NHL Fantasy Hockey: Mike's 5 Waiver Wire Pickups for Matchup 10 (Dec 12-18)
As we enter Matchup 10 (December 12-18), many of you will be most likely be looking to replace at least one injured player. With a slew of injuries and suspensions in recent weeks, there's sure to be a hole in your roster somewhere. Or perhaps there's somebody who you've been thinking about dropping for a while, but you just can't bring yourself to do it.
This week may play a crucial role in your fantasy season, as there are still some players that could still be available in your league who could have huge potential going forward. In this slideshow, I'll list five players—three forwards and two defensemen—who I think you must add right away if they're available in your league.
*Please keep in mind, all of the stats are based off of ESPN Fantasy Leagues, not Yahoo! Also, stats are based off of deeper leagues (10 or more teams).
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5. Ryan O'Reilly: Center, Colorado Avalanche
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While the past few games have been a bit rough for Ryan O'Reilly, his overall numbers are still very good. He's got the potential to be explosive, but can also be a bit inconsistent at times. Still, he should be in your lineup if you have the opportunity to get him.
O'Reilly has six goals and 15 assists in 30 games played this season for 26 points, so he's good for a goal or assist most games. He's good for average ice time as well, averaging 18:05 right now. His shots on goal aren't that impressive, but they're still pretty high at 58.
If you are strictly in need of penalty minutes, don't expect them from Ryan. He's only got four minutes so far this season. He's a minus-three, which isn't horrible, but it's never good to be a minus-anything. He's got five PPP, which is also fair, but he could do better.
Overall, Ryan should be in your lineup. He's owned by 58.5 percent in ESPN Fantasy Leagues. He will break out of his mini-slump shortly, so if he's available, grab him before he turns it up.
4. Derek Stepan: Center, New York Rangers
Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images
Although Derek Stepan was quiet in Saturday's game against Buffalo, he's been putting up consistent numbers now for the past two weeks. His game is improving, as well as his team. He deserves a spot on your fantasy roster if you are in need of a consistent forward.
Stepan has five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in 26 games played this season. While he might not be a huge goal scorer, he can be a good set-up man and will get you a nice amount of assists. He's a plus-four, and he's averaging 18:37 of ice timeI.
His shots on goal could be higher, at 55. If he would take more shots, he'd almost certainly score more goals. He's only got eight penalty minutes, so don't rely on him for PIM. His six PPP could probably be a bit better as well.
Grab him if you can. He's owned in 42.4 percent of ESPN Fantasy Leagues, but I suspect that number will go up in the next few weeks.
3. Olli Jokinen: Center, Calgary Flames
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Ah, good ol' Olli Jokinen. He's been a bit of a journeyman in recent years, but he's still got it. He's part of the reason Calgary even has an offensive game right now, and his numbers show it.
Olli has eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points in 29 games, so you can rely on him to put up points at almost a point-per-game basis. He's averaging 18:14 of ice time, so unless your team is full of studs, chances are he will help out with your total ice time. He's boasting a nice 84 shots on goal, and he's got 24 penalty minutes, so he can even contribute in that area as well.
Just about the only bad thing I can find to write about Olli is his plus/minus, which isn't even bad. He's a plus-two, which is a bit low for what his numbers show, but hey, he's still a plus.
The bottom line, get Jokinen in your lineup if you have the chance. He's been on a hot streak the past few games, and he hasn't shown signs of slowing down anytime soon. He's owned by 86.8 percent in ESPN Fantasy Leagues. The number speaks for itself.
2. Francois Beauchemin: Defense, Anaheim Ducks
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You have to give Beauchemin some credit. His play is better than his numbers show. He's bounced around a little bit in recent years, so I'm sure that has effected his numbers a bit as well. At any rate, he's a great defenseman, and he should be in your lineup if you need a steady defenseman that will log a ton of minutes.
Beauchemin is logging a heavy 26:32 of ice time, which is almost certain to raise your average time on ice a bit no matter who you've got. He's also got 14 penalty minutes, but he'll get around to grabbing more soon. I listed more stats in the "bad" section only because his numbers are suffering due to a slow start. His numbers will improve.
Hes got four goals and six assists for 10 points in 29 games this season. While this looks pretty bad from a fantasy standpoint, I fully expect those numbers to improve as the season plays on. Francois is better than that. He will improve.
Part of his problem is the fact that he hasn't been shooting at the net enough, as he is more of a stay at home d-man. He's only got 44 shots on goal on the season. He's a minus-three, which isn't all too bad, but could be better. He's got three PPP, which is a bit weak.
The Bottom Line
Grab him if you can. There have been many injuries to defensemen, so chances are you won't have much of a wide selection. I expect his numbers to improve once the Ducks can find their game again.
Johnny Boychuk: Defenseman, Boston Bruins
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Boychuk is really making a name for himself, especially this season. He's been reliable for the Bruins and has been able to handle a heavy amount of minutes. Of course, it helps any player to play on a great team, but there's no denying Johnny has talent and is a great defenseman.
Johnny is logging 20:32 of ice time right now, which is pretty impressive. He's also a plus-12, which is great for any defenseman. He's sporting an impressive 62 shots on goal, and he's even been in the penalty box a fair amount, with 19 penalty minutes on the season.
He's only got three goals and three assists for six points in 27 games this season. While this is not necessarily a big deal, if you are in need of an offensive defenseman, he might not be your guy.
The Bottom Line
Grab him. As I write this article, I'm debating whether I want to add him to my roster myself. If your team is already doing well with goals and assists, but you just need a guy who can put up numbers in all the other areas, Boychuk is certainly your man.