Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha is living up to his billing as a fantasy breakout candidate, and he's somehow still there www.crtside.com/brady-skjei-jersey-c-1_8.html for the taking in more than one-third of Yahoo leagues.
Mantha (LW/RW, 64 percent owned) now has 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in as many games this season after two goals, one assist, three SOG and 25 penalty minutes in Detroit's 8-2 win against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. He's currently 11th overall in Yahoo based on standard-category performance.
He started the season strong on a line with center Dylan Larkin and a combination of either Martin Frk or Andreas Athanasiou, but has recently been moved back to a line with veteran Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist. Mantha was sixth among rookies in even-strength points last season (33 in 60 games) alongside mostly Zetterberg.
But even after the switch back to Zetterberg's line at 5-on-5, Mantha has remained a fixture on the Red Wings' second power-play unit with Larkin, Athanasiou and veteran defenseman Mike Green. Approaching the one-quarter mark of the season, Mantha has already more than doubled his power-play point total (seven) compared to last season (three).
Athanasiou (C/LW, 6 percent owned) missed the start of the season because of a contract dispute, but has combined for four points (three goals, one assist), two PPP and nine SOG over his past two games. He's worth monitoring in deeper leagues given his power-play exposure to Mantha and even-strength spot on the second line with Larkin and Tomas Tatar.
Chicago Blackhawks forward Nick Schmaltz has dealt with injuries and a lengthy scoring drought this season, but is beginning to turn the corner after a shift from center to left wing.
The 21-year-old has played left wing in each of the past three games and had three assists in a 6-3 win against the New York Rangers on Wednesday. Playing alongside center Artem Anisimov (C, 18 percent owned) and usual right wing Patrick Kane, Schmaltz has combined for five assists in his back-to-back multipoint games against the Rangers and New Jersey Devils. He has two power-play points, four shots on goal www.e666e.com/rick-nash-jersey-c-1_42.html and is plus-3 over the two-game span.
Schmaltz (C/LW, 9 percent owned in Yahoo) is currently playing on a power-play unit with Kane, Anisimov, Brandon Saad and defenseman Cody Franson. The Blackhawks have center Jonathan Toews on a separate unit with Richard Panik, rookie Alex DeBrincat and defensemen Duncan Keith and Gustav Forsling of late. Defenseman Brent Seabrook has also stepped in on that second group in place of Forsling.
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