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Fantasy waiver wire: Careful of Dennis Seidenberg

Islanders defenseman bound to regress after hot start

by Ben Zweiman @BZweimanNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

When considering which players to pick up off the waiver wire, most fantasy owners will use recent success as the main factor in their decision. It always has been the norm, but it doesn't always translate into a smart move. Just because a player scored three goals in three games last week doesn't mean he is going to carry that production into next week, next month or for the rest of the season. As such, it is important to consider long-term projections for a player you wish to add to your fantasy team. Let's take a look at players who are hot and whether they can sustain their success.

There has been plenty of talk about rookies this season, but not as much about some veterans performing well. New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg has been the most added player on Yahoo over the past few days after his surprising start. Seidenberg was signed Sept. 28 after a strong showing for Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 and has exceeded expectations with four goals, four assists and a plus-10 rating in 12 games. He's ranked 12th among defensemen and 85th overall but is owned in 17 percent of leagues.

Video: TBL@NYI: Seidenberg nets one-timer from the point

New York defenseman Travis Hamonic is out 4-6 weeks with an upper-body injury, so that helps Seidenberg's prospects a bit, but it's hard to believe he'll maintain a 55-point pace. Add Seidenberg with caution because chances are he'll regress very quickly.

New York Rangers defensemen Brady Skjei, Nick Holden and Dan Girardi also have been hot waiver commodities of late. The Rangers lead the NHL in scoring (4.23 goals per game), which has led to inflated stats for each of the three; Skjei has eight points, Holden seven and Girardi five. Holden (4 percent owned) leads the group in average ice time (19:51) and is plus-13, but Skjei (2 percent) has seen time on the power play with a higher volume of shots (12 to Holden's eight). Girardi (9 percent) is a long shot to maintain fantasy relevancy considering his resume.

If you're going to target any of the three, Holden is the safest bet. He's put up points with a high plus/minus and isn't reliant on power-play time. Skjei is more of a power-play specialist but also is a rookie, making him hard to trust. Girardi may be worth a look should he continue to have a bounce-back type of season, but again, it's unlikely he keeps this up.

Video: NYR@BOS: Holden ties the game on shot from blue line

 

WAIVER-WIRE WATCH

Chris Kunitz, LW, PIT (53 percent owned)

It was three seasons ago when Kunitz scored 35 goals with 33 assists in 78 games. There's no way Kunitz sniffs those type of numbers again, but he still could be a productive fantasy wing playing with elite centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. He has a goal and three assists with a plus-4 rating and six penalty minutes in his past five games, and is getting some time on the Penguins' second power-play unit. Left wing on Crosby's line has been a revolving door the past few seasons, and Kunitz has history with the captain. It would take only a promotion to the top line for Kunitz's value to really spike. He may be harder to find in a deep league but should be available in most 10-team formats.

 

Nazem Kadri, C, TOR (36 percent owned)

Being surrounded by young offensive talent has clearly revived Kadri, who has six goals and nine points with 37 PIM and 25 shots on goal in 12 games this season. He's scored four of those goals in his past five games, and even though none of rookies Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitchell Marner are on his line, he skates with them on the first power-play unit. Kadri has four power-play points after he had 14 in 76 games last season. The Toronto Maple Leafs offense is legit (3.08 goals per game; 7th in NHL), and it's time most of their top-nine forwards are owned in almost all formats.

Video: VAN@TOR: Kadri beats Miller glove side from circle

 

Colton Sceviour, C/RW, FLA (14 percent owned)

More of a short-term add, Sceviour has been bumped into the Florida Panthers top-forward group because of injuries and is playing big minutes. He's played at least 18:50 in his past three games. The production isn't quite there, and most of his points came in a 5-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 30, when he had three goals and an assist, but the opportunity is there. Sceviour also has dual eligibility and has been a decent source of SOG (25).

 

Calvin Pickard, G, COL (7 percent owned)

Semyon Varlamov allowed five goals on 25 shots in the Colorado Avalanche's 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, so Pickard could be in store for more starts moving forward. In three games, Pickard is 3-0-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average and .946 save percentage. Though it's a small sample size, the Avalanche probably would be better off with Pickard in net more often than Varlamov, who is 2-6-0 with a 3.67 GAA and .881 save percentage. Colorado hasn't played well, but if you're in need of a goalie with upside to steal the starting job, Pickard is your best option.

 

Other candidates: Alexander Wennberg, C, CBJ (17 percent); Noah Hanifin, D, CAR (15 percent); Dustin Brown, RW/LW, LAK (10 percent); Michael Frolik, C/RW, CGY (9 percent); Tyler Bozak, C, TOR (5 percent)

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