Special to Yahoo Sports
I obviously jinxed myself last week after mentioning my fantasy roster was generally free of absences.
I now have seven players out, including four on IR.
As a result, I've had to empty my bench and hope. Our weekly free-agent acquisition period is Monday morning and players lock after their first game, so I can't do much if someone goes down after. But I'm prepared as I can possibly be considering the circumstances, so there's no need to get overly upset if things don't turn out.
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In-house fill-ins could be fine for a short-term patch, but the waiver wire's a great place to find a few fine fixes.
(Rostered rates/stats as of Nov. 11.)
Jordan Eberle, SEA (Yahoo: 34%)
Kraken forwards generally seem to be more widely available and that's probably due to the new-franchise factor and poolies waiting to see where everyone settles. Brandon Tanev (58 percent) registers as Seattle's most covered, though his offense should eventually level off. Eberle was assumed to be a key contributor after being taken in the Expansion Draft but failed to score a goal in his first six games. He's fortunately found the net seven times since, with five in the last three, including a hat-trick against Buffalo.
J.T. Compher, COL (Yahoo: 29%)
Nathan MacKinnon is hurting and will miss a few weeks. As a result, Compher is slated to move over as the Avs' top center between Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog. That's as prime a position as any in the league. Compher had already been teaming up with Colorado's big guns on the first power play where he's notched three of his nine points from only 10 contests. If the offensive upside hasn't convinced you, perhaps throwing in 23 shots and 55 faceoff wins will sweeten the deal.
Nico Hischier, NJ (Yahoo: 24%)
Injuries derailed Hischier's previous campaign but he's come into this one with plenty of purpose. The goal and assist from the opening eight outings proved uninspiring, but the tally and four helpers from the most recent five have drawn attention. With Jack Hughes still sidelined until December, Hischier will continue to assume the Devils' lead pivot post. And if recent promotion Alexander Holtz (3 percent) — who potted five goals in four AHL appearances — can stick in Jersey and show his tremendous sniping skills, Hischier could benefit.
Reilly Smith, VGK (Yahoo: 22%)
After an excellent first three years in Vegas, Smith's scoring dropped in 2020. His eight points so far this season are encouraging, though offensive opportunities are likely to diminish after Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty return. As Smith has more or less been joined at the hip with Jonathan Marchessault from Day 1, it's not as though they'll suddenly be split up. Regular center William Karlsson will be gone another few weeks, but there's significant chemistry among the trio to make any of them decent fantasy acquisitions when healthy.
Phillip Danault, LA (Yahoo: 18%)
Danault scored on his Kings' debut and then went pointless the following five games. The ex-Hab picked up the pace with two goals and five assists in six. During that same stretch, he produced 14 shots, 10 hits and 65 faceoff wins. Danault's always been a fine shorthanded performer and has now tacked on a sizable power-play role that's only yielded one PPA to date. He'll only rise to the front of the LA depth chart should Anze Kopitar go down, but there's no shame in being No. 2 on a promising attack.
Anthony Beauvillier, NYI (Yahoo: 14%)
Since becoming a 2015 first-rounder, Beauvillier has posted modest — but not spectacular — scoring stats. He's mainly found himself within the top-six over the years, yet hasn't fulfilled the potential that comes with his draft status. Maybe that's a product of the Isles' defensive system, though Beauvillier has a chance to break out with seven points in 10 outings and a main man-advantage role. Even if he moves away from regular partner Brock Nelson, the club boasts three strong players down the middle who can enhance any winger's abilities.
Cole Sillinger, CLS (Yahoo: 4%)
You'd think an 18-year-old who was drafted last summer and just played a full season in the USHL would need time to adjust to the NHL. Sillinger has indeed started slowly the first couple contests before recording his first pro goal. In the last week, Mike's son has begun to build a rapport with Jakub Voracek to pull off three goals, an assist, 10 shots and four hits. There may be further bumps down the road in Columbus, though Sillinger seems to have enough talent and maturity to notch decent numbers.
