Fantasy Hockey

2013 Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Outlook: Week 13

Happy Holidays to all who have kindly chosen to read our waiver wire piece, as well as any and everything else that The Fantasy Fix offers. No matter what or how you celebrate, we hope it turned out as well as you had hoped it would.

There have been a lot of familiar names that have popped up on the waiver wire that owners took a chance on in their drafts. Time can be good to those that wait, or those that know how to add and drop without getting burned. You will see a few listed below, and while I can tell you which ones to watch and those to trust, some decisions you make beyond anyone’s advice will be the most important you make all season.

Forwards

Chris Stewart– St. Louis Blues (Owned in 85% of leagues): There may not be a better case of a hot/cold player in fantasy hockey than Chris Stewart. He has 9 of his 13 goals on the season in the December, but has maintained a consistent playing time of 14 minutes per game. If you decide to add and keep him beyond his current scoring outburst, know that his plus/minus and penalty minutes should be beneficial to your lineup.

Reilly Smith– Boston Bruins (33%): Second line minutes and power play time would be overwhelming for most 22 year olds, but not for Boston’s most reliable scoring threat right now. Smith is shooting at a 20% clip, which should be unattainable for the rest of the season. His average time on ice should continue to move well above the 14 minutes it is at now, and the Olympic break in a little over a month could help Smith avoid the all important learning curve younger players reach during a full season.

Nick Foligno– Columbus Blue Jackets (30%): The Jackets have played better offense in December, and Foligno is the latest benefactor. He is playing on a line with the white-hot Ryan Johansen. The two have also been playing on the top power play unit, giving Foligno an even better chance of getting a few power play points that he may not have earned. The penalty minutes and time on ice continue to be respectable considering that he is available in 70% of leagues.

Mathieu Perreault– Anaheim Ducks (8%): Since missing four games, Perreault has played five games and has two goals, four points, and is a plus-3. Perreault is also getting time on the power play as a reward. His promotion to second line duties in all facets of the Anaheim offense mean that the sky is the limit for one of Bruce Boudreau’s favorite young players.

Defense

Kimmo Timonen and Mark Streit– Philadelphia Flyers (85% and 65%): Remember back in the day (September) when these two were top 30 defensemen-relevant? It appears that Timonen and Streit are back on that path. Both a positive plus/minus players in December, and Streit has points in four of his last five contests (2G, 3A). Streit and Timonen have combined for 15 power play points on the season, and continue to benefit on the man advantage for being above-average puck possession defensemen.

Olli Maatta– Pittsburgh Penguins (38%): The rookie’s got game, and Pittsburgh has been taking advantage of it. His average time on ice is just over 17:30, but expect it to climb as Maatta has played over 19, 20, 21, 28, and 24 minutes in his last five games. The shots are coming in bunches for the 19-year old Finland native, and Kris Letang has been less than impressive since returning from injury. The Pens will be getting healthier as the year turns, so be weary of his numbers once players start returning out east.

Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets (13%): The numbers may not be there yet, but Trouba is playing much better lately. At times in the early stages of the season, the Michigan alum looked completely lost, but time on the injured reserve and in the press box must have given Trouba perspective. He has six points this month, which is not bad coming from a rookie defenseman.

Goaltenders

Justin Peters– Carolina Hurricanes (39%): If you continue to own Cam Ward, stop. Peters has started four out of Carolina’s last five games, and has a sexy 92.6 save percentage and 2.30 goals against. Peters has one game in seven December starts with a save percentage under 90%.

Philipp Grubauer– Washington Capitals (20%): Incumbent starter Braden Holtby has been awful, meaning the relatively unknown Grubauer has been getting the lionshare of starts. He has four wins in his six starts and four games with a save percentage of at least 94%. If you feel you cannot drop Holtby as an owner, find a way to roster Grubauer.

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