To all of you who are in your playoffs -- congrats!
It's been a short, but intense season for all.
Welcome to Week 11's edition of wire scouring.
This one goes to 11!
For those of you looking to score some late season help for free, I cannot promise these guys will require extraordinary calibration, but they are the most intriguing options available...
Variously owned LWs worth adding (depending on the size of your league): Ryane Clowe 80% (he's loving NY!), Scott Hartnell 73% (even on L2 he should make some noise) Steve Ott 71%, Brandon Saad 65% (the "Manchild" is a fixture next to Toews), Brayden Schenn 62% (perking up), Rene Bourque (returning this week?), Nikolai Kulemin (temporarily increased role).
He's back. Well, sort of. He was back for two games after recovering from a knee injury, but he missed today's game with a bout of flu. He should be good to go for the next CLS game on Tuesday. In the two games he did play, he had 2 points (both helpers), including one on the PP.
Availability: Owned in 33% of leagues.
Forecast: Splashy new FA acquisition, Marian Gaborik, should be the rising tide to lift all ships. If you recall Gaborik's finest season (42 goals, 86 points in 2009-2010 with the New York Rangers), you may also recall that his linemates were Prospal and, you guessed it, Dubinsky. Not that Dubie's value is dependent on being paired with MG. Just something to note.
Variously owned Cs worth adding (depending on the size of your league): Paul Stastny 52% (returning soon), Martin Hanzal 39% (in/out of the lineup--he's in now!), Derick Brassard 23% (also enjoying life in Gotham), Frans Nielsen 10% (Isles looking like a playoff team?!), Jarret Stoll 6% (rec'd here often for deeper leaguers), Artem Anisimov 5% (Gaborik's liney in 2011-12 when he scored 41 goals), Brian Boyle 1% (just to rec as many Rangers as possible).
Only playing in 7 games so far this season (5 points), Kesler has been skating recently and this morning I read reports that his return was imminent; however, it seems that it could be another week or so. Basically, the reports conflict so I'm not sure what to think. Bottom line: Kesler is an elite level talent. Grab and stash if you can.
Availability: Owned in 33% of leagues.
Forecast: He should slot right into his usual 2C role and produce for you almost immediately.
Variously owned RWs worth adding (depending on the size of your league): Brian Gionta 57% (underrated on excellent Habs team), Brendan Gallagher 21% (Calder candidate), Chris Neil 21% (multicat madman), Matt Read 17% (on L1 with Giroux), Mika Zibanejad 0.6% (Honey Badger for a new linemate).
Playing better as of late and his production (5 points: 3+2 in his last 4 games) and TOI are increasing. Last game, he overtook Hemsky for the RW slot on L2 playing with Gagner and Paajarvi. His arrow is pointing up.
Availability: Owned in 48% of leagues.
Forecast: The #1 overall selection in the 2012 Entry Draft, Yakupov has a sick tool set. Of the players available on the wire at the RW position, he has the best likelihood of going on (maintaining) a goal-scoring tear.
Variously owned Ds worth adding (depending on the size of your league): Kevin Bieksa 87% (always solid and heating up), James Wisniewski 70% (he's back and on PP1), Zach Bogosian 49% (PP2), Travis Hamonic 40% (multicat leaguer), Justin Faulk 30% (returning this week), Brooks Orpik 24% (hits and blocks), Luke Schenn 20% (hits and blocks), Kevin Klein 3% (little of everything).
Minny's 1st rounder in 2011 (10th overall) is blossoming. Already logging more ATOI than any other rookie (22:48) being paired with Ryan Suter at ES and seeing heaps of PK time in addition to PP2 time, Brodin has 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) in his last 12 games. My choice for Calder.
Availability: Owned in 24% of leagues.
Forecast: Don't expect this half-point/game pace to continue this year, but he could approach those numbers for the remainder of this season. For those in keeper leagues, look for him to move up to PP1 next season as his chemistry with Suter continues to improve.
Variously owned Gs worth adding (depending on the size of your league): James Reimer 89% (fresh off a SO no less), Ray Emery 83% (also off a SO and "stealing" starts now), Viktor Fasth 80% (2.17 and .922), Tomas Vokoun 73% (10-3-0 record), Ben Bishop 58% (new #1!), Jacob Markstrom (2.68 and .918), Jonathan Bernier 33% (so much better than Quick this year!), Robin Lehner 24% (staying in The Show), Anton Khudobin (2.07 and .929 !!!).
Smith's numbers for the season aren't the greatest, but the big guy is a clear #1, recently returned from injury, and posted a shutout in his last game. He also plays on a defence-first team.
Availability: Owned in 80% of leagues.
Forecast: Not sure what to expect out of Smith the rest of way, but based on his performance last year and the dearth of quality starters on the waiver wire he is at least worth a speculative add for any team in need of a boost between the pipes.
This is the final installment of Free Agents and Trade Targets for the 2012-2013 season.
Good luck the rest of the way!
Now check your wire, good luck, and enjoy the games!
* Availability data from ESPN leagues. [Availability in Y! leagues is almost always higher].
* Player analyses and recommendations will now reflect the growing popularity of broader based scoring systems, so we'll be evaluating free agents and trade targets on the following categories: Goals, Assists, Shots on Goal, Special Teams Goals, Hits, Blocks, PIMs and DEF points (for skaters -- for goalies it will still be Wins, GAA, and Save%). Also, like last season, "Free Agents and Trade Targets" will post here every Sunday evening.