FANTASY FOCUS: Holiday Waiver Wire Shopping Spree

Matt SitkoffCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 03:  Mason Raymond #18 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the Philadelphia Flyers on December 3, 2009 at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Canucks defeated the Flyers 3-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images


After the Holidays comes a time to take advantage of end of the year sales or return those gifts that your great uncle’s brother’s friend gave you so let’s look at some holiday bargains on the waiver wire and some players you should be trading in for some return.


Waiver Wire Bargains  

Mason Raymond, Canucks W

After a natural Hat Trick against the rival Flames we now believe in this speedy winger to be a fantasy contributor.  The third-year Raymond now has a career high 17 goals and 29 points this season, but is still only owned in 50 percent of leagues. 

The 24-year-old has formed a pretty lethal second line with Mikael Samuelsson and Ryan Kesler proven to fantasy owners that you don’t just need a Sedin to produce for the Canucks. Raymond is also seeing significant time on the power play with eight power play points in his last 15 games making him a must have player from the waiver wire.


Scottie Upshall, Coyotes W

An energy third line player his whole career Scottie Upshall has found a place on the top line in Phoenix, and has produced.  Playing with Shane Doan and Matthew Lombardi the 26-year-old is already one goal away from tying his career high for the season (13 goals this year). 

The line has been red hot producing 14 points combined last week, with Upshall chipping in seven points in the last seven games.  A former sixth overall pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft seems to finally found a environment to flourish and as you shop the Waiver Wire makes sure to pick up this speedy winger.


Holiday Returns

Steve Mason, Blue Jackets G

Talk about your sophomore slumps, last year’s Rookie of the Year is having one of the worst second seasons ever, and killing fantasy teams.  With the Blue Jackets fading fast, head coach Ken Hitchcock is now trying a goalie rotation which is a killer in the fantasy world. 

When drafting this blossoming superstar you did not expect this, a 46th-ranked save percentage (.887) and 45th-ranked GAA (3.40).  Put some feelers out there maybe someone struggling with goalies will take a flier on this 21-year-old and you could get a hot goalie (Quick, Huet, Renne) for this terrible frost bitten goalie.


Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings C

The playoff slump of last year has carried over for Pavel Datsyuk, as the Russian center only has eight goals in his first 36 games.  This is a player who has averaged 30 goals in his last three seasons, and is way off the pace this season.  Injuries to top players have affected the Red Wings offensively as they are 23rd in the league in goals for per game (2.55). 

Datsyuk finally has found some consistency with line mates playing alongside Todd Bertuzzi and Tomas Holmstrom but is causes many fantasy owners who picked him with a top pick to have some buyer’s remorse. 

With Datsyuk name recognition and past performances late in the season (a career 109 points in the month of March) he could bring back some major return in a trade, you could get  a package of a top defender and hot scorer for Datsyuk and take advantage of getting something for this struggling forward on a struggling offensive team.