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Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 16 (2022)

by Matthew MacKay | @Matt_MacKay_ | Featured Writer
Jan 28, 2022
Yanni Gourde

The 2022 NHL regular season has officially entered the second half of the schedule, with teams beginning to separate and mount runs at winning their division. The goals have been frequent and impressive, as the league’s best players have given fans a taste of what to expect during the upcoming All-Star Weekend. Therefore, it’s essential to focus on second and third-line players who have begun heating up or who have consistently contributed to their team’s offensive and defensive game plan.

Specific teams have anemic offenses that possess little juice or value in their depth charts, such as Arizona, Montreal, and the New York Islanders. Nevertheless, it’s still worth your time to assess whether anyone on these teams could improve your roster in comparison to current personnel on your bench, as players tend to catch momentum and rattle off productive point streaks. Consequently, not every depth piece on a powerhouse team is worth rostering, so make sure to exercise caution when scouring the waiver wire.

These seven players possess the skillset, opportunity, and experience to enhance fantasy hockey rosters in most leagues. Head to the waiver wire if any of these prospects fill a need for you, or perhaps to prevent your league mate from improving their roster. The stakes are rising with every week, so buckle up, and let’s dive into these Week 16 waiver wire pickups!

Rostered percentages courtesy of ESPN. 

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Center

Yanni Gourde (C – SEA): 15.7%
Ironically, let’s start with one of the league’s worst teams. The Seattle Kraken are nine points behind Vancouver and stuck at the bottom of the Pacific Division. The expansion team had many promises heading into the season, but porous defense and goaltending have been their biggest blight. The offense has nice pieces, including 30-year old Yanni Gourde, who left Tampa Bay and now finds himself centering the second-line attack for the Kraken. Gourde earns close to 19 minutes average time on ice and is included on their second powerplay unit, offering additional opportunities to return value. He only has two points in his previous five games, which is why he is widely available at the moment. Alas, he still is third-highest in points (22) for Seattle, and that is worth holding onto. Stash Gourde and deploy him as a low-end Utility option with F1 upside.

Jeff Carter (C – PIT): 25.3%
Veteran center Jeff Carter has not had to produce as much with Evgeni Malkin (C – PIT) and Sidney Crosby (C – PIT) fully healthy, but he still warrants rostering in most leagues. The 37-year old skates on the Penguins’ third-line attack and centers its second powerplay unit, so he still earns lucrative opportunities.  Carter has only been held without a point in two of his previous six games, which included two multi-assist performances, so Carter certainly is capable of catching the opponent off guard with his deceptive speed and prowess in the offensive zone. If Carter was just dropped to your league’s waiver wire due to Malkin’s return, take advantage and add Carter onto your bench. He’s a reliable asset and can be deployed into lineups in most matchups due to the strength of the personnel surrounding him.

Wing

Tyler Toffoli (RW – MTL): 21.2%
I’ve been riding Tyler Toffoli’s return in DFS, and it has paid off in the form of a goal or assist. The 29-year old winger skates on Montreal’s first-line attack and top powerplay unit and generates an immediate spark for their inept offense. A hand injury kept Toffoli out for over ten games, but he has a point in four of the fives games since he has returned, including tough opponents like Vegas and Colorado. Toffoli should be stashed ASAP if he is still sitting on your league’s waiver wire. Instead, value him as a matchup-proof Utility option with F1 upside against less talented goaltenders.

Anthony Beauvillier (LW – NYI): 10.3%
The NHL season is a grind, and fortunately for the New York Islanders, the winning momentum has begun to replace their losing tendencies. After a horrendous start due to a lack of offensive production, players have started heating up, including sixth-year forward Anthony Beauvillier. He earns minutes on their second-line attack and second powerplay unit, which has allowed him to accrue three points across his previous five games played. Beauvillier isn’t a world-beater, but he does possess enough talent to generate assists and score the occasional goal, which is why he’s worth stashing if you can afford it. The Islanders have a league-low 86 goals scored, so six goals isn’t bad for Beauvillier’s current output. He’s a bit risky to deploy in lineups at the moment, but he’s a solid wait-and-see stash on your bench.

Defense

Brady Skjei (D – CAR): 7.3%
Second-line defenseman Brady Skjei has been a steady contributor for Carolina this season. The Hurricanes are among the best teams, and Skjei has managed to rack up 16 points without being featured on either powerplay unit. This is a testament to his skillset and the Hurricanes’ dominance during even-strength gameplay. Skjei, now in his seventh year in the league and third with Carolina, stays active in the offensive zone, attempting four to five shots on goal during most games. He hit a mini-drought after a point surge back at the beginning of January, which is why he is so widely available at the moment. If you’re looking to improve your defensemen, Skjei is a fluid player who seeks out hits and blocked shots on top of ripping shots in the offensive zone. He doesn’t possess a high floor, but his ceiling games make Skjei a worthy investment on most fantasy benches.

Brian Dumoulin (D – PIT): 5.8%
Brian Dumoulin has been playing in Pittsburgh his entire nine-year career and returns a solid value for fantasy managers via skating on the Pens’ top defensive line. Alongside the great Kris Letang (D – PIT), Dumoulin is frequently involved in scoring plays for one of the league’s best offensive attacks. What Dumoulin lacks in shots on goal he compensates for with numerous blocked shots and hits per game, bringing a physical brand of play to instill hesitation within opponents. He scored his third goal of the season a week ago and has three assists across his previous five games, so Dumoulin is heating up at the right time. Letang gets all the credit and spotlight, but Dumoulin possesses enough usage and production to warrant rostering in fantasy leagues.

Goalie

Braden Holtby (G – DAL): 17%
Braden Holtby should be rostered as long as Ben Bishop (G – DAL) is on Injured Reserve. The 32-year old netminder has nine wins across 19 starts for the Stars this season and is playing a good brand of hockey, defending the crease nicely in four of his previous five starts. Goaltender wins and saves are huge in fantasy hockey. Acquiring Holtby off waiver wires checks both boxes and gives fantasy managers depth behind their primary goaltender. He has a .917 save percentage and 2.60 GAA, which is 16th in the league, showing that he can be a starting goaltender once again like he was in Washington.

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Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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