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NHL Waiver Wire: Week 1, Vlad the impointer

Namestnikov is on a line with Stamkos and Kucherov

NHL: Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Week 1: Waiver Wire, I will look at a handful of players over 50% owned and under 50% owned to see where there is opportunity to pick up a sleeper or someone who might not produce at the levels you would expect.

The first two weeks in a season can be among the most tricky, you have some drafted players who are probably underperforming and you look at the waiver wire and you see a handful of undrafted Las Vegas Golden Knights who are lighting up the lamp, should you drop your above average star or sleeper player for the shiny flavor of the week or hold on to your investment hoping long term you drafted wisely.

Over owned:

-Mike Hoffman (93%) LW/RW Ott, this seems high to me for someone who has 0 goals is a -4 with just 11 shots on goal and won’t provide faceoffs won. 61 points last year and I would expect that or less going forward, I would anticipate him being more like 70% owned.

-Ryan McDonagh (90% owned) D, NYR, for someone who has 1 assist and is -1, it seems high. He had 42 points last year and his TOI is down this year over last (24:21 last year vs. 23:10 this year). I would put him in the 75% owned territory

-Aaron Eckbald (85% owned) D , Fla, for a #1 overall pick he really isn’t the best option in fantasy, he has never eclipsed 40 points and surprisingly his TOI is sub 22:00 each year which is rare for a top defensemen.

Under owned:
-Jesper Bratt (36% owned) LW/RW, NJD, I put him on here with a big asterisk next to his name. He’s a rookie and it’s very common to get a few fortuitous bounces the first few games and then drop off production wise. With that said he has 6 points in 3 games and the eyeball test says there is skill there but not 2 points per game kind of skill. If you are in a daily league I would pick him up and ride out a few days to see, in a weekly league if you had an open space on the bench then great, otherwise don’t touch him unless you see this continue for 7-8 games.

Vladislav Namestnikov (33% owned), C/LW, TBL, Vlad is on the second year of a 2 year $3.9MM contract and is showing skills on the top line alongside Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, it’s hard not to get some beneficial production next to two top 20 players. I think he should be a 75-80% owned player right now.

Anthony Mantha (33% owned), LW/RW, Det, I am admittedly skeptical about his production capabilities but he has 4 points in 3 games as the Red Wings second line looks to be the hot hand right now with Dylan Larkin and rookie Martin Frk.

Rightfully on the rise:

Charlie McAvoy (71% owned) D, Bos, Boston is going to continue to utilize their top prospect who has 1 goal and 1 assist in 3 games, he is willing to step up in plays and should be a productive part.

Matthew Tkachuk (68% owned) LW, Cal, I was bullish on him last year and despite a slow start he’s shining through right now with 2 goals and 2 assists across 4 games. He provides PIM, he provides hits, SOG and he’s +3 right now.