The Wire Troll: TVR to Be Leaned On
Trevor van Riemsdyk is going to get a lot of ice time. (All-Pro Reels)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy hockey. We’re closing in on the trade deadline, and things are already hopping, so keep your eyes open for Fantasy opportunities.
This week, Alex Ovechkin returned to action, but the Caps keep losing; Boston made a deal to get even deeper (see below for the Fantasy opportunity); and Nashville has lost Ryan Johansen (leg surgery) for the rest of the regular season.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Picks
Trevor van Riemsdyk, D, Washington Capitals (ESPN: 4.4 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): Over five years have elapsed since we last recommended van Riemsdyk, and even then it was as a short-term shot-blocking option. Sure enough, he did rack up plenty of blocks that season, but has even this season in what’s shaping up as a career best effort — especially now that he’ll be leaned on even more with Dmitry Orlov getting traded. Not only is TVR providing veteran leadership (having played his 500th career game last month), but he’s already reached a career high in goals. His ice time has steadily increased as the season has progressed, and that won’t change now. Yes, van Riemsdyk remains mostly a defensive defenseman, but he can help in a couple of categories and has shown a willingness to drop the gloves periodically (see video below).
Josh Manson, D, Colorado Avalanche (ESPN: 2.3 per cent; CBS: 11 per cent): Just over three years ago we recommended Manson, anticipating a trade that took another year to materialize. However, with Cale Makar (concussion) still out, it’s time to give Manson another look. Manson has logged assists in two of the last three games, gone +6 over the last four and is always a good source of blocks, hits and takeaways. Finally healthy after missing 31 games with an LBI, he’s a nice short-term add in most formats.
Cam Talbot, G, Ottawa Senators (ESPN: 45.2 per cent; CBS: 50 per cent): Talbot has had a very rough season, getting hurt very early on, and then suffering another LBI last month that he just returned from this week. Not surprisingly, the rust showed, but with rumours suggested he’s on the trade block, he could be showcased between now and the deadline. Talbot, 35, is an UFA after the season, so the motivation is certainly there to prove he can still be more than a backup goalie after posting his highest GAA since 2018-19.
Cody Glass, C, Nashville Predators (ESPN: 0.4 per cent; CBS: 6 per cent): Glass is expected to move into top six with Johansen out and he’s making his case with assists in back to back games. Glass is enjoying a breakout season, averaging over a hit per game while posting a solid +8 rating with 14 PIM. His faceoff work has been suspect lately, and he’s actually playing a bit less so far this month, but that seems bound to change with Johansen out of the picture. With over 20 points already, Glass represents a good deep-league option with upside.
Filip Zadina, RW, Detroit Red Wings (ESPN: 0.3 per cent; CBS: 8 per cent): At the beginning of last season, we were all in on Zadina breakout, and while he did set career highs in goals and assists, he finished an abysmal -24 and had his least PT yet. This season has been a disaster thanks to injury issues and healthy scratches, but he’s playing more over the last week and change, and has been producing, with points in three straight. Still, there is promise here: Zadina has career bests in Fenwick For percentage, shots for percentage, goals for percentage and xG percentage, so the advanced numbers suggest he could experience a production spike if the minutes keep rising. Food for thought in dynasty play at the very least.
Robby Fabbri, C, Detroit Red Wings (ESPN: 7.7 per cent; CBS: 26 per cent): Yup, we gave Fabbri some love just before the end of the calendar year, but he’s still available in tons of leagues. He shook off an LBI from blocking a shot Tuesday to play his usual allotment of minutes on Thursday, and with a point per game this month (including a three-game goal scoring streak a week and a half ago), he definitely deserves your attention. Sure, Fabbri’s shooting percentage is unsustainable, but he’ll still be a very useful asset down the stretch.
Joel Farabee, LW, Philadelphia Flyers (ESPN: 2.9 per cent; CBS: 23 per cent): Two seasons ago, Farabee was a Wire Troll All-Star and his arrow pointed straight up. It’s been a tough go since, however. He regressed last season, and has sunk into an even deeper hole in 2022-23, thanks in no small part to offseason neck surgery, which has clearly limited him at times. Farabee has been getting dumped in some leagues, and rumours that he wants out of Philly haven’t helped. Whether he gets a fresh start elsewhere or not, he could be a great buy-low candidate, as things may already be looking up. On Friday, Farabee saw his most ice time in nearly a month and somehow went +2 in a 5-2 loss, which is not easy to do.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
English rock band The Moody Blues originally formed in 1964, remaining active until 1974, and then had a second act between 1977 and 2018. In 1977, the band released its first live effort, Caught Live + 5, which featured three sides of live tracks and five new songs, including “King and Queen.”