Fantasy Fix: Atkinson Back to Form, Saad Looking Lost

Each Monday, we’ll take a look at the past week in fantasy hockey. Specifically, we’ll dive into which players are heating up, which players are cooling down, players to target on the waiver wire, and an update on fantasy-relevant injuries. From week to week, a lot can change in a player’s fantasy outlook due to line combinations, injuries, or just a simple tweak in their game and we will have you covered.

Trending Up

Travis Konecny – PHI (LW/RW)

One of the most added players in fantasy hockey circles over the past week, Travis Konecny is on an absolute tear. In his last eight games, he’s tallied an impressive 10 points (five goals, five assists), leading to a 13 per cent increase in ownership.

Travis Konecny Flyers
Travis Konecny of the Philadelphia Flyers. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He’s now up to a respectable 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) in 52 games, and his recent offensive outburst has earned him a spot on the top line with Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux. He also has a role locked in on the second power play unit. Konecny isn’t going to maintain this pace going forward, but he’s certainly providing a promising outlook for the future.

Cam Atkinson – CBJ (RW)

It’s only been four games, but Cam Atkinson appears to be finding his form from last season. Prior to going down with injury, Atkinson was struggling in a big way offensively. He had just 13 points in 32 games prior to getting hurt. But since his return, he’s tallied four points (two goals, two assists) in his four games back. He’s jumped right back into his top six role and top power play unit role, and is now showing the production fantasy owners were expecting back on draft day.

TJ Brodie – CGY (D)

It’s been a down season overall for TJ Brodie, compared to past years, but perhaps his last couple games are an indication of a strong closing stretch. Brodie has tallied four assists in his last two games, bringing his season total to 24 points (three goals, 21 assists) in 52 games. He’s been playing much of the season with Travis Hamonic, which has certainly affected his offensive output. However, he continues to be used on the power play and sees heavy minutes overall. Hopefully these last couple games are an indication of what’s to come.

Related: Flames Fans Need to Chill

Trending Down

Brandon Saad – CHI (LW/RW)

Yes, Brandon Saad is trending down yet again. Overall, he has been one of the biggest fantasy disappointments this season. There were high hopes for him ahead of his return to Chicago, and early on in the season he was fulfilling those hopes.

Brandon Saad Blackhawks
Brandon Saad of the Chicago Blackhawks. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

But since then, he’s hit multiple large scoring droughts, including right now. In his last 11 games, he’s managed just a single even strength assist, and is sitting at only 24 points (13 goals, 11 assists) in 52 games this season. He continues to bounce around the lineup and power play units, which has been mirrored by his play. Owners can only hope for a miracle finish to the season.

Tyler Johnson – TBL (C)

This is probably one of the more surprising players to see trending down, but Tyler Johnson has definitely hit a bit of a slump. In his last six games, he’s managed just a single even strength assist to go with a minus – 4 rating. He still sits with a plentiful 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists) in 51 games this season, and remains on the second even strength line and power play unit. With the amount of offense the Tampa Bay Lightning can generate, it’s only a matter of time before Johnson starts up again. Just be patient.

Mike Green – DET (D)

To say Mike Green has been streaky this season would be an understatement. His 26 points (5 goals, 21 assists) in 51 games are solid numbers for a defenseman, but they definitely come in bunches. Unfortunately for his owners, he’s in the middle of another downward spiral. In his last eight games, he’s tallied just a single assist and a minus – 8 rating. As he’s done all year, he will bounce back in a big way soon. But if you’re in weekly leagues, it’s best to keep him on the bench until he turns it around again.

Related: Don’t Expect These Red Wings to be Moved

Waiver Wire Targets

Tomas Hertl – SJS (C/RW – 49% owned)

After being listed here for the past few weeks, it appears fantasy owners are finally starting to take notice of Tomas Hertl. His ownership has jumped eight per cent from last week, and should only continue to grow, making this the last week he will likely be listed here.

Sharks center Tomas Hertl
Sharks center Tomas Hertl. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

He’s now up to 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) in 52 games this season, and is now playing on the first line and top power play unit. With Joe Thornton out, Hertl is a lock to continue producing at a solid rate. If you’re lucky enough to still have him available, go and get him.

