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Fantasy hockey top 10 waiver wire pickups

Heiskanen has prime role after Klingberg injury; Johnson pushing Blues towards timeshare; Virtanen worth streaming on line with Pettersson

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.


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Nolan Patrick, C, PHI (30 percent owned) -- The Philadelphia Flyers center scored an empty-net goal and had four shots on goal in their 4-0 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. The goal was Patrick's fifth of the season, and he has points in five of his past six games totaling three goals, four assists and 13 shots on goal. He is skating on a productive second line with forwards Jakub Voracek (points in four of past five games) and Oskar Lindblom (points in five of past six games). Patrick is worth targeting in standard leagues in a top-six role with ample power-play time (2:44 per game) on the Flyers' second unit.

Kevin Fiala, LW/RW, NSH (28 percent) -- The Nashville Predators forward had an assist and two SOG in their 5-4 overtime win against the Dallas Stars on Saturday. Fiala has points in back-to-back games and seven points (one goal, six assists) and 18 SOG in his past 10 games. He is back on a line with center Kyle Turris (C, 19 percent) and wing Craig Smith (RW, 18 percent) and the second power play with Turris. The Predators play four games this week (tied for most in NHL), making Fiala a viable option for fantasy owners to target.

Video: NSH@CGY: Fiala finishes Ellis' sweet dish for PPG

Gustav Nyquist, RW, DET (15 percent) -- The Detroit Red Wings wing had an assist and one SOG in their 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, extending his point streak to seven games. Nyquist has eight points (one goal, seven assists), two power-play points and 18 SOG in that span. He is skating at even strength and on the second power play with forwards Frans Nielsen (C, 1 percent), who has assists in consecutive games, and Andreas Athanasiou (C/LW, 6 percent), who has back-to-back multipoint games. Nyquist was fantasy-relevant earlier in his career and deserves to be added with 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) through 17 games.

Kevin Hayes, C, NYR (8 percent) -- The New York Rangers center had two assists in their 5-4 shootout win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, giving him points in three straight games. Hayes has totaled six points in the span and has eight points (one goal, seven assists) and 20 SOG in his past six games. He is centering the second line with forwards Chris Kreider (LW, 53 percent) and rookie Lias Andersson (C, 1 percent) and is on the second power play with defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Hayes, a potential 2019 unrestricted free agent, has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 17 games and is averaging an NHL career-high 19:16 per game.

Jake Virtanen, RW, VAN (8 percent) -- The Vancouver Canucks forward scored his seventh goal of the season in their 4-3 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. Virtanen has scored in back-to-back games and has five goals and 20 SOG in his past six games. Virtanen is skating in place of injured forward Brock Boeser (groin) on a line with standout rookie Elias Pettersson (C, 84 percent) and forward Nikolay Goldobin (LW/RW, 2 percent). Virtanen is a short-term streaming option, and fantasy owners should monitor his lineup placement in case he remains on a line with Pettersson or Bo Horvat once Boeser returns.

Tyler Bozak, C, STL (4 percent) -- The St. Louis Blues center had two assists and five SOG in their 4-0 win against the San Jose Sharks on Friday. Bozak didn't have a point against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday but has eight points (two goals, six assists) and 16 SOG in his past seven games. He is centering the third line with forwards Alexander Steen (LW/RW, 10 percent) and Nikita Soshnikov (made season debut Friday) and continues to play on the first power-play unit with valuable forwards Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O'Reilly.

Colin White, C, OTT (3 percent) -- The Ottawa Senators forward had a multipoint game and two SOG in their 6-4 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. White has been moved up in the lineup and is centering a line with rookie left wing Brady Tkachuk (43 percent owned) and elite right wing Mark Stone (14th in Yahoo). He is also skating on the first power-play unit with Stone, forwards Matt Duchene (C, 48 percent) and Bobby Ryan (LW/RW, 10 percent) and defenseman Thomas Chabot. It's worth noting White (undisclosed) left the game against the Florida Panthers on Sunday and did not return.

Others to consider: Loui Eriksson, LW/RW, VAN; Ryan Dzingel, LW/RW, OTT; Boone Jenner, C/LW, CBJ; Mathieu Joseph, RW, TBL; David Krejci, C, BOS; Tomas Tatar, LW/RW, MTL; Cody Eakin, C, VGK



Miro Heiskanen, DAL (41 percent) -- The Dallas Stars defenseman is seeing an increased role with defenseman John Klingberg (hand surgery) expected to miss at least four weeks. Heiskanen has points in three of his past four games and six points (two goals, four assists) in his past 11 games. He is skating on the second pair at even strength and is on the first power-play unit with exposure to elite forwards Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, as well as Jason Spezza and Devin Shore. Heiskanen is the top defenseman pickup of the week and should retain fantasy value even after Klingberg returns.

Shea Theodore, VGK (39 percent) -- The Vegas Golden Knights defenseman did not have a point in his first six games of the season but has responded with seven points (two goals, five assists), two PPP and 35 SOG in his past 11 games. Theodore is on the second pair at even strength and running the point of the first power-play unit. Even when defenseman Nate Schmidt (2 percent) returns from his suspension, expect Theodore to have a large role in the Golden Knights offense in all situations.

Others to consider: Neal Pionk, NYR; Erik Gudbranson, VAN; Brandon Montour, ANA; Esa Lindell, DAL; Jared Spurgeon, MIN; Oscar Klefbom, EDM; Brad Hunt, VGK; Matt Grzelcyk, BOS

Video: MTL@NYR: Pionk goes coast to coast for beautiful goal



Chad Johnson, STL (19 percent) -- The St. Louis Blues goalie stopped 15 of 18 shots faced in their 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. Johnson had won back-to-back starts against the Carolina Hurricanes and San Jose Sharks before Sunday. He is 2-3-0 with a 2.08 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in six games (four starts). With goalie Jake Allen struggling (3.99 GAA, .879 SV%), expect Johnson to see more starts going forward and potentially push the Blues goalie situation to more towards a timeshare.

Others to consider: Casey DeSmith, PIT; Brian Elliott, PHI; Jack Campbell, LAK; David Rittich, CGY; Jimmy Howard, DET; Jaroslav Halak, BOS




FEWEST: CGY, OTT, WPG (2 each)

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