Editor’s note: This feature, which recaps the past week in fantasy hockey, will run every Sunday on NESN.com throughout the regular season.
The first month of the 2014-15 NHL season is over.
Fantasy owners still have plenty of time to overcome a poor start to the campaign, and the best way to climb up the standings is finding the right players on the waiver wire. Several stars are battling injuries right now, but they’re being replaced by young players who aren’t owned in many fantasy leagues.
Let’s check out the best and worst players from the last week, as well as three guys to target on the waiver wire.
Marc-Andre Fleury, Goaltender, Pittsburgh Penguins
Fleury was the best goalie in the league this week. He has won four consecutive games, and three of them were shutouts, and he’s 7-2-0 with a 1.89 goals against average and a .939 save percentage overall. So far, Fluery has been a reliable No. 1 goalie, and fantasy owners should expect this to continue because he’s in a contract year.
Jakub Voracek, Winger, Philadelphia Flyers
Voracek leads the league with 13 assists in 11 games. He also has at least one point in 10 of 11 games and has two points in four of his last five games. Playing alongside superstar center Claude Giroux on the Flyers’ top line should help Voracek score at or above a point-per-game rate this season. He’s a must-start in all leagues.
Ryan Miller, Goaltender, Vancouver Canucks
Miller has won five consecutive games and didn’t allow more than two goals in any of those contests. He’s 8-1-0 with a .918 save percentage and a 2.24 GAA for a Canucks team that is playing better defensively than many people anticipated. He’s a trustworthy No. 1 goalie for fantasy owners.
Martin St. Louis, Winger, New York Rangers
The Quebec native hasn’t scored a goal since Oct. 19 and has only one total point in his last four games. The absence of No. 1 center Derek Stepan isn’t helping St. Louis’ scoring production, and fantasy owners should consider other options until he shows some consistency.
Brendan Gallagher, Winger, Montreal Canadiens
After a strong start to the season, Gallagher has struggled recently with zero points in his last five games. He’s averaging three shots per game with a minus-1 rating and zero power-play scoring over that span. He should be benched until improvement is showed.
Nail Yakupov, Winger, Edmonton Oilers
Fantasy owners expecting a bounce-back season from the former No. 1 overall draft pick have been disappointed through 11 games. Yakupov has scored only one goal in his last nine games, and he has two total points over that span. The Russian forward should be benched in all leagues with 10 or fewer teams until he shows some offensive consistency.
Waiver Wire Pickups
Niklas Svedberg, Goaltender, Boston Bruins
Svedberg has proven to be a quality backup goalie to starter Tuukka Rask. Svedberg’s 1.67 GAA is the fourth-best in the league, and he has a .940 save percentage along with a 2-2-0 record. Fantasy owners will benefit by the quality defensive defensemen and forwards who keep the amount of shots Svedberg faces at a minimum.
Filip Forsberg, Winger, Nashville Predators
The sophomore winger has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 10 games and benefits from playing in head coach Peter Laviolette’s uptempo system. Forsberg also has 21 shots on goal and just four penalty minutes, and he ranks third among all players with a plus-11 rating. He’s a good depth forward in all types of fantasy leagues and a must-own in keeper/dynasty leagues.
Seth Griffith, Winger, Boston Bruins
Griffith, who’s playing on the Bruins’ top line alongside Milan Lucic and David Krejci, has three goals and two assists in nine games and also is receiving 2:07 of power-play ice time per game. He’s a good option for fantasy owners desperate for offense in 10- to 14-team leagues.
Photo via Matt Slocum/Associated Press
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