2021 Fantasy Hockey Week 1 Waiver Wire

by Tyler Mulligan
Fantasy Hockey Week 1 Waiver Wire

Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Hockey Week 1 Waiver Wire!

The NHL is back in full swing and so is Fantasy Hockey. If you've finished your draft and don't like the look of your squad, do not fret. There is ample time to turn your season around. We're partway through Week 1 of fantasy puck and there's no better time to start wheeling and dealing on route to a championship.

With a shortened 56-game season, fantasy owners will need to make the most of their league's waiver wire. Adding and dropping players is tough, especially this early in the season. It is necessary, however, to keep a strong team as ailments, injuries, and changes in depth charts frequently alter the trajectory of a season.

The main vehicle of success outside of a solid draft is always playing the waiver wire well.

With that being said, we'll take a look at some of the best options possibly left on your waiver wire to start the 2021 campaign.

2021 Fantasy Hockey Week 1 Waiver Wire

Waiver Adds:

Joe Thornton, C, Toronto Maple Leafs (20% Rostered)

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As the Toronto Maple Leafs enter the 2021 season, fans and supporters of the team have grown more and more impatient. Even with a star-studded group of scorers, the Leafs have failed to make waves in the postseason since building a team around sniper Auston Matthews. Many critics suggest Toronto's lack of physicality and experience had contributed to their on-ice misfortunes.

One of the notable Leafs signings this past offseason comes in the form of Joe Thornton.

"Jumbo" as he's cordially referred to as, is respected across the league as one of the greatest players in the modern era. With 1,511 career points, Thornton leads current players in the NHL in points scored. The first pick of the 1997 draft entered the league before his linemate Matthews was born.

Don't let the grey in his beard fool you, he still has plenty of offensive prowess. Playing on the same line as Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, Thornton, who has over 1,000 assists in his storied career, has the opportunity to shine.

Jumbo showed he has a lot left in the tank after Saturday's tilt with the Senators, sniping his first goal in a Leafs sweater.

Fantasy owners should take a chance on Thornton. He's on the top line in Toronto and has been utilized on the powerplay to start the season.

Joel Farabee, LW/RW, Philadelphia Flyers (45% Rostered)

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When you think of Philadelphia hockey, who comes to mind?

For years, it was the duo of Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. More recently, Flyers fans likely point to Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny.

Who scored four points in the opener against Pittsburgh?

Joel Farabee.

Farabee, the second-year player out of Boston College, was the driving force behind Philadelphia's shellacking of the Penguins in the first game of the 2021 NHL season. Scoring a goal and adding a trio of helpers, the 20-year old was dominant. Historically, this ties the best scoring performance by a Flyer in their season-opening game.

Playing on the wing with Flyers captain Claude Giroux can only help Farabee's output going forward.

While he's certainly not going to be able to sustain this production throughout the year, fantasy owners may want to cash in, considering the lethality of Philadelphia's offense. The Broad Street Bullies look like contenders this year and Farabee could be in for a break-out season.

Kasperi Kapanen, LW/RW, Pittsburgh Penguins (26% Rostered)

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After shoring up VISA issues, Kasperi Kapanen was placed on COVID protocol due to flying internationally.

The winger who was acquired by the Penguins this past offseason with a trade with the Maple Leafs missed the Penguins first three games.

Despite missing a bit of action, Kapanen should be a producer out of the gate for the Pens. Slated alongside Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel on Pittsburgh's top unit, the 24-year-old is in a great position to make an impact for fantasy owners.

The Finnish speedster scored registered 13 goals and 36 points in 69 games last year, but he did so while bouncing all over the Leafs lineup. Considering he only averaged just over 15 minutes of ice time for Toronto, the 36-point performance of last season becomes more nuanced. Playing with Crosby should equate to more ice time and as a result, more points.

Regardless of his previous fantasy output,  managers should expect a big year from Kapanen.

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Keith Yandle, D, Florida Panthers (66% Rostered)

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At 66% ownership across Yahoo leagues, Keith Yandle typically wouldn't be on this list.

Going into the 2021 season, Yandle's ironman streak of 866 consecutive games was in jeopardy. The season hadn't started, but rumors were flying out of Miami, indicating that the veteran blueliner was falling out of favor with the Panthers brass. As a result, Yandle topped transaction trends as many fantasy managers believed the gossip, quickly purging the defenseman from their rosters.

Alas, head coach Joel Quenneville opted to start the year with Yandle on the squad, keeping his ironman streak intact. Not only did Yandle play in his 867th consecutive game, but he also silenced the critics by scoring his 100th career goal in Florida's 5-2 victory over the Blackhawks.

Yandle celebrated like it was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final after that goal — and who could blame him?

To get to your cup final, pick up Yandle much to the chagrin of those who dropped him.

Waiver Drops:

Tony DeAngelo, D, New York Rangers (87% Rostered)

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In the New York Ranger's opener against the Islanders, defenseman Tony D'Angelo was atrocious. He made untimely turnovers and was offensively absent. Not to mention, he was posterized by Mathew Barzal, who dangled around DeAngelo as if he were a traffic cone, only to go bar-down with a quick snipe.

DeAngelo also took two penalties that cost his team. While PIMs are an asset in most leagues, when a player is benched as a result of his poor play and unscrupulous penalties, fantasy owners should take note. Rangers head coach David Quinn made DeAngelo a healthy scratch for their double-header against the Islanders and won 5-0.

Regardless of DeAngelo's off-ice political follies, poor play on the ice should make the 25-year-old worth dropping, or at least stashing on the bench.

Max Domi, C/LW, Columbus Blue Jackets (65% Rostered)

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As a Blue Jacket, Max Domi is struggling.

When he was originally traded to the Canadiens, the playmaking forward's career seemed to be revitalized. He was in a hockey town, as opposed to playing in the desert of Arizona.

In his first year with the Habs, he registered 72 points in 82 games, notching 203 shots on goal. Last year he regressed greatly, scoring 44 points in the truncated season.

Now that he's with Columbus, the 2021 campaign hasn't started too hot for the former London Knights product. In his first two games for the Blue Jackets, Domi has managed zero points, two shots on goal to go along with a pair of hits. He has also posted a -3 rating, which is bound to infuriate polarizing head coach, John Tortorella.

Fantasy owners should hold onto Domi over his next two games. If he can't produce against the league's punching bag (Detroit Red Wings), fantasy owners should move on.

Check out the rest of our Fantasy Hockey Content from the great team of F6P writers.

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