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Fantasy: Top 10 waiver wire pickups for Week 13

Backes, Connor among rising forwards; Goligoski worth considering at defenseman

by James Harding / Fantasy Correspondent

Every Monday during the season, 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.



David Backes, C/RW, BOS (43 percent owned): The Boston Bruins forward has been one of the most productive forwards in the NHL over the past two weeks. Backes has four consecutive multipoint games and has at least a point in six of seven games since Dec. 18, totaling five goals, six assists, four power-play points and 18 shots on goal. His 11 points are tied with Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers for most in the League in that span. Backes is the third-ranked skater in Yahoo standard leagues over the past two weeks.

Kyle Connor, LW, WPG (19 percent): The Winnipeg Jets forward is stepping up his production to help replace center Mark Scheifele, who is expected to miss 6-8 weeks after sustaining an upper-body injury Dec. 28. Connor had his second consecutive multipoint game Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers to extend his point streak to four games. He has three goals (one on the power play), three assists and 12 SOG in that span. With Scheifele injured, Connor is on Winnipeg's first line with Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine at even strength and is with Wheeler, Laine, forward Adam Lowry (C, 5 percent) and defenseman Jacob Trouba (68 percent) on the first power-play unit. 

Video: WPG@EDM: Connor deflects Laine's shot for PPG

Calle Jarnkrok, C/LW, NSH (8 percent): The Nashville Predators forward has been elevated to their first line with forward Filip Forsberg out with an undisclosed injury. Jarnkrok skated with center Ryan Johansen and forward Viktor Arvidsson on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild and had two assists (one on the power play) and two SOG. Jarnkrok has 10 points (six goals, four assists), three special-teams points and 20 SOG in his past 11 games. With Forsberg's timetable to return unknown, Jarnkrok is a great option for his owners as a replacement. 

Mattias Janmark, C/LW, DAL (1 percent): The Dallas Stars forward had two assists on Sunday against the San Jose Sharks to extend his point streak to three games. He has two goals, two assists, one PPP and seven SOG in that span. Janmark is enjoying his exposure to forwards Jason Spezza (C/RW, 39 percent) and Alex Radulov (RW, 88 percent) at even strength and is skating on the first power-play unit with forwards Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Brett Ritchie, and defenseman John Klingberg. Janmark is a solid value target to take a flier on, especially for owners in DFS contests on DraftKings. 

Reilly Smith, LW/RW, VGK (40 percent): The Vegas Golden Knights forward is on pace for NHL career highs in assists and points. Smith has back-to-back multipoint games and 11 points (three goals, eight assists) and 34 SOG in his past 13 games. Smith's 30 points (nine goals, 21 assists) are tied for third on Vegas through 37 games. He is on pace for 46 assists and 66 points.

Video: CAR@VGK: Smith scores thanks to Miller's great pass

Nick Schmaltz, C/LW, CHI (13 percent): The Chicago Blackhawks forward has moved up and down their lineup throughout the season but has found his most success on the second line with right wing Patrick Kane and either Artem Anisimov (C, 21 percent) or Ryan Hartman (C/LW/RW, 8 percent). Schmaltz had one goal and three assists in three games after the NHL Christmas break last week. He has eight points (three goals, five assists), two PPP and 14 SOG in his past nine games. He will have solid fantasy value in Yahoo leagues and as a DFS value pick in DraftKings as long as he retains his exposure to Kane. 

Others to consider: Thomas Vanek, LW/RW, VAN (19 percent); Danton Heinen, C/LW/RW, BOS (33 percent); Riley Nash, C/RW, BOS (1 percent); Sonny Milano, LW, CBJ (2 percent); Jakob Silfverberg, LW/RW, ANA (36 percent); Marcus Johansson, LW, NJD (27 percent); Brendan Perlini, LW/RW, ARI (1 percent); Tyler Bertuzzi, LW/RW, DET (less than 1 percent)


Alex Goligoski, ARI (14 percent): The Arizona Coyotes defenseman had a power-play assist Sunday against the Ducks to extend his point streak to three games. He has one goal and two assists in that span and has seven points (one goal, six assists), three PPP and nine SOG in his past nine games. Goligoski has provided solid category coverage with 15 hits and eight blocked shots in that span, giving him added value in hits leagues and in DFS contests on DraftKings with his blocked-shot totals. He is paired with Jakob Chychrun at even strength and is running the point of their second power-play unit.

Video: ARI@COL: Goligoski buries nice feed from Keller

Sami Vatanen, NJD (15 percent): The New Jersey Devils defenseman is coming off another solid all-around performance against the Washington Capitals on Saturday, when he had one assist to extend his point streak to three games (one goal, two assists), one SOG and five blocked shots. Vatanen has four points (one goal, three assists), two PPP, 14 blocked shots and 22 SOG in his past six games. He is the seventh-ranked defenseman in Yahoo standard leagues over the past two weeks, and he would be a great value target in fantasy leagues that count blocked shots and for DFS lineups.

Others to consider: Cam Fowler, ANA (49 percent); Erik Johnson, COL (33 percent); Samuel Girard, COL (1 percent); Jared Spurgeon, MIN (43 percent); Shea Theodore, VGK (24 percent)



James Reimer, FLA (44 percent): The Florida Panthers goaltender had another great performance Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens, stopping all 38 shots he faced in a 2-0 shutout victory, extending his winning streak to five games. Reimer has a 1.20 goals-against average, a .966 save percentage and two shutouts during the streak. He is the top-ranked goaltender in Yahoo standard fantasy leagues over the past two weeks. Florida has four games this week, and Reimer has favorable matchups against the Wild on Tuesday and Detroit Red Wings on Friday.

Video: MTL@FLA: Reimer closes door on Drouin, Galchenyuk

Cam Ward, CAR (32 percent): The Carolina Hurricanes goaltender stopped 27 of 28 shots faced in a 2-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, extending his winning streak to six games. Ward has a 1.80 GAA and .934 save percentage since Dec. 12. He is beginning to carve out more of a time-share with Scott Darling, who has 24 starts compared to 14 for Ward this season. Should Ward continue his solid play, he will get more starts going forward and is worth picking up in deep leagues, especially as a handcuff for Darling owners. Ward also will be a great spot start for DFS lineups in DraftKings whenever he starts. 

Others to consider: Malcolm Subban, VGK (29 percent); Alex Stalock, MIN (17 percent); Antti Raanta, ARI (20 percent)



MOST: BOS, EDM, FLA, NYI, PHI, PIT, SJS, STL, TBL, VGK (4 each); NYR, BUF have 3 left after NHL Winter Classic.

FEWEST: ARI, CGY, WSH (2 each)

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