DON'T HIT SNOOZE: Forwards By Luke Garrison (Monday October 15th, 2018)
TORONTO—This is a new monthly segment on Puck&Field called "DON'T HIT SNOOZE" where we will focus on five sleepers who can potentially make your roster better immediately.
We're only a handful of games into the season but your fantasy team is probably already letting you down.
Let’s take a look at the latest crop of potential forwards who could become the next great bargain. All of these players are less than 60% owned on the wire. The owned percentage and position eligibility for each player are from Yahoo fantasy sports.
He hasn't been playing on either of the top two lines; however, there's a lot to like about him playing with Sam Bennett and Dillon Dube. He's still playing roughly 16 minutes per night and is also seeing time with the second power play unit. Elias Lindholm and Austin Czarnik are currently ahead of him on the right wing side of the depth chart but they're far from locks on their respective lines.
Should Neal be able to get any kind of hot streak together, he could certainly find himself moved into top-six duties. He's about as consistent as they come in terms of veteran goal scoring. Over the past five years, he's averaged 26 goals and 226 shots each season. He's owned at a bit of a higher rate than most sleepers but perhaps he's still kicking around on the wire in your pool.
If you need some more goals going forward on either wing, he could be someone to target. He currently has a goal and an assist through his first four games.
Anders Lee—New York Islanders (44% Owned) Pos. Eligibility: LW
Here's another potential goal-scoring winger to consider. It's unlikely that he'll score 40 like last season given that he's no longer on a line with John Tavares; however, he's racked up 74 goals and 114 points over his past two campaigns and will be on the top power play unit with the likes of Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal.
He will also continue to be apart of the top-six while taking a regular shift on the second line with Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson. He's played over 18 minutes in three of his four games so far and has registered two goals, an assist, and 13 shots on goal. He's certainly be able to produce at a half-decent rate given all of the opportunity he'll receive. Kasperi Kapanen—Toronto Maple Leafs (44% Owned) Pos. Eligibility: RW
After three seasons of waiting, it would appear as though Kasperi Kapanen will finally get a chance to stick in the Leafs' lineup full-time. What's even more encouraging for his fantasy value is the fact that he's been playing on a line with Auston Matthews. As the Nylander saga continues, it would appear as though the young winger will continue to play with Matthews although no one knows for how long.
His two goals and six points in six games look very appetizing and he should be picked up and started until his time on the top line comes to an end. He's a former first round pick and the raw skill has always been evident. Perhaps he's finally found some consistent finish.
The rookie winger has gotten off to a hot start for the Sens posting two goals, five points, and nine shots on goal through his first three games. Skating on the second line with Mark Stone and Zack Smith has clearly been paying dividends. He's also seen time on the second power play unit.
He's set to receive a real opportunity to make an impact in Ottawa given that the team is clearly not going to be competitive this season. He has only been playing around 14 minutes per night so far but that can be expected given this is his first taste of the NHL. The sky's the limit for the fourth overall pick from last June's draft.
Nick Bjugstad—Florida Panthers (23% Owned) Pos. Eligibility: C/LW/RW
It's actually sort of surprising that Bjugstad is owned at such a low clip. He posted 19 goals and 49 points last season and should be able to build off of those numbers as a member of the top line alongside Aleksander Barkov and Evgenii Dadonov. The fact that he has three-position eligibility is of course another very appealing trait.
The only thing to watch for is his injury concerns. He hasn't missed a ton of time over his career so far; however, last season was also the first time he's ever gotten into all 82 games. If he can stay healthy, he's going to produce. He's on the second power play unit as well and the sky's the limit if he can stay consistent.
He's already out with an upper-body injury that appears to be day-to-day at this point. Tread with caution, but feel free to stash for the immediate future.