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 may be overvalued — either in the short- or long-term — for one reason or another.
Bryan Little, C, Winnipeg Jets (33.5 percent rostered): Now that Patrik Laine has inarguably rediscovered his scoring rhythm — 11 goals in four games, including five versus St. Louis on Saturday alone — fantasy interest in his centerman should spool up in a hard hurry. Little assisted on all but one of those five goals against the Blues. The Jets’ second-line center has a place in almost all fantasy competition that values scoring beyond goals.
Andreas Athanasiou, C, Detroit Red Wings (7.9 percent): Since returning from a recent leg injury, Athanasiou has six goals and three assists in eight games. Fantasy managers in all varieties of play should exploit the top-six forward before he cools off again.
Tanner Pearson, LW, Pittsburgh Penguins (2.4 percent): Just last week, we suggested keeping an eye on Pearson’s productivity following his trade from Los Angeles and his subsequently joining a Penguins’ scoring line with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel. Four games, three goals and one assist later, there’s no reason to hesitate in adding the 26-year-old winger in all but the shallowest of fantasy leagues. Clearly, this is working out.
Alex Chiasson, RW, Edmonton Oilers (1.0 percent): On a scoring line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Edmonton’s No. 1 power play with Connor McDavid, Chiasson has four goals and two assists in six games — including three points with the extra skater. Fantasy managers in deeper leagues should exploit the 28-year-old now, before he either cools off or tumbles back down Edmonton’s lineup. Chiasson has never scored more than 13 goals in an NHL season and already has 10 this campaign.
Nikolay Goldobin, RW/LW, Vancouver Canucks (1.0 percent): Competing on a scoring line and top power-play unit with current Calder favorite Elias Pettersson has its perks. Averaging a point-per-game in November, Goldobin also has five assists with the man-advantage this month. The former first-round draft pick (2014) is positioned to contribute regularly in what should be his first full NHL season. The 23-year-old has had little problem putting up impressive numbers in the AHL to date. He merits interest in deeper leagues, for sure.
Dylan Strome, C, Chicago Blackhawks (0.2 percent rostered): It’s been a busy stretch for the NHL’s Strome brothers. Ten days after Ryan was dealt from Edmonton to New York, Dylan now finds himself in Chicago after a deal with the Coyotes. Like his older sibling, he could use the change in scenery. Drafted No. 3 overall in 2015, the still-only 21-year-old has yet to live up to such billing. We’ll see if a reunion with his old Erie Otters (OHL) teammate Alex DeBrincat serves as tangible inspiration. Fantasy managers in deeper leagues should at least keep view of how the young forward adapts. He collected 53 points in 50 games with the AHL’s Roadrunners this past season.
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, C, Boston Bruins (0.2 percent): The young Swede is presently earning the opportunity to center a top line with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, filling in for the injured Patrice Bergeron. That shuffling alone piques our fantasy interest, at least a little. At a minimum, Forsbacka Karlsson is worth consideration as a bargain DFS asset while situated in such a promising spot. Remember, Bergeron (ribs) isn’t expected back until near Christmas.
Gavin Bayreuther, Dallas Stars (0.0 percent): The AHL regular makes for an intriguingly cut-rate DFS asset through the Stars’ upcoming road trip that includes stops in Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver — as long as he remains in the lineup. He was called up once Marc Methot was placed on IR, and is currently subbing in for John Klingberg, also hurt, on Dallas’ top power play.
Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche (28.4 percent): That’s better. After a string of five losses, Varlamov is finally back on track with four-straight wins for the surging Avalanche. Colorado’s No. 1 netminder was particularly impressive in Saturday’s 3-2 victory over the Stars, denying 27-of-29 shots. Expected to split three back-to-backs tucked within 14 games remaining before Christmas, Varlamov will get the nod more often than not over Philipp Grubauer.
Casey DeSmith, Pittsburgh Penguins (6.5 percent): If you’re interested in utilizing the Penguins’ present-day No. 1 netminder, DeSmith is your guy — for now. Consecutive victories suggest the 27-year-old will continue to see the bulk of starts over Tristan Jarry for the foreseeable future. Also promising is that Pittsburgh has two wins and one overtime loss in their three most-recent contests after an ugly 10-game stretch during which the club secured only one victory. Could this team have turned the corner?
Jeff Petry, D, Montreal Canadiens (49.1 percent): With Shea Weber poised to join the Canadiens lineup on Tuesday, Petry won’t be long for anchoring the club’s top power play. This is an issue of concern, as six of his 17 points have come with the extra skater. Averaging nearly 25 minutes per game, the 30-year-old can also expect to take a minor hit in the ATOI department, at least once Montreal’s captain settles in fully. While Petry still has value in most formats, fantasy managers should anticipate some leveling off of previous results.