Week 5 - Free Agents and Trade Targets

There is still quality on the wire! 
A lot of impatient owners out there. 
Who the heck drops Chris Stewart (available in 7% of leagues)? 
He's probably not available in your league, however there are quite a few high caliber players that have been prematurely ejected.

 

Left Wings

Commonly owned LWs worth adding or targeting via trade: 
Max Pacioretty, Canadiens (85%).

Previously recommended LWs worth consideration: 
Clarke MacArthur, Maple Leafs (41%); Nikolai Kulemin, Maple Leafs (35%); Guillaume Latendresse, Wild (11%); Ryan Malone, Lightning (10%).

David Perron, Blues - You will probably want an available IR spot in order to roster Perron.  Word out of St. Louis is that he's feeling good in practices.  The former 1st round pick had 20 goals and 27 assists in 2009-2010, and was off to a quick start last year with 5 goals in 10 games before a concussion ended his season.  

Availability: Owned in 14% of leagues
Forecast:  Perron has 30-goal potential, and that may account for his relatively high ownership rate given the amount of time he has missed so far.

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

Colin Wilson, Predators - Another 1st round pick, 7th overall in 2008, Wilson is playing on the Predators #1 line with Legwand and Hornqvist, and on the 2nd PP unit.

Availability: Owned in 0.2% of leagues
Forecast: Wilson posted 34 points last season and projects to 44 points this season.  That's good production for a player that owned in less than 1% of all leagues.  Has dual eligiblity, too (LW/C).

 

Centres

Commonly owned Cs worth adding or targeting via trade: 
Dave Bolland, Blackhawks (87%); Tim Connolly, Maple Leafs (83%); David Krejci, Bruins (74%);

Previously recommended Cs worth consideration: 
Martin Hanzal
, Coyotes (67%); Patrik Berglund, Blues (65%).

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

Marcus Johansson, Capitals -  Washington's 1st rounder in 2009 has been manning the 2C role this year typically playing w/ Alexander Semin.  He's 5th among forwards in PP ATOI, so he has talent + opportunity.

Availability: Owned in 6% of leagues.
Forecast:   Johansson has 7 points (5 goals, 2 assists) in 11 games so far and is surrounded by a wealth of offensive talent.  40-50 points would not be a surprise.

Sean Couturier, Flyers - How did Couturier fall to Philadelphia in this past year's draft?  I have to think it is part of the Columbus curse.  In any event, he looks great this year.  The Flyers have decided to keep him up.

Availability: Owned in 1% of leagues.
Forecast:   Couturier has 8 points (5 goals, 3 assists) in 14 games and is also a very stout +9.  Regarding special teams, he is 2nd among forwards in SH ATOI, but sees only spot duty on the PP.  He's not likely to keep up this scoring pace in his current role (bottom 6 forward and PK), but he oozes talent and could see his role expand as the season progresses.


Right Wings


Commonly owned RWs worth adding or targeting via trade:
Chris Stewart
, Blues (93%), Drew Stafford, Sabres (80%); Steve Downie, Lightning (65%); Michael Grabner, Islanders (47%).

Previously recommended RWs worth consideration:
Radim Vrbata,
Coyotes (65%); Chris Neil, Senators (47%); David Clarkson, Devils (7%).

TJ Oshie, Blues - Oshie got off to a slow start and was dropped by my owners, but he's turned it on of late and is playing closer to his pre-draft projections.  He's playing with Blues Captain David Backes on the top line and on the PP and has 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists) in his last 7 games.

Availability: Owned in 55% of leagues.
Forecast:  Like many young players, Oshie's inconsistency can be frustrating; however, the Blues are committed to giving him prime opportunities this year.  He should post 50+ points and has dual eligibility (RW/C) to boot.

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

Michael Ryder, Stars - Talk about opportunity!  Ryder plays on Dallas's #1 line with Ribeiro and Morrow, and he's 2nd among forwards in PP time per game.   He started slow, but has come on as of late with 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) in his last 4 games.

Availability: Owned in 5% of leagues.
Forecast:  Should be owned in virtually all leagues.  I don't expect huge #s out of Ryder, but his production from last year:  41 points, should be his floor as his situation in Dallas is better than what he enjoyed in Boston.



Defencemen

Commonly owned Defencemen worth adding or targeting via trade: 
Ian White, Red Wings (92%);
John Carlson, Capitals (77%).

Previously recommended Defencemen worth consideration:
Nick Leddy, Blackhawks (45%).

Zach Bogosian, Jets - This is Bogo's big chance.  Enstrom is out at least 4-6 weeks with a broken collarbone.  That means an extended audition on the PP for the fourth year rearguard.  A couple years ago, he scored 10 goals.  To put that into context, if he had potted 10 goals last year he would have been in the Top 20 among D-men.

Availability: Owned in 14% of leagues.
Forecast:  Really nice opportunity; however, temper expectations as he only has 4 points so far this season (all assists) and the Jets are not exactly filling the net. 

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

Andrej Sekera, Sabres (0.5%) - We are digging deep here.  Sekera still isn't seeing significant PP time, however, his overall TOI is on the rise.  In last night's game, Sekera was 2nd among all Buffalo skaters with 23:11, and he picked up a point to give him 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) in his last 3 games.  Sekera put up 29 points last year, so he has ability.

 

Goaltenders

Commonly owned Gs worth adding or targeting via trade:
Dwayne Roloson
, Lightning (69%). 

Previously recommended Gs worth consideration or targeting via trade:
Brian Elliott, Blues (74%); Josh Harding, Wild (47%); Jacob Markstrom, Panthers (16%); Jhonas Enroth, Sabres (11%).

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

Thomas Greiss, Sharks - Yet another netminder taking advantage of a #1 stumbling out of the gate.  Antii Niemi has been underwhelming so far.  Despite having a Stanley Cup caliber team in front of he's only managed to win 4 of his 8 starts while posting pedestrian ratios:  3.09 GAA and .892 Save%.   That has opened the door for Greiss who has not disappointed.  The German has a sparkling 1.99 GAA to go along with an equally strong .928 Save%.

Availability: Owned in 5% of leagues.
Forecast: This is still Niemi's crease.  Stanley Cup champions don't lose their roles just because sluggish starts.  That said, Niemi was also poor during last year's playoffs so the leash may not be as long as he may think.  In any event, Greiss makes a strong handcuff for Niemi owners and a nice speculative play for those who are not sold on the Finn.



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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