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Buffalo’s surprising start warrants attention from fantasy managers

Craig Anderson

Craig Anderson

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

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Anthony Duclair (35%) and Yanni Gourde (34%) should be scooped up immediately if they are available in your leagues.

Andrew Copp’s rostered percentage in Yahoo leagues skyrocketed from 27% a week ago when he appeared on Waiver Wired to 62%. Andrew Mangiapane, who was highlighted last week, went from 13% to 63% and Nate Schmidt jumped from 7% to 35%.

Boone Jenner is still available in 75% of Yahoo leagues, while Dustin Brown can he had in 79% of Yahoo leagues.

Now, let’s get into this week’s suggestions:

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Victor Olofsson (Buffalo) - LW, RW - Rostered in 33% of Yahoo leagues

Olofsson took a step back last season after a strong showing during his rookie year, but he is off to a fantastic start in 2021-22. He has notched four goals and four assists in seven games. Even though Olofsson’s 21.1 shooting percentage is a bit worrisome, he has the best scoring upside on the Sabres and should be rostered in more leagues. He leads the team in goals, points and power-play points.

Craig Anderson (Buffalo) - G - Rostered in 31% of Yahoo leagues

Anderson has been excellent for the surprising Sabres early in the 2021-22 season. The 40-year-old netminder has posted a 4-1-0 record, while stopping 153 of 163 shots. Anderson has a 1.98 goals-against average and .939 save percentage. His rostered percentage has been steadily increasing, but he is still available in the majority of leagues despite his superb start.

Ivan Barbashev (St. Louis) - C, RW - Rostered in 23% of Yahoo leagues

Barbashev has been all over the scoresheet to begin the 2021-22 campaign, while playing alongside Vladimir Tarasenko and Robert Thomas. His career-high six-game point streak to kick off the year came to an end on Saturday. However, Barbashev remains an intriguing pickup for fantasy managers. He has notched three goals, including a shorthanded marker and three assists, which includes one on the power play. Barbashev has also compiled 12 shots and 13 hits, while averaging a career-high 15:56 of ice time per match.

Pavel Zacha (New Jersey) - C, LW - Rostered in 19% of Yahoo leagues

Zacha was New Jersey’s leading scorer last season with 17 goals and 35 points in 50 games. He sits atop the team in goals (4) and points (5) again at the start of the 2021-22 season. Zacha also has 15 shots on goal and eight hits following six contests. He has been skating alongside Nico Hischier on the top line of the Devils and occupies a spot on the top power-play unit.

Reilly Smith (Vegas) - RW - Rostered in 16% of Yahoo leagues

Smith has been piling up shots this season, with 28 on target through eight games, and he has two goals in his past three outings. He has generated four points on the year. The trio of Smith, Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson has been tasked with carrying more of the load for Vegas because of injuries to Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone. Smith will look to carry his recent momentum into a four-game week for the Golden Knights.

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Evan Rodrigues (Pittsburgh) - C, RW - Rostered in 15% of Yahoo leagues

Rodrigues filled in admirably as a top-six center on the Penguins due to the absences of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jeff Carter. He registered three goals and two assists in the first five games of the year. Crosby and Carter are back now, but Rodrigues is still occupying a key role. He skated alongside Crosby, who made his season debut, and Jake Guentzel on Saturday. The trio was held off the scoresheet, but Rodrigues had four shots on goal. He remains an option for fantasy managers as long he doesn’t slip back into the bottom-six forward group.

Troy Terry (Anaheim) - RW - Rostered in 14% of Yahoo leagues

Terry appeared on Waiver Wired last week when he was rostered in only 1% of Yahoo leagues. He has racked up four goals and five assists during a seven-game point streak. Terry has 17 shots on target over that span and two power-play points (one goal, one assist). The 24-year-old forward is finally shaping up to be a productive top-six player for the Ducks.

Charlie Coyle (Boston) - C, RW - Rostered in 10% of Yahoo leagues

Coyle has three goals and five points in seven games. He has done exactly what the Bruins were hoping he would do following the departure of David Krecji, which is providing secondary scoring. Coyle has lined up nicely alongside Taylor Hall on Boston’s second line. The Bruins only play twice this coming week, but have four games on tap for the one after.

Mikael Granlund (Nashville) - C, RW - Rostered in 9% of Yahoo leagues

Granlund has been centering Nashville’s top line between Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene for most of the season. He is tied with Forsberg and Ryan Johansen (rostered in 10% of Yahoo leagues) for second on the team in scoring. Granlund has two goals and six points through eight outings. The Predators begin a six-game road trip with four matches on the schedule for this coming week.

Artem Zub (Ottawa) - D - Rostered in 9% of Yahoo leagues

Zub has impressed with an increased role during his second NHL season. He has skating on the top pairing with Thomas Chabot, while averaging 23:45 of ice time per contest. Zub has been credited with nine shots, 23 blocks and 15 hits in seven games. He has also supplied an assist in four of his past five contests. The Senators have four games on tap for this week, which makes Zub an attractive streaming option. He has long-term appeal too if his offensive contributions continue because of his category coverage.

Honorable Mention:

J.T. Compher (Colorado) - C, RW - Rostered in 19% of Yahoo leagues

Compher appeared on Waiver Wired last week in this spot when he was rostered in 17% of Yahoo leagues. He is still seeing time on Colorado’s top power-play combination, but he also got a chance to play with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog on Saturday because of injuries to Mikko Rantanen and Andre Burakovsky. His spot on the first line is tenuous and Colorado’s schedule is light, with two games in each of the next three weeks, but Compher is worth monitoring again.