Most fantasy hockey leagues are in the midst of the playoffs, and this slate of weekend games presents the final opportunity to either claw back in categories you’re behind in, or solidify those you’re ahead in.
We break down five valuable waiver wire pickups you can make today to maximize value as Week 13 comes to an end.
Unfortunately, COVID is still causing havoc in the league, with games still being postponed due to positive cases or preventative measures. The Vancouver Canucks are finally getting back to action this Sunday after three weeks of postponed games, and now the Colorado Avalanche are being shut down for at least two weeks due to multiple players entering COVID protocol.
Managing the schedule will be critical in fantasy for the rest of the season. All the players identified below play on both Saturday and Sunday, and are no more than 16% rostered in Yahoo leagues. Odds are high that all are available in your league.
Let’s get into it.
1. Dmitry Orlov, D, WSH, 16% Rostered
Dmitry Orlov isn’t a player who is fantasy relevant throughout the whole season, but he does go through streaks where he is. Right now, he’s in one of those streaks. His stats from the past 14 days:
With two goals and six points over the past eight games, Orlov has certainly been productive, but what really makes him valuable is his peripheral coverage. He’s averaging around two shots and hits per game, and one block per game. He didn’t have any points on special teams over this period, but he is on Washington’s second power play unit and also kills penalties. He’s on the top pairing with John Carlson as well, so there is certainly upside with Orlov. He’s not available in my league, but he’s likely available in yours.
The Capitals play the Flyers on Saturday and the Bruins on Sunday.
2. Colin Blackwell, LW/RW, NYR, 6% Rostered
Raise your hand if you had never heard of Colin Blackwell prior to the last few weeks. Same. The Rangers have turned into a scoring machine and any blueshirt you can add will likely provide you value in the next couple weeks. His stats from the past 14 days:
I fully expect Blackwell’s ownership to more than double by game time on Saturday night. He’s currently skating on the Rangers’ second line with Ryan Strome and superstar Artemi Panarin. He deserves the opportunity to play on that line and deserves a pickup in fantasy. Over the past 14 days, Blackwell is a point-per-game player with three of those points being goals, and averages one shot, hit, and block per game. He also has two power play points centering the second unit. Blackwell is a superb streaming option this weekend, and is worth hanging onto as long as he’s lining up next to Panarin.
The Rangers play the Devils on Saturday and Sunday.
3. Casey Mittelstadt, C/LW/RW, BUF, 6% Rostered
Buffalo Sabres haven’t shown up very much on any fantasy lists this season, but former first round pick Casey Mittelstadt might have finally figured it out in the NHL. His stats from the past 14 days:
Remember when Yahoo projected Mittelstadt to top 70 points in his rookie year? That definitely didn’t happen, and he even played more games in the AHL last year than the NHL. However, it looks like things are turning around for Mittelstadt in Buffalo, and now is the time to hop on the train. Over the past two weeks, he’s got five goals, six points, one point on both sides of special teams, and 14 shots. It’s pure offense for Mittelstadt which is what he was supposed to provide, and since they snapped their dreadful losing streak, the Sabres haven’t been all that bad. The cherry on top is that Mittelstadt is triple position eligible, and will be easy to fit into your lineup.
Buffalo plays Pittsburgh on Saturday and Sunday.
4. Conor Sheary, LW/RW, WSH, 5% Rostered
Another Capital on the list, Conor Sheary has quite productive the past couple weeks, and is skating on a great third line in Washington. His stats from the past 14 days:
In eight games, Sheary has six points, four of which are goals, and a very impressive three power play points. He’s currently centering the Capitals’ second power play unit which has some solid weapons, including the newest Capital Anthony Mantha. Sheary is also averaging over two shots a game, half a hit, and half a block. His value definitely isn’t in the hits and blocks categories, he’s a guy you should look at if you need points and are really strapped. The power play exposure and the effectiveness of Washington’s second unit makes him a better option than others.
5. Brian Dumoulin, D, PIT, 3% Rostered
Brian Dumoulin isn’t know for being a heavy hitter in the fantasy world, but he’s on a bit of a personal “heater” right now and is worth a look at the very least. His stats from the last 14 days:
For starters, Dumoulin is on a six game points streak, two of which were goals, and has chipped in nine shots, four hits, and 13 blocks. For Dumoulin, the points have been a complete bonus. He’s partnered with Kris Letang and is logging big minutes for the Penguins, but doesn’t play on the power play and won’t ever feature heavily on the man advantage; his PPTOI this season is just 3:49. What you’re getting with Dumoulin is exposure to Letang at 5v5 and reliable peripherals.
Pittsburgh plays Buffalo on Saturday and Sunday.
The time is now
It’s crunch time for fantasy hockey and being just a bit more active on the waiver wire might very well be the difference between locking in wins across categories versus watching your victory slip away.
If you’re in the playoffs, check your rosters and the schedule, as making a play right now to best suit your needs can payoff big. Good luck!