Fantasy hockey managers will be happy to know that 13 teams in the NHL play four games this upcoming week.
With so many squads playing a quartet of contests, a higher number of players available on most waiver wires will find themselves in fantasy-relevant positions in Week 5.
Here is one player for each category that is worth picking up for the next seven days or more.
Goals: LW Alex Iafallo, Los Angeles Kings (35 percent rostered on Yahoo)
Undrafted players typically aren’t afforded the opportunities day-one or day-two picks are in the NHL.
But for three seasons now, Alex Iafallo has earned a role inside the Los Angeles Kings’ top-six, and he’s playing some great hockey to start the 2021-22 campaign.
Through 11 games, the 27-year-old has potted five goals, four of which have come in his last four outings. During that stretch, he has posted three shots or more in four of those contests, which is typically a good indicator that the goal-scoring is sustainable.
Additionally, he’s seen an uptick in ice-time, as in each of his last two games the winger has topped 20-minutes of time-on-ice.
Given his current opportunity and production, Rasmus Andersson is someone who’s certainly worth rostering in fantasy hockey.
Logging minutes on the Calgary Flames’ first defence pairing and top power-play unit, the 25-year-old blue liner is set up well for offensive production. In 11 games this year, Andersson has racked up seven helpers, with five coming on the man advantage.
The early-season success the Flames have experienced has also aided the rearguard’s plus-minus, as he owns a plus-12 rating, which is tied for the league’s best mark.
With four games lined up for Week 5 – including dates with the struggling Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators – Andersson is a great add for anyone needing help on the back end.
Plus-minus: LW/RW Anthony Duclair, Florida Panthers (54 percent rostered on Yahoo)
Anthony Duclair’s rostered percentage is slightly above my usual 50 percent or less threshold, but this guy should be rostered in even more leagues than he currently is.
There simply isn’t a better add in fantasy hockey right now than the Florida Panthers winger. In 11 contests, Duclair has registered eight goals, 12 points, and an unbelievable plus-11 rating which ties him for fourth in the NHL.
Unlike earlier in the season when his ice-time was a bit of a concern, it isn’t now. The 26-year-old has logged 16-plus minutes of time-on-ice in five-straight outings. Playing on the best team in hockey’s first line, Duclair is someone who won’t be available in your league for much longer.
Power-play points: C Sean Monahan, Calgary Flames (28 percent rostered on Yahoo)
There may not be a more frustrating player in fantasy hockey than Sean Monahan, but now that he’s been dropped in a bunch of leagues, this is probably the right time to add him.
At even strength, his five pointless games to begin the year earned him a demotion to the fourth line. Head coach Darryl Suter has remained reluctant to bump him off the first power-play unit, however, and that’s why he slides in as a quality option for this category.
Despite starting the season slowly, Monahan has been more productive of late. In his last six games, the centre has recorded five points – all on the man advantage. Calgary’s power play ranks seventh in the NHL, and with four games on the schedule, he’s worth picking up.
Shots on goal: RW Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings (18 percent rostered on Yahoo)
If your team isn’t getting enough pucks on net, Dustin Brown can help with that.
The veteran winger has rifled three shots or more on goal in nine of his 11 games this season, and his 38 shots are tied for 16th across the league.
Despite posting such a high volume of shots, the goals haven’t been there for Brown. The Kings’ captain has registered just two markers on the year, but with his current shooting percentage (5.3 percent) well below his career number (9.8 percent), he’s likely due to experience some more puck luck moving forward.
Also, Brown has dished out 23 hits this year, so he’ll be able to help fantasy managers in that category, too. Los Angeles plays four games in Week 5 of the fantasy season.
Faceoff wins: C Nico Hischier, New Jersey Devils (23 percent rostered on Yahoo)
Nico Hischier is the player to target on the waiver wire if you’re looking for a bump at the dot.
The 2017 first-overall picks’ 97 faceoff wins rank 20th in the NHL. In addition to having faceoff success, Hischier has also seen a recent uptick in his offensive production. Over his last four games, the Swiss centre has tallied three assists. Serving as the New Jersey Devils’ first-line centre and middleman on the top power-play unit, he’ll continue to see quality opportunities to add to his point total.
The Devils play four games this upcoming week, so he’ll likely rank right near the top of the league in draw victories.
Hits: D Radko Gudas, Florida Panthers (48 percent rostered on Yahoo)
Occasionally, Radko Gudas’s rostered percentage dips below 50 percent, and whenever I see that happen, I’ve got to throw him on this list.
His place in this spot is pretty simple. The guy hits dudes. His 43 body checks during the 2021-22 campaign are tied for the fourth-most in the NHL. Additionally, he’s been a really solid source of plus-minus with a plus-nine rating, and he’s blocked a respectable 18 shots this year.
He and the Cats play four games in Week 5, so there will be lots of punishment dished out by Gudas over the next seven days.
Blocks: D Ryan Graves, New Jersey Devils (10 percent rostered on Yahoo)
The early results of having Ryan Graves serve as a top-line defender for New Jersey have been positive, and with his team playing four games this week, he’s a must-add player for those with fantasy teams not blocking enough shots.
On the year, Graves has stood in front of 21 shots, which ranks 22nd in the NHL. In addition to using his body to block shots, he’s also been using it to dish out punishment. Graves has racked up an impressive 21 hits this season, too, which is tied for the most on his squad.
Something fantasy managers can hope will continue is his mini-scoring streak. Graves has recorded a point in each of his last two outings.
Goaltending: Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins (50 percent rostered on Yahoo)
I’m not too sure why Jeremy Swayman’s rostered percentage has been steadily declining over the last week, but with four games on the schedule for the Boston Bruins in Week 5, he’s worth rostering.
Outside of a really rough outing against the Philadelphia Flyers during his second start of the year, Swayman has been very good. In his other three starts, he owns a very presentable .939 save percentage, as he’s turned aside 62 of the 66 shots he faced in those games. On the season as a whole, he’s registered two wins, a 2.28 goals-against average, and a goals saved above expected of -0.1, with both the latter figures ranking better than his teammate, Linus Ullmark.
After Ullmark struggled in the squad’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, head coach Bruce Cassidy will likely turn to the youngster in the team’s game on Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators. At worst, Swayman will likely earn two starts this week.
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