Corey Abbott

Waiver Wired

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $1,000 Fantasy Hockey league for opening night (Oct. 1). It's just $5 to join and first prize is $200. Starts Tuesday at 7pm ET. Here's the link.


The 2013-14 season is less than a week away from starting, so fantasy drafting will be kicking into high gear.  Those of you in keeper leagues have probably already started tweaking your rosters, while others will be reselecting their teams for another season of fantasy hockey. 


This pre-season edition of Waiver Wired will take a look at some neglected players, who aren't owned in the majority of Yahoo! leagues, despite the fact that they could be strong contributors.  Look at adding them in the latter rounds of your draft or keep them on your watch list to start the season. 


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Milan Michalek (OTT) - LW, RW - owned in 33% of Yahoo! leagues

Michalek is slated to play on Ottawa's top line with Jason Spezza and Bobby Ryan this year.  He has struggled with injuries in the past which could explain why fantasy GMs are unwilling to draft him, but he's expected to be ready for the start of the year and has the potential to return to the 60-point mark. 


Teemu Selanne(ANA) - RW - owned in 33% of Yahoo! leagues

The 43-year-old winger is projected to get second-line minutes and first unit power-play action in his final NHL season and he should be able to go out on a high note with a 50-point year.  


Brandon Dubinsky (CLM) - LW, C - owned in 25% of Yahoo! leagues

Dubinsky has spent most of the preseason playing alongside Marian Gaborik and they appear to be developing some chemistry.  He has the makings of a 55-point, 100-penalty minute player, which should make a good selection in the middle of a deep pool or a great one at the end of a shallower draft. 


Jakob Silfverberg (ANA) - LW, RW - owned in 26% of Yahoo! leagues

He is slated to play alongside Selanne on the Ducks' second line this year, but there's also a good chance that he will get time with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry at some point.  Either way he should be slotted in for around 55 points with his new team. 


Steve Ott (BUF) - C, LW - owned in 24% of Yahoo! leagues

Ott has plenty of versatility.  He's good on faceoffs, can contribute offensively and will put up penalty minutes.  Ott can record 40-45 points and pick up close to 200 PIMs, so feel free to grab him late in your draft. 


Mikkel Boedker (PHO) - LW - owned in 22% of Yahoo! leagues

Boedker could be in store for a breakout season in 2013-14, to the tune of 50 points, thanks in large part to the arrival of center Mike Ribeiro.  The 23-year-old winger has great speed and Ribeiro is the type of player who can get him the puck when he's in full flight. 


Jake Gardiner (TOR) - D - owned in 21% of Yahoo! leagues

He won't have a concussion to deal with this season and he's slated to jump into Toronto's lineup out of camp.  Gardiner should get second-line power-play time as well and he'll probably be able to surpass 40 points. 


Justin Abdelkader (DET) - LW, RW - owned in 21% of Yahoo! leagues

He's done a good job at staking his claim to open the regular season on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.  The combination has been impressive during scrimmages and exhibition games.  If he can lock down that position then he'll finally get to add some point production to his solid hit totals.    


Marcus Johansson (WAS) - C - owned in 19% of Yahoo! leagues

He spent a good chunk of the 2013 campaign on the same line as Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom and he's slated to play there again this year.  The chemistry he has developed with them should help him take the next step this season and pick up 50-60 points. 


Ray Whitney (DAL) - LW - owned in 17% of Yahoo! leagues

At 41 years of age, he's probably being thought of as a regression candidate.   He may not be able to maintain the near point-per-game pace he has set in his previous two seasons, but Whitney is still more than capable of registering 50-60 points. 


Torey Krug (BOS) - D- owned in 14% of Yahoo! leagues

Krug looks like he will stick with Boston once the team's final cuts are made.  He has plenty of offensive skill, which he displayed during the Bruins' playoff run last year, and should be able to get power-play ice time. 


Mikhail Grabovski (WAS) - C - owned in 14% of Yahoo! leagues

Grabovski will get a fresh start as Washington's second-line center this campaign.  He'll get more opportunities to generate offense than he did in Toronto last year, which should help him reach 50-60 points. 


Charlie Coyle (MIN) - C, RW - owned in 12% of Yahoo! leagues

Coyle has done an excellent job during his audition as Minnesota's second-line center at training camp.  He has been good on faceoffs and strong on the puck, which may have given him the edge over Mikael Granlund.  He has a high-ceiling potential and could thrive if he gets the ice time.  


Steve Downie (COL) - RW, LW - owned in 11% of Yahoo! leagues

Downie dressed in only two games last season before missing the rest of the 2013 campaign with a knee injury.  He's slated to play with Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly or Nathan MacKinnon and Jamie McGinn this year, so either way he will be skating with talented linemates.  He's another player who can be penciled in for around 40 points and over 150 penalty minutes. 


Mark Scheifele (WPG) - C  - owned in 7% of Yahoo! leagues

After a couple of false starts to his NHL career, Scheifele is poised to play in his first full season with the Winnipeg Jets in 2013-14.  He is competing with Olli Jokinen for the team's second-line center spot and it's a job that he should land to start the year.  Getting a chance to play between Evander Kane and Devin Setoguchi will give him a much better chance to contribute and the trio has looked good together during the preseason schedule.  


Marcus Foligno (BUF) - LW - owned in 4% of Yahoo! leagues

Foligno has been getting top-line minutes at training camp and he's been contributing often during the preseason.  He looks like he will be able to be the sleeper this year that he was thought to be entering the lockout-shortened campaign.  Playing with Thomas Vanek and Cody Hodgson should help him fulfill those aspirations.       


Tomas Hertl (SJ) - C - owned in 2% of Yahoo! leagues

Raffi Torres' knee injury may have made it easier for Hertl to secure a roster spot with San Jose out of camp, but he has shown that he's worthy of an NHL look with some strong preseason performances.  Hertl hasn't looked out of place while playing alongside Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski and he might be worthy of a flier from fantasy owners if he gets a chance at a top-six spot to start the 2013-14 campaign. 

Corey Abbott is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him Twitter @CoreAbbott.
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