Week 4 - Free Agents and Trade Targets

Most of the low hanging fruit has already been plucked and rostered.  This week, we turn our attention to a few players whose slow starts have led to decreasing rates of ownerships and who may therefore make good pickups (depending on the size of your league, of course).  We also continue to scour the wire for "Deep League Specials." Check 'em out.

 

Left Wings

Commonly owned LWs worth adding: 
James van Reimsdyk, Flyers (94%); Max Pacioretty, Canadiens (84%).

Previously recommended LWs worth consideration: 
Evander Kane, Jets (34%); Ryan Malone, Lightning (5%); Daniel Carcillo, Blackhawks (1.5%).

Star-divide

Deep league specials (owned in a small % of leagues):

Clarke MacArthur, Maple Leafs - MacArthur has missed 30% of the Buds' games so far due to suspension and injury.  He is back now and clicking with 3 points (2g, 1a) in his last 2 games.  UPDATE:  MacArthur has a PPG tonight.

Availability: Owned in 6% of leagues
Forecast:  MacArthur posted 0.76 points per game last year, and he should approach those numbers again this season. 


Viktor Stalberg, Blackhawks - I gotta be honest.  I don't love this player, but trying to give super deep leaguers something to consider.  Stalberg has typically been playing 4LW, and I don't see a ton of talent at LW above him on Chicago's roster (Brunette, Carcillo, and Bickell).  Stalberg did have 2 goals last night, and he should get his chances playing higher up at various points this season.

Availability: Owned in 0.1% of leagues
Forecast:  Stalberg scored 24 points last year (12g, 12a).  There is a good chance that he improves on those numbers somewhat this year.  Consider adding him if your league is deep enough that 30 points from a LW-er are meaningful.

 

Centres

Commonly owned Cs worth adding:  David Krejci, Bruins (91%);  Dave Bolland, Blackhawks (80%); Mikhail Grabovski, Maple Leafs (62%).

Previously recommended Cs worth consideration: 
Alex Burmistrov, Jets (49%); Jason Arnott, Blues (43%), Martin Hanzal, Coyotes (40%), Matt Read, Flyers (20%), Craig Smith, Predators (4%).


Mike Fisher, Predators - Fisher was a "Deep League Special" last week when his ownership was less than 1%.  Those who added him were rewarded with 4 points (2g, 2a) in his first 2 games back; however, last night Francois Beauchemin knocked him out of action early in the 1st period.  Check his injury status before proceeding.

Availability: Owned in 9% of leagues.
Forecast: Fisher is lining up with Sergei Kostitsyn and Craig Smith at ES and playing on the #1 PP unit.  Look for about 0.7 ppg (50+ points in a full season) and disregard the pundits (ESPN) who say he's a second or third(!) line centre in Nashville.

Deep league specials (owned in a small % of leagues):

Colin Greening, Senators (2%) - Playing with the red hot tandem of Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek--both on the Sens' #1 line and #1 PP unit--Greening is enjoying the ride with 7 points (3g, 4a) in 11 games.  UPDATE:  Greening has a PPG tonight.

Colin Wilson, Predators (0.1%) - Looking to build on last year's 34 point campaign (16g, 18a), Wilson is getting consistent Top 6 and PP minutes (he's 4th among forwards).  Look for 40-45 points from the former 7th overall pick.  There is some scoring upside here, however, he won't help much in PIMs or SOGs.


Right Wings


Commonly owned RWs worth adding: 
Ryan Callahan, Rangers (91%), Steve Downie, Lightning (88%), Wayne Simmonds, Flyers (74%).

Previously recommended RWs worth consideration:
Matt D'Agostini, Blues (36%); Chris Neil, Senators (26%), Gui Latendresse, Wild (12%), David Clarkson, Devils (6%).

Dan Cleary, Red Wings - Cleary has done precisely squat so far this season, but he is skating with Datsyuk and Zetterberg and getting opportunities on the second PP unit.

Availability: Owned in 41% of leagues.
Forecast: Even your mother could put up points playing with Datsyuk and Zetterberg.  Cleary is better than your mother.  I think.

