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Fantasy hockey top 10 waiver wire pickups

Zuccarello, Rask add to Wild's depth; Leddy covering categories for Islanders

by James Harding / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Every Monday during the 2020-21 regular season, NHL.com will provide the top 10 players to add off the fantasy hockey waiver wire. For more coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.

 

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FORWARDS

Alex Tuch, LW/RW, VGK

The Vegas Golden Knights forward is taking advantage of his elevation to their top line at even strength and is seeing ample usage on their second power play. Tuch has seven points (four goals, three assists) and 18 shots on goal in his past nine games, and he has been skating with top forward Mark Stone and center Chandler Stephenson at even strength. He is tied for third on the team in scoring with 13 points and is tied for the team lead with four PPP. He is worth rostering with consistent exposure to the Golden Knights top six.

Mats Zuccarello, RW and Victor Rask, C, MIN

The Minnesota Wild forwards are worth targeting in all league formats after their recent elevation to an even-strength line with impact rookie Kirill Kaprizov. Zuccarello, who missed the first 11 games of the season recovering from a broken arm, has 11 points (three goals, eight assists), including one on the power play, and 14 SOG in seven games. Rask, who is rostered in only three percent of Yahoo leagues, has two goals, four assists and eight SOG in his past five games after returning from COVID-19 protocol. Zuccarello is a must-add with his chance to remain with Kaprizov and his potential for an expanded role on the power play. Rask is worth adding in deeper leagues or as a weekly streaming option to see if his production level continues.

Tweet from @NHL: After missing the first 11 games of the season with a broken arm, Mats Zuccarello (3-8���11) is tied for the League lead in points since February 18. #FantasyHockey @NHLFantasy's top 10 waiver wire pickups ������https://t.co/4UNnaPWOec

Drake Batherson, RW, OTT

The Ottawa Senators forward extended his point streak to five games with a power-play goal and power-play assist in their loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday. Batherson has scored a goal in five consecutive games and six of his past seven; he has nine points (six goals, three assists), three PPP and 14 SOG in that span. He is skating on an even-strength line with top rookie Tim Stutzle, running the point on the second power play, and could have sneaky value with an expanded role on an improving Senators team.

Jesper Fast, RW, CAR

The Carolina Hurricanes forward had a power-play assist and one SOG in their win against the Florida Panthers on Saturday. Fast has at least one point in four of his past six games and has seven points (two goals, five assists), three PPP and eight SOG in his past 12 games. Despite not generating many shots, Fast covers hits (11 in past 12 games) and has been moved onto an even-strength line with elite forwards Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov. As long as he maintains this lineup placement, he will be worth streaming in the short term. 

Phil Kessel, RW, ARI

The Arizona Coyotes wing is tied for second on the team with eight goals, 16 points and six PPP in 21 games. Kessel also has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past six games, including three multipoint games in that span. He will always be worth having on fantasy rosters with his goal-scoring pedigree and should easily break the 20-goal barrier again this season after he was limited to 14 in 70 games in 2019-20.

Lars Eller, C, WSH

The Washington Capitals center is taking advantage of playing on their top line with forward Evgeny Kuznetsov (upper body) injured. Eller, who has been skating at even strength with elite forward Alex Ovechkin and wing Conor Sheary in recent games, has nine points (three goals, six assists) and 18 SOG in his past 10 games and is worth streaming in fantasy at least until Kuznetsov returns.

Other forwards to consider: William Karlsson, VGK; Tim Stutzle, OTT; Andrew Copp, WPG; Nick Ritchie, BOS; Kasperi Kapanen, PIT; Max Comtois, ANA; Andre Burakovsky, COL; Jordan Greenway, MIN; Oliver Wahlstrom, NYI; Carl Soderberg, CHI; Kevin Labanc, SJS

DEFENSEMEN

Nick Leddy, NYI

The New York Islanders defenseman had an assist in each game against the Pittsburgh Penguins this past weekend, extending his point streak to four games, and leads them in power-play points (eight) this season. He now has nine assists over his past 10 games and is covering hits (15) and blocked shots (12) in the span. Leddy quietly leads Islanders defensemen with 14 points (one goal, 13 assists) in 21 games and is worth adding with seven of New York's next eight games coming against the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils.

Other D-men to considerRasmus Andersson, CGY; Brett Pesce, CAR; Erik Brannstrom, OTT; Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI; MacKenzie Weegar, FLA; Ty Smith, NJD; Cam Fowler, ANA

GOALIES

Jack Campbell, TOR

The Toronto Maple Leafs goalie made 30 saves for the shutout against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. It was Campbell's first start since Jan. 24 because of a lower-body injury, and he is 3-0-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average and .951 save percentage in three starts this season. With starter Frederik Andersen (lower body) injured, Campbell is a must-add fantasy asset and could be worth holding onto as a standalone option with Toronto having seven back-to-back games remaining this season. 

David Rittich, CGY

The Calgary Flames goalie made 31 saves in their win against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Rittich has started four consecutive games and five of the past six with starter Jacob Markstrom (upper body) out. Rittich is 2-2-1 and has a 2.48 GAA and .921 SV% in his past seven games (five starts) and could push the Flames goaltending situation towards a timeshare when Markstrom returns. He is worth streaming as a third or fourth goalie in the meantime and will be a top streaming and DFS option for matchup-dependent spot starts for the remainder of the season.

Other goalies to consider: Chris Driedger, FLA; Kaapo Kahkonen or Cam Talbot, MIN; Jake Allen, MTL; Calvin Petersen, LAK; Mike Smith, EDM; Brian Elliott, PHI

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