Scoring-line roles merit adding Grant and Kerfoot

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Every week, we’ll mine the waiver wire for lesser-owned 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 might be overvalued — in the short or long term — for one reason or another.


Forwards

Mathew Barzal, C, New York Islanders (Rostered in 25 percent of ESPN.com leagues)

If you’ve yet to jump on the Barzal fantasy bandwagon, don’t hesitate a moment longer. Centering a top-six line with winger Jordan Eberle, the 20-year-old rookie has racked up 13 points in nine recent games, highlighted by Sunday’s five-assist performance against the visiting Colorado Avalanche. And while the John Tavares/Josh Bailey forward pairing is enjoying its own brand of chemistry, there’s no perceivable threat of coach Doug Weight splitting up Barzal and Eberle anytime soon.

William Karlsson, C, Vegas Golden Knights (10.8 percent)

With four goals and five assists in nine games, including four points with the extra skater, Karlsson is establishing himself as a reliable, yet underrated, fantasy commodity. Now that the book is firmly closed on Vegas’ short-lived and tumultuous relationship with Vadim Shipachyov, Karlsson is further favored to keep a grip on his role as a top-six centerman.

Michael Grabner, RW/LW, New York Rangers (8.3 percent)

It feels like 2016-17 all over again. Following an exceptionally chilly start to this campaign, Grabner has six goals on 24 shots in his past six games, proving last seasons’ 27 goals weren’t a total fluke. The 30-year-old speedster is definitely worth rostering in deeper leagues for the time being.

Yanni Gourde, LW/RW, Tampa Bay Lightning (6.3 percent)

Scoring a goal in each his past three games, while collecting eight points in his past nine, Gourde has solidified his top-six role aside talented centerman Brayden Point and fellow winger Ondrej Palat, both at even strength and with the man advantage. As such, the 25-year-old merits rostering in deeper fantasy leagues, at minimum.

Zack Smith, C/LW, Ottawa Senators (2.5 percent)

If you are in the market for a dark-horse asset in deeper leagues or a daily fantasy play, give consideration to the 29-year-old Senator forward. Once Matt Duchene settles in following a three-way trade with Colorado and Nashville, Smith is projected to play with the former Avs centerman and a red-hot Mike Hoffman. By no means a consistent scoring threat in his own right, Smith has enjoyed productive moments when surrounded by similar talent in the past.

Craig Smith, RW, Nashville Predators (1.9 percent)

Posting three goals in his past five games, this particular Smith has recently competed on a line with Predators top forward Filip Forsberg. Now, former Senator Kyle Turris is projected to center both wingers. If you’re ever to wager a fantasy roll of the dice on Smith, who has been in decline since 2013-14, there’s no time like the present.

Alexander Kerfoot, C/RW, Colorado Avalanche (1.4 percent)

Not long after Duchene was yanked mid-game against the Islanders on Sunday and subsequently directed towards Ottawa, Kerfoot potted two late goals, both assisted by Sven Andrighetto. Now that Duchene is gone, the prominent top-six centerman’s position behind Nathan MacKinnon appears to be Kerfoot’s to lose. Let’s see what the 23-year-old rookie is able to make of it.

Derek Grant, C, Anaheim Ducks (0.6 percent)

Centering a scoring line while Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler convalesce off-ice, Grant has accumulated three goals and five helpers in eight games. His most recent assignment involves serving between Anaheim’s most dangerous wingers, Corey Perry and Rickard Rakell. Exploit the 27-year-old journeyman between now and around Christmas, when Getzlaf and Kesler are loosely scheduled to return — or at least until the Ducks bring in outside help.


Defensemen

Tim Heed, San Jose Sharks (10.2 percent)

Enjoying top-four minutes most nights of late, including valuable ice time with the Sharks’ No. 1 power play next to Brent Burns, the Swedish-league export has two goals and five assists (plus-four) in nine games. There isn’t much available across the ESPN.com spectrum as far as appealing blue-line assets are concerned, which only adds to Heed’s appeal.


Goaltenders

Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks (25.9 percent)

Boasting a .933 save percentage over his past six games, the Canucks’ No. 1 has been altogether rock solid for his squad. Any boost in productivity from Vancouver’s offense, which is fifth worst in the NHL to date, will only bolter Markstrom’s fantasy value as far as the potential for additional wins are concerned.

Kari Lehtonen, Dallas Stars (2.5 percent)

The better netminder for the Stars of late, Lehtonen could steal additional starts from No. 1 Ben Bishop in the foreseeable future. Allowing only three total goals in his past three appearances, the 33-year-old has won two straight. This positive run won’t last, so utilize Lehtonen as a short-term asset where logical.

Charlie Lindgren, Montreal Canadiens (0.0 percent)

As long as Carey Price remains out with a minor lower-body injury, Lindgren merits thought as a dark-horse asset in DFS competition. Allowing a single goal on 39 shots in Sunday’s win over the Chicago Blackhawks, the 23-year-old is set to make his second start of the season on Tuesday versus the Golden Knights. And while the league’s newbie franchise has been surprisingly productive, Monday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs might result in less energy 24 hours later. Lindgren could also fill in for Price on Thursday against the visiting Minnesota Wild.


Lowered expectations

Henrik Lundqvist, G, New York Rangers (80.4 percent)

King Henrik can credit the 18 totals goals scored by teammates for his recent streak of four wins in four games. Otherwise, the Rangers’ franchise netminder can’t be too happy with his .890 save percentage and 3.18 goals-against average accrued in his past five contests. Fact is, Lundqvist has rarely looked his usual dominant self this season, and New York’s offense can hardly be counted on for four-plus goals every night.

Ryan Hartman, RW/LW, Chicago Blackhawks (49.8 percent)

Currently serving in a depth role, the feisty 23-year-old has averaged less than 10 minutes per game since Oct. 24. He has one goal (and zero assists) in his past nine games. So much for our earlier excitement about his former spot on a line with sniper Patrick Kane.

Chris Stewart, RW, Minnesota Wild (23.8 percent)

It was fun while it lasted, but after erupting for six goals and two assists in six contests to start the season, Stewart has cooled off by contributing zilch in his past seven. Roster other right wing options until the streaky power forward heats up again.



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