NHL Fantasy Hockey Pool Strategy Guide

Pick 'Em Up! Final Week

As this final waiver deadline passes in most leagues over the weekend, owners find themselves in many different situations.  Some are battling for championships, others are locked in a desperate fight to stay out of last or move up the ladder a spot or two, and many have simply given up.  Whatever your situation, this final transaction window offers one last chance to control your fate.

How you treat it will be dictated by your own situation.  If you're already winning, you may not need to change anything.  The further you are ahead, the more cautious you should be.  It's like a football team kneeling down at the end of the game - all you need is one safe player to get you a few points to close it out.  Or, if you're barely clinging to a lead or you're behind but in striking distance, now is the time to be bold.  You need a hero, so consider going all-in on a streaky player or a player coming off injury.  

Top of the Heap

Ryan Kesler C VAN - Kesler has been back for a week, but he's still out there over half the time - owned in 45% of Yahoo! leagues.  He's already racked up six-points in five-games since returning from a broken foot.

Ilya Kovalchuk RW NJ - Kovalchuk was dropped in some cases after the shoulder injury, so it's worth a look to see if he's out there.  He's on the verge of a return.  

Marcus Johansson C WAS - Johansson did nothing for the first half of the season, but he's currently playing on Washington's top line with Ovechkin and Backstrom.  Since returning from injury March 10, he has 18 points in 20 games.  And he's 88% available!

Brian Elliott G STL - Forget the early part of the season, Elliott is back.  Since the beginning of April, he's 6-1 and has allowed just seven goals in those games -  three consecutive shutouts.  Looking ahead, the Blues have six games remaining, and they're a favorite in all but one - PHX, DAL, COL, COL, CGY, CHI.  

Scouring the depths

Zach Bogosian D WIN - It's been a bust of a season for Bogosian, but with Enstrom on the shelf there might be a chance to pull him out of the scrapheap and salvage some value.  With Enstrom out of the line-up, Bogosian has four points in two games.  

Pierre-Marc Bouchard RW MIN - He's been streaky this season - during a stretch in late March he scored seven-points in six-games, but that was followed shortly after by a six-game scoreless drought.  Right now though, PMB has a spring in his step, and he's on a three-game streak.

Islanders Second Line NYI - Josh Bailey, Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo are riding a collective wave.  Bailey and Nielsen each have seven-points in New York's last eight games - one more than Tavares - while Okposo has five over that stretch.  Any one of them might be worth a gamble.

Derick Brassard C NYR - Brassard arrived in New York via the Gaborik deal, and he's enjoying a honeymoon phase in the Big Apple.  He exploded with four points in his first game, and he's recorded a point in each of his last three starts.

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That'll get you started on your research for the weekend, but with everything on the line you need to leave no stone unturned.  Don't limit your search to just these names.  They provide options, but there are always surprises on the wire... especially in the final week.  Good luck!