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Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Week 18: San Jose Sharks

nhl-large-san-jose-sharksEach week in the waiver wire I try to incorporate a particular theme that revolves around a fantasy hockey strategy. This week the focus is on week 18 of the season. As many of you are in week-to-week and head-to-head style leagues having players who play more frequently is an obvious advantage. Another advantage is having players who play on the off nights and in particular on Sunday as that gives you a chance to steal a win on the final day. One team that fits both these descriptions next week is the San Jose Sharks. They play on all the “dark days” on the schedule with games on Monday (vs. Calgary), Wednesday (vs. Washington), Friday (vs. Arizona), and Sunday (vs. Tampa) for a total of four games.

The Sharks are a decent offensive team scoring 2.77 goals per game with a total of 147 on the season and ranking 13th overall.  The Sharks have been hot of late as well with a 6-2-2 record in their last ten games.

Here are some players who should be available in most leagues you can target for a potential short term gain for the following week.

NHL: DEC 27 Sharks at KingsMelker Karlsson, F 30% Fantrax Owned

Karlsson has come out from nowhere this season as he was on very few peoples radar. He failed to crack the roster out of training camp, but was called up from the AHL on December 9th. In his season debut he recorded an assist on Barclay Goodrow’s first career goal, and he had a five game goal scoring streak from January 3rd to the 10th. He has worked his way p the Sharks depth chart and has recently been playing on a line with Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton. This late bloomer now has nine goals and five assists in 25 games. He is only 24 so don’t sleep on this golden opportunity to claim a keeper off the waiver wire.

Matt Nieto, F 28% Fantrax Owned

Nieto is more well-known than Karlsson, but slightly less owned. His stat line is less impressive with only four goals and nine assists after 44 games but his pedigree is far more established. The second round pick was second on the team in rookie scoring last season to Tomas Hertl and five points in seven playoff games. Despite the sophomore slump he is well worth a waiver claim for the week at the very least.

Chris Tierney, F 14% Fantrax Owned

The time to buy low on Tierney is now. Last season as Captain of the OHL London Knights he led the team in scoring with 89 points in 67 games and in his time in the AHL this season he has scored 24 points in only 26 games. While his NHL scoring totals are only one goal and five assists in 17 games played he has four points in his last two games. Do not hesitate to add this potential fantasy keeper to your roster for free.

James Sheppard, F 8% Fantrax Owned

Sheppard has been a regular on the third line with Goodrow and Hertl this season and has produced 15 points in 48 games. The upside on Sheppard is limited but his ice time is assured for this season, and he has seen some spot duty on a line with Thornton last season and this season when injuries arise. Add Sheppard to your roster if the previous options are not available as his 8% ownership likely makes him an option for this week.

Daniil Tarasov, F 5% Fantrax Owned

A relative unknown, Tarasov was signed by the Sharks as a free agent in 2013. Last season in the AHL he established himself as a legitimate prospect with the Sharks by scoring 31 points in 47 games. He started the season in the AHL again this season and scored 20 points in 34 games before being recalled to the NHL after Tyler Kennedy was injured. In his  two NHL games he has one assist. He may not be in the NHL for a long time this season, but if you have the space, add him for a good time.