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Fantasy All-Access: Spoilers have value for playoffs

Monday, 03.17.2014 / 12:00 PM
Matt Sitkoff  - NHL.com Contributor

With the push for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in full swing there are teams trying play spoiler, and within those teams you can find fantasy gold.

The Calgary Flames have won five out of their past 10 games and Mike Cammalleri has six goals in those games. A youth movement has begun in Florida, but it is veteran Scottie Upshall who is continuing his bounce-back season with nine points in his past 14 games. And in Buffalo, Tyler Ennis has four goals in eight March games.

WAIVER WIRE WATCH

Jamie McGinn (owned in 5 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- The top line of the Avalanche, Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly and McGinn, has been hot recently. With Duchene and O'Reilly widely owned in fantasy leagues, it is time to pick up the third member. McGinn has 10 points in his past 15 games, with four power-play goals in that span. Colorado has three games scheduled this week (at Montreal Canadiens, at Winnipeg Jets, home for Boston Bruins), but expect the career-year in production to continue.

Jared Spurgeon (owned in 3 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- The Wild have five games scheduled this week (at Bruins, at New York Islanders, at New Jersey Devils, home for Detroit Red Wings, at Red Wings), so this could be the perfect time to pick up one of their hottest defenders. Spurgeon has played at least 25 minutes in six straight games, topped by a career-high 30:40 on March 11 against the Edmonton Oilers. After missing 14 games with a foot injury, he has six points in 10 games since returning to the lineup. In deep fantasy stats leagues he is fourth on the team in plus/minus (plus-8), fifth in hits (63) and third in blocked shots (85).

James Reimer (owned in 46 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- Jonathan Bernier's latest injury has opened the door for Reimer and he rewarded the team with 60 saves on 63 shots in his past two starts. Toronto has four games this week (at Red Wings, home for Tampa Bay Lightning, home for Canadiens, at Devils), so even if Bernier is healthy, expect Reimer to get at least two starts this week.

ROSTER TRENDS

Back-to-Back -- With four weeks left in the season goalie starts are at a premium, so paying attention to when one has back-to-back starts is important to a fantasy owner. The Oilers and Rangers have one set of back-to-back games each left this season, which bodes well for Henrik Lundqvist owners but makes the ownership of Viktor Fasth and Ben Scrivens not ideal. The Bruins, on the other hand, have five sets back-to-back games left; however Tuukka Rask is 4-0-0 with a 2.26 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

Late additions -- We already have seen new names join NHL teams this month, from overseas sensations (Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov) to college free agents (New York Rangers forward Ryan Haggerty and New York Islanders forward Kevin Czuczman). The next batch could arrive soon. Among them is Finnish forward Teuvo Teravainen, whose Finnish league team's season has ended and he is expected to join the Chicago Blackhawks soon. Among college free agents, one player to watch is Greg Carey from St. Lawrence, who has 57 points in 38 games. All of these players can produce right away and should be on your fantasy radar.

PROSPECT RUMBLINGS

Anders Lee -- The Islanders' 25-man roster features nine rookies, and Lee, a 2009 sixth-round pick (No. 152), is one of them making an immediate impact. The 23-year-old center has six goals and four assists in nine games this season. He's currently playing on a line with Kyle Okposo and could be a worthy fantasy option in deep leagues.

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