2020 Fantasy Hockey Post-All-Star Break Waiver Wire Pickups: Last call on Jaccob Slavin

Yahoo Sports

By Evan BerofskyRotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

The NHL's All-Star break could have posed weekly fantasy issues, what with teams missing significant time around the midseason event. Thankfully, many leagues have opted to combine the two weeks. After all, it's the fair thing to do.

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And when it comes to making roster decisions, nothing changes during this stretch. Of course, you'll have to be aware when players are off and when they return. But the same standard rules apply, especially the one where you shouldn't jeopardize long-term lineup health for a quick fix — unless it's someone you really need right away.

Without any further filler, let's get to the waiver-wire suggestions.

(Yahoo rostership rates/stats as of Jan. 23.)

Forwards

Andre Burakovsky, Colorado Avalanche (27 percent rostered)

Life was good for Burakovsky in the early part of the season, but a brief injury and subsequent slump had him finishing 2019 on a downward trend. Fortunately, the Swede has enjoyed this month with two goals, seven assists and 18 shots in nine games. With a continuing place alongside Nazem Kadri on even strength and a spot on Colorado's "backup" power play — the one that features Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar — Burakovsky should be on your radar.

Noel Acciari, Florida Panthers (22 percent)

Acciari was the talk of the fantasy world in mid-December when he pulled off consecutive hat-tricks. Based on past results, the expectation was that his output would eventually fade away. While the ex-Bruin has faced a few difficulties, he's still sniped six goals while adding 23 shots, 29 hits and 23 blocks in the last 12 games. Acciari seems to be a trusted figure within the Panthers' middle-six, while his hustle has allowed him to receive prominent shorthanded duty.

Shots are the name of the game with Acciari. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Shots are the name of the game with Acciari. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Anthony Cirelli, Tampa Bay Lightning (20%)

In 82 appearances last year, Cirelli managed 39 points. After 47 games this season, he has 33. That may not be surprising considering a point-per-game average during his last two junior seasons and a solid AHL effort in 2017-18. Thanks to strong defensive play, Cirelli has earned a significant boost in minutes and centers Tampa Bay's second line. In addition to a lead role while shorthanded, his value has been further enhanced with a bit of power-play action.

Kevin Labanc, San Jose Sharks (20%)

Considering the Sharks lost a pair of significant forwards last summer, expectations were sky-high for Labanc coming into this season. After all, the Brooklyn-born winger came off a 56-point effort — including 20 with the man-advantage. Despite an underwhelming 25 points and a horrible minus-22, Labanc continues to excel at firing shots on net with 126 across 50 outings. He's also well-positioned within San Jose's top-six and No. 1 power play.

Charlie Coyle, Boston Bruins (12%)

When David Krejci went down, Coyle moved up to the Bruins' second line following three goals, six assists and 24 shots from the previous 13 games. Krejci came back Tuesday and was inserted on the third line. That certainly sounds like a huge vote of confidence for Coyle. Even if the 2010 first-rounder is knocked down a peg, he's still providing enough fantasy ammunition to find his way onto your roster.

Kyle Okposo, Buffalo Sabres (1%)

Okposo has endured enough setbacks since arriving in Buffalo, including a concussion this year that sidelined him for 10 games in November and December. His five points in 17 don't exactly elicit excitement, but there's reason for hope. As a result of Victor Olofsson's injury, Okposo has been installed on Buffalo's first power play and has already delivered a goal there. The 31 year old also dished out a pair of assists last Thursday. The Sabres haven't played since Saturday and are back on the ice Tuesday, so make sure and monitor Okposo's line situation before adding him.

Emil Bemstrom, Columbus Blue Jackets (1%)

When you lead the Swedish top division in goals as a teenager, you're going to get noticed. That's the case for Bemstrom, who signed an NHL deal with Columbus in May. The 117th draft pick from 2017 arrived with plenty of fanfare but hardly received any ice time to show off his talent. And a couple weeks after Bemstrom notched points in five consecutive November outings, he ended up on IR for a month. Along with consistency on the man-advantage, he's recovered his scoring form by registering another point streak — this time over four games last week.

