In fantasy hockey, it is key to realize that it’s not always the superstars that drive your team, but the depth players who can produce while your star players may be slumping or injured. This week, we’re going to take a look at players who could add some solid depth scoring down the stretch of the season. Follow me on twitter for some quick hits and links to all my articles @thelandshock.
- Andrew Shaw (CHI – C) – The Blackhawks fifth-rounder this past summer was not expected to make an impact at the NHL level for years to come, or even have his name said at the draft table. Nevertheless, against all odds, Shaw is making a name for himself. The Belleville, Ontario native fought Daniel Carcillo and Dylan Olsen at training camp and has even scrapped with players over seven inches taller and forty pounds heavier than him. With Carcillo out for the season, Shaw will have plenty of opportunity to keep fighting the opposition as well as for an NHL job. Also interesting to note is that he’s been seeing shifts with Toews and Kane as well as Hossa and Kruger.(1% owned on Yahoo!)
- David Desharnais (MTL – C) – The short and slick French “Canadien” has been a point machine over the last few months. He started the season on a slow note and questions arose as to whether or not his small stature would hold up in the big leagues. All of those concerns were wiped away once Cole and Pacioretty began to click big-time with Desharnais. The former Bulldog has eighteen points in his last twenty games and without the presence of Cammalleri and Gionta, even more responsibility will be placed on this line’s shoulders. (8% owned on Yahoo!)
- Martin Erat (NSH – RW) – The oft-injured slick Czech has finished the first half of the season with thirty points in 38 games while missing eight appearances. Even if he’s absent for eight more games this season, Erat would still be on pace to finish with 54 points in 66 games. Erat finished last season with fifty points in 64 games, including seventeen goals. He won’t pad your PIMs, hits or blocked shots, but a nearly-twenty goal-scorer with over thirty assists should be considered for your roster. (19% owned on Yahoo!)
- David Perron (STL – LW) – Last season, Perron missed 72 games with a concussion and wasn’t even symptom-free coming into this one. Now, he’s playing over nineteen minutes a night including time on the top powerplay unit for the Blues. Not surprisingly, on the back of everyone’s mind is the old adage, “one hit and he’s back to the IR”. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean he should be avoided at all costs. Perron has fifteen points in twenty games this season with a plus-five rating. (16% owned on Yahoo!)
- Ales Hemsky (EDM – RW) – Just like Perron and Erat, Hemsky is a glass house. He seems to be a lot more injury-plagued than many other players and was even quoted earlier in the year saying his shoulder is still bothering him following surgery. The former Olympique has six points in his last seven games while playing on a line with Taylor Hall and Sam Gagner. Hall has been bringing his game to a new level lately and with injuries to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle, Hemsky has been allowed to showcase his passing prestige and smooth hands. While Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle will soon return, it seems inevitable that Hemsky will be traded by the deadline and will be given big-time minutes wherever he may end up. (16% owned on Yahoo!)
- Kyle Okposo (NYI – RW) – It should be no surprise to read that Okposo has been on a tear as of late with nine points in his last nine games. Jack Capuano shuffled his lines a couple of weeks ago, seeing Okposo lined up with John Tavares and Matt Moulson. The latter player has 31 points in his last 24 games and Tavares is sitting at a point-per-game on the season. As long as Capuano allows the offense to entertain, Okposo will have every opportunity to continue producing. The only downfall is that Okposo is still occupying a spot on the Isles’ second powerplay unit. (10% owned on Yahoo!
- Marcus Johansson (WSH – C) – With the injury to Caps’ Swedish superstar, Nicklas Backstrom, a hole must be filled to center a line next to Alexander Semin and Alexander Ovechkin. Ovechkin has thirteen points in his last thirteen games, including eight goals, and has been shooting over four shots per game through December and January. To start the season, the game-changing Ovechkin only averaged 3.5 shots per game, taking 26 games to hit the eight-goal mark. As long as Ovechkin is producing, MoJo will have tremendous opportunity to come close to Backstrom’s figures while he’s on the shelf. (8% owned on Yahoo!)
- Colin Greening (OTT – LW) – Things could not be going any better in Ottawa as the team is being represented by four all-stars in the All-Star Game and is tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference standings. Greening will go to the All-Star Game as a rookie, and there is plenty of reason for that. He is sitting on the top line for Ottawa with linemates who are currently in the running for the Art Ross and the Maurice Richard trophies. Moreover, the St. John’s native is currently on a streak of five points in his last five games. Greening may only hit around forty points this year, but he has a tremendous chance at a twenty-goal campaign as his game continues to grow at the NHL level. (8% owned on Yahoo!)
