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.
Kevin Fiala, C/LW/RW, Minnesota Wild (36.2%): Recently shuffled onto a scoring line with Nick Bonino and Victor Rask, Fiala is riding a five-game point streak with one goal and five assists. Enjoying heavy on-ice minutes altogether, the 24-year-old is also seeing precious time with the Wild’s top power play. One of your streakier productive types, Fiala is a lot of fantasy fun when he’s hot. Managers with holes to plug in deeper leagues should take advantage before he cools off.
Phillip Danault, C/LW, Montreal Canadiens (31.7%): Montreal’s top line appears it’s old productive self of late. Centering Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Tatar, Danault has two goals and six assists (plus-eight) to show for his most recent half-dozen contests. As a whole, the Canadiens’ top unit has responded positively to Dominique Ducharme taking over for Claude Julien behind the bench. Danault also leads his squad in faceoffs, which matters in some fantasy spheres.
Jason Robertson, LW, Dallas Stars (30.9%): Initially featured in this space a week ago, Robertson went on to score two more goals and an assist in four subsequent contests. And he’s skating on a Stars’ top line with Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski. Altogether, that earns the 21-year-old rookie a second fantasy shout-out in as many Mondays. Especially since he remains available in nearly 70% of ESPN.com leagues.
David Krejci, C, Boston Bruins (24.6%): To start, there’s a lot to like about Krejci’s recent turn in centering the ever-productive David Pastrnak. Then there’s the veteran’s one goal and nine assists in seven recent contests to appreciate. Throw in the Bruins’ alleged intentions of trading for a scoring winger to play alongside Krejci, and he rounds out into an even more appealing present-day fantasy figure. Enduringly underrated, particularly in competition where assists carry as much weight as goals, the 34-year-old veteran should be spoken for in all but the shallowest of fantasy leagues.
Frank Vatrano, LW/RW, Florida Panthers (18.1%): Since the 27-year-old likes to score ’em in bunches, it’s worth noting Vatrano is on a three-game tear, with three goals and two assists on 16 shots. The Florida forward makes for a solid streaming option as long as he’s in a scoring groove. Particularly in deeper conventional leagues.
Connor Murphy, Chicago Blackhawks (43.0%): The Blackhawks defender has four assists, 25 hits, and 23 blocked-shots in his past seven games. That works out to an average of 2.74 fantasy points per game in ESPN.com conventional competition. Not bad for a blueliner available in more leagues than not.
David Savard, Columbus Blue Jackets (20.0%): Worst case, he remains in Columbus and continues to block shots and throw hits with comfortable regularity. Or, more promisingly, perhaps the pending unrestricted free agent is traded, as rumored, to a contender and subsequently enjoys greater opportunities to contribute to the scoresheet. Say, Florida maybe. However it shakes out, Savard should continue to serve as a valued commodity in leagues that recognize defensive contributions. He’s averaged 1.9 fantasy points per game since March 11.
Brett Pesce, Carolina Hurricanes (26.5%): Amassing six assists and averaging 1.64 fantasy points over his past eight games, Pesce presents as a useful injury substitute in leagues that also reward blocked shots. Average-time-on-ice is another plus, as the steady top-four defenseman puts in solid minutes at even-strength, with the extra skater, and as a penalty-killer. Managers with banged-up blue lines might look to Pesce as a reliable, if not terribly electrifying, asset through the short-term.
Petr Mrazek, Carolina Hurricanes (55.1%): He’s back and he looks great. After a longer wait than anticipated, Mrazek made his triumphant return Sunday, stopping all 28 shots in a stingy 1-0 win over the Dallas Stars. Before suffering a broken thumb in late January, the Hurricanes’ No. 1 earned two shutouts in his only other three full appearances. It will be interesting to gauge how Carolina manages it’s goaltending corps with James Reimer and Alex Nedeljkovic also in the mix. But it’s hard to argue against starting the guy with three shutouts in four complete games. If available, Mrazek could offer a valuable boost to fantasy rosters down the stretch.
Patrik Laine, RW/LW, Columbus Blue Jackets (91.4%): Two assists in a dozen games isn’t going to cut it. For whatever reason – and there are probably several – the Laine/Columbus marriage isn’t growing into much of a fairy tale. In fact, the whole picture isn’t all that pretty in Columbus at present. Having lost seven of their past eight, the Blue Jackets are sliding in the wrong direction in the Central division. At minimum, Laine should be benched for other options until he turns matters around. Which might not happen at all this particular campaign.