The Wire Troll: Buy Low On Marc-Andre Fleury?
Marc-Andre Fleury is closing in on second place in wins. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy hockey. The regular season has finally begun, so it’s time to really start making the waiver wire work for you.
This week, the Kings lost Viktor Arvidsson to the LTIR with an LBI; the NHL is considering playing a game in Mexico City; and Connor Bedard was relieved to pot his first NHL goal.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Picks
Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Minnesota Wild (ESPN: 18.8 per cent; CBS: 33 per cent): Can you believe it’s been almost two years since Fleury reached 500 wins? He’s up to 544 now, just seven behind Patrick Roy for second place in NHL history. While Fleury is no longer the Wild’s starter, he’s likely still going to see a fair bit of action (consider that he made 45 starts last season) and is obviously quite capable of backstopping his team to wins. Okay, Minny spent the bucks on Filip Gustavsson this summer, clearly signaling that he’s the No. 1 (and he sure played like that in his season debut), but we still expect Fleury to earn enough PT to be useful. Even at age 38, Fleury can get the job done, so don’t sleep on him. Hey, if nothing else, he’s figured out a way to stop Bedard (see video below).
JJ Peterka, RW, Buffalo Sabres (ESPN: 2.1 per cent; CBS: 17 per cent): Peterka enjoyed a fine rookie season in 2022-23, but looks poised to take a step forward this season. He saw more ice time in the debut, and responded with Buffalo’s only goal of the game. Playing on the second line with Dylan Cozens and Victor Olofsson, Peterka is a real breakout candidate, so consider investing in him early.
Jake Bean, D, Columbus Blue Jackets (ESPN: 0.2 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): Bean, who bagged the first goal of the season for the Blue Jackets, stands to benefit from another Zach Werenski injury. Talk about a triumphant return from last season’s shoulder surgery for Bean! For Werenski, who also had a season-ending shoulder injury in ’22-23… not so much… he’s expected to miss around two weeks with a quad injury. With five assists through the first 14 games, Bean seemed headed for a career-best before getting hurt last season, but he’s already matched his goal total and is sure to see much more PT this season, especially early on. It’s just one game, but he looks vastly improved, and is poised for a bigger role.
Jonas Siegenthaler, D, New Jersey Devils (ESPN: 9 per cent; CBS: 9 per cent): Virtually out of nowhere, Siegenthaler not only looks like a great pickup, but someone you want starting for your Fantasy squad. Of course, a season opener in which he dropped three dimes might have something to do with this. On Friday, Siegenthaler added three blocks and a hit. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised; he’s gotten better each season and has clearly established himself as a full-time player since arriving in New Jersey, and now looks like he’s going to see more action this season. Siegenthaler is definitely a dynasty league option and is likely of great interest in redraft leagues now as well.
Quinton Byfield, C/LW, Los Angeles Kings (ESPN: 6.9 per cent; CBS: 33 per cent): Already criminally available in far too many Fantasy leagues, Byfield wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the opener and now he’ll be leaned on even more with Arvidsson out. There is great breakout potential here. Byfield took a step forward last season, but he didn’t wind up denting the twine much, so seeing one go in right at the outset of this season is very promising. Okay, so the top two picks of the 2020 NHL Draft (Alexis Lafrieniere and Byfield) have yet to blow up, but we’re not giving up on either one yet. This is an amazing buy low opportunity.
- Chris Kreider took a step back last season, “only” potting 36 goals after exploding for 52 in 2021-22. However, with a pair of goals (including a shorty and PPG) and an assist in the opener, he seems driven to get back to that level. Having said that, we do advise keeping an eye on Kreider’s ice time.
- New Flyer Garnet Hathaway was responsible for Werenski’s latest injury with a near knee on knee hit. Hathaway won’t add much offense to the Philly cause, but as a veteran grinder with an endless motor and a penchant for getting under opponents’ skin, he’ll help and is likely to see more PT this season. However, he’s now $5,000 poorer for his exploits.
- Another player that took a significant step back last season but has come out blazing this week is J.T. Miller. In 2021-22, he just missed 100 points, but last season, he barely topped a point per game. What a stiff, huh? Miller went crazy on Wednesday, scoring once and adding three assists to grab a share of the NHL scoring lead. Expect him to see a bit less PT this season, but clearly, he remains a stud.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
French singer Daniel Balavoine was hugely popular in the early ’80s before dying in a helicopter crash in 1986. In 1979, he released his fourth album, Face Amour/Face Amere, which included “Rougeagèvre” and its sweet guitar solo.