Chris Betcher

Time is always ticking. Photo by Chris Betcher.

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Operator: “911 … what is your emergency?”

Caller: “I need some assistance – I am at risk of not winning my fantasy hockey playoffs!”

Now is the time to pounce on some of the top players in fantasy hockey who were left for dead by frustrated owners. I have seen several “stars” drafted in early rounds placed on waivers, many in the over 80% owned range, which should be rostered. Expect this trend to continue for a few more weeks. The other thing to look for at this point would be consistent scorers returning from injury. Pick your spots and scoop them up for the long season. Remember, we play until late March, so a lot of situations will change. Make room for a few of these perennial owned players now before they go quickly.

Playing the waiver wire along with taking advantage of favorable schedules can boost your roster into the playoffs.

Here are some free agent options that may be available in your pool:
(Own % as of Wednesday Oct. 30th in Yahoo leagues)

Forward Team % Own Notes
Jake Virtanen VAN 1 Good streaming option, Canucks putting in goals
David Kreji BOS 19 Back from injury on high scoring team
Conor Garland ARI 7 Sneaky pickup adding points to hits
Bryan Rust PIT 3 Deployment adds to value, don’t forget him
Defense Team % Own Notes
Filip Hronek DET 21 Flury of shots that are starting to connect
Sami Vatanen NJ 4 You could do a lot worse, 4 games week 6
Goalies Team % Own Notes
Brian Elliott PHI 12 Been hot, can throw in a bad start, goalies are scarce
Cam Talbot CAL 10 Watch his use, if Flames heat up he could add wins

Schedule advantage Week 6 Nov. 4 – Nov 10:

  • 4 games, 12 teams: ARI, BOS, CHI, DET, EDM, NYR, NJ, OTT, PHI, TOR, VAN, VEG
  • 2 games, 5 teams: ANA, BUF, DAL, TB, WAS

Looking further ahead to Week 7:

  • 4 games, 3 teams: ARI, OTT, WAS
  • 2 games, 4 teams: CBJ, NYI, NAS, TB

Dave Schneider can be contacted by email at