In deeper fantasy leagues many find themselves facing a difficult choice of who to select in later rounds. Typically I would look to a third line player on a strong team like Detroit or Vancouver to provide some offense and maybe boost my plus/minus. Lately however, I have been trying to buck that trend and look outside the box when it comes to the depth of my roster.
There are some gems out there from the NHL's bottom third that can be acquired at the end of a draft or simply plucked off waivers early in the year. Here are a few that come to mind:
Matt D'Agostini - STL
D'Agostini quietly had a solid year for the Blues. He played in every game potting 21 goals and 46 points. He finished third on the team with six power play goals and first with five game winners. He was also a plus-8 on a weak St. Louis squad. The kicker is he ranked just 20th on the team in ice-time, averaging just under 15 minutes a game.
Bryan Little - ATL
There weren't a ton of bright spots for the Thrashers last season but Little was one of them. He led the team in plus/minus at plus 11 and finished with a respectable 48 points. Little also had two shorthanded goals and two three game point streaks, one four game point streak, and a five game point streak.
R.J. Umberger - CLB
Umberger is a great score for head to head weekly leagues. His 57 points last year were second on the Blue Jackets and he finished first on the team in ice-time among forwards. He also led the team in power play goals with eight and shorthanded goals with three. Not to mention he rattled off a ten game point streak and had a four game stretch in February where he notched eight points.
Marty Reasoner - FLA
Four of his 14 goals were game winners and that was good for first on the Cats. He also played in every game and was a plus player. A UFA July 1st, Reasoner may find himself on a contender next season and if so, his numbers should improve even more.
Frans Nielsen - NYI
Nielsen can really boost your PK categories. He sniped seven goals shorthanded which accounted for more than half his entire season total of 13. His 44 points are nothing to sneeze at and his plus-13 ranking led the team.
Luke Schenn - TOR
Stay with me on this one, if you are in a league with some obscure categories he can be valuable. Schenn was the only player in the league last season with over 250 hits and 150 blocks. Despite the toll that can take on one's body he proved his durability by playing in every game. His point totals have also increased every year he has been in league from 14 to 17 to 22.
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