Whether one of your fantasy defensemen is injured or simply failing to meet your expectations, there is hope on the waiver wire.
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas has emerged as a fantasy commodity -- and his worth isn't just stemming from point production.
Gudas, who has registered a point in four of his past five games, leads the NHL with 53 PIMs and all defensemen with 40 hits. Owned in only 17 percent of Yahoo leagues, Gudas is producing in multiple categories and catching the eyes of fantasy owners in the process.
Tampa Bay Lightning blueliner Radko Gudas leads the NHL in PIMs and has the most hits among defensemen, making him valuable in deep fantasy leagues. (Photo: Getty Images)
So don't be surprised if Gudas, 23, is owned in 25-30 percent of leagues in the coming days if he plays well again against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).
His PIMs total got a major boost Sunday, when Gudas received a game misconduct for slashing at the boards in front of the Florida Panthers' bench after being squirted with water by Scottie Upshall. Gudas finished that game with 22 PIMs, three blocked shots, four shots on goal and, most significantly, the first power-play point of his NHL career.
Gudas ripped a wrister past Jacob Markstrom from the point for his first goal of the season and third of his career (two in 22 games last season). While Sami Salo (3:18 PP TOI per game) and Matthew Carle (3:04) see the bulk of the minutes with the man advantage among Tampa Bay defensemen, Gudas' power-play tally certainly helps his cause moving forward in an effort to earn more consideration in those situations.
For now, though, the vast majority of Gudas' ice time through 11 games has come on Tampa Bay's top defensive pairing alongside Carle. And he also has received three fighting majors already this season, meaning Gudas has a chance to remain among the League leaders in PIMs by season's end.
If Gudas produces 25-to-30 points this season and finishes among the League's top 20 PIMs producers, his category coverage could provide a huge lift to deep-league fantasy owners. The Lightning are quietly tied for the most points in the Eastern Conference entering Tuesday, so take advantage of Gudas being under the radar and consider adding him if you have roster room.