Now that there’s only one month left in the regular season, fantasy owners need to specifically concentrate on what they need for their roster.
Dave Holcomb has some tips for you on how to improve your standing in a roto league, along with three players to consider adding based on categories that you can make up some points on.
To add to that, head-to-head leaguers will need to consider how to catch up or stay ahead over a shorter time span – a one-week period. So the number of waiver-wire possibilities increases just as a fantasy team is playing for its season over a period as small as one day. For that, you may want to check out our daily league recommendations, such as this one for March 8 by Macaulay Scott Renner.
Regardless, the tools are here to help your fantasy team succeed.
Tomas Hertl, LW, SJ
The Sharks are back in the playoff hunt this season, and one line in particular can be credited. Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski are 1-2 in team scoring, yet they likely aren’t available in your league. The third man on the line is still available in many leagues, however. After a disappointing 2014-15 season in which he was pegged as a potential sleeper, Hertl has already hit a career high in points (35). With that sort of potential, he could probably be owned in more than one-third of Yahoo leagues.
Nikita Soshnikov, RW, TOR
We profiled William Nylander in last week’s picks, so naturally this week we are profiling another forward on a Maple Leafs team that we all knew would have plenty of unknown names at this point in the season. The undrafted Soshnikov is making the most of his time on the top line alongside Leo Komarov and Nazem Kadri, scoring points in three of his last four games. Soshnikov has also taken 16 shots on goal and 19 hits in five games, making him an excellent match with Komarov.Zack Smith, C, OTT
Smith is simply on fire at the moment. He has goals in seven of his last ten games to go with a six-game point streak. He is averaging 19 minutes per game on a quietly effective line with the underrated Jean-Gabriel Pageau and sniper Mark Stone. In fact, it may surprise you that Smith is already up to 19 goals this season. Since he plays at the deepest fantasy position (center), Smith is ideal for leagues that have a generic forward or utility slot.
Thomas Greiss, G, NYI
At around 50 percent ownership in Yahoo leagues, Greiss barely qualifies for this column. Yet Jaroslav Halak left Tuesday’s game against Pittsburgh late in the third period due to injury and won’t be back for the next six weeks. Greiss’ numbers (2.21 goals against average, 0.930 save percentage) are slightly better than Halak’s (2.33 GAA, 0.917 save percentage) in slightly fewer games, which many fantasy owners have already noticed. Yet available starting goalies on playoff-bound teams are difficult to find at this time of year, which makes Greiss worth looking up.
Radim Vrbata, RW, VAN
If he wasn’t skating with the Sedins, then it just wasn’t happening for Vrbata. The Canucks’ leader with 31 goals last season, Vrbata will be lucky to reach even half that total this season. A trade might have been a possibility, but teams were scared away Vrbata was injured at the trade deadline. Vrbata has just one goal and one assist over his last 12 games, and his plus-minus has been major deadweight at minus-32. Vrbata doesn’t belong on the rebuilding Canucks, and he doesn’t belong on your fantasy squad.
Cory Schneider, G, NJ
Because of a Grade 1 MCL sprain, Schneider will be sidelined for at least the next two weeks and then re-evaluated at that point. By then, the Devils may be out of the playoff race. If Schneider’s injury doesn’t heal quickly, then there’s a possibility that he may be shut down for the season. So if your fantasy playoffs have already started or you’re in a do-or-die playoff battle, you may need to make room for another option either by using an IR spot or dropping outright.
So what about Keith Kinkaid as a fantasy option? You may not want to pin your fantasy hopes on him, according to Mike Murphy.