Fantasy Hockey Sleepers for Week 6 (Nov 4-10)

Phoenix Coyotes center Martin Hanzal
Oct 24 2013 Los Angeles CA USA Phoenix Coyotes center Martin Hanzal 11 and Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter 77 go for the puck in the second period of the game at the Staples Center Jayne Kamin Oncea USA TODAY Sports

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

Martin Hanzal (28%):  I honestly have no clue how Hanzal is so readily available in free agency. Five goals, six assists, 21 penalty minutes, 34 shots on goal and 44 hits are numbers that jump out at you. He’s actually ranked 108 overall in my league, and he continues to click with linemate Radim Vrbata. On the season, he’s been held scoreless just three times. What are you waiting for?

Robin Lehner (21%):  Finding a serviceable sleeper goalie is usually next to impossible. But there are plenty of solid backups that just need an opportunity, and Lehner might be one of them. When starter Craig Anderson went down during Ottawa’s game against Dallas, Lehner seized a temporary opportunity to help your fantasy team. Though he hasn’t recorded a win yet, his numbers – 2.73 goals against average and .938 save percentage have been very good.

Andrew Shaw (14%):  The Chicago Blackhawks have four forwards who are must-own players in every league: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Sharp. That means there are two spots left in the top six to play with those guys. But for the most part, Andrew Shaw has been getting it done on the third line (He does see power play time with Kane and Toews). He has two goals and two assists in his last three games, and 44 hits on the season.

Carl Hagelin (14%):  Flying under the radar because of an injury, Carl Hagelin has returned to first line duty for the New York Rangers. Slotted on a line with Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan, Hagelin has two goals and two assists in four games this season. For a team that’s struggling to put the puck in the net—the Rangers are ranked 26th in the league—Hagelin’s offense has been sorely missed. And remember that chemistry he had last season with Rick Nash? Buy him low now before Nash returns to action.

Nino Niederreiter (12%):  The fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft, Niederreiter only had one point in 55 games for the New York Islanders. After that, he wouldn’t see action in the NHL until the Minnesota Wild acquired him in the summer of 2013. The change of scenery has been kind to him – he has nine points in 15 game, including three assists in a game against New Jersey. Playing alongside red-hot Jason Pominville, the potential is there for Niederreiter to continue his strong play.

Week Four’s Picks

I didn’t get to provide sleepers for week five, so let’s check back to Week Four to see how my picks did.

Teemu Selanne has cooled off significantly with only one assist in the last two weeks, and is now on the shelf for a couple weeks after taking a high stick to the mouth. Derek Roy only provided two goals, and doesn’t provide enough of the other stats (penalty minutes, hits, shots on goal) to warrant keeping him around. But I did hit a home run with Frans Nielsen, as he continued his hot start with three goals and four assists in week four alone. Antoine Vermette laid a goose egg in week four, but has scored a goal in two of his last three games to get back on track. And Mark Arcobello had two assists to go along with ten hits and nine shots on goal. Unlike Roy, Arcobello does enough of the other things to hold onto and monitor a bit longer—just keep an eye on his plus/minus.

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