Fantasy hockey: One player to add for each category in Week 11 Pt. 2
Week 11 Part 1 was an absolute nightmare for fantasy managers, so let's hope Part 2 is a little better.
Players are still being added to the league's COVID-19 protocols, but there have also been a number of players removed from the list, too. Hopefully we see more of the latter than the former over the next couple weeks.
Here are the top waiver targets in fantasy hockey for each category.
Goals: LW/RW Valeri Nichushkin, Colorado Avalanche (36 percent rostered on Yahoo)
Valeri Nichushkin will likely get bumped off the Avalanche's top line with Gabriel Landeskog nearing a return, but I'm still interested in the Russian winger in fantasy.
For starters, he leads Colorado in 5v5 scoring chances for per-60, which is no small accomplishment considering the wealth of offensive talent the team possesses. Additionally, he's been peppering puck-stoppers at an impressive rate recently, firing 24 shots on goal in his last six outings. That shoot-first mentality has lent itself to some scoring success, as he has potted three goals in his last two games.
With a plus-10 rating and 25 hits through 18 games this season, Nichushkin blends strong offensive play with high-end defensive chops, and is one of the top adds for the second half of Week 11,
Assists: RW Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers (36 percent rostered on Yahoo)
Travis Konecny has been playing a more consistent stream of minutes lately for the Flyers, and that's resulted in some positive results in the assists category.
The 24-year-old has topped 17 minutes of ice time in six of his last seven outings and has racked up seven helpers during that stretch. He's also been a help for fantasy managers looking for power-play points, as he's totalled three during this stretch while playing on the Flyers' top power-play unit.
He's also been a decent source for hits, as he's dished out 11 over the same span of games.
Philadelphia plays three contests over the next seven days, which means Konecny can provide some decent category coverage for Pt. 2 of Week 11.
Plus-minus: LW/RW Eeli Tolvanen, Nashville Predators (25 percent rostered on Yahoo)
With the Predators still missing their entire first line due to COVID-19 protocols, Eeli Tolvanen will be counted on to step up for Nashville.
Tolvanen has posted a respectable plus-six mark over his last seven games. This coincides with an uptick in scoring for the 22-year-old, as he's registered four goals and five points during this span. He's also been throwing his body around, as he's thrown 16 hits over this stretch, too.
With key players like Mikael Granlund, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Johansen out, Tolvanen will also see more involvement on the top power-play unit. He and the Preds play three games this week, and the 2017 first-round pick remains someone worth holding onto for the long-term in fantasy.
Power-play points: RW Taylor Raddysh, Tampa Bay Lightning (5 percent rostered on Yahoo)
With the Lightning missing key players like Anthony Cirelli, Nikita Kucherov, and Brayden Point, their depth will be tested coming out of the break, and Raddysh is one of these young forwards who will be thrust into an expanded role.
The Bolts forward is only averaging 11:44 of ice time, but he was logging minutes on Tampa Bay's top power-play unit prior to the pause. He's recorded one point on the man advantage over his last two games, but he's likely due for a few more while skating on a unit that features players like Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman.
Even with the limited minutes, Raddysh has been reaching the scoresheet pretty frequently, with four goals and eight points over his past 10 games. It's important to remember that he was a second-round pick of the Lightning in 2016, and recorded 109 points in 58 games for the OHL's Erie Otters during the 2016-17 season. He also averaged better than a point per game with the AHL's Syracuse Crunch last year.
He and the Lightning play a league-leading four games this week.
Shots on goal: LW/RW Viktor Arvidsson, Los Angeles Kings (42 percent rostered on Yahoo)
Viktor Arvidsson has only tallied six goals and 14 points this season, but there are a lot of indicators that suggest he's due for some positive regression.
His 86 shots on goal are tied for 35th in the league, and he actually leads the Kings in 5v5 scoring chances for per-60 — both being great indicators that his 7.0 shooting percentage is likely on the rise.
He's fired off three or more shots in 10 of the last 12 games and will be a great option for fantasy managers with the Kings playing three games this week.
Faceoff wins: C Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks (39 percent rostered on Yahoo)
There's not much explaining I need to do to convince you to add Jonathan Toews in fantasy hockey for Week 11 Pt. 2.
His 352 faceoff wins rank third across the entire NHL, and it seems like the veteran centre is finally starting to find his scoring touch. He's registered three goals and four points over his last five outings and is likely due for some more goals as his 5.7 shooting percentage lags behind his career number of 13.7 percent.
He and the Blackhawks play three games this week, making him a good candidate to lead the entire league in the category over the next seven days.
Hits: C/LW Ross Colton, Tampa Bay Lightning (6 percent rostered on Yahoo)
As mentioned above, Tampa Bay is missing a lot of its top players on offense, but depth forwards like Ross Colton continue to do a serviceable job when called upon.
Playing inside the Lightning's top-six, Colton has potted seven assists in his last 10 games in addition to racking up his fair share of body checks. Over his last 14 outings, the 25-year-old has thrown 39 hits.
The Bolts play four games this week, so Colton will bring a nice blend of grit and offensive touch to lineups.
Blocks: D Mario Ferraro, San Jose Sharks (22 percent rostered on Yahoo)
Well, look who's back in the blocks section of my waiver wire column?
One of my favourites, Mario Ferraro, returns after I purposefully left him out of here for the last month or so due to the fact that it got to the point where I was writing about him every week. In all honesty, I could just dedicate this part of the blog to him every week, but to avoid redundancy, I tried to keep it fresh with a few different names over the last 30 days or so.
Simply put, this guy is a puck magnet. His 91 blocks lead the NHL and are 14 more than Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb in second place. Ferraro has also helped fantasy managers in the hits department, providing 67 body checks in 30 games.
He's occasionally chipped in offensively with two goals and 10 points this season, but it's not something that should be expected. He blocks shots and hits people, which is more than enough for me.
He and the Sharks play three games over the next seven days.
Goaltending: G Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins (25 percent rostered on Yahoo)
It's getting very close to Tuukka Time in Boston.
When speaking on Sunday, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy noted that Rask could be ready to play with the team in three weeks. With a fairly clear timeline for return established, fantasy managers should be acting now to scoop the Finnish goaltender off waivers.
Sure, there are some reasons to have pause about adding the veteran. Rask is 35 years old and has been rehabilitating surgery which repaired a torn labrum in his hip, but considering he's in a three-way tie with Ken Dryden and Dominik Hasek for the all-time lead in save percentage with a mark of .922, I'd say he's definitely worth taking a flier on.
Goalies with his track record are not flooding waiver wires in any league, so go out and add him.
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