count blocked shots.
Tom Gilbert– Florida Panthers (4%): No NHL team wanted Gilbert and made the Panthers after receiving a camp tryout. It can be argued that he is playing as well as teammate Brian Campbell. Both are plus players, and Gilbert is starting to produce points. His play was just a nice story before, but now that he is scoring, Gilbert’s story is a great one.
Ryan Miller– Buffalo Sabres (97%): Miller has won five of his last eight starts for one of the worst teams in recent memory. The cherry on Miller’s December is his addition to Team USA, where he could very well be the starter in Sochi. Now is the time to go after Miller, as he could be traded shortly after the Olympics. A change of scenery could make his second half one of the better stories at the goalie position. In his previously mentioned eight starts, only one featured a save percentage below 91.
Brian Elliott– St. Louis Blues (75%): The hot hand on one of the best teams in hockey is always worth the add. Elliot has four straight wins and has started four of the Blues’ last five games. He winds can change at the drop of a hat, but Elliot is worth holding on to as long as St. Louis is winning at the rate that they are.