Fantasy Hockey Week 5: Top 10 Waiver Wire Pickups

The fifth week of action in the NHL features a lot of teams playing four games, so there are tons of options for your fantasy hockey teams, whether you’re streaming players or trying to snag guys for the long run.

There are 13 teams that play four times this week. That list includes the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, and Washington Capitals. There are also more than enough teams here that are very hot out of the gate this season, so most players’ stock will rise on those teams.

On the other end, there are those teams that get a bit of a break this week, playing two or fewer games. The Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, and Tampa Bay Lightning all play twice, while the New York Islanders only play once. It would be wise to wait on picking anyone from that team up this week.

(Rostered as of Nov. 8, ESPN Fantasy Hockey)

Forwards

Matt Duchene, Nashville Predators (30.6% rostered)

Not known for the offence in Nashville, Matt Duchene has made an early mark this season with his production after faltering the last two seasons since signing with the Predators. His five goals and 10 points on the season in 12 games have almost matched his season totals from last season in 34 games when he had six goals and 13 points.

Matt Duchene Nashville Predators
Matt Duchene, Nashville Predators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He has swapped between playing on the first and second line while playing centre and on the wing. Teammates Filip Forsberg, Mikael Granlund, and Roman Josi are also playing well, so it helps to be around others succeeding as well. With Forsberg out, the lines have juggled a bit upfront, and Duchene is now playing on the second line with Granlund and Luke Kunin. Also lining up on the top power-play unit, Duchene should have no trouble keeping up the production, as he has scored 30 goals and 70 points twice in his career.

Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks (29.4%)

The top line of the Anaheim Ducks has been on another level this season after another very poor offensive year in 2020-21. Troy Terry was featured on the top waiver-wire pickups of week five, while Ryan Getzlaf is now at the top, and linemate Adam Henrique also makes an appearance.

Getzlaf’s point streak of five games was snapped in a win over the Blues last night. He recorded one goal and seven points in that stretch and has 11 points in 13 games on the season. His linemates have the ability to score, and his talent for passing the puck hasn’t gone away, so expect many more points as the season progresses.

Adrian Kempe, Los Angeles Kings (34.3%)

Adrian Kempe had a slower start to the season, as did his team, the Kings. Now that they’ve started to turn things around, he’s been a part of that recent success. He has scored five of his six points on the season in the past five games and is on a three-game point streak. Kempe is currently playing on the second line and the first power-play unit, so as long as the team continues to roll, he should be in on the action and provide fantasy points.

Rasmus Asplund, Buffalo Sabres (6.3%)

Rasmus Asplund has adjusted very well to taking on a much larger role with the Buffalo Sabres this season. His ice time jumped from 12:51 last season to 17:37 this year. With less competition on a very young team in the Sabres and with some injuries, Asplund is playing top-line minutes right now.

Rasmus Asplund, Buffalo Sabres
Rasmus Asplund, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Asplund deserves it and has broken out this season. He’s on pace to shatter his career highs in goals, assists, and points after already recording four goals and 10 points in 11 games. He has played himself onto the top power-play unit as well and hopes to continue to contribute there. Buffalo may be cooling off a bit, but his three goals and five assists on a six-game point streak don’t indicate he’s slowing down along with them.

Adam Henrique, Anaheim Ducks (35.1%)

Rounding up the Ducks’ top line, Henrique has also gotten off to a nice start. Never failing to find the back of the net, his five goals and 11 points in the first 13 games speak for itself. With a career 15.4 shooting percentage in his career and 16.1 in Anaheim, he makes the most of his shots every season and has never had much trouble scoring. He is already over halfway to his points from last season in less than one-third of the time.

Henrique also lines up on the top power-play unit for the Ducks along with Getzlaf. This unit is extremely more effective than last season and should provide these Ducks players with added value throughout the year.

Related: NHL Stat Corner: Oilers, Coyotes, Panthers, & More

Defencemen

Moritz Seider, Detroit Red Wings (47.2%)

This early rookie of the year candidate shows up on this list once again after being owned 31.1 percent of the time last week. Moritz Seider has shown no signs of slowing down on a much-improved Detroit Red Wings team that has him leading the charge on the back end.

He has one goal and 10 points in 13 games this season. The goal came in overtime against the Sabres and allowed him to be a part of a very exclusive list of players who scored their first career goal for the Red Wings in overtime. He is the first and only since 1935, joining only Mud Bruneteau. Seider has five power-play points already and is quarterbacking the top unit very well.

Brandon Montour, Florida Panthers (20.2%)

Brandon Montour may not be the best defenceman on the Panthers, but he is still an offensively gifted player on a team that is having one of the best starts in NHL history. The more goals that come, the more the wealth will be spread around, and he will benefit from that. The points on the Panthers aren’t just coming from one line, too; the team is deep, and there is a threat to score out there all the time.

Brandon Montour Florida Panthers
Brandon Montour, Florida Panthers (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images)

Montour has seven points in 11 games on the season, and in the last two full seasons he played, he reached 30 points. That is easily within reach on this powerhouse of a team. At the very least, you can stream him this week when the Panthers play four times.

Nate Schmidt, Winnipeg Jets (25.5%)

Nate Schmidt continues to put up assists and points on the power play. The Winnipeg Jets have two dangerous power plays, and Schmidt has gotten himself on the top unit. He also lines up beside Josh Morrissey on the top defensive pairing. The Jets have shown just how deep they are this season, helped along by Schmidt’s play. He is worth at least streaming and could turn into more if his assists and plus/minus continue to impress and increase.

Goalies

Mikko Koskinen, Edmonton Oilers (44.9%)

Mikko Koskinen is the first of the two goalies who reappeared from last week. He has seen a decent increase in adds, but is still under 50 percent rostered for a goalie who is behind a 10-1-0 Edmonton Oilers team. He has played much better than anyone would’ve anticipated and is worth picking up while he’s getting action in net. Mike Smith was supposed to be ready to return a handful of games ago, but that still hasn’t happened. So, with four games this week for the Oilers, get use out of Koskinen while you can and before his value drops off.

James Reimer, San Jose Sharks (10.3%)

James Reimer has a better opportunity to get into more games and continue the excellent start he’s had. He’s played in five of the San Jose Sharks’ 11 games and has three wins. Most notably of his starts are his goals-against average and save percentage that sits at 1.60 and .946 on the season, respectively. It will be very hard to keep these numbers as he plays more games. But his hot start and the showing the Sharks have given make me more confident that the team is for real.

The Ducks are a team to keep an eye on, as they have multiple players this week and continue to have players make the list to watch for. Injuries and players stepping up this week in place of that can see the top waiver-wire pickups for next week drastically change. Keep an eye on this and come back next week to see the best available players worth targeting for the week in fantasy hockey.


Sign up for our 'DAILY BEST Newsletter' for the latest & greatest hockey news & analysis.