Fantasy hockey: Top waiver adds for each category

·8 min read
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider should hold fantasy value over the rest of the season. (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider should hold fantasy value over the rest of the season. (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Some unlikely teams will be the source of help on the waiver wire in Week 4 of the fantasy hockey season.

The Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, and Ottawa Senators all play four games this week, and while these may not represent some of the NHL's elite, each squad has at least one option worth adding for your upcoming matchup.

Here is one player you should consider adding for each category.

Goals: RW Reilly Smith, Vegas Golden Knights (15 percent rostered on Yahoo)

Reilly Smith has been giving goalies quite a workout since being promoted to the Vegas Golden Knights' first line and top power-play unit.

The team shifted its second line, which consists of Smith, William Karlsson, and Jonathan Marchessault, up a peg after the injuries to Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty. This has resulted in more ice time, and in turn, more shots from Smith.

Over his last five games, Smith has recorded 20 shots on goal, and he leads the team with 24 shots this season. His shoot-first style of play has been paying off recently, as he has potted a goal in two of his last three outings after going scoreless through his first five games. With four contests on the schedule this week, Smith is a sensible add for those in need of a goal-scoring boost.

Assists: D Moritz Seider, Detroit Red Wings (45 percent rostered on Yahoo)

Moritz Seider is a defenseman you can add off the waiver wire that you may not drop for the remainder of the season.

The 2019 sixth-overall pick has been absolutely incredible to start his rookie campaign. Across nine games, the Red Wings blueliner has picked up eight assists, registering at least one in seven contests. 

In addition to helpers, Seider has been a solid contributor in other categories, too. He's posted four power-play points, nine hits, and 11 blocks. He and the rest of the Red Wings play four games this week, so he'll slide into your lineup often.

Plus-minus: LW/RW Anthony Duclair, Florida Panthers (36 percent rostered on Yahoo)

I'm going to continue pounding the table for Anthony Duclair in fantasy hockey.

All you really need to know about the winger is that he's seeing time on the Florida Panthers' first line alongside Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe. Naturally, by logging these kinds of minutes on the best team in hockey, Duclair owns a strong plus-nine rating and hasn't been a minus player in any of Florida's games this season.

Additionally, the 26-year-old has scored six goals and seven points so far, offering you some offensive upside as well. He and the Cats only play two games this week, but for a category like plus-minus, games played isn't as important as it is for goals and assists.

Power-play points: C Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks (44 percent rostered on Yahoo)

After a really slow start to the season, Jonathan Toews seems to be finding his stride.

The Blackhawks captain went pointless through the first five games of the campaign but has produced three points in his last four outings. He's only recorded one point so far on the man advantage, but he's likely in store for much more.

He's seeing time on Chicago's top power-play unit, and the team currently holds the ninth-best power-play percentage in the league, converting at a 25 percent rate. The squad's success on the man advantage dates back to last season, when the Blackhawks scored on 21.7 percent of their opportunities.

Additionally, Toews is a great source of faceoff wins. His 109 draw victories are tied for second across the NHL. Chicago plays four games this week, so he'll likely be one of the leaders in that category in Week 4.

Shots on goal: C/LW Trevor Zegras, Anaheim Ducks (38 percent rostered on Yahoo)

This is the second-straight week I've touted Trevor Zegras as a top add in fantasy hockey, and if you don't scoop him up now, you're going to miss out.

The talented Anaheim Ducks youngster has been peppering netminders over his past eight games, totalling 24 shots on goal during that stretch. Zegras has recently found his scoring touch, too, as he's recorded two goals and four points over his last four games.

His recent spike in shots coincides with his uptick in ice time. Since Anaheim's third game of the season, he's played at least 18 minutes in every contest except one. Players with Zegras's type of prospect profile and opportunity can develop into league winners.

Faceoff wins: C Josh Norris, Ottawa Senators (48 percent rostered on Yahoo)

Josh Norris is a no-brainer add for Week 4 in leagues where he's available.

For starters, the Senators play four games this upcoming week. Secondly, he's been playing really well lately. Over his last three games, the centre has four goals and five points while also adding seven hits. 

For the purpose of faceoff wins, Norris has been bringing it, earning 44 draw victories over his past four contests.

Centring the Sens' first line and top power-play unit, the 22-year-old is one of the best waiver-wire targets for the upcoming week.

Hits: D Artem Zub, Ottawa Senators (11 percent rostered on Yahoo)

Artem Zub has been getting it done in a number of categories this year, and with four games scheduled for this week, he's a nice addition in fantasy hockey. 

Logging first-pairing minutes with Thomas Chabot, he's been a surprising source of points recently, tallying four assists in his past five games. He's also produced a solid plus-six rating in 2021-22, which sits second on the Senators. 

He's been a strong performer with regards to blocks and hits, too. In seven games, he's dished out 17 body checks and his 23 blocks are tied for tops in the NHL.

Blocks: D Evan Bouchard, Edmonton Oilers (24 percent rostered on Yahoo)

The Edmonton Oilers only play three games this week, but I've been impressed enough with Evan Bouchard's play to still recommend him as a top add.

The 2018 first-round pick has been playing alongside Darnell Nurse on Edmonton's top defense pairing, and he's been able to make himself fantasy relevant while logging 21:16 in time-on-ice per game. The blueliner has fired off 19 shots, owns a plus-three rating, has two power-play points, and has recorded a respectable four points in his last five contests. Offensive production is something that should be expected out of Bouchard moving forward, as he picked up 184 points across 180 games with the London Knights in the OHL.

He's also shown that he isn't afraid to step in front of a puck, as he's blocked 15 shots this season. The 22-year-old is a promising young player who's being featured on one of the best offenses in hockey. He's worth adding and stashing on the bottom of your roster.

Goaltending: G Alex Nedeljkovic, Detroit Red Wings (46 percent rostered on Yahoo)

Alex Nedeljkovic has actually been playing well of late, and that's more than can be said about most goalies available in over 50 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues.

If you remove his horrible opening-night start against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he has actually posted a respectable .922 save percentage. It's his win-loss record that will frustrate fantasy managers, as he's only picked up one victory in five games.

Since the Red Wings play four games this week, it seems likely that Nedeljkovic will get the nod for at least two starts. Both he and Thomas Greiss have been playing well, but Nedeljkovic has more long-term value and is my preferred play between the two.

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