Sonny Milano, ANH (Yahoo: 1%)
The Ducks have a top-10 offense and a bevy of exciting forwards who have already been mentioned in this column. Most are well-known in fantasy thanks to consistent performances, so why is someone with seven points in eight — including four PPPs — available in 99 percent of leagues? Milano may have his doubters after going 16th overall in 2014 and doing his best work in the minors, but it's tough to miss him with Trevor Zegras on both even-strength and power-play units.
Rasmus Dahlin, BUF (Yahoo: 54%)
I try to avoid anyone above 50 percent coverage, so you may be wondering why I've made an exception for Dahlin. After all, he's only a decent-scoring blueliner (goal, five assists) with moderate hauls in other categories (22 SOG, 21 hits). The simple reason is volume. Dahlin logs a lot of ice time (averaging 23:15) and quarterbacks the Sabres' first power play. The more advanced answer involves xGF, with the former first-overall selection leading the team in that metric (7.36). Basically means Dahlin's been a bit unlucky this season, though that doesn't guarantee future success. But if he's available in your league, I recommend taking a chance.
Filip Hronek, DET (Yahoo: 23%)
With Moritz Seider the darling D-man in Detroit, people probably forgot about Hronek. Yes, the same Hronek who's combined for 57 points the last two seasons. Following a slow start, he's back in favor with four helpers across four games. The young German may be occupying the prime spot at the point on the top man-advantage, but the Czech is involved on the backup group and has contributed two PPAs. Hronek also gains further fantasy flair with 20 PIM and 23 blocks.
Brandon Montour, FLA (Yahoo: 20%)
Montour hasn't really been relied on offensively since his days in Anaheim. There were bits and pieces to be found in Buffalo and a hint or two after arriving in Florida, but nothing substantial. The good news is that Montour has already racked up seven points — with four of those PPPs. The downside is a third-string five-on-five pairing with fluctuating minutes. However, he's worth the risk considering his workload looks to be trending in the right direction.
Jamie Oleksiak, SEA (Yahoo: 14%)
As discussed last week with Adam Larsson, the Kraken defense is somewhat light when it comes to scoring. Oleksiak has also taken advantage in that respect with five assists. Looks great at first glance, but remember that's coming from a guy who's never produced more than 17 points in a season. And if you're searching for secondary stats, Oleksiak's got 'em with 24 PIM, 46 hits and 13 blocks.
Cal Petersen, LA (Yahoo: 43%
We basically covered this two weeks ago when Jonathan Quick was featured, so let's sum it up by saying Petersen is the Kings' future between the pipes but there's basically going to be a timeshare if both goalies continue to excel. Quick is at roughly half of Petersen's fantasy coverage and has looked solid, which would technically make the veteran a more popular waiver addition. But Petersen hasn't been a slouch in his last three appearances, going 3-0 with a 1.95 GAA and .930 save percentage, highlighted by a 33-save effort in Montreal on Tuesday.
If you can only pick one LA netminder, flip a coin. Or better yet, keep both as insurance.
James Reimer, SJ (Yahoo: 34%)
As with the Kings, the Sharks have somehow managed a winning record. And like their California compatriots, San Jose has successfully utilized a tandem. Adin Hill kicked off this column and proceeded to dominate his first three starts. The next three wouldn't go as well, but he recovered Tuesday by stymieing the Flames. Meanwhile, Reimer leads all qualified goaltenders in GAA (1.60) and sits second in save percentage (.946). The 33-year-old surely can't maintain that excellence over a prolonged period, though he's the Sharks' preferred short-term option.
(Players to consider from past columns: Joel Eriksson Ek, Andrew Mangiapane, Lucas Raymond, Andrew Copp, Boone Jenner, Yanni Gourde, Troy Terry, Owen Tippett, Matt Duchene, Mikael Granlund, Rasmus Asplund, Anthony Cirelli, Rasmus Andersson, Jamie Drysdale, Moritz Seider, Nate Schmidt, Kale Clague, John Gibson, Alex Nedeljkovic, Jonathan Quick, Adin Hill, Mikko Koskinen)