In weekly fantasy leagues, things can often come down to the wire on the weekends. It is crucial to ensure you can lock up the categories you’re ahead in, and do your best to flip the categories you’re losing. It’s difficult to add players who can rack up goals and assists for you, but peripheral categories are always ones you can find help for on the waiver wire.
We break down a few of the best streaming options for each major peripheral category. Keep these players in mind whenever you’re in need of a boost when the weekend rolls around, or if you know that you’re facing a steep challenge in a category or two next week.
Shots on goal
Volume shooters tend to be the ones who get a lot of goals, but there are several solid shooters you can probably add off the waiver wire if you need help in the SOG category.
Dustin Brown is still holding down the right wing spot on the Kings’ top line alongside Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe. He’s not the same player he was a few years ago, but he’s still effective and is trusted by the Kings. He also plays on the top power play unit and is averaging 18:21 TOI this season. He has 48 shots in 14 games, an average of 3.4 shots per game. At just 18% rostered in Yahoo! leagues and 23% in ESPN leagues, Brown is a solid choice for SOG streaming. Brown also covers hits which is a nice bonus to have from a volume shooter.
While he’s only playing on the Wild’s third line at the moment, Ryan Hartman is averaging 16:49 TOI this season and is getting looks on the Wild’s second power play unit. He currently has 45 shots in 13 games, an average of 3.5 shots per game. Hartman is only 30% rostered in Yahoo! leagues and 12% in ESPN leagues. Like Brown, Hartman also covers the hits category.
The Golden Knights’ rough start to the season is leading fantasy managers to cut bait with previously solid depth forwards. One of these forwards is Reilly Smith, who was once a must-have fantasy player and is now available on the waiver wire of most leagues. Smith doesn’t do much other than shoot the puck. He has 45 shots in 14 games this season, an average of 3.2 shots per game. He’s on Vegas’ top line and top power play unit and is averaging 18:30 TOI. If he’s playing, he’s a lock for three shots at least. Smith is rostered in just 24% of Yahoo! leagues and 17% of ESPN leagues.
The Sabres have gotten off to a much better start than most predicted. Jeff Skinner will likely never live up to the ludicrous $9M AAV contract he signed, but he’s been effective for the Sabres this season nonetheless. He’s playing on the to pline and top power play unit, though his ice time is a bit low at just 16:44 on average. Still, with 43 shots in 13 games for an average of 3.3 per game, Skinner is a good last resort to keep in your back pocket. He’s rostered in just 4% of Yahoo! leagues and 3% of ESPN leagues.
Hits can be a tough category to predict because of the arena bias that goes into counting hits. We broke that down last year and it’s worth a read if you haven’t checked it out already.
The NHL hits leader, Nicolas Deslauriers is an absolute wrecking ball for the Ducks. This is an easy one since hitting is pretty much all he does, but if you’re in a pinch, Deslaurier is the best bet for covering hits. He’s racked up 64 hits in 15 games, an average of 4.3 hits per game. He’s 4% rostered in Yahoo! leagues and 1% rostered in ESPN leagues.
Another Duck, Josh Manson is a solid choice for hits coverage. As a defenseman, it’s nice to have peripherals coming from here so you don’t lose any offense from swapping out a forward. With 42 hits in 15 games so far for an average of 2.8 per game, Manson covers hits very well. What makes Manson a nice add is that he covers the other peripheral categories as well. On average this season, Manson is getting 1.4 shots, 2.8 hits, and 1.1 blocks per game. For a defender that doesn’t score a ton, it’s nice to have reliability in peripherals. Manson is 5% rostered in Yahoo! leagues and 1% rostered in ESPN leagues.
Luke Kunin has been on a tear recently with five points in his last six games for the Predators. He’s on the top line with Mikael Granlund and Matt Duchene and the second power play unit as well. With six points on the season, 20 shots, and 39 hits, Kunin is the perfect streaming option. He averages 1.4 shots and 2.8 hits per game and is a lock to be productive even if he isn’t scoring, which he has been doing lately. Kunin is 4% rostered in Yahoo! leagues and 1% rostered in ESPN leagues, though this will most likely change in a hurry.
Blocks is one of the easiest stat to find on the waiver wire, but it’s important to maximize your pickups.
Mario Ferraro should definitely be owned in more leagues. The Sharks have gotten off to a much better start this season in a weak Pacific division, and Ferraro is anchoring the top defense pairing with Brent Burns. He isn’t out there on the power play at all, but is still averaging a whopping 25:21 TOI per game. Ferraro is the current NHL blocks leader with 39 in 13 games, an average of 3 blocks per game, and also chips in with 2.1 hits and 0.9 shots per game. He’s currently 11% rostered in Yahoo! leagues and 20% rostered in ESPN leagues.
Jake McCabe is my go-to blocks streaming player. Playing on the top lairing with Seth Jones, McCabe is out against his opponents’ top lines every single night, and racks up a ton of blocks defending those lines. With 36 blocks in 15 games, McCabe is good for 2.4 blocks per game, and also chips in with 2.3 hits and 0.7 shots per game. McCabe is rostered in 2% of Yahoo! and ESPN leagues.
Mark Pysyk is a unicorn. He’s not the best at anything, but he offers something almost no other player can offer: forward/defense dual eligibility. It’s hard to get blocks from your forwards, but Pysyk is averaging 1.4 blocks per game this season. He’s also reliable in other categories, averaging 1.2 shots and 0.9 hits per game. He’s only useful if you’re really in a pinch and don’t have roster flexibility, but Pysyk is someone you should at least know about. He’s a RW/D eligible player in Yahoo! leagues where he’s 0% rostered, and D eligible in ESPN leagues where he’s also 0% rostered.
If you play in a league that counts faceoff wins, you’re likely not looking to add another center to your roster and want to find faceoff wins from the wing. These players are all dual eligible and can help boost your faceoff win stats from outside the center slot.
Leafs’ center David Kampf ahs been a go-to faceoff wins player for me this season. He’s currently centering a solid third line with Ondrej Kase and Pierre Engvall, and is centering the first penalty killing unit. He’s playing an average of 14:25 per night, and has 113 faceoff wins in 15 games. That’s good for an average of 7.5 per game. As a C/RW eligible player on both Yahoo! and ESPN, Kampf is the best player for faceoff support from the wing. He’s rostered in 1% of Yahoo! leagues and 0% of ESPN leagues.
An easy choice, Granlund is centering the Predators’ top line and is not rostered very highly right now. He’s also C/RW eligible on both platforms, and has 91 faceoff wins in 14 games this season, good for an average of 6.5 per game. He plays over 20 minutes a night on the top line, top power play, and second penalty killing unit. Granlund is also averaging over a point per game with two goals and 15 points in 14 games, has four power play points, 20 shots, eight hits, and eight blocks. He is an absolute must-add player in any league that counts faceoff wins. Granlund is 27% rostered in Yahoo! leagues and 18% rostered in ESPN leagues.
Johan Larsson is a C/LW eligible player and has racked up 90 faceoff wins in 14 games for the Coyotes. If your league counts plus/minus, you should obviously stay away from any Coyotes, however. Larsson has been a very good peripheral stat stuffer this season. He’s averaging 6.4 faceoff wins, 0.7 shots, 2.1 hits, and 0.7 blocks per game this season. He’s 1% rostered in Yahoo! leagues and 0% rostered in ESPN leagues.
Making the right move to win a category can lead to an overall win on the week. Playing the strategy of waiver wire transactions is something any manager with their fingers on the pulse of their team and opponent will do. Knowing which players to target and when to target them can pay dividends, so be sure to take advantage of the ones available in your leagues.