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Fantasy Spin: Missed out on Hertl? Add Jokinen

by Pete Jensen /

If you're a fantasy owner who witnessed Tomas Hertl's four-goal masterpiece for the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, chances are you scurried to the waiver wire to check his availability.

But with Hertl now owned in over 50 percent of Yahoo Fantasy leagues, your late bid for this single-game impact player was likely unsuccesful. Luckily, there's another readily available player on a high-caliber line who can pay both immediate and long-term dividends.

Jussi Jokinen, owned in 28 percent of leagues, notched his second hat trick in just over two weeks. The first came in a preseason game on Sept. 21, so this was the first to count in fantasy leagues.

If you missed out on Tomas Hertl, Jussi Jokinen is another impact player with immediate and long-term fantasy upside. (Photo: Getty Images)

With James Neal (upper body, week-to-week) sidelined, Jokinen continues to flank fantasy star Evgeni Malkin and is now joined by up-and-coming asset Beau Bennett. When Neal returns, it will mostly likely be Bennett who gets bumped down in the lineup -- especially considering the explosiveness Jokinen has displayed on two recent occasions.

Fantasy owners need to cash in on Jokinen's opportunity to develop chemistry with Malkin in the coming days or weeks. Based on Jokinen's current ownership, there's still a chance to take a flyer on him in most leagues.

Jokinen's upside really begins to surface the more he's incorporated into the power-play mix. Neal is in the top-10 conversation among all fantasy players when healthy, so fantasy owners can assume that Jokinen will be relied upon in favorable situations during his teammate's absence.

Since Neal went down in the Penguins opener, Jokinen (C/LW eligible in Yahoo leagues) has seen more than two minutes with the man advantage in each of his past two games. On Tuesday, two of his three goals came on the power play, one of which was assisted by Sidney Crosby. Jokinen's even-strength goal was assisted by Malkin.

You can see where I'm going with this. Jokinen, 30, has some of the best players in the world around him and is in position to be a fantasy difference-maker on any given night.

Hertl, 19, has youth on his side, so there's something to fret about if you missed out on his services. But, that said, adding a veteran like Jokinen who could be bound for a career year in terms of goals, rating and shots on goal isn't a bad consolation prize.


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