Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 19

Yahoo Sports

By Evan BerofskyRotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

February is here and so is the lousy weather. If you're fortunate to live in a warmer climate, you can go back to enjoying cocktails while suntanning in the backyard. (And no, Winnipeggers, you probably shouldn't be doing those activities when it's -13 Celsius.)

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The following player recommendations aren't guaranteed to heat up your fantasy squads, but they definitely won't freeze any momentum:

(Yahoo roster rates/stats as of Feb. 6.)


Gustav Nyquist, Columbus Blue Jackets (25 percent rostered)

Since being featured at the end of October, Nyquist has reeled off 28 points — including nine on the power play — and 78 shots in 42 games. The former Red Wing has also enjoyed a regular role on Columbus' top line for both even-strength and man-advantage situations. With the Blue Jackets flying high lately and looking to maintain their hold on a playoff position, Nyquist is in line to continue getting plenty of scoring chances.

Barclay Goodrow, San Jose Sharks (14 percent)

Following five seasons in the OHL and going undrafted, Goodrow signed with San Jose in early 2014. He developed slowly at the NHL level for a few years while excelling in the AHL. When Logan Couture went down in early January, other forwards were bound to earn more opportunities. Through the last 10 games, Goodrow hasn't wowed anyone with his offense based on the goal and three assists. But during the same stretch, he's also accumulated 17 PIM, 30 hits, nine blocks, and 63 faceoff wins working as the Sharks' de facto lead center.

Josh Bailey, New York Islanders (12%)

Bailey's offensive numbers plummeted around the New Year, but he's been able to recover with eight points in nine outings — with three of those during a 4-2 win over the Rangers on Jan. 21. He's locked into a top-six spot and sees enough action on both special-teams units. The minus-10 rating might not be pleasing and the secondary stats appear underwhelming, but Bailey's attacking skills should be sufficient to lure additional fantasy managers.

Alex Tuch, Vegas Golden Knights (6%)

Fourteen points in 38 appearances aren't usually worthy of consideration, but Tuch has run into a nasty streak of bad luck. Since the calendar flipped to 2020, the big winger has only potted one goal on 27 shots and has been shut out on assists. Based on a 9.97 shooting percentage in the previous two campaigns, Tuch's scoring fortunes should eventually improve. An imminent turnaround also appears likely based on his recent promotion to Vegas' first power play, where he's averaged more than two minutes in the last seven.

Alex Iafallo, Los Angeles Kings (5%)

Recording your first hat-trick — including the overtime winner — will garner attention, but more is required to attract discerning fantasy participants. Fortunately, Iafallo isn't a one-hit-wonder as he's produced 14 goals, 17 assists and stands two points from equalling a career-high. Throw in 15 points from 17 matchups and a permanent partnership with Anze Kopitar and you'll wonder how he's still available in 95 percent of Yahoo leagues.

There's few reasons why Alex Iafallo shouldn't be rostered in more leagues. (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NHLI via Getty Images)
There's few reasons why Alex Iafallo shouldn't be rostered in more leagues. (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NHLI via Getty Images)

Ondrej Kase, Anaheim Ducks (4%)

Injuries destroyed a significant portion of Kase's last two seasons just as he was ready to establish an extended run of success. Besides a jaw injury that sidelined him for five games early on and a healthy scratch soon after, the Czech youngster has been in the lineup for the rest of the schedule. Kase has bounced around the right side of the Ducks' depth chart, but the current compilation of four goals, four assists, and 32 shots while averaging 18:08 in 11 games makes him an attractive commodity.

Warren Foegele, Carolina Hurricanes (3%)

Foegele has often been overlooked over the years due to lining up with super-skilled teammates. That trend continues in Carolina, as the 23-year-old is hidden behind Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov on the second unit. Three assists from the last two games will boost Foegele's cause, but he'll need to show more the next little while to earn your trust. The lack of power-play time also doesn't help, but the three shorthanded goals — including two on Dec. 14 — should at least get you interested.