Cam Fowler – ANA (D – 46% owned)

It’s impossible not to like what Cam Fowler is doing right now, and the fact that he’s owned in less than 50 per cent of leagues isn’t right. Points are hard to come by with fantasy defensemen, and right now he’s posting a ton of them. He’s now up to 23 points (6 goals, 17 assists) in 41 games this season, including eight points in his last eight games. He’s a workhorse on the Anaheim Ducks back end and quarterbacks the top power play unit that’s finally starting to get going. If he’s available in your league, there’s really no reason not to add him.

Jordan Staal – CAR (C/LW – 43% owned)

With Jordan Staal, it’s all about the opportunities. And he’s seeing plenty of them. He plays in every possible situation on the ice, from the first line, to the top power play unit, to the penalty kill. He does it all, and should definitely be at least owned in more leagues. He currently sits with 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) in 53 games, which are solid numbers in the majority of fantasy leagues. Unless you’re in a shallow league, he certainly needs to be added.

Derek Stepan – ARI (C – 39% owned)

When he was playing for the New York Rangers just last season, Derek Stepan was a well-respected player in fantasy hockey. But since joining the Arizona Coyotes in the off-season, he hasn’t garnered the same attention. That needs to change, at least a little bit. He’s now back to playing on the Coyotes top line and first power play unit, which has more merit considering the team’s improved play of late. Stepan also sits with 30 points (nine goals, 21 assists) in 52 games, which is nothing to shake your head at. He should be added in most leagues, as long as he remains in these prominent offensive roles.

Danton Heinen – BOS (C – 36% owned)

If this list was ordered by priority instead of per cent-owned, Danton Heinen would be at the top. He simply should not still be available in over 60 per cent of leagues. But somehow he is. The rookie is playing on the number one line and top power play unit for a Boston Bruins team that has been finding the back of the net with ease. To boost his stock even more, he boasts 35 points (11 goals, 24 assists) in 46 games this season, which can’t be ignored. Even in certain shallow leagues, he’s absolutely worth an add. Don’t leave him on the waiver wire.

Related: Bruins Start New Streak

Injury Updates

Jeff Carter – LAK (Ankle)

After being cut by a skate in the LA Kings’ game on Oct. 18, Carter was originally expected to miss 6-8 weeks, but still hasn’t begun practicing. He has been skating on his own, which is at least some progress.

Roberto Luongo – FLA (Lower Body)

Luongo is expected to miss multiple weeks with a lower-body injury suffered Dec. 4. No definitive timeline for his return has been set, but he did practice in full gear this past week for the first time since the injury, and a return in early February is now considered a possibility.


Tyson Barrie – COL (Hand)

Barrie returned to the Colorado Avalanche lineup Jan. 30.

Tyson Barrie Avalanche
Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche. (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)

Nino Niederreiter – MIN (Lower Body)

Niederreiter returned to the Minnesota Wild lineup Feb. 2.

Shea Weber – MON (Foot)

Weber has been given some time to let his foot injury heal. He’s still considered out indefinitely, but has recently gotten rid of his walking boot.

Michael Frolik – CGY (Face)

Frolik returned to the Calgary Flames lineup Jan. 30.

Corey Crawford – CHI (Upper Body)

Crawford was placed on IR Dec. 27 with an upper-body injury. He remains out indefinitely but recent reports say he has resumed skating, which is a big step in the right direction.

Filip Forsberg – NSH (Hand)

Forsberg returned to the Nashville Predators lineup Feb. 1, but in his second game back received a three-game suspension for a hit against the New York Rangers.

Forsberg Predators
Filip Forsberg of the Nashville Predators. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Kreider – NYR (Rib)

Kreider underwent successful surgery Jan. 9 and will be re-evaluated in six weeks. He has recently began skating again.

Mark Scheifele – WPG (Upper Body)

Scheifele suffered an upper-body injury Dec. 27 and is expected to be sidelined 6-8 weeks. Recent reports from Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice say he could be back as early as Feb. 9.

Sebastian Aho – CAR (Concussion)

Aho returned to the Carolina Hurricanes lineup Jan. 30.

Semyon Varlamov – COL (Groin)

Varlamov returned to the Colorado Avalanche lineup Feb. 3.

