2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 9 Waiver Wire

by Justin Cheng
2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 9 Waiver Wire

We are back with more add/drop suggestions to take your team to the next level. Welcome back to the 2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 9 Waiver Wire!

Wheeling and dealing is the name of the game. The waiver wire is a treasure trove of fantasy output and as always, utilizing the wire to garner fantasy points is of utmost importance.

Each week, we analyze matchups, trends, and depth chart changes to predict which players will add value to your fantasy squad.

A couple of coaches are out, as is much of Vancouver's front office after disappointing starts to the season. This is the point in the season when the situation begins to become dire. If you are outside the playoff picture, it may be time to consider a blockbuster deal. It is also around the time when it becomes safe to drop some of those duds that you have been holding onto in hopes that they turn it around.

If you are looking to make a trade, be sure to take a look at Kyle's breakdown of different players' trade value. I also go into detail every week on which hot players can keep their streak going, and who is bound to cool off in my weekly Unsustainable article.

In this week's edition of the Waiver Wire, we will look at some top additions to give your team the edge.

2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 9 Waiver Wire

Waiver Adds

Alex Iafallo, LW, Los Angeles Kings (26% rostered)

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This is not the first week that the L.A. Kings' forward has been the center of discussion among us writers here at Fantasy Six Pack. And it boggles my mind that Alex Iafallo is somehow still only sitting at 26% rostered at the time of writing this article.

I suspect this will change drastically over the next week.

Iafallo is on pace for 57 points on the season, despite going through a 7-game dry spell prior to the Kings' loss to Anaheim last week. With three goals since then, it may be a sign that Iafallo is starting to heat up again.

Iafallo has impressive deployment for someone owned in less than 30% of leagues. He is currently playing on the Kings' second line with Phillip Danault and Viktor Arvidsson. As a result, on the season he is averaging 18:27 of ice time. Over the past week, this is up over 40 seconds to 19:11 per game.

If you are in need of some depth scoring, Iafallo is a great option. He is shooting over three times per game, nearly doubling his shots/60 minutes from last year (11.6 vs. 6.5). I would recommend jumping on the Iafallo train before it leaves the station.

Evan Rodrigues, C/RW, Pittsburgh Penguins (29% rostered)

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If you are a Pittsburgh fan like myself, you probably are well aware of Evan Rodrigues. If you are not a Penguins fan, you probably have never heard of the man.

Back in February 2020, Rodrigues was acquired by the Penguins as part of the package in exchange for Dominik Kahun. He was subsequently dealt to Toronto to bring back Kasperi Kapanen, before signing again with Pittsburgh as an untendered RFA the following summer.

The one-year, league-minimum deal is looking like a steal for the Penguins.

He currently sits second on the team in goals and fifth in assists with eight of each. While this in and of itself is not terribly impressive, I think Rodrigues' ceiling makes him worth picking up.

With the injury to Brian Rust, Rodrigues is seeing time on the Penguins' top line and top powerplay with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. That alone is a recipe for success, and it has been translating into production. Over the past seven games when he has been skating on the top line, Rodrigues has two goals and three assists.

Once Rust returns, Rodrigues likely sees a demotion to the Penguins' second line. But with Evgeni Malkin drawing closer to a return, I think Rodrigues still has a very high ceiling away from Crosby.

With two more games this week (one against the Anaheim Porous Ducks), Rodrigues is, at the very least, a very good streaming option this week.

Mats Zuccarello, RW, Minnesota Wild (33% rostered)

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Gone are the days of boring, defensive Minnesota Wild hockey. With young talent headlined by Russian phenom Kirill Kaprizov, the Wild sit third in the league with 3.71 goals for/game.

While many Wild players have benefitted from this dramatic style change from years past, Mats Zuccarello has been having a resurgence of a season. Through 18 games, Zuccarello has seven goals and 18 points. Over the past two weeks, he has five points in four games, putting him on pace for 103 points during that span.

While some of his production borders on unsustainable (17.5% shooting percentage compared to 14.9% last year), I still think Zuccarello is a very good Waiver Add option.

He is currently playing on Minnesota's first line with Kaprizov and Ryan Hartman. On that line, Zuccarello has been dominating play at both ends of the ice and has had no trouble finishing on his chances.

2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 9 Waiver Wire

Zuccarello currently sits sixth on the team with an Expected Goals For percentage of 58.4%. He also sits tied for third on the team with a 65.4% Goals For percentage.

I picked up Zuccarello in one of my leagues to be an injury fill-in, and might very well end up holding onto him once my team gets healthy. With four more games this week (including tonight), Zuccarello would be an incredible addition to your team.

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Waiver Drops

Jeff Petry, D, Montreal Canadiens (51% rostered)

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I know Jeff Petry has been a drop candidate in the past. With his recent injury, there is no point in holding onto him. Previously, my opinion on Petry had been rather optimistic. I was sitting in or near first in all of my leagues and could spare biting the bullet on Petry.

However, nine weeks into the season, I am ready to move on. Through 25 games, Petry has just two assists. He has been held off the scoresheet in 14 straight games. During that same span, he posted an unimpressive 28 hits and 17 blocks.

Part of this drop in production has been due to Petry playing a more defensive role in the absence of Shea Weber. I don't foresee this changing as the year drags on - there are no more defensive reinforcements making their way into the fold. Petry has also been getting some awful luck this year, which has contributed to his lack of production. On the year, Petry has an IPP of 10.5%, down from 53.9% last year, and 48.5% over the past three seasons. This cannot possibly stay this low for the whole season.

However, it was announced three days ago that Petry was going to be out indefinitely with an upper-body injury and would not be traveling with the team. With a couple of other defensemen hitting the waiver wire this week in my one league, I figured it was finally time to move on. Add in that his ownership percentage will undoubtedly fall below 50% within the next few days, Petry almost certainly will not be picked up immediately.

If Petry turns it on later in the year when the Habs get healthy on the back end and Price returns, he should still be available to nab.

For now, Petry is a drop candidate, with the caveat that I will be keeping a close eye on him. If he sees his deployment change or he starts to go on a heater, I will be very quick to pick him back up.

Jamie Benn, C/LW, Dallas Stars (63% rostered)

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"Jamie Benn has been serving as a checking line center lately." This is what the Yahoo player note read a couple of days ago, much to the chagrin of the many Benn owners.

From a hockey perspective, this demotion to a checking role is not all that surprising. Through 21 games, Benn has just nine points. The situation has become even more desperate over the past two weeks as Benn has been held off the scoresheet. Despite his struggles, the Stars have managed to string together six wins and find themselves in the mix for a playoff spot.

There is one thing about Jamie Benn that makes him a very safe drop in my eyes. He has seen his ice time steadily decline over the past month. At this point, it has fallen so low that it is not worth a Fantasy roster spot any longer. Over the whole season, Benn has been averaging a respectable 17:25 TOI/game. Over the past month, this has dropped by nearly 30 seconds to 16:58 TOI/game. This worrying trend continues as over the past two weeks, Benn has averaged just 16:04 TOI/game.

And the exclamation point?

Over the past week in his new home on the Stars' checking line, Benn has averaged just 15:15 TOI/game.

If you are still holding Benn in hopes he will turn it around, stop it. I would much rather have any of the Waiver Add options I discussed earlier than be stuck with an aging Jamie Benn.

Check out the rest of our Fantasy Hockey content from the F6P Team!

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