Every week, we’ll mine the waiver wire for lesser-rostered assets to help your squad, whether you favor dynasty or the redraft format, and we’ll also toss in some tips for DFS players out there. Finally, we will look at some former go-to fantasy assets who may be overvalued – in the short- or long-term – for one reason or another.
Roope Hintz, C/LW, Dallas Stars (40.0%): While he hasn’t sparkled on the scoresheet this past month, Hintz remains a fixture on a Stars’ scoring line with Tyler Seguin and secondary power play. The points will come. Consider acquiring the gifted Sophomore before they start piling up quickly.
Craig Smith, RW/C, Nashville Predators (27.0%): One of the streakiest scorers in the game is currently in rhythm with six goals in five contests, including last Thursday’s hat-trick against the Islanders. The 30-year-old could serve as a productive DFS asset or plug on rosters badgered by injury, particularly in leagues where goals are highly treasured, through the next week or so. I wouldn’t be the least surprised if Smith pots two or three or four more before inevitably cooling off, beginning with Tuesday’s tilt with the Hurricanes.
Brandon Saad, LW/RW, Chicago Blackhawks (24.5%): After losing a month to an ankle injury, Saad has since collected seven goals and two assists in 11 games. Averaging more than 18 minutes per contest in February, he’s competing on a scoring line and top power play with Patrick Kane. The veteran winger should be spoken for in the majority of deeper ESPN.com leagues.
Zach Sanford, LW, St. Louis Blues (16.7%): The 25-year-old winger is still filling a top-six role with the Blues and he’s still scoring. Last week’s ridiculous four-goal outing against Vegas now has Sanford up to 16 points in 14 games since Jan. 11 alone. And he’s starting to shoot more – which is great. I don’t get why this clear-cut fantasy asset isn’t more popular.
Shea Weber, Montreal Canadiens (79.6%): I’m bending my own rule of focussing on lesser-rostered players only because Weber’s recent journey is too wild to ignore. In the span of just a few days, the injured veteran defenseman went from perceived as maybe calling it a career to missing a few weeks to probably scoring against the Red Wings on Tuesday. If dumped in your own fantasy league – hardly a ridiculous move, considering last week’s news – grab him asap.
Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes (47.8%): We’re finally bearing witness to why the Coyotes were so keen on drafting the defenseman 16th overall in 2016. Still only 21 years old, Chychrun is already evolving into a steady top-four presence and power-play fixture. Averaging 22:29 a game, the fourth-year skater leads Arizona’s blue line in both shots (143) and goals (12). And he’s never been more productive than at present, with seven points in eight recent contests. Scoop him up.
Markus Nutivaara, Columbus Blue Jackets (0.7%): Since taking over for an injured Seth Jones on the top pair and power play, Nutivaara has a goal, assist, and 10 shots through three games, while averaging more than 21 minutes of ice-time. As long as he continues to fill those key roles, the 25-year-old is useful in deeper ESPN.com leagues. And he’s widely available.
Carter Hutton, Buffalo Sabres (22.0%): Hey, he’s won four straight and looks more like the Carter Hutton that dominated to start 2019-20. Outside of one disastrous performance against the Avalanche two weeks ago, the Sabres’ original No. 1 has been good-to-great since taking over for an injured Linus Ullmark in late January. He really has. While I’m not (yet) rushing to add Hutton to my ESPN.com fantasy roster in place of another competent figure, Daily Fantasy players might give him an extra hard look when the matchup makes sense. As long as he’s playing this well.
Pavel Francouz, Colorado Avalanche (17.5%): Barring a significant roster move, Colorado’s crease belongs to Francouz for as long as Phillip Grubauer remains out with a lower-body injury – be it a week or longer. Shakier of late, the club’s second-in-command recorded 23 saves in a close loss to the Lightning on Monday, and will get the likely nod in three more games this week. Remember, he was largely superb whenever active up until a month ago. Fighting for a playoff spot, the Avs will need Francouz to rediscover that steady form, especially if Grubauer misses more than a handful of contests. I like the fantasy gamble here.
Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs (12.1%): While hardly a threat to takeover for Frederik Andersen as the Leafs’ No. 1, the recent L.A. export nonetheless appears revitalized in his new digs. Sporting a 3-0-1 record and .919 SV% through four starts for the Maple Leafs, Campbell is prematurely proving a reliable alternative when Freddy needs the night off. There’s tangible DFS appeal here.
Ilya Samsonov, G, Washington Capitals (55.2%): Braden Holtby appears once more entrenched as the Capitals’ No. 1 netminder, making his third-straight start in a close loss to the Golden Knights on Monday night. For his part, Samsonov was pulled during his last game, a week ago, after giving up five goals in half an hour to the Islanders. The young netminder – who put up exceptional numbers just last month – could be significantly less busy these final few weeks. Unless Holtby falters, of course.