Fantasy Hockey Roundtable

03/12/2010 2:05 AM -  Ian Gooding

Steve Downie has turned into an all-around fantasy threat this season.

Steve Downie has turned into an all-around fantasy threat this season.

Now that the Olympics are over, who is the one player you are targeting off the waiver wire for the final push this season?


Whether it’s a points only or roto-league, the player to target is Steve Downie. Downie is known for his penalty minutes and is only owned in 55 percent of Yahoo leagues. Over the past month his linemates are first and second in league scoring with 16 points each. Downie isn’t far behind with 13 points to show for on a recent 10-game point streak. His current scoring pace is fantasy gold when you include the fact that his 184 PIM puts him second in that category. Grab him before it’s too late.

Marcus Schalle,

The player that’s still on quite a few waiver wires that I’d be adding is Thrashers RW Niclas Bergfors. He’s slid in comfortably as a top 6 forward on a team that traded its best player (Ilya Kovalchuk) in the same deal that saw him arrive in Atlanta. In the ten games since

changing teams, he’s had at least one goal in 5 of those contests (6 goals total). He’s seeing increased minutes (commonly played 13-14 minutes a night with New Jersey, and is getting in the 17-18 minute area in Atlanta) and is also seeing some time on the power play. Finally, he is on a team that is battling for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference while at the same time evaluating who will be a part of the 2010-11 version of the Thrashers. Add it all up and in all likelihood you’ll see some of his best hockey over these last 17 games.

Ray Calder,

At this point in the season, I like to target players on teams that are desperately fighting just to make the playoffs.  Matt Stajan is a good example of an underrated forward on a team that should play every game as if it could be their last.  After a so-so start on the Flames’ first line, Stajan seems to be settling in nicely with – as of Thursday – a goal and four points in his last three games.  He could end up averaging almost a point-per-game for the remainder of the season.  Not bad for a guy who is only owned in 26 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

As far as goaltenders go, I feel obligated to mention Michael Leighton, who is currently owned in 41 percent of Yahoo! leagues.  I don’t think it was smart on the Flyers’ part to decide against acquiring a goaltender at the deadline if they seriously intend to compete for the Stanley Cup this season.  However, the fact is they didn’t make a move and Leighton is expected to play in almost all of Philadelphia’s remaining games.  He doesn’t have the track record to back up his numbers, but he does have a 15-3-2 record with a 2.28 GAA and .924 SV% in 23 games with the Flyers.  If you’re hurting for goaltending, you may as well take a chance on him and see how long this Cinderella story lasts.

Ryan Dadoun,

I’m all over Steve Downie, who’s going crazy playing with Steven Stamkos. He’s still available in a bunch of leagues and he’s probably the best player you’ll find on waivers at this point in the season. He’s putting up career numbers in a big, big way and while they’re hardly impressive, they’re solid. Downie should continue to put up points for you.

Steven Ovadia,

With arguably the top rookie campaign this season, I’m surprised that Matt Duchene is owned in only 31 percent of Yahoo leagues. Duchene leads all rookie scorers with 47 points (23g-24a) in 67 games. Duchene is the top center on a young team that has matured a lot more quickly than most experts had thought before the season had started. Before the season, I wasn’t convinced that Duchene was a better fantasy pickup than John Tavares, but I have been proven wrong. Marc Savard owners, are you paying attention?

Ian Gooding,

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