Deep league specials (owned in a small % of leagues):

Radim Vrbata, Coyotes - Vrbata has been quite productive so far this season with 8 points (3g, 5a) in 10 games.  He's been paired with Martin Hanzal most of the time, and recently they've added Ray Whitney on the opposite wing.  That appears to be the #1 line in the desert, and he's on the #1 PP, too.

Availability: Owned in 9% of leagues.
Forecast: Vrbata had 48 points last year (19g, 29a), and has an expanded role this season:  18:50 ATOI this year versus 16:22 last year.  With increased opportunities, RV should be a shoo-in for 50+ points.

David Moss, Flames - Moss has a Top 6 slot and is seeing some time on the second PP unit.  He posted 30 points last year (17g, 13a) in only 58 games--a 24-goal, 42-point pace--and his ATOI is up more than 1:30 per game this season.

Availability: Owned in 0.1% of leagues.
Forecast:  Moss is a good pick up in deep leagues.



Defencemen

Commonly owned Defencemen worth adding: 
Matt Carle, Flyers
(95%), Dmitry Kulikov, Panthers (91%), Kevin Bieksa, Canucks (84%).

Previously recommended Defencemen worth consideration:
Kyle Quincey,
Avalanche (95%); Yannick Weber, Canadiens (36%); Nick Leddy (6%).


Oliver Ekman-Larsson
, Coyotes - Among defencemen, he's second on the team in terms of PP TOI.  OEL has a very respectable 4 points in 10 games (3g, 1a). 

Availability: Owned in 20% of leagues.
Forecast: A former 6th overall selection in the 2009 draft, OEL has the skill to blossom into a regular contributor.  He should be owned in all deep leagues and makes an intriguing speculative play in shallower leagues, too.

Deep league specials (owned in a small % of leagues):

Marc-Andre Gragnani, Sabres (1%) - Ahead of even Christian Ehrhoff and Tyler Myers, MAG leads all Buffalo blueliners in PP TOI.  He hasn't put up big numbers yet -- just 3 points in 10 games -- but that should pick up soon given his opportunities.

UPDATE:  Nick Leddy leads all Chicago defencemen in scoring with 6 points in 10 games (1g, 5a).

 

Goaltenders

Commonly owned Gs worth adding:
Dwayne Roloson
, Lightning (62%). 

Previously recommended Gs worth consideration:
Cory Schneider
, Canucks (34%); Jacob Markstrom, Panthers (20%); Devan Dubnyk, Oilers (12%).

Brian ElliottBlues - Elliott has seized the opportunity created by Halak's leaky play.  In 5 GP, he has 4 wins, a 1.67 GAA and .942 Save%.  Elliott appeared to have starter potential a couple years ago and then somehow got derailed.  It is possible that he is back on track, and I don't like what I've seen from Halak.

Availability: Owned in 56% of leagues.
Forecast: This is shaping up to be a battle royale between the pipes for the Blues.  In such instances, I prefer the player whose arc is on the way up to the one whose arc is on the way down.

Deep league specials (owned in a small % of leagues):

Jhonas Enroth, Sabres (3%) - Enroth was pressed into duty last season when Ryan Miller succumbed to injury.  In 13 starts, many down the stretch, he posted a 9-2-2 record and helped the Sabres earn a playoff berth.  This year, he has 2 wins in 2 starts, and figures to receive more work. Although he is strictly a back-up, Enroth makes a nice add in daily leagues and for owners of Miller.

Mark Dekanich, Blue Jackets (0.1%) - Dekanich put together an impressive campaign last year:  a 2.06 GAA and .931 SV% in 43 games.  While in the Predators system he benefitted from the coaching expertise of Mitch Korn.  Korn has also coached Tomas Vokoun, Pekke Rinne, and, while with Buffalo, Dominik Hasek.  Steve Mason is flopping, again, in Columbus.  That opens the door for the start of the Dexshow. 

Josh Harding, Wild (<0.1%) - Harding shutout the Detroit Red Wings last night, and he plays behind an older goaltender not known for his durability (Backstrom).  He sports a career save percentage of .916 and could perform well if given more starts.



Now check your wire, good luck, and enjoy the games!

NOTES:
*Availability data from ESPN leagues.
**
Player analyses are based on their projected value in standard scoring categories:  Goals, Assists, Power Play Points, Shots on Goal, Plus/Minus, Penalty Minutes, and Average Time on Ice.

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