Carl Hagelin, Washington Capitals (1%)

After winning back-to-back Cups in Pittsburgh, Hagelin had the honor of being traded twice last season. The Caps liked what they saw to finish out the regular portion enough that they re-signed the speedster to a four-year deal. Hagelin struggled through his first 36 appearances, but he's impressed since mid-January by riding a seven-game point streak to go with 18 shots. This breakout will undoubtedly stop soon, but you might as well tag along for the ride while it lasts.


Matt Niskanen, Philadelphia Flyers (30%)

Niskanen shocked many with eight points — including five PPPs — from his first 14 outings as a Flyer. And then we probably assumed his moment had passed with nine over the next 31. To our surprise, Niskanen has registered two goals and five assists from seven in addition to 17 shots, seven hits, and five blocks. Thanks to a recurring role on both the power play and shorthanded, the veteran should cross the 30-point plateau by the end of the campaign.

Nate Schmidt, Vegas Golden Knights (6%)

A 12-game absence resulting from an Opening Night lower-body injury didn't seem to faze Schmidt when he returned by racking up eight points in 10 contests. There have been a couple dry spells along the way, but the minutes regularly exceed 22 a night. Schmidt's not always been guaranteed man-advantage time, but he's back to skating on the Golden Knights' respectable backup quintet. He probably won't break his career-high 36 points, but his stock is bound to increase by consistently firing pucks on net and getting involved in high-danger scoring chances.

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Alec Martinez, Los Angeles Kings (1%)

Based on LA's poor record and other teams' needs, there have been whispers surrounding Martinez's inevitable departure by the trade deadline. He missed the final 18 games of 2019, but he'd eventually reintegrate himself back into the Kings' D core. More points from Martinez would be nice, but no one's complaining about his 23:42 average from the most recent nine. The Rochester Hills native also recovered his power-play duty, where he performed reasonably well during previous years. You might want to wait and see if — and where — he's dealt before opting to pick him up.

Dante Fabbro, Nashville Predators (1%)

Ryan Ellis has been out since Jan. 1, but Fabbro hasn't been able to take advantage besides a PPG that night. However, the 2018 WJC gold medalist earned a promotion to Nashville's top power play last week and looks set to continue there for the short term. Ellis could return by the weekend, so you may want to grab Fabbro before his scoring window closes.


James Reimer, Carolina Hurricanes (28%)

Reimer was often maligned in Toronto because, well, everyone gets scrutinized there. His stay in Florida didn't end so well, which is why he was shipped to Carolina in June. Petr Mrazek has performed adequately by posting a 2.73 GAA and .900 save percentage, but Optimus Reim is one-upping his netmate with a 2.49/.920 line. The Czech has only won twice in his last eight appearances, while the Canadian has not lost in regulation since Dec. 27. If Mrazek ranks as the Canes' No. 1, then Reimer is at least their No. 1A lately.

Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators (10%)

The season numbers (3.08 GAA, .898 save percentage) don't speak very highly of Saros, but he's upped his play in 2020 with a 3-1-1 record accompanied by a 2.56 GAA and .923 save percentage. Old man Pekka Rinne has been equally as inconsistent overall (3.01, .898), but hasn't really improved since New Years at 4-5/3.00/.906. Considering Nashville is lagging in the Western Conference race, it might decide to ride the hotter hand — or at least give that goalie more starts. If that ends up happening, then Saros' value would significantly increase.

Players to consider from past columns: Brock Nelson, Bo Horvat, Clayton Keller, Andre Burakovsky, Sam Reinhart, Patric Hornqvist, Nazem Kadri, Zach Parise, Ondrej Palat, Phillip Danault, Paul Stastny, Pavel Buchnevich, Anthony Cirelli, David Krejci, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Zach Sanford, Charlie Coyle, Frank Vatrano, Zach Hyman, Alex Killorn, Ryan Strome, Bryan Rust, Jordan Eberle, Nikita Gusev, Christian Dvorak, Oscar Klefbom, Neal Pionk, Anthony DeAngelo, Jaccob Slavin, Rasmus Sandin, Jared Spurgeon, John Marino, Filip Hronek, Adam Fox, Tristan Jarry, Jaroslav Halak, Antti Raanta, Elvis Merzlikins, Robin Lehner, James Reimer.

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