Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 16 (2021)
While many leagues are now in their playoffs (or are already done) this week or next, it’s never too late to add that last piece of the puzzle. There are also playoff pools to consider, and while my focus wasn’t limited to teams likely to make the playoffs, that may be a consideration for sleepers in your upcoming drafts. Next week, I’ll focus on dynasty additions, although some of this week’s suggestions will also qualify. Let’s take a look at some current players with low rostership rates and high upside.
As for who’s hot and who’s not, here are the teams with seven or more wins in their last 10 games:
- Washington / Pittsburgh / Boston / New York Rangers / Tampa Bay / Vegas / Colorado / Minnesota
Teams with three or fewer wins in their last 10 games include:
- New Jersey / Columbus / Arizona / San Jose / Anaheim
Jeff Carter (PIT): 26%
The bad news is that Evgeni Malkin has just been cleared for contact and might be back in the lineup soon, but the good news is that Carter can play wing as well (possibly with Malkin). At worst, he will take over on the third line for the second highest-scoring team in the league. Carter only has 23 points on the season, so he’s probably more likely to break out in song than scoring this year, but he may offer solid depth the rest of the season.
Nick Bonino (MIN): 12%
Bonino is one of those guys who is easy to gloss over, but he has 20 points now, and he is playing just over 15 minutes per game. The Wild have somehow snuck into ninth place overall in league standings and are an equally surprising 11th in scoring. Bonino can play center or wing and has a handful of talented forwards to play with this year.
Anthony Duclair (FLA): 38%
Duclair may play on every NHL team before he retires, but he does have offensive talent. He has hit 40 points twice, and with 27 points in 38 games this year, he would be on a 58-point pace in a full season. He currently plays on the top line with Sasha Barkov, is averaging 15:29 in ice time, and is slotted on the second power-play unit.
Marcus Foligno (MIN): 12%
Foligno has posted 20 points in only 30 games this year and is averaging almost three hits per game. The hits alone are money in the bank if that’s a scoring category, and Foligno has definitely earned his top-six role this year. As I mentioned earlier, the Wild are excellent offensively and look to be playing their best hockey right now (8-1-1 in their last 10 games).
Clayton Keller (ARI): 37%
Keller may need a change of scenery to get his game back on track. His 33 points are actually third on the Coyotes’ humdrum offense, but he definitely seems capable of more. Not many freshmen score 45 points in their first season (31 games) in the NCAA, and his 65-point rookie season seems like a distant memory now. If Keller could play with a true number one center, either in Phoenix or elsewhere, he could explode offensively. He is a solid pick-up this year and a great dynasty add.
Brandon Tanev (PIT): 27%
Tanev has only 16 points in 32 games but has registered an astonishing 139 hits. The NHL is one big mosh pit for this guy, and he can give you a fantasy point per game (if you use the typical 0.25 points per hit metric) even if he isn’t on the score sheet. He is also +12, and his scoring pace of 41 points in a full-length season is pretty solid as well.
Mattias Ekholm (NSH): 33%
Ekholm seemed to be at the top of everyone’s trade list until Nashville made an unlikely playoff push over the last few weeks. He and Ryan Ellis form a very talented pairing, and Ekholm’s 21 points and +16 rating are impressive. He is averaging almost 23 minutes per night and is on the second power-play unit.
David Savard (TB): 9%
Savard seemed to take over from Ekholm as a trade prediction and was, in fact, moved to the Lightning. His two main career highlights are scoring 36 points one year and being +33 in another, but he has the chance to be a really solid player down the stretch. Tampa Bay is in fourth place in the standings, ranks third in offense, and has a +38 goal differential. That should benefit anyone’s game, and Savard could be fairly easy to add.
Thatcher Demko (VAN): 61%
While the Canucks have struggled, Demko has arguably put his name out there as a future workhorse number one goalie. He has had practically no run support this year, as the Canucks have scored the second-fewest goals (although they’ve played a few fewer games than most teams at this point). Still, 2.64 goals per game is a tough ask for most goalies, let alone a young one. His other stats (2.74 GAA and .917 SV%) are very respectable and should improve along with the team in general.
Quinton Byfield (LAK): 6%
It’s been reported that Byfield will make his NHL debut this week, and he is an intriguing prospect. The second overall pick in the 2020 draft, Byfield followed a stellar OHL career (143 points in 109 games) with a steady showing in the AHL (20 points in 30 games). Many scouts consider the jump from junior to the AHL tougher than from there to the NHL, so we’ll get a good read on him in the next couple of weeks.