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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Buy-low veterans with hidden fantasy upside

Thursday, 08.14.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Year after year, fantasy owners who cash in on steals and breakout candidates around the NHL improve their chances of claiming that coveted league crown.

But while emerging young talent is always at the forefront of the offseason conversation, it's important to also keep an eye on veterans looking to prove they have something left in the tank.

We're not talking about elite-level players who have stood the test of time (Pavel Datsyuk, Joe Thornton, Jaromir Jagr, Marian Hossa, etc.) or even middle-round assets (Pascal Dupuis, Dan Boyle, Patrik Elias, Mike Ribeiro, etc.). Fantasy owners need to be wary of hidden gems in the latter stages of their careers who can sneak back into fantasy relevance and boost their teams in the process.

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Fantasy owners must be aware of goalie trends

Tuesday, 08.12.2014 / 12:15 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

It's no secret that goaltenders can make or break a fantasy team's championship aspirations.

A total of 97 goalies played in at least one NHL game last season and 90 started in at least one, meaning that fantasy owners must do their homework to achieve success.

Here are some interesting nuggets from the 2013-14 season, along with some corresponding advice, to bring to your fantasy draft table when deciding on goalies:

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NHL.com's fantasy starting lineup of past decade

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

From season to season, players who display statistical prowess across the board define the fantasy hockey landscape. Though 100-plus point producers are always welcomed with open arms, championships in multi-category leagues go beyond that.

Fans who have played fantasy hockey for much of the past decade probably recall the category-coverage assets who either lifted your team to great heights or spoiled your pursuit of a title.

NHL.com has constructed a starting lineup of the best single fantasy seasons from 2005-06 to present. These players got the job done with elite-level production in multiple categories while avoiding the liability tag in any standard-league category.

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Young fantasy players to target in keeper leagues

Tuesday, 08.05.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

We all know that keeper/dynasty leagues run differently and continue to get more creative in terms of which players you can keep and how long you can keep them. If you have Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Steven Stamkos and Alex Ovechkin on your team and rules allow you to, of course you are going to keep them as they will be near the top of fantasy rankings every year they are playing.

With that in mind let's examine 10 players currently in the NHL who will be 22 or younger at the start of the season but have at least two years of service in the League and can help you this season and beyond.

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Expect 2014 draft class to make fantasy impact

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Rookies can make a huge impact on fantasy teams and can lead to long-term success in dynasty/keeper leagues. Nine players from the 2013 NHL Draft class saw action in at least one regular-season game in 2013-14. That group was made up of Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche), Aleksander Barkov (Florida Panthers), Seth Jones (Nashville Predators), Elias Lindholm (Carolina Hurricanes), Sean Monahan (Calgary Flames), Rasmus Ristolainen (Buffalo Sabres), Valeri Nichushkin (Dallas Stars), Nikita Zadorov (Sabres) and Kristers Gudlevskis (Tampa Bay Lightning).

MacKinnon became the youngest Calder Trophy winner in NHL history; however, he was joined by Lightning teammates Tyler Johnson (undrafted) and Ondrej Palat (2011 seventh-round pick) as finalists for the award, showing rookie production doesn't just come from freshly drafted players. But if previous seasons are any indication, some members of the 2014 draft class should play a big role in fantasy.

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Offseason top 200 fantasy hockey rankings

NHL.com insiders Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen rank most valuable players

Tuesday, 07.15.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

With many players changing addresses over the past few weeks, NHL.com fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen have put together their offseason top 200 fantasy hockey player rankings.

These rankings have been built based on what the insiders have learned following several free agency signings and trades during the offseason. As of right now, this is their recommendation for draft day. As training camp draws closer, they will update these rankings and release position-by-position breakdowns.

These rankings should be viewed as our experts' opinionated projections of the League's most valuable fantasy players based on expectations of the 2014-15 season. Factors taken into account include position eligibility, line combinations, category coverage, contract status and statistical performance from previous seasons.

NOTE: These rankings project value in standard fantasy hockey leagues, which include a 6x4 category scoring system: goals, assists, plus-minus, power-play points, shots on goal, penalty minutes, goalie wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts.

