Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire: Filip Chytil leads pickups to target this week
Filip Chytil is one of the hottest players in the NHL right now. Grab the must-add forward, along with these other players, before it's too late.
Working the waiver wire is a crucial part of any championship fantasy hockey season. Finding players to work into your lineup every single week that can add points to your total is the number one way you can control the outcome of your matchup. In this weekly article, I’ll be going over players at every position and at different levels of rostership so that you can fill out your fantasy squad with the best players available in your league. Let’s dig in:
Rostered in 41-50% of Leagues: Filip Chytil, C/RW - NYR (46% rostered)
Simply put, Chytil is one of the hottest players in the league currently. Now two games removed from a five-game goal streak in which he tallied seven goals and eight points, Chytil has earned a promotion to the Rangers’ top power play unit. Chytil is a player whose statistics have always looked solid on a per-minute basis but lacked the sheer time on ice to make much of a fantasy impact. If his current deployment holds and he maintains that PP1 role, it’s not crazy to think that Chytil could be a rest-of-season hold for your roster. At 49% rostered in Yahoo leagues, it’s last call for Chytil if you want to join the hype train.
Honourable Mentions: Logan Couture, C - SJS (49%) and David Perron, RW - DET (45%)
Rostered in 31-40% of Leagues: Boone Jenner, C - CBJ (33% rostered)
Jenner has long occupied a spot as one of the most valuable bangers categories centers in fantasy, but of late there’s been even more brewing for him. Jenner registered a goal and an assist while firing a season-high nine shots on goal against Toronto on Saturday. If that wasn’t enough, Jenner recorded five hits and two blocks to round out his scoresheet contributions. Jenner had recorded ten shots and ten hits in the three games prior without managing any points, so there’s reason to think the point-scoring can stick around for Jenner, who routinely pushes 20 minutes of ice time per game for the basement-dwelling Blue Jackets. Columbus plays four games including two off-nights this week, adding one more reason Jenner makes a terrific pickup right now.
Honourable Mentions: Andrew Mangiapane, LW/RW - CGY (36%) and Jared McCann, C/LW - SEA (37%)
Rostered in 21-30% of Leagues: Ryan Hartman, C/RW - MIN (25% rostered)
Hartman has two major positives in his favor currently: he’s centering Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello on the top line, and the Wild are the only team with a perfect four-game, four off-night schedule this week. Hartman’s fantasy production has been uneven to say the least, but while he’s gone from a five-shot game to a zero-shot game to scoring a goal across his last three outings, until he’s removed from that top-line deployment he will almost certainly be valuable for fantasy. Bear in mind that Hartman has pre-built chemistry with Kaprizov and Zuccarello from the 2021-22 season, where he was their center for the majority of the season. With the rest of the forward options on Minnesota either less available or in less enviable deployment, Hartman is the top play if you’re looking to avoid heavy nights with your stream for this week.
Honourable Mentions: Nick Schmaltz, C/RW - ARI (21%) and Evan Rodrigues, C/LW/RW - COL (21%)
Rostered in 0-20% of Leagues: Barrett Hayton, C - ARI (4% rostered)
Hayton is one of the best kept secrets in fantasy right now, scoring a point per game over his last six while averaging 3.67 shots per game and 19:24 of ice time. He’s established himself on the Arizona top line and top power play alongside Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz and appears to have finally found his stride. The former fifth overall pick back in 2018 has struggled to make a consistent impact at the NHL level but he is absolutely taking advantage of his current deployment and fantasy managers need to take note. Arizona plays four games this week including three off-nights, and if that wasn’t enough they also have one of the best fantasy playoff schedules if Hayton turns into a long-term hold for your team.
Honourable Mentions: Tyler Bertuzzi, LW/RW and DET (18%) & Blake Coleman, LW/RW - CGY (17%)
Rostered in 26-50% of Leagues: Owen Power - BUF (48%)
Power hasn’t scored a point in three games, but he remains one of the more intriguing options widely available in Yahoo leagues. Power was on a four-game point streak prior to this three-game pointless skid, so if you add it all up you have four points in his last seven games. That sort of pace feels about right for the rookie defender, tasked with big minutes immediately upon his entry into the NHL. Power is by no means a safe bet, but on a Buffalo team ranked third in the league in goals per game there is certainly plenty of opportunity for him to increase his point totals as he grows more and more accustomed to the big leagues. Power also has a strong schedule through the fantasy playoffs, making him an even more intriguing waiver target than at first glance.
Honourable Mentions: Erik Gustafsson and WSH (40%) & Brady Skjei - CAR (41%)
Rostered in 0-25% of Leagues: Michael Matheson - MTL (5% rostered)
You can be forgiven for overlooking Matheson, stuck as the erstwhile #1 defenseman on a poor Montreal team that recently lost its most dangerous goal scorer for the season in Cole Caufield. But Matheson flashed his offensive prowess on Saturday against the Islanders, recording two points including the winning goal in overtime. He followed that up with an assist in Sunday’s 6-2 drubbing of the Oilers, and as an above average shot producer from the blueline he provides some value even when the points aren’t coming. Matheson is seemingly ensconced as the PP1 quarterback in Montreal, and while that may not be as enviable a spot as it is on other teams, it’s still a prime spot to add some much needed production to the back end of your fantasy rosters.
Honourable Mentions: Adam Boqvist - CBJ (6%) and Calen Addison - MIN (10%)
Rostered in 26-50% of Leagues: Adin Hill - VGK (42% rostered)
Hill’s rostership is skyrocketing currently after the revelation that Golden Knights’ starter Logan Thompson is considered week-to-week due to a lower-body injury sustained on February 9th against Minnesota. For his part, Hill has been very solid in his last two starts, allowing one goal on seventeen shots against Nashville on February 7th and allowing two goals on 25 shots in Sunday’s 7-2 drubbing of the Anaheim Ducks. As long as Thompson remains out Hill is a must-roster level goaltender and one I’d be rushing out to pick up if he’s still available in your leagues. There’s always a chance that Hill becomes this year’s Anton Forsberg or Ville Husso and rides a hot stretch all the way to the end of the fantasy season.
Honourable Mentions: Filip Gustavsson - MIN (46%) and Phoenix Copley - LAK (47%)
Rostered in 0-25% of Leagues: Philipp Grubauer - SEA (20% rostered)
Don’t look now, but there’s a goalie controversy brewing (again) in Seattle. Grubauer had posted four straight starts of a .923 or better save percentage before posting an .833 in Sunday’s win against the Philadelphia Flyers. Meanwhile Martin Jones has turned back into a pumpkin, allowing four goals or more in each of his last three starts. Seattle as a team appears to have taken a step, making whoever their starter is a very interesting fantasy option. All these signs point to Grubauer potentially assuming at least a 1A role for the Kraken, as they can’t afford to keep starting Jones if he is going to fail to provide quality starts for them. The Pacific Division playoff race and the stark contrast in performance between these two goalies of late makes Grubauer a very interesting pickup at the moment.
Honourable Mentions: Kaapo Kahkonen - SJS (8%) and Joonas Korpisalo - CBJ (8%)
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Nate Groot Nibbelink is the creator of Apples & Ginos Fantasy Hockey and the originator of the #ZeroG draft strategy. You can find him pontificating about obscure fantasy hockey strategy topics in the Apples & Ginos Discord Server or on Twitter @applesginos.
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