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Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Targets: Matt Duchene, Alexis Lafreniere, Stuart Skinner (Week 7)

Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Targets: Matt Duchene, Alexis Lafreniere, Stuart Skinner (Week 7)

Happy Monday and welcome to a fresh week of fantasy hockey!

We’ve connected on some waiver wire additions over the past couple of weeks as names such as Seth Jarvis and Pavel Zacha have been big-time fantasy contributors while playing big roles on their respective clubs. As a brief reminder, these pieces look at players rostered in less than 50% of ESPN leagues as we aim to provide advice for deeper leagues while also keeping dynasty leagues in mind!

That said, let’s take a look at some names to target in Week 7 and beyond!

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NHL Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Advice (Week 7)

Matt Duchene (C – DAL) 42.1% rostered

If you are in need of help down the middle you can surely do a lot worse than Dallas Stars pivot Matt Duchene.

The first-year Star sits with six goals and 14 points across 15 games on the season while adding 36 shots on goal. He doesn’t record a lot of hits with just eight of those on the season and he doesn’t skate on his team’s top power-play unit with just a pair of man-advantage points on the campaign. However, he’s also a plus-seven on the campaign and he has notched four goals and nine points over his last five contests.

Predictably, Duchene’s ice time is down this season as his 16:42 per game is well below his 18:19 per game from last season with Nashville. However, his production is up. This is a case of less is more with the 32-year-old veteran.

From a pure production standpoint, Duchene’s near point-per-game pace is more than enough to warrant fantasy consideration.

Alexis Lafreniere (LW – NYR) 22.1% rostered

This one is aimed more toward dynasty managers as Alexis Lafreniere is turning a corner in his fourth NHL season.

He didn’t shoot out of the gate like many expected after he was a highly-touted first-overall pick in 2020 after a historic junior career but he’s currently on pace to set new career highs across the board. Through 15 games, the 22-year-old has tallied seven goals and 11 points. Count that as a 38-goal, 60-point pace across an 82-game regular season.

Of course, skating with Artemi Panarin is going to help. Both Lafreniere and Panarin are skating on their off-wings on the flanks of Vincent Trocheck at five-on-five action and the line is clicking. Lafreniere’s ice time went from 13:59 per game in the 2021-22 season before increasing to 15:13 last season. Now in a top-six role, he is skating 16:37 per contest. New head coach Peter Laviolette has unleashed the youngster and he is beginning to show star potential.

He’s a nice add in redraft leagues but dynasty managers need to hop on this train soon before it sails by.

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Stuart Skinner (G – EDM) 48.4% rostered

We always like to get a goalie involved in these weekly pieces and this week it’s Oilers netminder Stuart Skinner getting the nod.

If we’re thinking this week only, Skinner isn’t the best option as Cal Pickard is already the confirmed starter for Monday’s game against the Panthers. While he’ll start Tuesday’s back-to-back in Carolina, that’s not a great matchup. However, there’s plenty of reason to add Skinner for the remainder of the season in mind, at least until the Oilers add another goaltender.

Simply put, there is very, very little competition in the Oilers crease. Of course, Jack Campbell was demoted to the AHL where he has struggled to an .819 save percentage in three games. He’s not coming back up anytime soon. Pickard has NHL experience, but he’s a journeyman with a 3.30 goals-against average and .903 Sv% in 116 career contests while playing just nine NHL gamers over the last three seasons. No competition there.

So, Skinner is the guy in Edmonton, for better or worse. He himself isn’t have a great season with a 3.39 GAA and .873 Sv% in 12 games but he’s the clear-cut No. 1 netminder who will get a wealth of starts as it currently stands. Obviously, the Oilers are scuffling but if you need a guy who is going to meet starting requirements or hoping for a turnaround from both player and team, Skinner is your guy.

After all, there aren’t many, if any, No. 1 goaltenders on the waiver wire these days.

Nino Niederreiter (RW – WPG) 15.7% rostered

I actually had Nino Niederreiter on my fantasy hockey roster to conclude last season and he is certainly worth a look again this time around.

The Swiss winger is having a nice season with five goals and 13 points in 17 games but he is also delivering elsewhere. He has put 45 shots on goal, recorded 18 hits, and is a healthy plus-eight. While I’d prefer him skating in the top six, he’s done all of this while getting third-line minutes. He’s also a member of the Jets’ second power-play unit.

Nonetheless, this is rock-solid, cross-category production from a player who notched six goals and 13 points along with 51 shots and 50 hits across just 22 games with the Jets last season after being dealt from the Nashville Predators. Seven times in his NHL career this guy potted at least 20 goals.

Add it up and Niederreiter sure fills some holes on your roster while adding value to those leagues that reward hits.

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