Welcome back to another week of The Waiver Wire! This week, Factor is a non-factor, the pleasant surprises are dominated by youngins, and some fiery red heads make an appearance. So let's take a look at our disappointments, pleasant surprises and my Shot in the Dark player of the week.
Ryan O’Reilly - COL - C, LW - 56% owned
Originally, I was going to do this to troll Cole. Then I realized RoR has deserved to be on this list for quite a few weeks, but given that only three go here per week, he had to wait. Mr. O’Moneybags himself has struggled for quite some time, by totaling a whopping 2 assists over his past nine games. In the past week, he laid a couple goose eggs going 0-0-0 while being -2 in the only two games he had this past week. Sure, he only played two games this past week, but as previous stated, this has been a pattern over the past few weeks. For a player that scored 28 goals last year to only be 56% owned, means he must be struggling. He was just dropped in my league. To think I was debating on keeping him last year makes me cringe. Super glad I didn’t. To be honest, there are probably better options out there right now as RoR and the Avs as a whole aren’t playing all that well.
Corey Perry - ANA - RW - 100% owned
This is a pick that is not only justified, but may make many readers on this site happy. Corey Perry isn’t the most beloved player amongst Avalanche fans. Maybe it’s his rough (sometimes dirty) play, him being a really good player not on the Avs, or that he got in a water fight with Roy last year. Maybe it’s a combination of all three. But, none of that matters in fantasy hockey (unless you play with your heart). He is not on this list because of any of those reasons. He is on this list because in the past three games, he is 0-1-1 with a -3 rating. For how physical he usually plays, he has only had one hit in the past three games as well. That won’t get it done in any league. Of course he still has 16 points in 17 games (11 of those being goals) so he should be alright.
PK Subban - MTL - D - 100% owned
It pains me to write this paragraph about PK. Not only is he on my fantasy team, but he is also one of my favorite non-Avs blueliners currently in the league. Fantasy owners thought they’d be happy with a couple extra games this week from PK but in those four games, he put up 0-1-1 and was -1. He was up against some tough opponents in Boston, NYR, Pittsburgh and St. Louis, so it could have been much worse, but the former-Norris trophy winner needs to step it up in those big games. The plus side to his week is that he managed to lay 6 hits and block two shots, so if you have these defensive categories, it wasn’t an absolutely terrible week. That being said, he gets paid to produce, and that’s probably why you draft him, so he should be producing more.
The Pleasant Surprises
Tomas Tatar - DET - RW - 33% owned
Currently, Tomas Tatar is 33% owned, but that is up 9% from yesterday (as I’m writing this, yesterday is Sunday). Fantasy owners are starting to zero in on him, and I expect his percentage will raise between today and tomorrow (which as you are currently reading this, tomorrow is Tuesday (and most likely, today)). Now to stop confusing you. Tatar tore it up last week. He went on a tear and was producing everywhere. He put up 4-2-6 and was +4. He had 9 hits, 2 blocked shots and 2 game winning goals! What more could you ask from a guy that was averaging just over 14 minutes of ice time? If you were lucky enough to take a chance on this guy before the past week, then it paid off. If you pick him up now, he may fail to reproduce those results but you never know. He may have another week or two of hot streak in him. Either way, he seems to have a somewhat physical game, so in super deep leagues, it may not hurt.
Ryan Strome - NYI - C, RW - 22% owned
How about those Islanders, eh? Off to a 15-6-0 start. Boy did they have one hell of an offseason. Ryan Strome has put together a very impressive year so far, with 15 points in his first 21 games. That’s even more impressive given that he has only averaged just north of 14 minutes per game. This past week was nothing different, averaging 14:23 and putting up 2-2-4 with a +4 rating in four games. It’s very possible that the Islanders are just that good, and that Strome continues to put up similar numbers. They may drop a bit, but he wouldn’t be a terrible add. His dual positions in the Yahoo! Leagues makes him even more valuable.
Nick Bjugstad - FLA - C - 14 % owned
Nick Bjugstad has upped his game over the past two weeks, and fantasy owners are now starting to pay attention. Yesterday, in the Yahoo! Leagues, he was only 7% owned, and today he is 14% owned (insert the same conversation about Tatar here). Usually, it’s a bad idea to have a player from Florida on your team, but if they are playing well enough, consistently, it occasionally pays off. That seems to be the case with Bjugstad. In the past week he has a stat line of 3-1-4 and is +2. Over the past four games, he’s also laid the smackdown by accumulating 7 hits and has been sacrificing the body by blocking 4 shots. If you have an injury or lack center depth, it may not be the worst idea to pick Bjugstad up as his next 5 opponents are CAR, OTT, CBJ, DET, CBJ.
Shot in the Dark Player of the Week
Cody Eakin - DAL - C - 4% owned
If you are an owner of Jason Spezza, you are probably unhappy right now (on a related note: I am unhappy right now). He is no longer on a line with Seguin and Benn. Playing on a line with them pretty much guarantees you easy points, let alone super easy points when you’re as good as Spezza is. As one player’s door closes, another player’s door opens. This other player, is Cody Eakin and because this door has opened for him, he is my Shot in the Dark Player of the Week. I have enjoyed watching Eakin ever since his fiery red hair clashed with the brown and white of the Hershey Bears jerseys. Seriously, that flow. Now, on to talking about his actual play. In the past three games, Eakin has put up 2-3-5 and was +4. Those are some serious numbers. He’s registered a couple hits and had a few blocks as well. I’d absolutely take a chance on him, making sure to watch him for when he drops down to another line. With Nichushkin out for an extended amount of time with a hip injury, someone will need to plug in next to Benn and Seguin. Right now, it’s Eakin, and as long as it is, you’re in good shape.
So who are your disappointments? Who has helped you get the W this past week? Any player that you have your eye on, but are waiting to pull the trigger?
I hope everyone has a great week and enjoys their Thanksgiving if they celebrate. In the coming weeks I will be doing some mid-season awards. I want to know what awards you want to see me give out!