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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Fantasy top 60 'D': Hidden gems for second half

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

The All-Star break is typically looked at as the halfway point of the season, but in reality most teams are already closer to 50 games played. With that in mind, it is time to start taking a hard look at your fantasy rosters and identifying areas you can shore up via trade and/or waiver wire pick-ups.

Believe it or not, you can find significant value this late in the season if you know where to look for it. There are players that might have dealt with injuries through the first half who are getting healthy, or those who will change zip codes via trade.

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Buying low before trades

Tuesday, 01.27.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

The All-Star break has come and gone, so let's officially drop the puck on the stretch run of the fantasy season with some trade talk.

Unless you take initiative on the trade front, your team won't change much the rest of the way as a result of waiver-wire pickups. For the most part breakout stars and hidden gems have been determined, as have the disappointments from whom you expected much more.

Fortunately there's still hope that pieces will fall into place leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline on March 2. With the proper strategy you could land players from around the League at discounted prices who could bring elevated value if/when they are dealt.

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Fantasy All-Access: Islanders' Bailey warrants add

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen was named the MVP of the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game, but what does that mean for his fantasy value for the rest of the season?

The last MVP in his home arena was Alexei Kovalev with the Montreal Canadiens in 2009. The rest of the 2008-09 season the Canadiens winger had 14 goals and 18 assists in 32 games. In 2011 Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp was MVP and followed that performance with eight goals and 17 assists in 25 games. The last All-Star Game played in Ottawa in 2012, the MVP was the New York Rangers' Marian Gaborik, who 16 goals and 21 assists in 35 games.

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Hutchinson evolves into gem

Thursday, 01.22.2015 / 12:25 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com's Evan Sporer will provide you with in-depth analysis of goaltenders. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Sporer will be your go-to guy for advice on fantasy goalies all season long.

Three games played.

Entering this season, that encompassed Michael Hutchinson's NHL resume. The 24-year-old, former third-round pick of the Boston Bruins was entering his fifth year as a professional hockey player. The bulk of that time was spent in the Bruins organization, until Hutchinson signed as a free agent with the Winnipeg Jets following the 2012-13 season.

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Klingberg starring for Dallas

Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 1:04 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

John Klingberg wasn't an unknown commodity before the season, but no one could have predicted the way the fifth-round pick from the 2010 NHL Draft would kick off his career with the Dallas Stars.

The 22-year-old started the season with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League and had four goals and eight points in 10 games. Couple that production with the fact he is a right-handed shot and general manager Jim Nill couldn't help but bring the defenseman to the NHL in early November.

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Props to Caps' Backstrom

Tuesday, 01.20.2015 / 12:01 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom has never been selected to an NHL All-Star Game, but his fantasy value should never be questioned.

Backstrom appears on 25.2 percent of this season’s top 500 Yahoo public-league teams, the fourth-highest frequency among forwards behind Filip Forsberg of the Nashville Predators, Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Which one is not like the others? Backstrom was drafted on average with the 68th pick in Yahoo drafts, while the other three were taken well outside the top 100.

So Backstrom, 27, has met expectations, yet is still fueling fantasy teams around the globe in a similar fashion as those who have caught everyone by surprise. Sounds like a pretty valuable guy.

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Fantasy All-Access: Second-half stars to watch

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

The NHL's best will assemble in Columbus this week for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), but some past all-stars will not be there and those players could give you fantasy value down the stretch.

Jason Spezza of the Dallas Stars is a two-time all-star (2008, 2012 for the Ottawa Senators) and his career points per game go from 0.97 before the All-Star Game to 1.09 points per game after the game.

The recent hot play of the Colorado Avalanche's Jarome Iginla should continue as he has 416 points in 440 games (0.95 points per game) after the All-Star Game.

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Blues forwards, Pastrnak among hot fantasy topics

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Here's a look at five of the hottest topics in fantasy hockey right now.

1. Is the buy-low window gone for some Blues forwards?

The St. Louis Blues players this question refers to are T.J. Oshie, David Backes, Alexander Steen and Paul Stastny. And yes, that window of opportunity is long gone. If you're trying to acquire any of them via trade, you'll have to pay a premium for them. It still might be worth it, but they won't be on the cheap any longer.

Coming into the season fantasy owners had to spend a pretty decent draft pick to land any of these players. Backes (drafted on average with the 50th pick), Steen (75th) and Oshie (82nd) each were drafted before the end of the eighth round. Stastny was selected on average with the 129th pick, late in the 11th round. They all got off to slow starts this season, leaving many fantasy owners in doubt about how best to utilize them. Should they drop them? Trade them? Bench them? Hopefully you stuck with each of them, because as of now all four are ranked as top-30 forwards in Yahoo fantasy leagues during the past 30 days (No. 5 Steen, No. 6 Backes, No. 14 Oshie, No. 27 Stastny).

They likely won't all remain top-30 players for the rest of the season, but it's safe to say they've returned to their expected, high-producing ways.

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Quality of competition

Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com's Evan Sporer will provide you with in-depth analysis of goaltenders. From updated weekly top-30 rankings to trending players and more, Sporer will be your go-to guy for advice on fantasy goalies all season long.

Quality of competition is a concept in hockey mostly applied to skaters.

It's easier to isolate the events of a skater's game every night than a goalie. We can look at what kind of forwards a defenseman is deployed against, and which forwards a coach matches up against their counterparts. Those are discernible segments of the game that we can analyze, and it gives us a glimpse into who is really playing the so-called tough minutes and how they fare in said instances.

For goalies, this kind of observation is a bit trickier.

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Flyers' Streit thrives on power play

Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Mark Streit had a career-high 62 points during the 2007-08 season with the Montreal Canadiens. He had 54.8 percent of those points while his team was on the power play. That production was good enough to place him third among all defensemen in scoring and earned him a five-year, $20.5 million contract with the New York Islanders after that season.

He had 179 points in 286 games with the Islanders, with 85 of them coming on the power play.

Streit's history prior to joining the Flyers last season is important because it shows just how effective he has been on the power play. He has scored 47.4 percent of his career points while his teams have been on the man-advantage, and that production is making Streit a standout performer for the Flyers this season.

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NHL.COM FANTASY STORIES | VIDEOS
Top 60 'D' rankings | Second-half gems
Spin: Islanders' Grabovski playing top line
Top 100 forwards | Buying low before trades
All-Access: Pickups, roster trends, prospect
Watch: Fantasy Forecast for week ahead