Finding Fantasy Value: Dustin Byfuglien a worthy trade target

Winnipeg Jets big man Dustin Byfuglien takes out one of his own players after laying a monster hit on Philadelphia Flyers' Jordan Weal.

Here is our weekly list of players that can provide a boost to your fantasy team, starting with two players to target in a trade and the remainder to consider adding from the waiver wire in your league. Whether or not you add these players to your team should depend on your league settings (points only versus multi-category), other available players, and team needs.

Dustin Byfuglien, D

Like Brent Burns, Byfuglien is a multi-category beast on the blue line. And like Burns, Byfuglien has yet to score a goal this season. However, Byfuglien has still managed to provide solid numbers across the board if you ignore the goal total. One concern might be that his shot total is down from last season, but the Jets’ success this season has also meant that his plus-minus has been trending upward. Since it’s a matter of time before Byfuglien finds the net, see if you can trade for him at a discount. But if the price for Byfuglien is too high, you could consider the next defenceman on the list.

Justin Faulk, D

Faulk’s point total is relatively low, as he has just a goal and five assists in 20 games. Yet he’s a solid contributor in numerous other categories. For example, did you know that he averages three shots per game? Also, five of those six points have come with the man advantage, as he is a mainstay on the Hurricanes’ first-unit power play. He also holds his own in hits and blocked shots. Once the point totals start to appear, you’ll have a D-man that fills the statsheet in just about every category. All it might cost you is a defenceman at the level of Jake Gardiner, Ryan McDonagh, or T.J. Brodie.

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Justin Abdelkader, LW

Speaking of multiple categories, the gritty Abdelkader should be on the radar for fantasy leaguers that count physical categories such as penalty minutes and hits. Two seasons ago Abdelkader surpassed 100 penalty minutes and 200 hits, proving his worth in those categories. Now he’s on a four-game point streak, which includes two points in each of his last three games. Overall, he has a very respectable 16 points in 21 games. So at the moment, his ability to contribute in many categories is difficult to ignore.

Artem Anisimov, C

Anisimov’s fantasy value seems to be directly tied to who his linemates happen to be. So now that he’s playing alongside Patrick Kane again, it makes sense to target him. Anisimov entered Wednesday’s action with five goals over his last three games. With his assist on Kane’s goal on Wednesday, Anisimov is now also riding a four-game point streak. With 10 goals already, Anisimov is almost halfway toward reaching his career high of 22 goals, even though he has played just 20 games.

Kevin Fiala, LW/RW

The addition of one player can help another player on the same team if they can find the right chemistry. So far, Fiala is that player that has been helped fantasy wise, now that his new linemate is Kyle Turris. Fiala has six points and 18 shots over his last six games, which is how long Turris has played in a Predators’ uniform.

The 2014 first-round pick is only three points shy of matching the 16 points he reached in 54 games last season, yet he still hasn’t found his way onto fantasy rosters in most leagues.

Anton Khudobin, G

With a 2.89 goals-against average and .897 save percentage, it’s fair to say that Tuukka Rask has yet to find his groove. So the Bruins have turned to their backup, and he’s managed to post three consecutive wins with a 1.30 GAA and .963 SV% over those wins. Khudobin hasn’t offered much fantasy-wise since the 2013-14 season, when he posted a 2.30 GAA and .926 SV% over 36 games, so this run probably won’t be much more than short term. But for now, he’s a necessary handcuff for Rask owners and those needing goaltending help while he’s hot.

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