Zach Werenski was owned in 10% of Yahoo leagues last week. Now, he has five points in four games for Columbus and his ownership has jumped to 36%. Grab him while you still can! However, the fastest riser from last week goes to Richard Panik, who climbed from 15% to 53%. He has already matched his point total from last season with six goals and two assists after six contests.
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This week’s offerings provide a mixed bag of forwards along with a couple of goaltenders and another young defender who is quickly making a name for himself.
Jacob Markstrom (VAN) - G - Owned in 32% of Yahoo leagues
Markstrom has been excellent early into the season. He has started four of Vancouver’s five games going into Sunday’s action. Ryan Miller missed one match due to “tightness” in his core areas. Miller played well in his only appearance of the year, but Markstrom has a 3-0-1 record with a .923 save percentage and a 1.95 goals-against average. He has always had starter potential in the NHL and at worst could share time with Miller this year. Markstrom is worth stashing as an extra netminder.
Artem Anisimov (CHI) - C - Owned in 32% of Yahoo leagues
Despite playing with Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin for practically the entire 2015-16 season, Anisimov was available on waivers for most of the year. He struggled with consistency while earning 20 goals and 42 points in 77 contests. However, he has turned it up early into the 2016-17 campaign with four goals and eight points in his first six matches. A hot start and a seemingly permanent spot with Kane and Panarin makes Anisimov an attractive option right now. Ride him while he’s hot.
Lee Stempniak (CAR) - LW, RW - Owned in 26% of Yahoo leagues
Stempniak and his linemates have been firing on all cylinders for the Hurricanes at the beginning of the season. Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner clicked last year and Stempniak has seamlessly stepped in with four goals and six points in five games. Rask (three goals, three assists) and Skinner (two goals, four assists) have contributed six points each as well. Just a reminder, Rask is owned in only 15% of Yahoo leagues.
Jimmy Howard (DET) - G - Owned in 19% of Yahoo leagues
Howard has been remarkable in two appearances for the Red Wings this season. He has posted two victories, while stopping 62 of the 63 shots he has faced. Petr Mrazek is Detroit’s top goalie, but the door may not be completely closed on Howard. His impressive start mixed with Mrazek’s early struggles could give him more opportunities. The Wings play four times this coming week, including a back-to-back situation over the weekend so Howard is sure to see more action.
Tomas Plekanec (MTL) - C - Owned in 17% of Yahoo leagues
Plekanec hasn’t exploded out of the gate, but he has contributed three assists in four games. He is still trying to develop chemistry with newcomers Artturi Lehkonen and Alexander Radulov, but the 33-year-old center has the potential to post 50-55 points this year. He ran hot and cold last season when he generated 54 points in 82 games and he reached the 60-point mark in 2014-15, so you shouldn’t count him out yet.
Tanner Pearson (LAK) - LW - Owned in 11% of Yahoo leagues
Pearson is worthy adding right away. He has produced four goals and one assist in just three games since returning to action from a two-game suspension. Pearson received the ban during the preseason and he has made up for lost time with a three-game goal streak on 10 shots. He has been reunited with Jeff Carter at even strength and skates on the second power-play combination.
Mike Fisher (NSH) - C - Owned in 10% of Yahoo leagues
Fisher wasn’t feeling well Saturday night against Pittsburgh, but the newly-minted Nashville captain has to like his start to the 2016-17 season. He has scored a goal in three of his four appearances and he has added an assist as well. All of his points have been scored on the power play. Fisher had only 23 points in 70 games last year, but he should easily surpass that total. When Fisher has been at his best he is capable of around 20 goals and 50 points, which is what you can expect this season. He has also won 60 percent of his 75 faceoffs and he has 14 hits along with five blocks, so he can help in other categories as well.
Darren Helm (DET) - C - Owned in 7% of Yahoo leagues
Helm has meshed nicely with Thomas Vanek and Gustav Nyquist this season. The trio has combined for 19 points, as Detroit’s most productive combination so far. Helm has four goals on 11 shots and one assist in six games. He also has a plus-8 rating. Feel free to take advantage of his hot start while you can because it is unlikely to follow him through the year.
Brandon Sutter (VAN) - C - Owned in 6% of Yahoo leagues
Sutter’s first season with the Canucks was one to forget. He skated in 20 games because of injuries and generated nine points. Sutter already has five points, including four helpers, in five games this year. The goals should start to come eventually as well if he keeps firing away. Sutter has racked up 17 shots and 28 total shot attempts thus far. He is also seeing time on the top power-play unit.
Michael Matheson (FLA) - D - Owned in 5% of Yahoo leagues
Matheson impressed in limited action with the Panthers last season and he has carried that over into the 2016-17 campaign. He has two goals and one assist from the back end in five games. Aaron Ekblad and Keith Yandle have deservedly attracted most of the attention of fantasy GMs on Florida’s defense corps, but Matheson has made a strong case for himself to earn more recognition. He has averaged 20:13 of ice time per game and he has been credited with 13 shots on goal.