We are through the first couple weeks of the regular season and you may be regretting some of your draft picks. Here is a guide to some depth forwards to improve your lineup. All “depth forwards” are owned in less than 50% of ESPN fantasy leagues:
Nail Yakupov (EDM)
Nail Yakupov has taken a lot of heat in recent years for his performance compared to other top picks. However, he has played well recently since being bumped to the second line in Edmonton. Playing next to McDavid, Yakupov has two goals, three points, and eight shots on goal in only two games. Yakupov and McDavid seem to have some chemistry and I would add Yakupov now to take advantage.
Ales Hemsky (DAL)
Ales Hemsky is playing on the third line in Dallas, but has still put up six points in five games. Hemsky has been playing his best hockey in years to begin this season and the Stars are getting good production from their top three lines. His ice time has been limited, but his impact has not been and with a plus-3 rating he is worth a look if you need a depth forward.
Tuevo Taravainen (CHI)
Tuevo Taravainen has been solid for the Blackhawks to begin the year with two goals and 19 shots through six games. I do worry about his inconsistent minutes (16:48 in opener, but only 12:45 on Saturday), but he has looked capable on offense learning from the Blackhawks veteran. The 21-year old should improve as the season progresses.
Tyler Ennis (BUF)
Tyler Ennis is playing on the Sabres top line yet is owned in less than a third of ESPN fantasy leagues. Averaging almost 20 minutes a game, Ennis has two points in his last two games and is playing on the Sabres top power-play unit. The Sabres may not be a well-rounded team, but they have plenty of talent on the top lines and Ennis will have his opportunities for shots on goal and points. Don’t forget about the Sabres young winger.
Cody Eakin (DAL)
Cody Eakin is Hemsky’s linemate on Dallas’ third line, but that line is good enough to be many team’s second line. Eakin has four points in five games and looks at home playing next to
Hemsky. Eakin was a quality depth player last year and I expect the same this year. A 50 point season is definitely possible.
Tobias Rieder (ARI)
Tobias Rieder is owned in only 19.7% of ESPN fantasy leagues, yet the second-year player has five points in five games and a plus-2 rating for the Coyotes. Rieder is averaging more than 16 minutes per game this season, plenty of ice time to make an impact offensively. His positive rating probably will not continue due to Arizona’s likely struggles, but that amount of ice time is rare to find on the waiver wire. Rieder has shown he can score with those minutes.
Adam Henrique (NJ)
Adam Henrique is being overlooked by too many fantasy owners as he is owned in only 19.2% of ESPN leagues. The Devils forward has four points in five games, including the game-winner Sunday against the Rangers. The first-line center is also an alternate captain this year and will be counted on to generate offense for the Devils. If you need forward help, he will not hurt you in ice time either.