Week 6 - Free Agents and Trade Targets

This week, we have 3 profiles for each skater position. In addition to the usual overlooked players, we've also got some players returning from injury or suspension or assuming an expanded role due to a player above them on the depth chart getting knocked out of action.  Check 'em out.

 

Right Wings

Commonly owned RWs worth adding or targeting via trade: 
Justin Williams, Kings
(94%), Chris Stewart, Blues (91%), Ales Hemsky, Oilers (54%).

Detroit Red Wings Danny Cleary, Red Wings
Cleary sustained a significant upper body injury at the beginning of October that affected his early season play.  Over his last 5 games, however, he has 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist), a +2 rating, and a prolific 28 SOGs.  Perhaps even more indicative that his injury is in the rear-view mirror, Cleary's ice time is up >2 minutes per game over the same time span.  Consistently playing with Pavel Datsyuk is also a plus.

Availability: Owned in 35% of leagues.
Forecast: Cleary scored 26 goals and 20 assists last year in just 68 games.  That's a 31-goal, 55-point pace.  If that kind of output can help you at the thin RW position, consider adding him. 

Philadelphia Flyers Jakub Voracek, Flyers
Coming into tonight's matchup the Flyers had only played 2 games over the prior 10 games.  In those 2 games, however, Voracek had 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists).   The Flyers spread their PP ice time fairly evenly over their top 6 forwards with Jagr receiving the most at 4:12 and JvR the least at 3:09.  Voracek is within that group at 3:19.

Availability: Owned in 19% of leagues.
Forecast:  "Jake" has 9 points (3 goals, 6 assists) in 15 games thus far.  With a 50-point season under his belt with Columbus, and an improved situation in Philadelphia, his odds of matching or bettering that output are good.

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

Washington Capitals Troy Brouwer, Capitals
Brouwer has a respectable 9 points (4 goals, 5 assists) in 15 games this season, and is spending most of his time with some combination of Ovechkin, Backstrom, and/or Semin.  That's good work if you can find it.  He's also getting 2nd unit PP minutes.

Availability: Owned in 1.3% of leagues.
Forecast:  His best campaign so far produced just 40 points, but in an expanded role in Washington that appears to be his floor.  The knock on him is that his ceiling isn't that high, but 50 points wouldn't be bad -- esp. for a player owned in barely 1% of leagues -- and he's on that pace right now.

 

Centres

Commonly owned Cs worth adding or targeting via trade: 
Martin Hanzal, Coyotes
(54%), Patrik Berglund, Blues (51%), Craig Smith, Predators (48%).


Detroit Red Wings Valtteri Filppula, Red Wings
Filppula was originally recommended a few weeks ago, and has not disappointed with 13 points in 15 games, a +11 rating, and most recently a cozy spot on the Zetterberg-Franzen line.  VF also sees a good amount of time on the PP as he's fifth among forwards with 2:39 per game.

Availability: Owned in 27% of leagues.
Forecast:   Excellent situation + he's hot right now with 6 points in his last 4 games.


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


Philadelphia Flyers Matt Read, Flyers
An FHS favorite, Read was also recommended at the beginning of the season.  He missed several games until being inserted back into the lineup for Philadlephia's last game and logged nearly 20 minutes of ice time.  Read has 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists), a +3 rating, and 29 SOGs in just 12 games.

Availability: Owned in 5% of leagues.
Forecast:  At the conclusion of the preseason, TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted, "Nobody asked, but I am picking 25 year-old Matt Read of PHI to win this year's Calder trophy as top rookie in the NHL."  I won't go that far, but he could certainly be in the conversation.

Calgary Flames Mikael Backlund, Flames
Backlund made his season debut on Friday night vs. Chicago lining up between Jerome Iginla and Alex Tanguay on Calgary's #1 line and playing on the #1 PP unit.  Now THAT is rousing "Welcome Back!"

Availability: Owned in 0.9% of leagues.
Forecast:   Although he didn't light the world on fire last year (25 points in 73 games), the former 1st rounder couldn't ask for a better situation in Calgary and is therefore worth a flier for owner's looking to add a centre.

 

Left Wings


Commonly owned LWs worth adding or targeting via trade: 
Brandon Dubinksy, Rangers (94%), Steve Ott, Stars (67%), Jussi Jokinen, Hurricanes (56%).

