Fantasy Hockey Sleepers for Week 11 (Apr 1-7)

Each fantasy season is full of injuries and players that just don’t meet your expectations. Being able to adjust on the fly and find studs on your league’s waiver wire is critical in a short season. Here are five players owned in less than 30% of Yahoo leagues who can help your team: 

Calgary Flames left wing Curtis Glencross
Calgary Flames left wing Curtis Glencross waits for a face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period at Nationwide Arena Columbus beat Calgary 5 1 Russell LaBounty USA TODAY Sports

Curtis Glencross (23%):  Glencross is the first sleeper to repeat in this column, but I assure you he won’t be the last (see Matthias, Shawn). He has cooled a bit since he was last featured here, but he still leads the Flames in goals with 14, and could see a bump in ice time with the departure of Jarome Iginla. Consider Glencross a wise investment.

Martin Erat (21%):  Erat’s leading the Predators in scoring with 21 points in 33 games. Those aren’t exactly eye-popping numbers, but his eight points in four games going into Saturday’s game vs. Colorado peak my interest. He led the team in scoring last year and tied for the team lead in scoring in 2011-12, so he’s a fairly consistent option. But I say fairly because his points typically come in bunches. He’s clicking for the time being, so take advantage of it while it lasts.

Nikolai Kulemin (11%):  Joffrey Lupul and Nazem Kadri have been unstoppable together. Kulemin gets to play with Lupul and Kadri. Sometiems, it’s just that simple. He has five points in six games while being their third wheel. I’m convinced that any Maple Leaf would be worth owning as long as Lupul and Kadri are his linemates. Seriously, if they plug Colton Orr into that line, I’d add him to my team. My Lupul/Kadri kool-aid cup runneth over.

Martin Hanzal (6%):  Most times, I’ll identify sleepers who are already streaking. Hanzal does have four points in three games now, but before that he went seven games without a point. So why bother picking him up now? Because he’s even strength and power play linemates with Radim Vrbata, who I believe to be Phoenix’s best scorer. Vrbata’s warming up after missing a month, and if the 6’5″ Hanzal goes to the front of the net, more good things will be in store.

Shawn Matthias (3%):  Matthias has also been featured here before, and judging by his lowly three percent ownership, there hasn’t been much faith put into his abilities. Shame on you. I’m going to try to sell him to you again. I understand he’s never done anything fantasy-worthy in any of his previous seasons. Even at the beginning of this season he was irrelevant in fantasy leagues.

But things are different now. Stephen Weiss is out of the picture. Matthias’s hard work night-in and night-out earned him more ice time and – more importantly – better linemates. Instead of checking line duty, Matthias plays with Calder-frontrunner Jonathan Huberdeau and a healthy Peter Mueller. He hangs around in the slot and in front of the net on the power play. He’s scored two goals in each of his last two games. And this season, he’s scored goals like this one.

And this one.

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then those clips are at least worth somewhere near 500,000. That’s some incredible speed (and hands) for someone who’s 6’4″ and 225 lbs.

Last Week’s Picks:

Patrick Wiercioch only has one assist in his last five games now, but it’d be nice to see his stats if he averaged 20+ minutes a night. Poor Robin Lehner didn’t get a start all week, and will likely be the odd man out when Craig Anderson finally returns to the lineup. Mike Fisher continues to tally close to a point per game, though it’s hard to score when your team gets shut out like they did against the Avalanche yesterday. R.J. Umberger had a goal and an assist in his last game, but Artem Anisimov is the Blue Jacket du jour. And Pierre-Marc Bouchard has three points in his last four  games, but you may want to swap him for Matt Cullen – he has more points and shoots far more often than Bouchard.

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