Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Evan Rodrigues, Anton Lundell, Dillon Dube (Week 16)
My absolute favorite part of fantasy hockey is the waiver wire. The trade block is great, but it’s tough to match the value of something you can acquire at no cost. It’s as simple as that.
Let’s dive into some names to consider off the wire in Week 16 of the fantasy hockey season.
*Rosterships courtesy of ESPN
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NHL Fantasy Hockey Week 16 Waiver Wire Advice
Evan Rodrigues (C/RW – COL): 13.5% rostered
Maybe it’s just for the short term, but adding Evan Rodrigues makes plenty of sense right now and we can see where it goes from there.
With Gabriel Landeskog yet to play this season and without a timetable for a return, Rodrigues is getting reps on the top line and top power-play unit alongside Nathan MacKinnon. Right then and there, Rodrigues is a strong look skating with one of the world’s very best players in all offensive situations.
After breaking with career-highs in goals (19) and points (43) with the Penguins last season, Rodrigues has notched 10 goals and 24 points in 35 games on the season with a quality 101 shots on goal, or 2.89 shots per game. Additionally, he’s recorded eight power-play points and is a plus-six on the campaign.
With 19:19 of average ice time per game, Rodrigues is being given one heck of an opportunity from Avs head coach Jared Bednar. The 29-year-old is putting it to good use in a featured role on this Avalanche offense.
Anton Lundell (C – FLA): 40% rostered
Lundell was having a disappointing sophomore season on the heels of a rookie campaign that saw him tally a healthy 18 goals and 44 points across 65 contests. Recently, that has changed.
Lundell has been promoted to the Panthers’ top line alongside Aleksander Barkov and it’s done wonders for him of late. Lundell has notched three goals and six points over his last six games while averaging 3.33 shots per game during that time. Lundell skated a whopping 19:59 Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, his second-highest total on the season.
Lundell has managed to stay on the positive side of the plus/minus ledger with a plus-one on the season while he’s also contributed with 27 penalty minutes. He’s not skating on the top power-play unit and has just five man-advantage points on the season, but second-unit reps aren’t the worst thing in the world. The Panthers deploy just three forwards on the top unit.
His 21 points and 101 shots in 41 games don’t appear worthwhile on the surface. That said, it’s clear that a move to the top line has put Lundell back on the fantasy radar as a name worth considering for goals, assists, and shots on goal.
Dillon Dube (C/LW – CGY): 1.8% rostered
This one might be a little out there, but Dube is at least worth a flyer in certain matchups as a short-term waiver-wire addition.
The foremost reason why I mention Dube is his spot on the Flames’ roster. Dube is currently skating on the top line alongside Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli. Head coach Darryl Sutter has moved Jonathan Huberdeau onto a line with Nazem Kadri.
As a result, Dube has registered two goals and three points over his last two games. He’s not going to rack up many power-play points on the second unit (he has just one this season) but his value increases in leagues that count hits as he’s recorded 80 of those on the season. Dube has also contributed 22 penalty minutes on the campaign.
Again, not much of this stands out a whole lot, but a top-line role makes him an excellent streaming option. It was clear Huberdeau wasn’t connecting with Lindholm and Sutter would be smart to spread his wealth and keep Dube on the top line.
With three points, five shots, and four hits over his last two games, Dube is certainly emerging into a fantasy asset if he can maintain his featured role on this Flames offense.
Dylan Strome (C – WSH): 29% rostered
Strome has been an iffy add for me due to low shot and hit volumes, but he’s doing enough in a top-line role to warrant strong fantasy consideration.
I mean, if you’re centering Alex Ovechkin you should be fantasy relevant. With the return of Nicklas Backstrom, Strome isn’t likely to see much top-line power play duties but with Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie on his flanks at even strength his point total should remain strong.
Strome sits with 11 goals and 36 points in 49 games. However, he’s been hot of late with three goals and five points over his last four contests, skating more than 17 minutes in each of his last two.
Like with Dube, Strome is probably best served as a streaming option with both Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov ahead of him when it comes to the top power-play unit. He doesn’t do much in terms of shots, hits, penalty minutes, and plus/minus, but he should continue to rack up a healthy amount of assists if he can remain on a line with The Great 8.
At this point, I would certainly consider Rodrigues the top name on this list, but all four should warrant consideration with all these names skating on their respective top lines.
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