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New teams alter fantasy outlook for these 10 players

Wednesday, 07.02.2014 / 5:30 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

Free agency means addresses are changing for players around the NHL, and it's never too early for fantasy owners to wonder how signings and trades will impact the landscape in 2014-15.

Here's an early look at how you can expect these players to stack up with their new teams in 2014-15 -- for better or worse:

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2013-14 NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Awards

Tuesday, 04.15.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

With the 2013-14 regular season now in our rearview mirror, it's time for our team of NHL.com Fantasy Hockey insiders to reflect on the players that have defined the fantasy landscape -- for better or worse.

Our fantasy experts -- Matt Cubeta, Pete JensenMatt Sitkoff, Brian Metzer and Justin Goldman -- have cast their votes, outlining the best fantasy players at each position based on eligibility in Yahoo! leagues.

The list of year-end awards is also complete with the biggest underachievers and most notable fantasy rookies, as well as sleeper and bounceback candidates to keep an eye on for next season.

So, as we officially say goodbye to another compelling fantasy hockey season, here are the 2013-14 NHL.com Fantasy Hockey awards.

NOTE: If a player is listed at multiple positions in Yahoo! Leagues, then it is the writer's choice to nominate that player for any eligible positional fantasy award.

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In the Cage: Final goalie ranks and a look ahead

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

This fantasy hockey season was truly the Year of the Goalie.

When the Winnipeg Jets' Michael Hutchinson and the Anaheim Ducks' John Gibson made their NHL debuts Monday night, they became the 91st and 92nd goalies to appear in a game this season. On Thursday night, John Curry will become the fifth goalie to suit up for the Wild this season, extending the total to 93. That's an impressive number, because only once since the 1999-2000 campaign has there been more than 92 goalies to appear in a season (94 in the 2003-04 season).

With so many unknown fantasy goalie assets weaving their way in and out of starting lineups this season, the only thing more impressive than the number 92 would be the play of the class of 22 rookies. After Gibson's 5-2 win against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night, rookies have a combined 103-81-25 record. Their 2.52 goals-against average and .912 save percentage (5,658 saves on 6,206 shots) also includes 15 shutouts.

It's hard to believe we're wrapping up the third year of "In the Cage" articles, but in doing so, let's look back at some of the best fantasy goalies from the regular season.

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On the 'D'-fence: Final rankings and a look ahead

Wednesday, 04.09.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Jim Morrison, front man of the classic band The Doors, once penned these haunting words:

"This is the end

Beautiful friend

This is the end

My only friend, the end"

They are very fitting for where we are today -- the end of the fantasy hockey season. While most leagues have already wrapped, others are going through their championship rounds and will end this weekend.

It seems as if it were just yesterday that we posted our preseason defensemen rankings, and now we are about to cross the finish line on another season. While some have won and some have lost, here's hoping these rankings helped you on a weekly basis as you encountered tough decisions on who to acquire, who to drop and who to ride for the duration of each scoring period.

It has been an exciting ride as we saw the Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson reclaim the throne atop of the defensive heap, the Winnipeg Jets' Dustin Byfuglien put up career numbers while earning eligibility on the right wing in most formats and Victor Hedman far surpassed expectations in helping the Tampa Bay Lightning weather the loss of Steven Stamkos.

Nine of our preseason top 15 have managed to rank in the top 13 scorers at the position as of April 8, but there were also plenty of surprises at the position that will change the face of our rankings well into the future. While the structure of many blue lines around the NHL is sure to change over the summer, below is where we feel the position stands as the season concludes.

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NHL.COM FANTASY HOCKEY COVERAGE
30 in 30 fantasy hockey preview index
Ward vs. Khudobin | Promising Wild trio
Elliott vs. Allen | Gibson vs. Andersen
Offseason top 200 fantasy hockey ranks
Be aware of goalie trends, strategies
Buy-low veterans with hidden upside

OFFSEASON FANTASY RANKINGS

RANK TEAM PLAYER
1. Sidney crosby
2. Steven Stamkos
3. Corey Perry
4. Evgeni Malkin
5. alex Ovechkin

CUBETA & JENSEN'S COMPLETE RANKINGS