New York Islanders Matt Moulson, Islanders - Moulson is off to uneven start this year with just 3G, 5A in 13 games, so it is understandable that he's not owned more widely.  I'm not sold on his raw talent level, either.  That said, he does have 30 and 31 goals the past two seasons, is a fixture next to Tavares on the Isles' #1 line, and is 2nd among forwards in PP TOI, so the opportunities are there.

Availability: Owned in 20% of leagues.
Forecast: Should be owned in all 14-team leagues, and is worthy of consideration in all others as ample opportunities and recent history both suggest that he'll find the back of the twine with more regularity going forward.


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

Chicago Blackhawks Daniel Carcillo, Blackhawks -  Originally recommended in Week 2, Carcillo has had some difficulty staying in the lineup due to a pair of 2-game suspsensions.  He's back now, and assuming he stays on the right side of the law, he has a great chance to be productive for your team.  As Cam noted yesterday, "Carbomb" put up 2 assists on Friday night on the Kane & Sharp line.  He has 1G, 3A, +2, and 30 PIMs over his last five games.

Availability: Owned in 3% of leagues.
Forecast:  Owners looking to add a "pest" -- someone who can rack up PIMs while still contributing to the scoresheet -- should take a good look at Carcillo.

New York Islanders Matt Martin, Islanders
Martin won't score much for you as he has just 2 goals so far this season, however, he can help in other other categories.  In 13 games, he has 31 PIMs and 30 SOGs.

Availability: Owned in 0.1% of leagues.
Forecast:  Worth a look for team's in need of support in PIMs and SOGs.

 

Defencemen


Commonly owned Ds worth adding or targeting via trade:
Sami Salo, Canucks (89%), Kevin Bieksa, Canucks (73%), Marek Zidlicky, Wild (62%).

Dallas Stars Stephane Robidas, Stars
Robidas's numbers are not overwhelming:  5 points (2 goals, 3 assists), a +3 rating, and 20 SOG in 16 games, however, with Alex Goligoski on the shelf for at least a month with a broken thumb, Robidas's role is set to expand significantly.

Availability: Owned in 36% of leagues.
Forecast:  Look for Robidas to produce at a 30+ point pace for at least the next four weeks.  Historically, he also contributes nearly a PIM per game, too.


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

Chicago Blackhawks Steve Montador, Blackhawks
Montador isn't the type of player that excites fantasy owners unless 20-something points and a PIM per game does it for you.  That said, the Blackhawks have experimented with him playing forward on the PP and on Wednesday it paid dividends in the amount of 1 goal and 1 assist.

Availability: Owned in 0.6% of leagues.
Forecast:  Don't expect Wednesday night's production any time soon, but if Montador reprises his role on the PP he could make for a sneaky play.


San Jose Sharks Justin Braun, Sharks
Braun appears to have taken Demers's spot in San Jose's lineup.  That means decent minutes (close to 17 minutes) and time on the 2nd PP unit.

Availability: Owned in 0.1% of leagues.
Forecast:  So far, Braun hasn't done much with his opportunities, but it is the best situation I could find among defencemen that are 0.1% owned.

 

Goaltenders


Commonly owned Gs worth adding or targeting via trade:
Josh Harding, Wild (73%), Brian Elliott, Blues (67%), Jhonas Enroth, Sabres (45%).


Toronto Maple Leafs James Reimer, Maple Leafs
Reimer passed his baseline tests.  You know, the one to test for the concussion he didn't have.  In any event, that is good news, and reports say he will be back "soon."  I realize that is incredibly unsatisfactory in it's lack of specificity, but the point is he makes a great stash (esp. those with an IR slot).

Availability: Owned in 63% of leagues.
Forecast:  Starting Gs on winning teams don't tend to come available very often once the season is in full progress.  If Optimus Reim is available in your league, consider adding him.


Chicago Blackhawks Ray Emery, Blackhawks
Razor's numbers haven't been exemplary:  2.70 GAA and a .905 Save%, however, they are almost equal to starter Corey Crawford's (2.70 GAA and .907 Save%).  Additionally, he's won 3 of his 4 starts, and he could be in line for more if Crawford doesn't begin distinguishing himself.

Availability: Owned in 2% of leagues.
Forecast:   For now, don't expect him to get much more than the flip side on back-to-back nights.  He's a speculative add or a handcuff for Crawford owners.

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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