It’s been another great week of Fantasy hockey with surprise sleepers and studs lurking around every corner. Here at RotoRob.com, we’ve adjusted our teams accordingly and suggest you do, too.
David Desharnais, C, Montreal Canadiens (ESPN: 10 per cent; CBS: 41 per cent): For a guy that has eight goals, 30 points and a plus-12 rating through 51 games this season, Desharnais is quite available both in ESPN and CBS, but also in Yahoo leagues, in which he’s only 11 per cent owned. In three games in Week 17, the diminutive pivot had a goal, six points, a plus-6 rating, a power play point, five shots on goal, 39 face-offs won, a hit and a blocked shot. If you have the space, we suggest you add this guy immediately.
Derek Dorsett, RW, Vancouver Canucks (ESPN: 3.1 per cent; CBS: 21 per cent): Dorsett’s Fantasy value depends on whether or not penalty minutes are a big part of your particular league. If they are, his 123 penalty minutes this season have considerable value. Dorsett has shown a willingness to step up for his teammates — even though at times he doesn’t come out on top of the battle (see video below). He also is a decent source of secondary scoring if you’re looking for a player to “fill in the cracks and crevices” of your team. The Canucks’ winger had a great week with an assist, a plus-2 rating, 28 penalty minutes, four shots on goal and four hits. He has five goals, 15 points, a plus-2 rating and 59 shots on goal so far this season.
Jakob Silfverberg, LW/RW, Anaheim Ducks (ESPN: 4.1 per cent; CBS: 34 per cent): If there’s anything Anaheim has shown us this season, it’s that Ducks fly together, and they’ve flown to a league-best 75 points and a 34-12-7 record. Silfverberg contributed a lot to the club’s success last week with two goals, four points, a plus-3 rating, two penalty minutes, a power play point, a shorthanded point, eight shots on goal, a hit and a block. Through 53 games, the young Swede has eight goals, 23 points, 128 shots on goal and a plus-5 rating.
Brandon Pirri, C, Florida Panthers (ESPN: 4.1 per cent; CBS: 11 per cent): Florida may currently be going through some tough times, but it’s far from being the fault of Pirri. In three games in Week 17, the former Chicago Blackhawks draft pick had three goals, four points, a power play point, a game-winning goal, 10 shots on goal, four face-offs won and two hits. He has six goals and seven points in his past seven games, and nine goals, 11 points, 67 shots on goal and a plus-1 rating in 26 games this season. Keep your eyes on this guy; Pirri may be just the perfect injury replacement for your team.
Mikael Granlund, C, Minnesota Wild (ESPN: 11.5 per cent; CBS: 37 per cent): Take it for what it’s worth, but Minnesota hasn’t lost in the five games since Granlund made his return from wrist surgery. In that span, he has a goal, three points, a plus-4 rating, two penalty minutes, a power play point, nine shots on goal, six hits, two blocked shots, 41 face-offs won and a 53.25 per cent face-off win percentage. With scoring wingers Zach Parise and Thomas Vanek skating on his wings, Granlund’s line is an intimidating offensive presence on a nightly basis. Five goals, 18 points, 54 shots on goal and a plus-6 rating through 37 games aren’t exactly bad, either. He’s widely available, and we suggest you jump on him.
STUDS AND DUDS
“Studs and Duds” is our weekly segment about who was hot and who was not in Fantasy hockey in the previous week.
No. 1. Devan Dubnyk, G, Minnesota Wild: For the first time in his career, “Dooby” has the luxury of a great defensive team in front of him. As his numbers suggest, he’s certainly benefited from it. In three games last week, the 6’6″, 210-pound netminder posted three wins, a 0.67 goals against average, a .975 save percentage and two shutouts. Through nine appearances with the Wild, he has seven wins, a 1.31 goals against average, a .948 save percentage and four shutouts. According to Elias, Dubnyk is the fastest goaltender to four shutouts with a team in the NHL’s expansion era (1967-68 to present). If he keeps it up, not only will the Regina, Saskatchewan native be looking at a hefty contract, but potentially some hardware if he can lift Minnesota to a third straight postseason.
No. 2. Alex Ovechkin, LW/RW, Washington Capitals: “Alexander the Great” had a pretty great week, collecting three goals, five points, a plus-1 rating, eight penalty minutes, a power play point, a game-winning goal and an impressive 19 shots on goal and 15 hits in four games.
No. 3. Braden Holtby, G, Washington Capitals: Aside from a single goal against on the week, Holtby was flawless with two wins, a 0.50 goals against average, a .981 save percentage and a shutout.
No. 1. Viktor Fasth, G, Edmonton Oilers: Oh, Edmonton, why must you torture your fans so? After years of high picks — including three straight first overall picks — the Oilers still can’t get their act together, and are now potentially looking at their fifth top three pick in six years. Fasth and Ben Scrivens are just the latest decent NHL goaltenders (see Ilya Bryzgalov and Dubnyk) to be made fools of in Edmonton’s system. In three appearances last week, former Duck Fasth had just one win, 11 goals against, a 3.62 goals against average and an .879 save percentage.
No. 2. Cody Ceci, D, Ottawa Senators: Ottawa has not been a bright spot in the Eastern Conference this season. With 49 points, the Sens are 14th in the 16-team conference, are 14 points back of the last wild card spot, have lost three in a row and are just 3-6-1 in their past 10 games. As such, Ceci is one of a few Ottawa skaters wishing they had a better week. Through three games, the young defender was scoreless with a minus-6 rating, three shots on goal, three hits and two blocks.
No. 3. Keith Kinkaid, G, New Jersey Devils: The Devils may be 6-2-2 in their past 10 games, but Kinkaid, a rookie, got blasted for six goals against on 44 shots in a 6-2 loss to Montreal in the Bell Centre on Saturday. The seldom used backup had a 6.00 goals against average and an .864 save percentage after allowing just one goal on 27 shots in a 3-1 win over Florida in his previous start back on January 31.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy hockey waiver wire pick of the week is.
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