Nashville Predators You Need on Your Fantasy Hockey Team

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Fantasy sports are a big business, and now that the fantasy hockey season is here, you’re going to need to know who to pick up off the waiver wire and who to drop entirely. There are a lot of Nashville Predators that are still out there on the waiver wire that will be smart pick-ups as the season rolls along. Everyone needs a sleeper pick, and the Predators have a bunch of them.

These are players that are available in at least 35% of fantasy leagues, so you’re not going to see the obvious guys like Shea Weber or Pekka Rinne on this list. Also, all projected statistics come from Yahoo! fantasy projections.

All of this advice assumes that a league has around 10-12 teams. If your league has less, you might be just as well standing pat, but either way you should keep an eye on these guys to see where they end up, because there’s nothing better than looking like a genius in front of your friends because of that great sleeper pick you snagged off the waiver wire.

Waiver Wire Pick-ups

1. Seth Jones

Jones is available in about half of all Yahoo! fantasy leagues, and it’s understandable as to why more people haven’t picked him up. Last season his stat lines weren’t all that great with just 8 goals and 19 assists for 27 points. Trust me, that is going to change this year. It’s obvious in this short season that he’s gained a lot of confidence on the puck and has been given more of a green-light to take the puck into the zone and create offensive chances. So far in this short season he has two assists in four games.

This could very well be Jones’ big breakthrough season. If he’s available in your league and you have an extra roster spot, he’s a great player to stash in your line up.

Last season Jones averaged 1.5 shots per game. So far this year, he’s averaging 2.25. You can reasonably expect that to rise to as high as 2.5-2.75 shots per game, which just means more points for you, and more goals are going to come.

Jones is also going to see his time on the power play rise, and that will help out those in leagues that count power play points. Also, expect his +/- of 3 from last year to rise exponentially this year. He’s already a +3 as of Friday.

Right now, Seth Jones is projected to have around 6 goals and 21 assists with a +/- of 4. No way. He could easily garner you 10-12 goals and 25-30 assists and his +/- should be in the teens. He will help you out as an offensive defenseman and by the end of the season he’ll be owned in almost every fantasy league no matter what the size.

2. Craig Smith  

Smith is owned in 62% of Yahoo! leagues right now, and I’m willing to bet that number is going to rise quickly as the season moves along. So it’s time to jump on the Craig Smith bandwagon baby! He’s already made a splash in this young season with two goals in the first two games.

Right now, he’s projected to have 25 goals and 29 assists this season. Smith also helps you out a bit by being listed as both a Right Wing and a Center, which gives you some flexibility. If he’s hanging around on your waiver wire and you have a need for him, he’s a pretty good pickup in the right leagues.

I actually really love the projections for him, they seem about right. Except for his projected +/- of 5.7. If you look at his offensive zone deployment from last season, it was 66.2%. That might dip a bit this year as Lavy starts to trust him more in the defensive zone, but most of his zone starts will still come in the offensive zone.

Also, he’s going to become a much bigger part of the power play as the season rolls along. He’s already picked up one power play goal this year, and you can bet your bottom dollar that he’s going to have many more.

Smith is a more consistent player than his line-mate Colin Wilson, so he’ll be the guy you want to pick up for the long-term out of the two of them. Smith should be looked at in any league with at least 10 teams. And speaking of our good friend Colin…

3. Colin Wilson

Here’s a guy you should really only be looking at if you’re in a larger league with over 10 teams. Wilson is owned in only 14% of Yahoo! leagues right now. Even with his breakout year last year and his fancy new contract, it would seem that fantasy owners still don’t trust him. I can’t say I blame them either. He’s streaky and he’s never proven that he can be a top-level performer over the course of multiple seasons.

Right now Wilson is projected for around 17 goals and 21 assists, which I think is a bit low. He’s not for everyone, but he is listed as a Left Wing and a Center, so he does have some value as a plug and play type player.

Let me be clear here, I don’t recommend everyone goes out and picks him up and immediately inserts him into their starting lineup. I do however, recommend you keep a very close eye on him, because when he gets hot, he gets on fire.

With all that being said, Wilson plays some on the power play, he picks up some hits and if you happen to play in a league that scores Corsi, you’re money. I don’t think any league does that, but I’m just saying, he’s an advanced statistics darling. He can break out and go on a huge scoring streak at any minute.

Wilson is a great player to keep in mind when you have an injury on your team and need someone to fill a void for a few games. If you’re savvy about when you do it, he can be a big difference maker for your team and you can use him as trade bait later on.

These three Nashville Predators can easily be difference makers for your fantasy team and propel you to victory over all of your friends. Because there’s nothing better than hoisting that fantasy Stanley Cup and holding it over everyone’s head for an entire year.

Next: Nashville Predators: 5 Things We Learned From First Loss

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