The playoffs are still underway for most leagues and in order to advance into the next round – you need some strategic adds and drops. I will not only cover what players you should add and drop but also mix in some strategy in this week’s Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire.
It’s easy. Games played equals opportunity. Opportunity equals stuffing your categories with points. Points equals wins. If you haven’t checked weekly schedules for teams, I suggest you start immediately in the playoffs. I always recommend picking players up on four game streams but this week it’s definitely worth noting how many games some teams have. This deep into the season, it’s not worth picking someone up that plays two games just because they’re a name of value. Punch your ticket into the next round and then worry about re-adding players.
Vincent Lecavalier – C,LW – Los Angeles Kings
Out of all the teams that have four games this week (CAR, LA, NYI, NYR, PHI, VAN) none have an easier schedule than the Kings. Vincent Lecavalier has looked like “Old Vinny” from years ago since being moved to LA from Philadelphia. Talk about a revitalizing trade. He has eight goals in 32 games since being traded (puts him on pace for about 21 goals in a full season) and has been hot as of late. Dating back to March 5th, he’s only been held off the scoresheet in two games.
Rickard Rakell – C – Anaheim Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks have the easiest schedule this week. Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa are all inside the bottom ten of the league when it comes to the standings while Toronto and Ottawa have the honour of being in the top ten of giving up the most goals per game (Montreal gets an honourable mention at 11th). Rickard Rakell is getting fed a steady diet of minutes as well as playing on the same line with a former Rocket Richard winner in Corey Perry. It wouldn’t be far fetched to say Anaheim could score five or more against these three teams with Rakell definitely getting in on the action.
Frans Nielsen – C – New York Islanders
Frans Nielsen has quietly been having a great season for the Islanders. Currently third on the team in points, he’s been very under-owned in fantasy. Over his last 12 games he’s only seen his minutes dip below 16 twice while being above 20 minutes four times. He’s really clicked well recently with Ryan Strome and Nikolay Kulemin and should continue to this week with a relatively easy schedule.
Radko Gudas – D – Philadelphia Flyers
Don’t be fooled by his two recent goals. That is not why you’re picking up Radko Gudas. Sure, if he scores – that’s just icing on the cake. Gudas is great when it comes to other categories such as blocked shots or hits. In fact, he’s a monster when it comes to that. Gudas is fourth in hits in the NHL while having over 100 blocked shots. If you’re needing those stats padded, Gudas is the go-to guy.
Lee Stempniak – LW,RW – Boston Bruins
Lee Stempniak is back to doing what Lee Stempniak does when he’s not the number one option on a team. Disappear. Pointless in his last six games and seeing back-to-back nights with less than 13 minutes of ice time, it’s time to cut ties with Stempniak. At the pace he’s playing right now in Boston, with a full season with the B’s he’s projected to score 9 goals. He scored 16 in 63 games for the Devils this year. The last time he had 16 or more goals in a full season was in 2010-2011 with the Coyotes.
Ryan Callahan – RW – Tampa Bay Lightning
It’s a shame Ryan Callahan had to find himself on this list. He was producing so well after the All-Star break (14 points in 22 games). He’s on here because he’s been recently dealing with an “undisclosed injury”. I don’t like the sounds of that at all and I don’t want to run the risk of missing games and having his production fall off when he comes back. There are much safer options out there.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via Twitter @BESTofMATT