Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 6
A few players are starting to find new homes as owners reassess their lineups or deal with injuries. Hockey is a very fluid fantasy sport so you may find you’re tweaking your lineup throughout the season, but that tends to separate the winners from those taking home participation trophies. Let’s take a look at what’s out there this week, using Yahoo as a measuring stick.
Kyle Turris (NSH): 19%
Turris landed in Nashville in the huge three-team deal that also sent Matt Duchene to Ottawa. His early returns were excellent with the Predators but since then he’s been a steady cog in an offensive machine, and that may be his ceiling. With 10 NHL seasons already under his belt, it’s hard to imagine him breaking out past the 64-point plateau (his best season) or scoring much more than 30 goals (27 is his top mark). He should be at least a quality depth player though, with four 50+ point seasons to his name. He’s centering the second line on a high-scoring team and is on pace for 64 points this year.
Nick Schmaltz (CHI): 14%
This is more of a hunch, although Schmaltz scored 52 points last year. He’s off to a slow start this year with only seven points in the first 14 games, and landed in Joel Quenneville’s doghouse (was a healthy scratch lately), but with a new coach in place Schmaltz may have a new lease on life. Players often have a clean slate in these situations and Schmaltz is most likely eager to turn his season around. He has plenty of talent and you may be able to get him on the cheap.
Jakob Silfverberg (ANH): 31%
His ownership is a bit high at 31%, but there just aren’t a ton of guys I want to recommend this week. Silfverberg himself is steady but not spectacular, as his three-year 43-point average will attest. However, he’s also averaged 20 goals per year in that time frame and should be enjoying more ice time this year on an aging team. One concern would be his linemates, as both Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler are game-time decisions tonight, and may have durability issues going forward.
Gustav Nyquist (DET): 10%
Once thought to be another draft coup by Ken Holland, Nyquist has nevertheless settled in as a solid pro. He posted 28 and 27 goals in his first two legit pro seasons, respectively, when he had more talent surrounding him. During his last three seasons he’s averaged only 17 goals but a decent 44 points, and with a second line posting he should provide solid depth. Jump on him if he’s traded to a contender this year, and be careful about starting him in games where his plus/minus will wipe out any points for that week.
Brock Nelson (NYI): 15%
Typically a center, Nelson has LW eligibility and a pretty solid situation. Currently listed on the top line with the talented Anders Lee and Josh Bailey, Nelson has a chance to improve on his 22-goal/40-point average from the last three years. Barry Trotz should work his magic in New York as well, so Nelson’s plus/minus figure (currently +6) shouldn’t deter anyone. His current average ice time of 18:21 may also increase if he stays on the first line for the Islanders. His nine points in 14 games are not impressive, but seven of those points are goals.
Jakub Vrana (WAS): 14%
This is a stash play, as Vrana is the type of player that could suddenly realize how talented he is and explode. Taken 13th overall by the Capitals, he’s been on everything from the first to fourth line in Washington. On talent alone, he should be firmly entrenched on at least the second line and if he works his way into that role could be a breakthrough player in his third season.
Mike Green (DET): 21%
Green is probably just a depth player at this point for you, although he did have 33 points last year in 66 games. After a scary virus shut him down early this season, he’s now starting to contribute with three assists in his first five games. He had 14 goals just two seasons ago and eight last year, so he may be a pleasant surprise, but at 33 years of age on this Detroit team, I’d be fine with him as my fifth or sixth man.
Vince Dunn (STL): 11%
Another stash play, Dunn is working through the kinks in his second NHL season. He’s already been scratched for a couple of games, but does have seven points in his first 10 contests. Described as a wild colt during his draft year, he displays excellent skating and a great overall amount of offensive talent. He might drive his coach crazy at times, but could pay off big down the road.
Mikko Koskinen (EDM): 12%
Goalies are typically different by nature, and Koskinen is a poster boy for that theory. Drafted by the Islanders in the first round of the 2009 draft, he ended up playing a grand total of four games for them. Besides that brief stint, Koskinen has played in the AHL, ECHL, Finland, and most recently the KHL. During a five year career in Russia, he’s posted excellent numbers: 101 wins (versus 58 losses), 1.99 goals against average, and a 0.926 save percentage.
The Oilers decided to roll the dice on this 30-year-old “rookie,” and so far so good. He’s won all three of the games he’s played, putting up a 2.02 goals against average and an excellent 0.935 save percentage. Cam Talbot is not off to a great start and struggled most of last season, so the door is pretty open for Koskinen to be a feel-good story. If you don’t grab him this week, it may be too late.
Alex Goligoski (ARI): 8%
If your league uses +/-, you may want to get on with your day. Goli is already -6 and spit out a -31 season last year. Having said that, he scored 12 goals and 35 points on a team that got off to a historically bad start. The current Coyote team is above .500 and +8 in goal differential, so there is hope that he can post another 35+ point season without being on the ice for too many goals against this year.
Sheldon Curtis is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Sheldon, check out his archive.