Brian Fluharty - USA TODAY Sports
Fantasy Hockey

Fantasy Focus: Mining the waiver wire on January 17

Today we're going to unearth some of the waiver wire gems just waiting to be mined for short-term gains with the potential for long-term payoff too, if things break right.

Depending on the depth of your league, the importance of the waiver wire probably isn't lost on you, especially early in the season. Every single year we see players who were unheralded, underappreciate, underrepresented on draft day come out of the shoot hot and pay dividends for those who were fast enough to scoop them up. Some of those players fall back down to earth and end up back in the heap; others continue to defy preseason expectations and turn into tangible pieces capable of helping your team charge toward the fantasy playoffs.

This week, I'll explore some early candidates that are owned in fewer than half of Fantrax leagues at the time of writing this article but suddenly find themselves in fruitful situations. I'll also provide my confidence in them continuing to be rosterable. Remember, these are players who were not supposed to have big seasons, so even a confidence level of 30 percent should be considered strong in this situation.

The week of January 17 is a nice one for total games, especially if we can avoid too many postponements. Some top teams like the Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers, and Pittsburgh

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