The lengthy fantasy hockey season can be a trying one, especially at times like this, when so many key performers have been struck by injuries. Chris Pronger, Jarome Iginla, John-Michael Liles, Sergei Zubov, Jason Spezza, just to name a few, are among the elite fantasy options that owners have had to do without of late, and when lineup shuffling gets tough, it's nice to know there are always some unheralded standouts around to plug in for the short term. Here's a look at 10 "no-names" you might want to consider adding right now:
Peter Budaj, G, Avalanche: With Jose Theodore off to another terrible start, Budaj has stepped up and effectively taken hold of the starting job in Colorado recently. He has started each of the Avalanche's last nine games, registering a 2.75 goals-against average and .909 save percentage, and don't overlook that he has faced 40-plus shots three times and battled the Red Wings, Ducks and Sharks during that span. Budaj only continues to gain valuable experience, and while the Avalanche aren't much better than a .500 team, he's playing often enough and well enough to be considered a weekly No. 2 option. Theodore, meanwhile, is edging ever closer to settling into a career backup role.
Brett Clark, D, Avalanche: He's no goal scorer, but Clark, a late bloomer at age 30, is on pace for a respectable 42 points and a plus-9 rating. Plus, with John-Michael Liles sidelined for a few more weeks with a broken foot, Clark's now more involved on the power play, which boosts his value for the short term. He's a useful guy to have around to fill out your defensive lineup, and while Liles is out, Clark is a useful No. 3/4 defenseman.