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Waiver watch: Ten players to pick up now

Tyler Toffoli has been scoring of late for the Los Angeles Kings. Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

Every week, we'll mine the waiver wire for lesser-owned assets to help your squad, whether you favor dynasty or the redraft format, and we'll also toss in some tips for DFS players out there. Finally, we will look at some former go-to fantasy assets who may be overvalued - in the short- or long-term - for one reason or another.


Forwards

Jason Zucker, LW/RW, Minnesota Wild (55.1%): In wanting to mention his return from injury, I'm bending my own rules here in including a player rostered in more than 50% of ESPN.com leagues. Before fracturing his fibula in mid-December, Zucker cobbled together 12 goals and 12 assists in 34 games. Back on a Wild scoring line with Eric Staal and Mats Zuccarello, the speedy winger should continue to contribute at a healthy clip. Check on his availability in your own deep league.

Jake DeBrusk, LW, Boston Bruins (44.1%): The recent flurry of three goals and an assist in two games suggests DeBrusk could be on the threshold of productive tear. Skating on a scoring line with David Krejci and with the Bruins' top power play, the third-year player should bust through the 30-goal barrier by season's end. Credit an uncharacteristically slow October and ho-hum November for why DeBrusk is even an option in more than half of ESPN.com leagues. He's in a much more attractive groove now.

Zach Hyman, LW/C, Toronto Maple Leafs (29.0%): Competing on a Leafs' No. 1 line with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, Hyman can't help but consistently dent the scoresheet - as made evident by his goal and two helpers in Sunday's ridiculous 8-4 loss to the Panthers. Aside such top-end company, the Leafs' physical winger inarguably has a place in deeper leagues.

Ilya Kovalchuk, LW/RW, Montreal Canadiens (27.3%): An inspiration for this past Thursday's power-play themed column, Kovalchuk's sudden fantasy appeal is worth another round of discussion. I'll admit, the three assists and one overtime goal in four games has me charmed. While the top special teams gig likely belongs to Kovalchuk for his duration in Montreal, a spot on the No. 1 line also remains his a while longer, with Brendan Gallagher (enduring headaches) back on the injured shelf. And if the Canadiens continue to flounder altogether, the veteran winger is probably off to a contender ahead of the trade deadline. Which isn't a bad thing either.

Dominik Kubalik, LW, Chicago Blackhawks (19.9%): The 24-year-old rookie has scored in four straight (five total goals) while competing on a top-six line with Jonathan Toews. If able to maintain some semblance of this productive pace, Kubalik might not be long for seeing minutes on the Blackhawks No. 1 power play. The Calder Trophy consideration - he won't win, but still - already has 16 goals on the year. Best of all, the ex-Swiss League star is brimming with confidence. Scoop him up.

Tyler Toffoli, RW/LW, Los Angeles Kings (15.0%): With three goals and three assists in his past seven games, the pending UFA is effectively campaigning on his own behalf ahead of the league's trade deadline. And you can also probably count on the Kings' continued commitment to showcase Toffoli as prominently as possible - on a top line with Anze Kopitar - in hoping to secure a good return for the winger before Feb. 24.

Defenders

John Marino, Pittsburgh Penguins (26.5%): The young Harvard lad is quickly growing on me as a fantasy asset for the future as well as the here and now. Playing the point on the Penguins' secondary power play, and seeing top-four minutes at even-strength, Marino has four assists in his past four contests, and nine points total in his last dozen games. And he's perceptibly improving as his rookie season wears on.

Goaltenders

Anton Khudobin, Dallas Stars (16.5%): There's talk the Stars' two goaltenders - both performing superbly during the club's post-Christmas 6-1-0 run - could near an even share of the workload in the club's (hopeful) march to the playoffs. But while No. 1 Ben Bishop is virtually spoken for across the ESPN.com fantasy spectrum, Khudobin is not. Consider Dallas' other netminder as an appealing Daily Fantasy or streaming option when thrown out there.

Cam Talbot, Calgary Flames (8.5%): It's "Talbot Time" in Calgary! Victorious in three-straight while David Rittich sits idle, the Flames No. 2 is on a admirable roll. So go on and have some DFS fun with Talbot before he runs out of gas. Rittich is expected to start against the Canadiens Monday, so maybe Saturday in Ottawa. If he's starting, of course.

Louis Domingue, New Jersey Devils (1.4%): Skipping Tuesday's tilt with the Maple Leafs, I'm all over Domingue as a DFS asset versus the Capitals Thursday - if he's still filling in for an injured Mackenzie Blackwood. Dominant in back-to-back victories over the weekend, the Devils' current go-to stopped all but one of 34 shots in Saturday's win against Washington. When you're hot, you're hot.

Lowered expectations

Martin Jones, G, San Jose Sharks (59.9%): Aaron Dell - not Jones - is the present-day No. 1 netminder for the Sharks. Winner of four of five since the start of 2020 (.939 SV%), San Jose's backup appears confident and capable. Plus, Jones has been mediocre at best most this season for a struggling team now without top center Logan Couture. In my view, it's time to pull the chute on the sliding 30-year-old before matters turn uglier.

Mikko Koskinen, G, Edmonton Oilers (41.5%): Like Jones in San Jose, Koskinen is taking a back seat to the other guy - in this case, Mike Smith, winner of three straight - in the Oilers' crease. While the 31-year-old is likely to elbow his way back into the No. 1 role eventually, there's little point in rostering him during his current stint on Edmonton's bench.