Week 14 - Free Agents and Trade Targets

Damn! It's getting ugly out there...

James Neal, Jordan Staal, Jordan Eberle and Derek Roy are the lastest to be out "weeks, not days." (Condolences to fans of the flightless birds). Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Matt Duchene, and Christian Ehrhoff also went out recently joining other fantasy stars Dustin Byfuglien, Jeff Skinner, John-Michael Liles, Mike Green, Chris Pronger, Mark Giordano, Kris Letang, and, of course, Sidney Crosby.

As a GM you have to do whatever you can to improve your team while your proven commodities are on the mend. Let's see who's available this week on the wire.

Left Wings

Variously owned LWs worth adding (depending on the size of your league) or worth targeting via trade:
Curtis Glencross (89%), Brenden Morrow (83%), David Perron (64%), Ryan Malone (2%)

New York Rangers Brandon Dubinsky, LW

Over the last 10 games, Dubinsky has spent about half his TOI with Callahan and Richards. In his last 8 games he has 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists), a +6 rating, and a prolific 26 SOGs.

Availability: Owned in 81% of leagues.
Forecast: He appears to have regained his form from last season, and the Rangers are one of the best--and hottest--teams in the NHL.

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

Toronto Maple Leafs Clarke MacArthur, LW

Playing primarily with Connolly, Kadri, and Grabovski recently, MacArthur also has 8 points in his last 8 games (3 goals, 5 assists). Over that same timeframe he's a +3 with 16 SOGs and has also contributed a very healthy 4 PPPs.

Availability: Owned in 13% of leagues.
Forecast: Ride him while he's hot. For those of you in deeper leagues, consider Ryan Malone (2% ownership).

Centres

Variously owned Cs worth adding (depending on the size of your league) or worth targeting via trade:
Ryan O'Reilly (69%), Tim Connolly (55%), Frans Nielsen (25%), Kyle Turris (4%), Brandon Sutter (1%).

Toronto Maple Leafs Mikhail Grabovski, C

After a career year last season: 29 goals, 29 assists, +14, 60 PIMs, 239 SOGs, and 15 PPPs, Grabovski started the season slow. He's picked it up lately though. In his last 7 games he has 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists), 15 SOGs, and 4 PPPs.

Availability: Owned in 33% of leagues.
Forecast: He appears to have regained his form from last season, and makes a strong second half play.

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

Edmonton Oilers Sam Gagner, C

With Ryan Nugent-Hopkins out the next 3 weeks or so, look for even more opportunities for former #6 overall selection Sam Gagner. In his last 5 games, he has 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) and 2 PPPs.

Availability: Owned in 13% of leagues.
Forecast: Makes a decent, intermediate-term injury replacement.

Right Wings

Variously owned RWs worth adding (depending on the size of your league) or worth targeting via trade:
Michael Ryder (89%), Chris Stewart (74%), Steve Downie (72%), David Clarkson (37%).

Boston Bruins Rich Peverley, RW

Peverley missed a couple games at the end of December and took a couple more games to shake off the rust, but he has 3 points in his last 2 games (2 goals, 1 assist) and chips in across the board. Prior to his injury, he was on a 4-game streak (2 goals, 5 assists), and you know his +/- rating will be strong.

Availability: Owned in 48% of leagues.
Forecast: Just give me a piece of the Bruins juggernaut. Any piece. Okay, not Shawn Thornton.

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

Nashville Predators Jordin Tootoo, RW

Tootoo is scoring at a 40-point pace. And he's on track for >125 PIMs. Over his last 6 games he has 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists), a +3 rating, 17 SOGs, and 13 PIMs.

Availability: Owned in 2% of leagues.
Forecast: Consider adding Tootoo if you are looking for help in the PIM department as he will chip in on other categories as well.

Defencemen

Variously owned D-men worth adding (depending on the size of your league) or worth targeting via trade:
Alex Goligoski (91%), Jordan Leopold (72%), Marc Staal (66%).

Buffalo Sabres Tyler Myers, D

Myers just returned from the IR (wrist) 2 games ago, but with the injury to Christian Ehrhoff he was thrown more minutes (>24 per game vs. a season average of 21 and change) and more PP time. He scored a PP goal in his last game.

Availability: Owned in 33% of leagues.
Forecast: Myers is a former Calder trophy winner, makes a good add in any event, and his value receives an additional boost as long as Ehrhoff remains sidelined.

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

Carolina Hurricanes Justin Faulk, D

He's logging just over 22 minutes per game and recently has seen more opportunities on the PP. Over his last 5 games, he has 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist) ALL on the man-advantage.

Availability: Owned in 0.6% of leagues.
Forecast: Don't expect consistency (or a sparkling +/-), but he's got talent and should be owned in more leagues than this!

Goaltenders

Variously owned Gs worth adding (depending on the size of your league) or worth targeting via trade:
Tuukka Rask (86%), Semyon Varlamov (58%), Evgeni Nabokov (48%), Sergei Bobrovsky (44%), Cory Schneider (30%), Jhonas Enroth (11%), Jacob Markstrom (3%).

Minnesota Wild Josh Harding, G

I know, the Wild are slumping and Harding is a back-up. Thing is, when he plays (16 games this season) his numbers are stellar: 2.03 GAA and .935 Save%.

Availability: Owned in 22% of leagues.
Forecast: A perfect #3 netminder for most leagues, Harding has even more upside if the Wild move a G. With Backstrom, Harding, and Hackett...plus Darcy Kuemper, Minnesota has arguably the deepest corps of goalies in the league. It wouldn't be a surprise if they traded one for help on the blueline.

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

Toronto Maple Leafs Jonas Gustavsson, G

"The Monster" has won 3 in a row with a 2.00 GAA and .932 Save%.
Meanwhile, Optimus Reim has dropped 3 in a row (with ugly peripherals).

Availability: Owned in 9% of leagues.
Forecast: I still don't trust this cat, but he's playing well right now and the Leafs provide excellent goal support.
Worth an add at least while he's hot and/or as a speculative play.

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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