Fantasy Hockey Buy/Sell: Week 19
The All-Star break has come and gone. The teams have had their mandatory downtime and taken stock on what needs to be done to make the playoffs. The same should be said about fantasy managers and if they are in contention, what needs to be done to find their way to the fantasy postseason. We’ll take a look at an emerging goalie, and intriguing opportunities after some trade action has developed.
Nino Niederreiter (LW/RW – MIN)
Niederreiter was shipped to the Carolina Hurricanes on January 17 and has been serving his new team well to date. He’s produced five goals and six points since being received and Carolina is surely pleased. He has been known in the past to get hot and serve as an effective fantasy player while doing so. He finds himself on the top line playing left wing to Sebastian Aho and that is pay dirt. Aho is having an excellent season and there’s no reason to think that Niederreiter won’t see a piece of that action.
Nick Bjugstad (C/LW/RW – PIT)
The Panthers decided to shake things up back in early February by shipping off Bjugstad and Jared McCann to the Steel City for Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan. You may or may not have noticed over the season that there is a theme of grabbing players who have the potential of playing with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. This is no different. He comes with triple eligibility and will be playing on the top line as of Thursday, February 7. He tallied a mere assist in three games playing with Bryan Rust and Phil “The Thrill” Kessel so it looks like Mike Sullivan is promoting him to the wing alongside Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby. That is undeniable upside and should be grabbed in the short term to see how it plays out.
Carter Hart (G – PHI)
The Flyers have had some issues this season, but based on their play of late, they seem to have figured some things out. It also helps that they have found a goalie that appears to be more than legit. Hart came on the NHL scene on December 18, 2018. Since then he has a 10-5-1 record with a 2.48 GAA and .925 save percentage.
He’s 9-1 in his last 10 starts and is making a case for Calder Trophy consideration. You may be able to snag him off the waiver wire as he’s sitting at 66% ownership in Yahoo! leagues. You will be making moves for him at market peak so be prepared to dish an asset, but he can be a difference-maker as a second or third goalie.
Jeff Skinner (C/LW – BUF)
Skinner has provided owners with an ample amount of points so far this season. Depending on what kind of league you play in, he should be hovering around 70th ranked so he’s doing better than his 90th preseason rank. He has a very nice 31 goals and 47 points so far and has been solid. The problem here is that he’s never topped more than 37 goals in a season. He still has plenty of time left to do so, but that’s an indication of looming negative mean regression, which will slow his pace down very noticeably.
Now, if you’re a Skinner believer and think that he will maintain his statistical pace, then carry on. If not, take a look around the trade market and see if anyone is buying. Surely his goal production is a key selling feature.
John Klingberg (D – DAL)
As painful as it is to see Klingberg in this column, it’s time for consideration. At the beginning of the season, he came in ranked slightly better than 75th. He’s currently sub-250th in Yahoo! leagues and has been a big disappointment on the rear guard.
He did sustain a broken hand that kept him out from November 8 to December 20, but that’s in the rearview mirror and he has two goals since then. He is on pace to beat his career high (13 goals in 80 games) but is 40 assists behind in that respect. He’s not producing hits or blocks along with the lack of offense, and that is where you find fantasy duds. There is potential for him to get hot and if that is enough to hold on to him for, then it may be worth it, but packaging him up with a forward in a trade to upgrade is a good idea at this point, and there are better performing defensemen on the wire…unfortunately.
Jeremy Farr is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Jeremy, check out his archive.