Fantasy Hockey Values: Juuse Saros leads key risers after massive 64-save performance

By Jan Levine, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

In this space, we'll look at which NHL players are seeing their fantasy hockey values rise or fall on a week-to-week basis.

This week's article includes a hot Flame, no Stone left unturned in Vegas, Juuse on the loose for Nashville and Martin slumping in Vancouver.

First Liners (RISERS)

Elias Lindholm, C, CGY

Lindholm, who scored a career-high 42 goals and tallied 82 points last season, has gotten hot since December 1. In his last 18 games, Lindholm has seven tallies and 14 assists. His hot play has helped the Flames hold onto a Wild Card spot. Tyler Toffoli has benefitted from skating to the right of Lindholm, who is still looking for a consistent left winger on his line. He is unlikely to match or exceed the 82 points he scored last year, but finishing in the 70+ range is doable.

Mason McTavish, C, ANA

McTavish could be on the verge of another hot streak. He notched four points Friday against the Sharks after posting a goal and an assist Wednesday against the Stars to move his season totals to nine goals and 17 assists in 41 games. McTavish has moved up to center the top line, with Trevor Zegras moved to Ryan Strome's wing. Given his recent success, look for McTavish to remain on the top line, at least in the short term.

Alexander Barabanov, LW, SJ

Barabanov extended his four-game point streak Saturday against Boston, scoring two goals and as many assists during that span. After tallying 39 points in 70 games last season, Barabanov is up to 25 points in 36 games in this his second full season in San Jose. Barabanov is skating on the second line to the right of Logan Couture, a placement that should allow him to remain productive and possibly exceed his total from last year.

Alexander Barabanov #94 of the San Jose Sharks has fantasy value
Alexander Barabanov is delivering unexpected fantasy value. (Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images) (Derek Cain via Getty Images)

Travis Konecny, RW, PHI

While Philly is having a rough season, Konecny's play has been one of the bright lights. Monday's two assists extended his point streak to nine games and pushed him up to nine goals and 7 points over that span. He has 21 goals and 43 points in 35 contests this season, putting him on pace to exceed the career-high of 61 points he tallied in 2019-20. Konecny could end up setting career highs in goals and assists in addition to points.

Mark Stone, RW, LV

Stone saw his seven-game point streak end Saturday. In that span, he notched four multi-point efforts, producing five goals and eight helpers. The winger is up to 17 tallies, 38 points, 113 shots on net and a plus-11 rating through 42 contests overall. Stone's recent hot stretch — which occurred while Jack Eichel was sidelined — could enable the winger to set a new career-high in points, exceeding the 73 points he posted in 2018-19 with Ottawa and Las Vegas.

Cale Makar, D, COL

Makar hasn't repeated the dominant season he had last year when he won the Norris Trophy, but that doesn't mean he's having a poor campaign. Over his last six outings, Makar has three goals and five helpers. Those eight points have moved his season totals up to 10 tallies and 27 helpers in 38 games, which (despite my first sentence) is not that far away from the pace he had last year.

Part of the view or perception of Makar's season may be due to Colorado having its own struggles at times.

Rasmus Dahlin, D, BUF

Dahlin has shown no signs of slowing down after his hot start. His two goals and three assists Saturday moved Dahlin up to third in scoring from the blue line (44 points), behind only Erik Karlsson (54) and Josh Morrissey (46). His recent hot streak has resulted in Dahlin tying his rookie-season point production, meaning he's now trailing only the 53 points he tallied last season. The three-year, $18 million contract Dahlin signed with the Sabres in September of 2021 expires at the end of next season, putting him in line for a huge raise.

Juuse Saros, G, NAS

You make 64 saves, you get your name in bold. Granted, the shot total might have been "augmented" slightly, but as of now, that's the number. Saros followed that performance up by pitching a 38-save shutout Monday and has won four of his five starts, improving his season numbers to 15-10-5 with a 2.67 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in 30 games this season. Last season, he was brilliant early but faded late, partially due to an ankle injury. This year, Saros got off to a relatively slow start, but he looks to be hitting on all cylinders now.

Others include Leon Draisaitl, Dylan Cozens, Jack Hughes, Paul Stastny, Kyle Connor, Brandon Saad, Tyler Toffoli, Jason Robertson, Kirill Marchenko, Erik Gustafsson, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Schultz, Colton Parayko, Samuel Ersson, Linus Ullmark, and Jake Oettinger.

Fourth Liners/Press Boxers (FALLERS)

Cole Sillinger, C, CLM

The future is bright for Sillinger, selected 12th overall in 2021, but that future may be at least a year or two away. After posting 31 points in 79 contests as a rookie, Sillinger has been limited to just seven points in 36 games this season. Part of that decline in output is due to the presence of Kent Johnson, who has been filling the first- or second-line center role in Columbus, moving Sillinger down to the third or fourth line. But Sillinger has not shown he deserves to be moved up in the pivot pecking order either.

Max Comtois, LW, ANA

Comtois' scoreless drought hit 14 games Sunday. He scored in his return from a lower-body injury on Dec. 6 versus the Hurricanes, but that's been it for his offense over the last month. It's looking more and more like his 33-point effort in 55 games in 2020-21 was a fluke. The 24-year-old winger has just five tallies with 41 shots on net, 55 PIM, 49 hits and a minus-11 rating through 30 appearances this season while skating in a bottom-six role.

Travis Sanheim, D, PHI

Sanheim has 15 points in 41 games, with just two of those points coming in the last nine contests. After seeing his production decline in 2019-20 and 2020-21, Sanheim posted 31 points last year, good for the second-highest total of his career. That output provided some hope that Sanheim was ready to take a step forward, but his production to date leaves him on pace to essentially match what he posted last season. In order to reach that mark, Sanheim will need to step up his game.

Spencer Martin, G, VAN

If you rostered Martin when Thatcher Demko landed on injured reserve on December 1, you can pretty much send Martin back to waivers. Martin has allowed fewer than three goals only once in his last 11 appearances, which stretches back to early December, leaving him with a 3.67 goals-against average and .881 save percentage on the season. If those numbers are not enough to convince you, Demko has started to skate lightly and could be back in a few weeks.

Others include Tyler Seguin, Alex Killorn, Anthony Beauvillier, Anthony Mantha, Moritz Seider, Devon Toews, Elvis Merzlikins and James Reimer.