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Fantasy buzz: Top 10 waiver wire pickups for Week 3

Sergachev, Rantanen, Neuvirth emerge as valuable assets based on performance, usage

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

Every Monday during the season, NHL.com will provide the top 10 players to add off the fantasy waiver wire. Based on Yahoo transaction data and other factors including production, lineup and/or injury trends, we have identified appealing options at each position for fantasy owners in season-long leagues.

 

FORWARD

Derick Brassard, C, OTT (44 percent owned): The Ottawa Senators center is No. 29 in Yahoo based on standard-category performance with 10 points (six goals, four assists), a plus-10 rating, one power-play point and 20 shots on goal in his first eight games playing mostly on a line with Mark Stone and Bobby Ryan. Ryan will miss time because of a broken finger, but Brassard remains the second-line center for a sneaky good offense with exposure to elite defenseman Erik Karlsson.

Evgenii Dadonov, RW, FLA (25 percent owned): The preseason sleeper candidate has been the full-time right wing with Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, covering four of the six standard categories well upon his return to the NHL. He has seven points (two goals, five assists), four power-play points and 15 shots on goal, and had two power-play points at the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

Video: FLA@WSH: Dadonov scores PPG in final minute of 1st

Clayton Keller, C/LW/RW, ARI (38 percent owned): Keller brings plus/minus concerns playing for the Arizona Coyotes (minus-8 through eight games), but is tied for second among rookies in scoring and has tri-eligibility in Yahoo leagues. He leads rookies in even-strength points (seven) and shots on goal (30), and is worth making room for in most formats, especially a keeper league. 

Mikko Rantanen, LW/RW, COL (26 percent owned): The 20-year-old has held down a top-line spot next to Nathan MacKinnon for most of his NHL career, and it's beginning to translate to fantasy results. Rantanen leads the Colorado Avalanche in assists (six) and power-play points (five), and has seven points and 23 shots on goal in eight games. He has at least one point in five of his past six games.

Jason Pominville, RW, BUF (38 percent owned): Even-strength exposure to Jack Eichel has made Pominville a huge fantasy steal so far; he ranks eighth in points per 60 minutes (4.44; minimum five games played). He's one of the highest-ranked players (No. 41) owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. The line of Eichel, Evander Kane and Pominville has been one of the most productive in the NHL early on, even with the Buffalo Sabres' slow start.

Reilly Smith, RW, VGK (10 percent owned): The Vegas Golden Knights didn't have a ton of fantasy contributors outside of forward James Neal and their goaltenders through their first few games, but Smith has emerged as a power-play specialist in his past two games. He has five points (two goals, three assists), three power-play points and four shots on goal during that span while playing on a line with Oscar Lindberg and William Karlsson and on a power-play unit with forward Alex Tuch and defenseman Brad Hunt.

Other third wheels worth monitoring: Kailer Yamamoto, RW, EDM (6 percent owned), Sven Baertschi, LW, VAN (2 percent owned), Alex Iafallo, C, LAK (2 percent owned)

 
DEFENSEMAN

Mikhail Sergachev, TBL (52 percent owned): It's been a meteoric rise for Sergachev the past few days. He's owned in more than half of Yahoo leagues compared to 16 percent Friday. Sergachev is tied for second among rookies in even-strength points (five), behind Keller, and is in a great power-play spot on the second unit with forwards Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Brayden Point and Yanni Gourde. He's worth consideration in all formats with the Tampa Bay Lightning offense clicking. 

Video: PIT@TBL: Stamkos earns 600th point on Sergachev's PPG

Hampus Lindholm, ANA (7 percent owned): Defenseman Cam Fowler (knee) is the latest Anaheim Ducks player to go out because of an injury. Fortunately they have two young defensemen, Josh Manson (19 percent owned) and Brandon Montour (8 percent), who have been productive in expanded roles, and two reinforcements who could be on the way. Lindholm (shoulder) will make his season debut against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday and be thrust into a first power-play role immediately. Defenseman Sami Vatanen (shoulder) also is nearing a return. This situation is worth monitoring with the Ducks having a League-most four games (all on road) this week.

 

GOALTENDER

Michal Neuvirth, PHI (19 percent owned): The Flyers are 5-3-0, and their goaltending has been stellar outside of one poor outing by Brian Elliott in a 6-5 loss to the Nashville Predators on Oct. 10. Not counting that game, Elliott has won his other four starts with a .924 save percentage. Neuvirth has been even better with a .957 save percentage through three starts. Neuvirth is much more attainable than Elliott (72 percent owned), so get a piece of this emerging time-share before it's too late.

Oscar Dansk , VGK (7 percent owned): Vegas is down to its third-string goaltender after injuries to Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion) and Malcolm Subban (lower body). Dansk, 23, stopped 10 of 11 shots against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, and could emerge as a fantasy streaming option for at least the rest of the Golden Knights' homestand (Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, Avalanche on Friday). Start him at your own risk against the Blackhawks, but he's a much better option Friday after two days of rest. Despite all of their injuries, the expansion Golden Knights are tied for fourth in the NHL standings.

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