Fantasy hockey waiver watch – Big things ahead for Kirby Dach and Mikael Granlund

Every week, we’ll mine the waiver wire for lesser-rostered assets to help your squad, whether you favor dynasty or the redraft format, and we’ll also toss in some tips for DFS players out there. Finally, we will look at some former go-to fantasy assets who may be overvalued – in the short- or long-term – for one reason or another.

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Forwards

Mikael Granlund, LW/C/RW, Nashville Predators (47.2%): Whether he’s traded to Toronto, elsewhere, or sticks with the suddenly surging Predators, Granlund appears to have rediscovered his productive touch of late. The top-six skater has scored in three of his past four contests, including with the extra skater.

While the 29-year-old has mostly underwhelmed since arriving in Nashville, Granlund’s undisputed talent and skill can’t be overlooked. Fantasy managers with injury issues in deeper leagues might consider hurling the dice on someone who averaged 0.84 points per game his final three seasons with the Wild. Especially if he gets traded to a more goal-happy squad like the Leafs. Toronto has averaged 0.88 more goals-per-game than the Predators this season. That’s a good chunk.

Phil Kessel, RW, Arizona Coyotes (39.3%): The veteran sniper is on one of his “runs” again. Might I suggest, considering the strength of competition, Tuesday’s goal and assist against the Avalanche strike even more impressive than Saturday’s hat-trick versus the Sharks? Five goals in three games is remarkable, however divvied up. The Coyotes twice face the more-generous-of-late Kings and Ducks in the coming 10 days, further enhancing Kessel’s immediate fantasy potential.

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Phil Kessel gets 7th career hat trick as the Coyotes easily take down the Sharks.

Joonas Donskoi, RW, Colorado Avalanche (27.8%): While promoting a third-line winger as a valuable fantasy asset doesn’t often fall in step with my modus operandi, there’s no discounting Donskoi’s six goals and four assists in eight games. Plus he gets a sniff of power-play time, here and there. If an option, make the most of this productive run before the 28-year-old cools off.

Kirby Dach, C, Chicago Blackhawks (18.1%): With the broken wrist in the rear-view, Dach is back and bumped to the top line and power play with Patrick Kane. No points yet through two games, but they’ll come – the Sophomore is already averaging near 21 minutes per contest. Fantasy managers in a wide variety of leagues should be all over the 20-year-old before he’s all scooped up.

Jason Robertson, LW, Dallas Stars (15.6%): Recently promoted to the Stars’ top line and power play alongside Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz, the 21-year-old has four goals and 11 assists in 15 games. Offering additional promise, he’s shooting a lot more often, averaging 3.4 shots per game since Mar. 13. While the Stars rookie won’t win the Calder, Robertson is doing his darndest to at least wiggle into the conversation. His present-day fantasy appeal goes beyond dynasty and deeper keeper leagues.

2 Related

See also: Josh Norris, C, Ottawa Senators (7.7%), Jesper Bratt, RW/LW, New Jersey Devils (6.3%), Robby Fabbri, C/LW, Detroit Red Wings (13.2%), Noel Acciari, C/RW, Florida Panthers (8.2%)

Defenders

Ty Smith, New Jersey Devils (21.5%): After a lackluster three-week stretch through February and the start of March, Smith appears back in rhythm with eight assists in 12 games. Hardly mind-blowing numbers, but serviceable enough for fantasy defender. Drafted 17th overall in 2018, the rookie blueliner projects as a prolific puck-mover for years to come. Don’t be surprised when the 21-year-old – anchoring the Devils’ top power play at present – wraps up his first season on a high. Should not need mentioning that Smith’s a must-roster in dynasty leagues.

Gustav Forsling, Florida Panthers (1.2%): More than one Florida defender will be asked to step up in light of Aaron Ekblad’s awful injury, including Forsling. Without making any rash moves, fantasy managers with blue-line problems might at least keep a view of how the 24-year-old figures in once coach Joel Quenneville tries to fill the gaping hole left by Ekblad. A top-four slot and increased power play time is possible.

Goaltenders

Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators (58.8%): The 25-year-old has played great, helping the Predators win seven of their past eight. Just like that, Nashville is in a playoff spot. Of course, this endorsement only applies if Saros’ current injury is as minor as implied. Otherwise, pivot to Pekka Rinne, who’s only spoken for in 18.3% of ESPN.com leagues. The elder statesman has also been solid in net since mid-March. The Preds face Chicago once, Detroit twice, and Dallas three times in the next two weeks. There are worse schedules.

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Adin Hill, Arizona Coyotes (4.4%): Arizona’s current by-default No. 1 has won three-straight, averaging 6.93 fantasy points per appearance. At least consider running the Coyotes’ third-stringer out against the Ducks and Kings over the next week and a half. Fantasy managers desperate for goaltending – Carter Hart still on your roster? – could do worse than give Hill a whirl. With Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta out for the foreseeable future, the 24-year-old is going to be busy. Arizona won’t let the Blues waltz off with the West’s final playoff spot place without a fight.

See also: Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs (40.6%)

Lowered expectations

Mike Hoffman, LW/RW, St. Louis Blues (77.3%): A healthy scratch of late, Hoffman wasn’t exactly lighting it up when active, scoring just the one goal and assist through 10 games. One of this season’s largest fantasy disappointments, the winger isn’t jiving in St. Louis. Coach Craig Berube – vocal in his dissatisfaction with the former Panther/Senator – is undoubtedly hoping the recent benching provides some form of inspiring spark. Maybe it does. Or maybe the pending UFA is traded. However it plays out, until/unless something shakes out in a positive vein, Hoffman belongs on the fantasy bench as well.

Published: 2021-03-29 20:38:43

Tags: #Fantasy #hockey #waiver #watch #Big #ahead #Kirby #Dach #Mikael #Granlund

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