Fantasy Hockey: Streaking Players Under 20% Owned

With the month of November behind fantasy managers, some managers might already be adding and dropping players that haven’t performed up to expectation thus far. While some players on a given roster might have a longer leash than others, it might be useful to look at some streaking players that are owned by less than one-fifth of all managers competing in Yahoo! formats.

Although some managers might be stuck in their league’s cellar at the moment, there are still several months of hockey left to be played – which is more than ample time for one to get themselves back into the playoff bubble. Adding some of the players mentioned below might not guarantee one any upward movement in their respective league’s standings, but they could certainly have an impact on lineups that are in need of some offensive production.

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The Silent Streakers

Jaden Schwartz (St. Louis Blues – C/LW)

Schwartz Blues

Jaden Schwartz has been one of the Blues’ best offensive producers as of late. (TSN Photography)

It wouldn’t be surprising to see Jaden Schwartz’s ownership rate spike over the next few days. At 13% owned, Schwartz experienced a 4% increase in ownership over the course of one day, and will probably be added in droves if he continues his stellar production.

Despite the fact that Schwartz only has 18 points (6 Goals, 12 Assists) so far this season, the dual-position (C/LW) forward is in the middle of a seven-game point streak that has seen him gather eight points (3 Goals, 5 Assists). Even though Schwartz is seeing time on the Blues’ third line alongside Vladimir Sobotka and Chris Stewart, he is averaging slightly over 16 minutes of ice-time this season. Fantasy managers, especially those in deeper leagues, should strongly consider adding Schwartz while he still might be available as the forward’s recent point surge has definitely put him on the radar in many fantasy circles.

Nick Bonino (Anaheim Ducks – C)

About three weeks ago, The Hockey Writers, explored the potential fantasy impact that Nick Bonino could have on fantasy lineups with some added responsibility. While Bonino’s ownership rate has only increased by 5% since that time, the centerman has definitely given fantasy managers enough reason to at least keep a very close eye on his production.

Over the last six games, Bonino has registered seven points (2 Goals, 5 Assists), and has been seeing a good amount of power-play time on the Ducks’ top man-advantage unit. Seeing as how Bonino has been given more responsibility as of late, fantasy managers might want to stash the centerman on their bench before his 11% ownership rate potentially sees an uptick.

Gustav Nyquist (Detroit Red Wings – C/RW)

Nyquist Red Wings

Gustav Nyquist is seeing time on the Wings’ first line, so fantasy managers might want to act quick. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Nyquist might only have six NHL games under his belt this season, but it seems as though the dual-position forward (C/RW) is showing little to no ill effects after missing the first month and a half of the regular season. Since his return, Nyquist has recorded five points (4 Goals, 1 Assist) and is currently playing alongside Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen.

As long as Nyquist stays on the first line, his chances of offensive output will be all the more higher, but the forward is more than capable of creating offense even if he isn’t playing on Detroit’s primary line. Nyquist’s linemates will undoubtedly help the winger in terms of potential offensive production, so fantasy managers might want to add the forward sooner rather than later as his 13% ownership rate won’t stay the same if he keeps up his steady production.

David Desharnais (Montreal Canadiens – C)

Desharnais Canadiens

David Desharnais has certainly found a rhythm as of late after a very slow start to the ’13-’14 NHL season. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

Desharnais made waves during the 2011-2012 NHL season when he amassed 60 points in 81 games played for the Montreal Canadiens. Not only did the diminutive centerman add a different element to Montreal’s offense, he made himself known extremely well in many fantasy circles.

After a somewhat lackluster ’12-’13 season where Desharnais recorded 28 points, the forward was virtually invisible throughout the first month and a half of the ’13-’14 season as he only managed to tally one assist in 19 games played. However, Desharnais has certainly turned his fortunes around lately by scoring eight points (2 Goals, 6 Assists) in his last seven games played. The 5’7″ pivot has also seen an increase in his ice-time as of late and is currently centering the Canadiens’ second line – something that could make the centerman invaluable to fantasy managers as he is playing alongside individuals such as Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher. Fantasy managers might want to act quick as Desharnais is only 8% owned at the moment, but if he keeps up his current rate of production, then that availability will swiftly decrease.

Mika Zibanejad (Ottawa Senators – C/RW)

Zibanejad Senators

Mika Zibanejad is on a goal scoring streak, but can he keep it up? (Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports)

For those that can afford to take a hit to their +/- statistics, Mika Zibanejad might be a great find. The dual-position (C/RW) forward has scored a goal in three straight games and has six points (4 Goals, 2 Assists) in his last six games.

What is even more interesting is the fact that Zibanejad had only recorded five points before his offensive outburst over the last several games. While Zibanejad has only been averaging less than 14 minutes of ice-time this season, the forward has received more responsibility as of late as he has not seen less than 15 minutes of average ice-time in his last five games played for the Senators. For the meantime, fantasy managers might want to keep a very close eye on Zibanejad as he has not even experienced a full 82-game NHL season yet and could be more prone to hot and cold streaks than other players.

Honorable Mentions

Ryan Garbutt (Dallas Stars – C)

Garbutt Stars

Ryan Garbutt has contributed in various categories as of late, but what should fantasy managers do with the center? (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Nobody knows what Ryan Garbutt can bring to the Dallas Stars on a long-term basis, but the 1% owned centerman has certainly garnered some attention over the last few games. Over his last three games, Garbutt has registered five points (3 Goals, 2 Assists), and has been receiving an increased amount of ice-time as well.

If Garbutt’s shots on goal totals are any indicator (26 SOG in his last five games), then the centerman is bound to hit the back of the net more often than not. Fantasy managers should keep their eyes on Garbutt for now and shouldn’t add him just yet as there is still an unknown factor to the player – even though the forward has contributed in several categories for the Stars over the last few games.

Eric Gelinas (New Jersey Devils – D)

Gelinas Devils

Eric Gelinas might be seeing less ice-time than Marek Zidlicky and Andy Greene, but he could be a good option for those in deeper leagues. (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

Gelinas might not have the most attractive +/- statistics, or be on a point streak, but he has been a consistent producer on the Devils’ blueline so far this season. The defender might not provide jaw-dropping stats for fantasy managers, but it seems as though the 2009 second round pick has found a groove with New Jersey as of late as he has tallied six points (1 Goal, 5 Assists) in his last eight games.

Considering the fact that Gelinas had only amassed six points before his current spike in production, it might be safe to say that the defenseman has found his niche on his team. Fantasy managers certainly added Andy Greene in droves as his ownership rate increased by 10% over the last 24 hours, but Gelinas could be a good pickup for those in deeper leagues – especially since he usually racks up numbers in the hits category on a nightly basis. Even though Gelinas might see less ice-time than Greene or Marek Zidlicky, fantasy managers should nonetheless keep a watchful eye on the young defenseman throughout the rest of the regular season.

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Anatoliy Metter

Anatoliy Metter

Toli covers all things related to the New York Islanders for The Hockey Writers. Anyone looking to talk hockey or sports can feel free to contact him on Facebook by searching/messaging Toli Metter and on twitter by searching @ToliMetterTHW.
Anatoliy Metter
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