Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: 14 players to consider for Week 7

By Evan BerofskyRotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

Six weeks of the season are in the books. If you're in front, keep it going and stay active. And it's way too early to panic should your squad be struggling, as plenty of recruits and alternate strategies exist.

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You know the deal. Look at these players, check their status, and — if available — decide if they're right for you.

(Yahoo rostership rates/stats as of Nov. 14.)

FORWARDS

Kaapo Kakko, New York Rangers (48 percent rostered)

Kakko is surely gone in keeper formats, but he's available in roughly half of Yahoo leagues most likely due to his slow start. The Finnish phenom only produced three points and 19 shots in his first 11 NHL games but has since broken out with four goals in the last five — including the OT winner versus Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Kakko may find himself on the Rangers' third line, but he's patrolling the first power play and should eventually move up the depth chart based on recent efforts.

Zack Kassian, Edmonton Oilers (41 percent)

Riding shotgun with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl will enhance any forward's stat line; just ask Kassian. The winger, who has never notched more than 29 points at the pro level, is enjoying his stint with Edmonton's Big Two to the tune of six goals and eight assists. For someone who averaged 100-plus PIM the last six campaigns, those numbers have dropped to 16 in 20 games. And while Kassian isn't involved on the Oilers' man-advantage, he'll continue to be added if he remains with top talent.

Wayne Simmonds, New Jersey Devils (33%)

The Devils brought in several fresh faces during the offseason to bolster the lineup. Like his new counterparts, Simmonds struggled by only contributing one assist through the opening nine outings. But signs were pointing toward a turnaround based on the 29 shots during this stretch. The power forward may move around the lines, but he's firmly planted on Jersey's No. 1 power play and has posted three points with the extra man — and seven overall — in his last eight.

Dylan Strome, Chicago Blackhawks (30%)

Strome started to fulfill his potential last year after arriving from Arizona with 51 points in 58 games. He kicked off 2019-20 with only four points through nine, three the next appearance and then four zeros. The third overall pick from 2015 has padded his stats by racking up a goal and seven assists in the last four matchups. And he should maintain this run by continuing to center Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat on even-strength and power play. Get him now.

Dylan Strome is heating up. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Dylan Strome is heating up. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

David Krejci, Boston Bruins (25%)

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Krejci continues to produce, as he just matched a career-high with 73 points. The veteran pivot didn't do much early on before an upper-body issue sidelined him for five games. And since rejoining the club, Krejci has counted two goals, six assists and 15 shots over seven games. Center is already loaded, but you've probably got room for a solid second-liner on your roster.

Oskar Lindblom, Philadelphia Flyers (18%)

Lindblom impressed during his final seasons in Sweden and the AHL, but the magic didn't immediately transfer to the NHL with 33 points across 81 appearances last year — although 18 came in the final 34. He's built upon that run with eight goals and six assists while recording a point in 12 of 18 outings. Lindblom could be due for regression, but that shouldn't happen as long as he shares the ice with Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny.

Robby Fabbri, Detroit Red Wings (17%)

Injuries have haunted Fabbri throughout his career, but he's earning a fresh start in Motown. After playing 83 games the previous two seasons, he'd miss another eight with the Blues. Since the trade, the Mississauga native has potted a pair of power-play goals and two assists in three games. Fabbri's got talent and displayed it with 18 goals and 19 assists as a teenage rookie. If the 23 year old can stay healthy and remain in the top six, he'll help your fantasy team.

Martin Necas, Carolina Hurricanes (4%)

Like Conor Garland from last week's column, Necas checks in as another attacking talent who is knocking out plenty of points while skating modest minutes. Despite averaging 13:58 and mainly working on the Canes' third trio, the Czech youngster sits with 12 points. The bonus for Necas is his place on the first man-advantage, where he's netted two PPGs. It may be difficult for him to climb into the upper half of the depth chart, but that will eventually materialize with hard work and patience.

DEFENSEMEN

Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild (22%)

Spurgeon has combined for 118 points over the previous three seasons and is on pace to approach his career-high 43. The two goals and eight assists may not be eye-popping stats, but he's added 36 shots on goal and 28 blocks. Spurgeon continues to be heavily involved on both special-teams groups while registering three PPAs. For someone who's managed that much offense as a blueliner, you'd figure he'd be rostered in more than one of every four leagues.

Noah Hanifin, Calgary Flames (10%)

In his debut with the Flames, Hanifin adequately produced with five goals, 28 assists, 83 blocks, and a plus-18. Although he's slightly behind projected figures, the five points over the most recent seven games bolster his fantasy case. Based on his latest play, Hanifin has inherited an enhanced workload and looks to have assumed a firm grip as the club's No. 2 defender.

Adam Fox, New York Rangers (7%)

Due to his offensive prowess and the lack of other decent options, Fox made the Rangers' roster out of training camp. The three-time NCAA First Team All-American must've found the transition difficult in the early going, seeing how it took until his eighth game to register his first NHL point. But it's clear he's caught on with three goals and four assists across the last seven. Fox will undoubtedly hit a few bumps along the way, but the team's gotta be excited for him and other young blueline projects.

Josh Mahura, Anaheim Ducks (0%)

Since turning pro in 2018-19, Mahura has bounced between Anaheim and the AHL. He generated three assists in his first contest with the Ducks this year, while his latest encounter yielded a goal. Due to Hampus Lindholm's injury, the 21 year old has been installed on the second power play but has yet to find the scoresheet during that situation. Make sure to check the most recent news before taking a flyer on Mahura, as he could be sent down at any time.

GOALTENDERS

Mikko Koskinen, Edmonton Oilers (58%)

Koskinen was nearly offered in a previous column, but only Mike Smith had represented the Oiler netminder contingent in this space. The giant Finn deserves his spot after recording a 2.16 GAA and .928 save percentage over 10 outings. He also hasn't lost since Oct. 29 and hasn't allowed more than three goals in any appearance this season. Smith has compiled a decent 2.58/.913 split, but dropped his last two — including a six-goal shellacking by the Sharks on Tuesday. Based on Koskinen's superior recent performances, he'll probably receive more starts than his counterpart in the coming weeks.

Jonathan Bernier, Detroit Red Wings (4%)

Detroit goalies haven't necessarily been fantasy-friendly the last few years, so it's a treat when you can find a dependable one. OK, maybe "dependable" is the wrong word. After all, Bernier has posted a substandard 3.19 GAA and .891 save percentage on the season. However, the journeyman is off to a 5-4-1 start while teammate Jimmy Howard has gone 2-8 with a 3.99 GAA and .887 save percentage. Bernier also boasts wins in three straight, making him a serviceable option for now.

Players to consider from past columns: Bo Horvat, James van Riemsdyk, Victor Olofsson, Joonas Donskoi, Nazem Kadri, Joel Armia, Andreas Johnsson, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Tyler Bertuzzi, Jared McCann, Adam Henrique, Andre Burakovsky, Ryan Strome, Paul Stastny, Eric Staal, Jonathan Drouin, Travis Konecny, Jaden Schwartz, Chris Kreider, Jeff Carter, Oscar Klefbom, Devon Toews, Alex Goligoski, Justin Schultz, Esa Lindell, Anthony DeAngelo, Cam Fowler, Matt Niskanen, Carter Hutton, Craig Anderson, Jaroslav Halak, MacKenzie Blackwood

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