- Tom Wandell (DAL – C) – While Ribeiro is sitting out with a slight MCL tear, Wandell has excelled into a top-six position for the Stars. In addition, with Jamie Benn being out for the next month, Wandell is given even more opportunity to perform. The former fifth-rounder has played over fourteen minutes a night over the last four games, and has six points in his last eight games. He may only be a short-term option, but could be a solid fix if you’re missing a Ribeiro, Mikko Koivu or Jordan Staal. (0% owned on Yahoo!)
- Steve Sullivan (PIT – LW) – Sullivan hasn’t been much of an offensive stud for the Pens’ so far this season as he is currently on pace for sixteen goals and 41 points. The fifteen-year veteran will welcome back his powerplay partner, Kris Letang, in the next few weeks, and with Jordan Staal ‘s eventual return, he’ll once again have an offensive center. (6% owned on Yahoo!)
- Corey Potter (EDM – D) – With Ryan Whitney collecting his paycheque while on the IR, Corey Potter has been earning his through his tremendous offensive play and his not-so-compelling play in the defensive end. Potter may not be a player you hope to have on your real-life NHL team, but on your fantasy team, he has seven points in his last eleven games, and is seeing a hefty amount of powerplay time. (6% owned on Yahoo!)
- Kyle Turris (OTT – C) – Kyle Turris has been a perfect complement to the Senators offense since being traded from Phoenix. Ottawa is 11-2-2 with Turris on the game-sheet and the former third-overall pick has eleven points as a Sen. He has played at least 15 minutes a night in every game for Ottawa, and has been Daniel Alfredsson’s right-hand man since his arrival. (9% owned on Yahoo!)
- Sam Gagner (EDM – C) – As I wrote last week, Gagner has had an offensive explosion with eighteen points in his last 24 games while playing on a line with Ales Hemsky and Taylor Hall. With Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle sidelined, there is no doubt that the centreman should be owned. (8% owned on Yahoo!)
- Ryan Malone (TB – LW) – Malone started off the season on a slow note while recovering from his off-season shoulder surgery. As of late, the Pittsburgh native is starting to find his groove with nine points in his last seven games, playing on a line with Stamkos and Thompson and he is also seeing some decent powerplay time. Moreover, Malone will give you around 75 penalty minutes and is on pace to break over 150 hits. (9% owned on Yahoo!)
- Sergei Kostitsyn (NSH – LW) – Kostitsyn, like Erat, is incredibly underrated in the fantasy world. The often inconsistent Belarusian is on a current streak of eight points in his last eight games, with six being of the goal variety. If Kostitsyn can ever find consistency in his game, he will be as coveted as Alex Radulov was back in his Nashville days. (8% owned on Yahoo!)
- Mikael Samuelsson (FLA – RW) – Samuelsson has six points in eleven games for the anaemic Panthers offense since his trade from Vancouver. The Swedish 35-year old has been seeing time on the top powerplay unit and is playing second line minutes next to Tomas Kopecky and John Madden. Sammy has had at least fourteen powerplay points in five of his last six seasons and even sniped thirty for the Canucks back in 2009. (8% owned on Yahoo!)
- Todd Bertuzzi (DET – LW,RW) – Big Bert is currently on pace to top 45 points for the first time since his Vancouver days. The ’93 first-rounder has been clicking incredibly well with Pavel Datsyuk as of late and has 21 points in his last 24 games. He won’t get you many powerplay points, but with his ability to get you fantasy points for penalty minutes and hits, he adds tremendous depth to most teams. (16% owned on Yahoo!)
18. Justin Faulk (CAR – D) – The American rookie has added big-time offense since critics were stuck wondering whether or not he would be granted a leave of absence to join the USA roster for the World Juniors tournament. Faulk has been leading the ‘Canes defensemen in powerplay time over the last month and has six points in his last ten games. With Staal heating up, Faulk will have opportunity to pick up quite a few assists on the stat sheet. (3% owned on Yahoo!)
19. Kristian Huselius (CLB – LW,RW) – When will Kristian Huselius be healthy? He only managed to play two games this season before suffering a second injury. The Blue Jackets are having a rough season but Huselius is expected to return in the next few weeks and is only two years removed from a 63-point campaign. They’ll do anything to create offense at this point, so take a flyer on a guy who once had thirteen points in four games a few years ago. (1% owned on Yahoo!)
20. Devin Setoguchi (MIN – RW) – Seto has returned to the Wild lineup and returns to his spot on the top line, opposite wing to Dany Heatley and playing next to… Matt Cullen. It’ll be difficult to see him doing much without Koivu, but top line minutes with virtually no competition is something to appreciate. Setoguchi played over 22 minutes last game. (20% owned on Yahoo!)
1 thought on “20 Players to Watch Under 20% Owned: Shaw, Desharnais and more”
Good article, my team is so injury-riddled right now that this information is perfect. Thanks & keep up the good work
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