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Fantasy buzz: Wilson, Henrique productive in top-line roles

Capitals wing had four-point game alongside Ovechkin, Backstrom; Ducks forward thriving with Rakell, Perry

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

All season long, NHL.com's fantasy hockey staff will have you covered with daily lineup news, production trends and injury notes from around the League. We will identify how these developments affect fantasy owners in year-long (Yahoo) and daily (DraftKings) formats.

 

2:30 p.m.
Wilson has breakout game on Capitals top line

Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson had four points (two goals, two assists) in their 6-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday. He was plus-3 and had four penalty minutes and three shots on goal.

Wilson (13 percent owned) is suddenly ranked 88th overall in Yahoo because of his scoring uptick playing mostly among Washington's top-six forward group over the past month. He has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 25 games and is a specialist in leagues counting hits (69) or PIMs (68). He's on pace for 41 points in 78 games, which would shatter his NHL career-high (23 points in 2015-16).

He's worth adding for hits and/or PIMs help, but proceed with caution in other formats with news that Andre Burakovsky (LW/RW, 34 percent owned) will return against the New York Rangers on Friday. Burakovsky was a preseason fantasy breakout candidate but has missed the past 20 games because of a fractured thumb.

Burakovsky may replace Wilson alongside Ovechkin and Backstrom, but could also play on the second line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jakub Vrana. Forward T.J. Oshie (upper body; day to day) did not play Wednesday, but his eventual return will likely lead to yet another shakeup of Washington's top six.

Video: CHI@WSH: Wilson strikes from along the wall

 

Henrique continues to thrive on Ducks top line

Anaheim Ducks forward Adam Henrique had two goals on six shots on goal in a 3-0 win against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday, giving him points in each of his first four games since being traded Nov. 30.

Henrique (C, 21 percent owned) has been playing on the top line and first power-play unit in the absence of injured centers Ryan Getzlaf (face) and Ryan Kesler (hip). He has strong linemates in Rickard Rakell and Corey Perry in most situations and is worth adding in standard leagues given his prime role in the short term. In four games since the trade, Henrique is averaging 19:11 per game with 2:28 on the power play. 

Once Kesler and/or Getzlaf return down the road, Henrique could either play third-line center or shift to wing to remain among Anaheim's top six.

Video: OTT@ANA: Henrique scores first goal with the Ducks

 

Penguins place Schultz on injured reserve

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz has been placed on injured reserve because of a lower-body injury. He will not play against the New York Islanders on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, SN, ATTSN-PT, MSG+, NHL.TV).

Schultz had already been limited to 23 of Pittsburgh's 29 games because of a concussion earlier this season. He has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) and four power-play assists but has been playing mostly on the second man-advantage unit with top defenseman Kris Letang healthy.

This injury could open the door for defenseman Olli Maatta (28 percent owned) to return to fantasy relevance. He has assists in back-to-back games after a six-game point drought and had a season-high five shots on goal against the New York Rangers on Tuesday. For other defenseman streaming options, refer to fantasy correspondent Brian Metzer's top 50 rankings.

Maatta ($3,700 in DraftKings) is a DFS value pick against the Islanders on Thursday. New York ranks second League-wide in goals per game (3.66) but has the second-worst penalty kill (75.0 percent) and is tied for the fourth-most goals allowed (3.37).

 

Landeskog to return Thursday after four-game suspension

Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog will return to their lineup against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; SUN, ALT, NHL.TV). He was suspended four games for cross-checking against the Calgary Flames on Nov. 25.

Landeskog (57 percent owned; 125th in Yahoo) will return to his usual spot on the top line and first power-play unit with center Nathan MacKinnon (20th) and right wing Mikko Rantanen (102nd), one of the League's most productive trios. He has 17 points (nine goals, eight assists), a plus-9 and 64 shots on goal in 22 games and is among NHL.com's top 100 forwards for standard leagues and a must-own player in hits formats (43).

Priced moderately in DraftKings ($5,500), Landeskog is an against-the-grain play at the Lightning, who are allowing the fourth-fewest DraftKings points to opposing left wings. That said, Colorado's top line could still return value with the Lightning expected to start backup goaltender Peter Budaj over Andrei Vasilevskiy (second among goalies in Yahoo).

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