2014 Fantasy Hockey: Week 5 Waiver Wire
Week five in fantasy hockey is starting, and some players are starting to emerge as must-own players in many leagues. Finding players on the waiver wire is essential to winning a fantasy hockey, and for replacing injured players, either for the short-team or long run. Let’s take a look at which players you should be targeting on the waiver wire this week.
Johnny Gaudreau | Calgary Flames | ESPN Ownership –20.4%
The talented rookie is starting to find his way in the NHL slowly. Gaudreau started the year off slowly –no point in his first five games, but now has 8 points (2G, 6A) in his last seven games. To go along with his 8 points, the kid sports a very nice plus-7 rating, with a powerplay goal and two game-winning goals (GWG). The 2011 fourth round pick is skating on the top line with Markus Grandlund and Jiri Hudler and although he may not be big in size –standing at 5’ 9” and weighing 150 lbs, he will continue to produce as long as he plays on that top line every night.
Who I’d drop him for: Alex Tanguay (72.3%), Paul Stastney (96.8%), Justin Williams (49.5%)
Anthony Duclair | New York Rangers | ESPN Ownership –2.7%
Duclair is another rookie that is having a good start to his NHL career. The 19 year-old has five points (1G, 4A) in 8 games so far this season with a plus-5 rating and 12 shots on goal (SOG). The Montreal native is playing on team’s second line with Martin St. Louis and Chris Kreider, and is seeing some powerplay time on the second unit. The third round pick in last year’s draft may not be a long-term solution, considering he plays 13 minutes a game and may not stay with the Rangers all year, but for fantasy owners looking to find an injury replacement, Duclair can definitely fill that stop for the time being.
Who I’d Drop him for: Teddy Purcell (17.3%), T.J Oshie (61.6%), Martin Hanzal (63.9%)
Damon Severson | New Jersey Devils | ESPN Ownership –97.3%
Another rookie I seem to be falling in love with early on in the season is Severson. The Canadian has eight points (4G, 4A) in 11 games with a plus-6 rating and 32 SOG. Aside from the 32 shots on goal he has, which is just outstanding for a rookie defenseman so far, half of his points have come on the powerplay. The second round pick in 2012 is averaging almost 3 minutes a game on the top powerplay unit and close to 22 minutes a game so far this seaon. With some big name defensemen like Zedeno Chara and James Wisniewski injured right now, the 20 year-old can provide some short-term production, and could easily be a player that doesn’t end up on the waiver wire again this season. He should be owned in every league if he is still available.
Who I’d drop him for: Lubomir Visnovsky (81.8%), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (84.5%), Marek Zidlicky (94.9%)
Daniel Winnik | Toronto Maple Leafs | ESPN Ownership –1%
The Toronto native may just be turning the corner in his NHL career. The former 9th round pick in 2004 has seven points (1G, 6A) in 11 games with a plus-7 rating and 16 SOG. The nine-year veteran finds himself skating on the top line with Phil Kessel and Nazem Kadri, and may continue to play there even when Joffrey Lupul and David Booth come back from injury. Winnik is on pace for 53 points this season, and although that may be unlikely, he can definitely help fantasy owners who are looking for an injury replacement early in the year. The 29 year-old isn’t seeing any powerplay time right now, but with Toronto ranked 20th in the league in powerplay percentage, he might start to see some limited minutes there in the near future.
Who I’d drop him for: Mikko Koivu (86.6%), Aleksander Barkov (39.2%), Joffrey Lupul (41.9%)
Players to Watch:
It’s still early in the season, but these players should be on the rise/decline in the next few weeks
Jori Lehtera | St. Louis Blues | ESPN Ownership –19.5%
Joel Ward | Washington Capitals | 12.1%
Patrick Maroon | Anaheim Ducks | 0.7%
Ryan Ellis | Nashville Predators | 32.2%
Patrick Elias | New Jersey Devils | 82%
Mikkel Boedker | Arizona Coyotes | 72.1%
Mike Richards | Los Angeles Kings | 54%
Matt Niskanen | Washington Capitals | 93.5%