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Pavel Zacha, New Jersey Devils (0%)

Very few Yahoo participants own Zacha, probably due to two points in his 11 most recent appearances. Or from the 25-point average during his first three seasons. Even mired in an offensive struggle, the young Czech offers promise by averaging 3:05 on the power play across four. Sure, the Devils are bad, but as a partner with the equally underwhelming Jack Hughes in multiple situations, maybe the two can feed off each other and boost their offensive totals.

Defensemen

Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes (57%)

Perhaps you heard about Dougie Hamilton's unfortunate long-term setback. And maybe you've noticed Slavin's career-high point projection. If the former Colorado College star remains available in your league, postpone all other activities and pick him up. Slavin won't provide the same attacking numbers as Hamilton, but he's excelled in other categories and has replaced the perennial producer as the pointman on Carolina's premier power play.

Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild (17%)

Spurgeon has accumulated 21 points across 42 games, including four from the last three. The stats may not be as consistent as most name-brand blueliners, but someone on a lead man-advantage group with a history of scoring should attract wider rostership. All we are saying is, give Spurgeon a chance.

Will Butcher, New Jersey Devils (3%)

RotoWire's inimitable Janet Eagleson discussed Butcher in her latest column based on his recent exploits, so this paragraph will mainly serve as a reminder. There's no question the 2017 Hobey Baker winner is offensively gifted, so Jersey will hopefully expand his role after their inevitable elimination from postseason contention.

Noah Dobson, New York Islanders (1%)

Anyone who can rack up 121 points in two years in the QMJHL while winning back-to-back Memorial Cups and head straight to the NHL is clearly doing something right. Unfortunately, Dobson's pro career didn't start off as he had hoped after serving as a healthy scratch for several games. His minutes might be on the low side, but he's recently seen time on the Isles' top power play and recorded his first PPP Tuesday.

Goaltenders

Brian Elliott, Philadelphia Flyers (17%)

Carter Hart is slated to be out a couple more weeks, so Elliott has been tasked with most of the starts. And the 34 year old didn't waste any time stating his intentions by posting three consecutive impressive victories — including a shutout Tuesday over the Penguins. Before the injury, Hart struggled in January with a 3.73 GAA and .879 save percentage. He's clearly their goalie of the future, but Elliott is trying his hardest to be the Flyers' best current option.

Alex Stalock, Minnesota Wild (12%)

The Wild rank in the bottom 5 in goals against, so it's tough choosing among their netminders. Both Stalock and Devan Dubnyk are older than 30, while their numbers — 2.92/.903 for the former and 3.28/.893 for the latter — hardly make either worthy of consideration. But Minnesota native Stalock comes out ahead since he started three in a row last week — highlighted by a blanking of the Stars Saturday. He also wasn't the one who got shelled for seven goals Jan. 14 in Pittsburgh, so he can at least help in formats that count saves.

Players to consider from past columns: Brock Nelson, Bo Horvat, Clayton Keller, Sam Reinhart, Patric Hornqvist, Nazem Kadri, Zach Parise, Nico Hischier, Ondrej Palat, Phillip Danault, Paul Stastny, Josh Bailey, David Krejci, Christian Dvorak, Blake Coleman, Alex Killorn, Ilya Kovalchuk, Ryan Strome, Bryan Rust, Jordan Eberle, Nikita Gusev, Christian Dvorak, Martin Necas, Oscar Klefbom, Neal Pionk, Anthony DeAngelo, Samuel Girard, John Marino, Filip Hronek, Adam Fox, Tristan Jarry, Jaroslav Halak, Ilya Samsonov, Elvis Merzlikins, Mike Smith, Linus Ullmark, Robin Lehner.

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