Working the waiver wire is a crucial part of every fantasy hockey championship season. Finding players for your lineup each week that can add points to your total is the number one way you can control the outcome of your match. In this article, I’ll be reviewing players at every position and at different roster levels each week so you can fill out your fantasy team with the best players available in your league. Let’s dig deeper:
On the roster in 41-50% of leagues: Andrei Kuzmenko, LW/RW, VAN (46% on the roster)
That Kuzmenko remains available in more than half of Yahoo leagues is an incredible development, as the Russian import is on pace for 74 points after another high-scoring outing on Sunday. Kuzmenko’s shots dried up after a hot streak earlier in the season, but he maintained a strong top-six role for most of the season and rewarded the team with just a tremendous level of production in his first NHL season.
Vancouver has a three-game schedule this week, two on the night, which means you’ll be able to fit Kuzmenko into the starting lineup for at least two games this week. If it’s still available in your league, it’s time to fix that problem.
Honorable Mentions: Logan Couture, C, SJS (47%) & Andre Burakovsky, LW/RW, SEA (45%)
Listed in 31-40% of leagues: Boone Jenner, C, CBJ (34% of lists)
Jenner returned to NHL action on Saturday and immediately resumed his role as the best center in Columbus, skating 19:17 and collecting his usual assortment of shots, hits and blocks. If that’s your format, Jenner is a category-heavy player while also offering great value for points and a points-only crowd. While Jenner didn’t open the 5-on-5 line alongside Columbus stars Patrik Laine or Johnny Gaudreau, it’s a big bet to assume he’ll continue that deployment soon and is right back on the top power-play unit. Jenner is, simply put, one of the strongest all-around options in fantasy (and especially for your leagues).
Honorable Mentions: Phillip Danault, C, LAK (34%) & Seth Jarvis, LW/RW, CAR (32%)
On roster in 21-30% of leagues: Jason Zucker, LW, PIT (22% on roster)
Pittsburgh has the best schedule of any team this week in terms of fantasy appeal, with four games and three nights off. Zucker earned the spot as the only member of Pittsburgh’s top six not on the roster in more than 50 percent of leagues. I’m not overly enamored with Zucker’s recent play as he’s fired just seven shots in his last five games, but I love Zucker’s penchant for throwing bodies as he’s recorded 19 hits in that same stretch. In a week like this where the tough nights are extremely tough and the off nights are pretty easy, adding someone like Zucker can ensure that you’re at least getting games on those off nights rather than just benching a good player on a super tough night in Thursday and Saturday. Get Zucker in there, let him fill out the scoring category for you, and hope he also gets you some points during the week.
Honorable mentions: Kevin Hayes, C/LW, PHI (28%) & Viktor Arvidsson, LW/RW, LAK (29%)
Roster in 0-20% Leagues: Evan Rodrigues, C/LW/RW, COL (18% Roster)
It’s hard not to be excited about Rodrigues right now, as he plays on a top power play and top line alongside Avalanche superstar Nathan Mackinnon. Rodrigues has only one game under 20 minutes of ice time in the last 10, and in that period he has also scored 10 points.
While Rodrigues is a net zero in the forward categories most nights, he is a strong shooter with a history of scoring points. The Avs play four games this week, including two off nights, which is the perfect time to add a top player to a team that knows how to score goals. In fact, I’d prefer Rodrigues over Zucker or Jenner in most formats this week.
Honorable mentions: Nick Schmaltz, C/RW, ARI (20%) and Nino Niederreiter, LW, NSH (16%)
Listed in 26-50% of leagues: Owen Power, BUF (47% listed)
It’s safe to say that Owen Power has been a bit of a disappointment this season, with zero goals and just 15 assists in 38 games to start the season. And it’s not like the Power is putting up points in other ways, averaging just 1.6 shots per game, 0.5 hits per game and 1.3 blocks per game. But Power has caught my eye by registering at least four hits in each of his last three games. Given Power’s pedigree as the No. 1 pick. 1, his strong usage (25-plus minutes in five of the last eight games) and the Sabres’ explosive offense this season, I’m excited about the Power’s effort now with I thought he could turn into a second half for my roster.
Honorable mentions: Sean Durzi, LAK (38%) and Brady Skjei (39%)
Listed 0-25% League: Damon Severson, NJD (17% Listed)
This is the time of year where it becomes very difficult to find viable fantasy defensemen on the waiver wire in the deeper leagues. That’s why it’s such a welcome revelation when a guy like Severson puts together the streak he has right now.
Severson has seven points in his last six games, has established himself as the Devils’ No. 2 guard and general minutes-eater, averaging over 23 minutes a night over that span. He’s not likely to be someone you can hang on to forever, but he’s a legitimately talented offensive lineman playing for a very talented New Jersey team. In the deeper leagues after the halfway point of the season, that makes him worth streaming for at least a week.
Honorable mentions: Colton Parayko, STL (14%) and Cam Fowler, ANA (10%)
On the roster in 26-50% of leagues: Filip Gustavsson, MIN (45% on the roster)
Gustavsson has been a bit of a revelation this year, with 10 wins in 16 starts with an incredible 2.17 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. Recently, Gustavsson has alternated starts with expected starter Marc-Andre Fleury and has fairly outplayed him. As long as Gustavsson returns these kinds of results, he’ll be worth including even if he never gets past that 50 percent share of Minnesota’s net.
From the Wild’s perspective, I can’t see a reason to overload the 38-year-old Fleury even if they see him as their true No. 1 goaltender. You can get more volume from the league’s John Gibson and Karel Vejmelkas, but Gustavsson is the goaltender in this tier who provides the best starts.
Honorable mentions: John Gibson, ANA (35%) and Karel Vejmelka, DA (50%)
List in 0-25% of leagues: Adin Hill – VGK (14% of list)
Logan Thompson has gotten most of the starts in the Vegas net this year, but lately he hasn’t quite lived up to the standard he set early on. Contrast that with Hill, who in his last two starts beat the Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers by allowing just two goals on 40 and 39 shots, respectively.
Goalies are fickle creatures, and I wouldn’t be at all shocked if Hill outperformed Thompson the rest of the season and earned a bigger share in Vegas down the stretch. Keep an eye on who starts Monday night in Dallas – if Hill gets the call, it will be a clear alternating pattern over the last six starts. If he gets that start and performs well in it, he could get a run of games soon, so if you’re in desperate need of deep league goaltending help, I’d be tempted to pick up Hill before that game.
Honorable mentions: Elvis Merzlikins, CBJ (14%) and Eric Comrie, BUF (10%)
– – –
Nate Groot Nibbelink is the creator Apples & Ginos Fantasy Hockey and originator of the #ZeroG strategy draft. You can find him pontificating about obscure fantasy hockey strategy topics at Apples & Ginos Discord Server or on Twitter @applesginos.
More from Yahoo Sports