Waiver watch – Goalie matchups to win your fantasy hockey championship

Every week, we’ll mine the waiver wire for lesser-rostered 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 – in the short- or long-term – for one reason or another.


Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens (39.1%): I’m all over Price as a fantasy commodity against the Flyers, Senators, and this April’s iteration of the Bruins; less so versus the Wild, who have averaged 4.8 goals in each of their past five games. The former Vezina/Hart winner looked comfortable enough in his season debut Friday, despite losing to the Islanders. If you need goaltending help, and he’s available, last year’s postseason hero – never mind Price’s career resume – could be worth rolling the fantasy dice. Rust aside.

Anton Forsberg, Ottawa Senators (15.2%): Hear me out: The Senators’ starting netminder has averaged 2.72 fantasy points/game in ESPN.com standard leagues since Mar. 24. Not terrible at all, considering he’s played almost every contest. Ottawa boasts a goalie-friendly schedule this week, with visits in Seattle, Vancouver, and Columbus, before hosting Montreal on Saturday. While dealing with two back-to-back sets means Forsberg won’t start all four, I still like him as a streaming/DFS asset when active.

Antti Raanta, Carolina Hurricanes (10.8%): Suffering an apparent lower-body injury late in Saturday’s 7-4 loss to Colorado, Frederik Andersen could be out a while. (Coach Rod Brind’Amour: “It doesn’t look good. Tough night.”) Enter Raanta, who could very well be tasked with playing the majority of the Hurricane’s final half-dozen contests to wrap up 2021-22. A little shakier of late, Carolina’s No. 2 has been altogether solid when active this season, posting a 2.44 GAA and .913%. And five of the ‘Canes six final contests feature non-playoff squads as opponents. In my book, this is a no-brain free-agent pick-up for anyone unsatisfied with their current corps of fantasy netminders.

Logan Thompson, Vegas Golden Knights (4.6%): Vegas desperately needs to win five, if not all six of their remaining games if they’re to harbor any hope of playing into May. Even the slightest stumble from Robin Lehner should see the Knights’ bench door quickly swing open, regardless of when the No. 1 returns to action after attending a personal matter. Ahead of Saturday’s unraveling in Edmonton, Thompson served as the better of the organization’s two netminders in recent play, winning five straight.

Casey DeSmith, Pittsburgh Penguins (4.2%): I liked him as an under-radar fantasy asset last week because he was playing well. I like DeSmith a lot more today as Pittsburgh’s go-to while Tristan Jarry, unfortunately, appears sidelined indefinitely with a broken bone in his foot. DeSmith is the Penguins’ No. 1 for the foreseeable regular-season future. Do with that what you will, fantasy-wise.

See also: Pavel Francouz, Colorado Avalanche (14.4%)


Robert Thomas, C, St. Louis Blues (Rostered in 45.3% of ESPN.com leagues): I promise, this is my ultimate, closing 2021-22 petition on behalf of the 22-year-old forward as a valuable, and confoundingly underrated, fantasy asset: He’s playing on the most sizzling line for one of the hottest teams in the NHL . Alongside Vladimir Tarasenko and Pavel Buchnevich, Thomas has six goals and 19 assists in his past 15 contests, which works out to 2.6 fantasy points/game in ESPN.com conventional leagues. Following Tuesday’s tilt with Boston, the Blues visit the Sharks, Coyotes, and Ducks. My goodness. Available fantasy commodities don’t come much more attractive.



Robert Thomas scores goal for Blues

Anthony Mantha, RW/LW, Washington Capitals (10.3%): The Capitals’ winger is to be appreciated as much for his recent productive flurry, comprising of two goals and five assists in four games, as for this week’s off-beat schedule. Washington plays when most other teams do not – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – before hosting the Maple Leafs on Sunday. This allows more enterprising managers to toss Mantha into their respective lineups when others are off, and bench his idle body on busier evenings. A schedule hack that should pay out nice fantasy dividends, particularly in considering the power forward’s aforementioned recent scoring run.

Matty Beniers, C, Seattle Kraken (3.4%): He’s young, he’s fun, and he’s already providing some much-needed production in Seattle. Two games into his promising NHL career, Beniers has a goal and assist while skating on the Kraken’s top line and power play (and why not?). Like the Capitals, the Kraken are scheduled to compete Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (before also playing Saturday) when most other teams are off. So you can benefit from Beniers’ youthful, scoring enthusiasm when most of the rest of your fantasy lineup is taking it easy.

Alex Newhook, C/RW, Colorado Avalanche (1.8%): Despite the middle-six role with the Avalanche, the eight points in eight games is difficult to ignore. Especially when considering the rookie forward’s penchant for blocking shots. Then there’s Colorado’s schedule this week, similar to Washington’s and Seattle’s, which features competition on lighter nightly cards. In fantasy leagues that allow for daily lineup fiddling, when a player is active can be nearly as important as how well they’re performing. Maximizing opportunities is key, especially when the strongest of your league’s fantasy squads are left standing.

See also: Jack Roslovic, C, Columbus Blue Jackets (50.7%); Alex Chiasson, RW, Vancouver Canucks (3.3%)


Noah Hanifin, Calgary Flames (22.9%): With three goals and 12 helpers on 41 shots in his past 14 games, the top pair defender leads his blue-line mates in the production department by a comfortable margin. Toss in handfuls of hits and blocked-shots, and Hanifin is averaging 2.2 fantasy points/game. Expect a similar output from the defenseman against the Blackhawks, Predators, Stars, and Canucks by Sunday. You know Darryl Sutter’s Flames would love to sew up the Pacific division on a high before the final partial week of the season.

See also: Alex Edler, Los Angeles Kings (2.6%); Cody Ceci, Edmonton Oilers (5.5%); Just about any available member of the Florida Panthers’ blue line.

lowered expectations

Juuse Saros, G, Nashville Predators (98.4%): The Predators’ No. 1 – a formidable goaltending force most of the campaign – has been altogether mediocre his last three starts, consequently serving as a fantasy liability. Nashville plays the Flames, Lightning, and Wild this week, all sitting top-nine in team scoring. It’s more than a little concerning.

See also: Linus Ullmark, Boston Bruins (79.0%)


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