Every week we’ll mine the waiver wire for widely available assets to help your fantasy hockey 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 might be overvalued — in the short or long term — for one reason or another.
Recalled on New Year’s Eve and promoted to Sidney Crosby‘s wing, the 20-year-old erupted for two goals and an assist in Friday’s win over the New York Islanders. Sprong is demonstrating a keen willingness to shoot the puck, collecting 18 shots in five NHL games. Averaging nearly a point-per-game with the Baby Pens this campaign, the young winger might be worth fantasy investment, in hopes that he sticks alongside Crosby following Pittsburgh’s scheduled five-day bye (Jan. 8-12).
A standout in the AHL until his call-up in early December, Hinostroza is — after a brief warm-up spell — making the most of this recent opportunity with the Blackhawks. Two goals and five assists in his past five games has earned the 25-year-old a spot on a scoring line with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad. If nothing else, keep an eye to how Hinostroza manages that assignment between now and Chicago’s bye week (Jan 15-19).
Competing on a top line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, Konecny is on somewhat of a roll with one goal and four assists in six games. Just make sure the 20-year-old sophomore maintains a grip on that gig following the Flyers’ own bye stretch (Jan. 8-12).
Replacing Vladislav Namestnikov on a top line with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, Kunitz becomes mildly fantasy relevant once more. Give the 38-year-old veteran a look as a DFS dark horse for as long as this assignment lasts.
Up until this past weekend, the 22-year-old had little to show for this pro season, split between his NHL club and the AHL Chicago Wolves, including zero points in 14 games with the Blues. But since Saturday, Barbashev has one goal and two assists in two games, and now he’s skating on a top line with Vladimir Tarasenko and Paul Stastny. As long as such remains the case, the sophomore should, at minimum, remain on your DFS radar.
Jordan Oesterle, Chicago Blackhawks (19.4 percent)
Partnered with Duncan Keith at even strength and anchoring the Blackhawks’ secondary power play, Oesterle has racked up three goals and two assists in five games. The former Edmonton Oilers defenseman battled his way to becoming a lineup staple after being a healthy scratch for most of October and nearly all of November. He belongs on most fantasy rosters at present. On the opposite end of the performance spectrum, veteran defenseman Brent Seabrook is projected to sit in the press box Tuesday, while blueliner Cody Franson is destined for the AHL after clearing waivers.
Briefly touched on as a potential power-play performer in last week’s edition of Line Changes, Girard has since stretched his productive run to five assists with the extra skater in five games. Competing on a top unit with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog, the 19-year-old rookie should be rostered in the majority of fantasy leagues.
Jonathan Bernier, Colorado Avalanche (10.2 percent)
While No. 1 Semyon Varlamov battles a lower-body injury, Bernier ripped off four straight wins in a week for the red-hot Avalanche, allowing a total of five goals in all. Keep watch of who starts immediately following the Avs’ mandated break (Jan. 7-12) and jump on Colorado’s No. 2 — in DFS play or as an injury substitute — if he remains locked in.
Louis Domingue, Tampa Bay Lightning (0.7 percent)
The former Arizona Coyotes tender might be today’s happiest backup goalie in all the league. Traded from Arizona in mid-November, Domingue was only recently promoted from the Lightning’s AHL affiliate to sub in for Peter Budaj (listed week-to-week with a lower-body injury). In his first start for Tampa this past Sunday, the 25-year-old denied 34 of 36 shots for a convincing 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. While Domingue won’t play much in place of Vezina favorite Andrei Vasilevskiy, the odd appearance could reap instant fantasy rewards. DFS sleeper anyone?
New York’s captain hasn’t registered an assist in nine games, and he hasn’t scored a goal all season. Shouldering greater defensive responsibility altogether, McDonagh can’t be counted on to make much fantasy noise between now and mid-April. However, the 28-year-old does still lead the Rangers in blocked shots by a large margin.