Justin Abdelkader – DET (Lower Body)

Abdelkader returned to the Detroit Red Wings lineup Jan. 31.

Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader
Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdeklader. (Bridget Samuels)

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – EDM (Ribs)

Nugent-Hopkins suffered a bruised sternum and cracked ribs Jan. 13 and is expected to miss five-six weeks.

Victor Hedman – TBL (Lower Body)

Hedman returned to the Tampa Bay Lightning lineup Jan. 30.

Kevin Shattenkirk – NYR (Knee)

Shattenkirk will undergo surgery to repair a meniscus tear and will be out indefinitely. As of Jan. 31, he began doing upper body exercises.

Matt Murray – PIT (Personal)

Murray returned to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup Jan. 30.

Martin Jones – SJS (Lower Body)

Jones returned to the San Jose Sharks lineup Jan. 30.

Martin Jones Sharks
Martin Jones of the San Jose Sharks. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)

Ondrej Palat – TBL (Lower Body)

Palat suffered a lower body injury Jan. 20 and will miss six-eight weeks.

Morgan Rielly – TOR (Upper Body)

Rielly returned to the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup Feb. 3.

John Gibson – ANA (Lower Body)

Gibson suffered a lower body injury Jan. 25 and left the game as a result. He’s still considered day-to-day.

Charlie McAvoy – BOS (Heart)

McAvoy returned to the Boston Bruins lineup Feb. 3.

James Reimer – FLA (Groin)

Reimer suffered a groin injury Jan. 23 and is expected to miss at least two weeks. As of Feb. 3, reports say he will miss at least four more games.

Marcus Johansson – NJD (Concussion)

Johansson suffered a concussion Jan. 23 and is out indefinitely. As of Feb. 4, he has yet to resume skating.

New Jersey Devils center Marcus Johansson
New Jersey Devils center Marcus Johansson. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Cory Schneider – NJD (Groin)

Schneider suffered a groin injury Jan. 23 and was forced to leave the game. He’s still considered day-to-day, but only just resumed skating on Feb. 1.

Taylor Hall – NJD (Thumb)

Hall returned to the New Jersey Devils lineup Jan. 30.

Mark Stone – OTT (Knee)

Stone suffered a knee injury Jan. 20 and has missed the past three games. It’s not expected to be serious, but he still remains day-to-day.

Brian Elliott – PHI (Lower Body)

Elliott is dealing with a lower body injury that’s considered minor. He’s currently day-to-day, but the Philadelphia Flyers are hoping he’s ready to go for Tuesday’s game.

Joe Thornton – SJS (Knee)

Thornton suffered a knee injury Jan. 23 and left the game. He has underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee and is expected to miss several weeks. He’s considered week-to-week for now.

Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Evgeny Kuznetsov – WAS (Leg)

Kuznetsov returned to the Washington Capitals Jan. 31.

Jacob Trouba – WPG (Ankle)

Trouba suffered an ankle injury Jan. 25 and is expected to miss six-eight weeks.

Antti Raanta – ARI (Undisclosed)

Raanta was involved in a minor car accident on Feb. 1 and has missed the past two games due to apparent minor whiplash symptoms. He’s still considered day-to-day.

Brad Marchand – BOS (Suspension)

Marchand was suspended five games for elbowing. He’s eligible to return Feb. 7.

Nathan MacKinnon – COL (Upper Body)

MacKinnon suffered an upper body injury Jan. 30 and is expected to miss two-four weeks.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon
Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)

Cam Talbot – EDM (Illness)

Talbot missed the Edmonton Oilers game on Feb. 1 due to illness. He’s expected to be ready to go Monday night.

Pavel Buchnevich – NYR (Concussion)

Buchnevich suffered a concussion Feb. 1 and is considered out indefinitely.

Bobby Ryan – OTT (Hand)

Ryan suffered another hand injury Feb. 1 and has missed the past two games as a result. He’s still considered day-to-day, but has no definite return date.

Conor Sheary – PIT (Lower Body)

Sheary suffered a lower body Jan. 30 and was placed on IR Feb. 3. He’s considered week-to-week.

Patric Hornqvist – PIT (Lower Body)

Hornqvist suffered a lower body injury Feb. 2, but is only considered day-to-day.

Related: What Happened to Kris Letang?