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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Fantasy experts set for 'Midseason Awards' hangout

Thursday, 03.14.2013 / 11:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

We're past the halfway point of the 2012-13 NHL season and it's time to evaluate the fantasy hockey landscape. How's your team looking? Need some assistance?

As always, NHL.com's team of fantasy insiders has you covered.

NHL.com and Rotoworld fantasy hockey experts get together Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET to dish out their selections for mid-season Fantasy Norris, Vezina, and Hart Trophies in their latest Google+ hangout.

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On the 'D'-Fence: Burns back ... but on the wing?

Wednesday, 03.13.2013 / 11:07 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Brent Burns
Defense - SJS
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 1
SOG: 13 | +/-: -5
To say that Brent Burns has frustrated fantasy owners this season would be an understatement. The talented defenseman has missed all but seven games due to injury. He missed the start of the season with a sports hernia, returned for six games in which he didn't register a point, and then was out with a lower-body issue before returning to the ice Tuesday night.

Injuries have been the focal point of what should be a great NHL story. Burns, who was converted from forward to defense during his days with the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League, has shown that he can be a very productive scorer. However, he has managed to play an entire season just once during his career.

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The Front Line: Rangers' Nash a fantasy game-breaker

Tuesday, 03.12.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen provides owners with in-depth fantasy forward analysis in this week's edition of "The Front Line." From updated top-100 rankings to players worth keeping an eye on, Jensen will guide your fantasy squad in the right direction.

If his recent performance is any indication, Rick Nash has taken his game to new heights as a member of the New York Rangers.

Since returning from injury, Rick Nash has put the New York Rangers on his back and carried many owners' fantasy teams as well with his tremendous all-round production. (Photo: Getty Images)

Nash is locked into the longest point streak of his NHL career (10 games) with seven goals and nine assists over that span. He's notched multi-point games in five of his last six outings after missing four contests due to an undisclosed injury last month.

Most importantly, Nash is making a habit of putting the Rangers on his back when their offense goes quiet. Whether it was his power-play onslaught against the Buffalo Sabres on March 3 or his late-game heroics in a road win over the New York Islanders on March 7, Nash has come through in a number of big spots since being shipped from Columbus to the Big Apple last offseason.

Consistency has been the most impressive facet of Nash's fantasy arsenal. He has registered at least a point in 16 of his 20 games played, while turning in shots on goal at a high rate. Evander Kane of the Winnipeg Jets (4.4) is the only forward with a higher shots-per-game average in the League than Nash (4.2) -- who reeled off a career-high 12 on net in his return from injury on Feb. 28.

The Rangers have shuffled lines all season long, but Nash is beginning to settle in during his point streak on a unit with Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin. But regardless of which line he's operated on in any particular game, Nash has put forth maximum effort consistently -- and it's paying dividends from a fantasy standpoint.

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Fantasy All-Access: Second half begins now

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey contributor Matt Sitkoff will provide you with fantasy hockey advice in his weekly piece: "Fantasy All-Access." From the waiver wire watch to roster trends and prospect rumblings, Sitkoff is here to help you all season long.

John Tavares
Center - NYI
GOALS: 16 | ASST: 13 | PTS: 29
SOG: 100 | +/-: -8
Later this week you will get the NHL.com fantasy midseason awards as well as a Google+ #NHLHangout as our crew gives their picks for some of the top awards. With that in mind, in this week's Fantasy All-Access let's hand out some more hardware.

The "Glad I Drafted That Guy Award" goes to John Tavares. While most people got to select Crosby, Malkin or Stamkos with their first-round picks, others were getting Ovechkin, Lundqvist and Quick. In steps Tavares, who was picked on average 9.9 in Yahoo! leagues and has lived up to his late first-round status and made fantasy owners glad they got him over some struggling superstars.

The "Thankful My Waiver Priority Was Top That Week Award" goes to Viktor Fasth. I do tip my hat to those who actually drafted the 30-year-old goalie, but for the majority of leagues whoever swiped this Swedish import off the waiver wire has been enjoying his early success.

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In the Cage: The Markstrom Era begins in Florida

Thursday, 03.07.2013 / 12:20 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, Justin Goldman, the Director of Goalie Scouting for McKeen's Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy goaltenders in NHL.com's weekly segment: "In the Cage." From updated goalie rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.

Jacob Markstrom
Goalie - FLA
RECORD: 1-2-0
GAA: 2.36 | SVP: 0.931
With Justin Peters and Keith Kinkaid making their season debuts Tuesday night, 15 teams have now used at least three goalies this season. Of those 16 goalies (Calgary has used two), we're sounding the fantasy alarm on one we feel is primed to have a breakout in the second half of the season.

Jacob Markstrom is just one piece of a large shipment of AHL players currently in the Panthers' lineup. But due to the inconsistency of Scott Clemmensen and the possible season-ending injury to Jose Theodore, he not only has a chance to play the majority of the minutes, but to carry the entire team.

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On the 'D'-Fence: Letang takes over top spot

Wednesday, 03.06.2013 / 12:30 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

It may be hard to believe, but the Pittsburgh Penguins were able to secure the services of Kris Letang with a third round draft pick in 2005. His offensive skills were evident almost immediately as he went on to score 68 points in just 60 games for the Val-d'Or Foreurs of the QMJHL the year after he was drafted.

Kris Letang
Defense - PIT
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 18 | PTS: 21
SOG: 49 | +/-: 5
The defensive side of his game took a bit longer to mature, but he has spent the past seven seasons becoming one of the finest two-way blueliners in the league.

He skates like the wind, has amazing one-on-one ability, as evidenced by his 16 career shootout goals, and is a crafty playmaker that finds passing lanes that sometimes aren't visible to the naked eye.

Letang might not be as big as Erik Karlsson, or have the booming slap shot of Shea Weber, but he does have the skill and hockey sense to mesh with two former MVPs in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, a 40-goal scorer in James Neal and a host of others in a Penguins' lineup that ranks second in the National Hockey League in goals with 80.

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The Front Line: Linemates key to Staal's resurgence

Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen provides owners with in-depth fantasy forward analysis in this week's edition of "The Front Line." From updated top-100 rankings to players worth keeping an eye on, Jensen will guide your fantasy squad in the right direction.

Eric Staal
Center - CAR
GOALS: 12 | ASST: 13 | PTS: 25
SOG: 74 | +/-: 15
Only 13 players League-wide posted a worse rating than Eric Staal last season. Luckily for his fantasy owners, Staal's new linemates have helped him put a positive spin on the situation.

The Carolina Hurricanes' top unit of Staal, Alexander Semin and Jiri Tlusty has emerged as one of the most lethal fantasy line combos in the land. Each member of the trio sports a plus-15 through 21 games this season -- the best combined rating of any NHL line.

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The Stock Exchange: Projecting final NHL leaders

Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

The grind of a fantasy hockey season is just that: A grind. When you consider all the details, big and small, all the nuances and all the possibilities, you're still left with roster setting and juggling, trade offers and rejections and day-to-day focus and attention. But ain't it great?

To get fantasy hockey owners to where they want to be, NHL.com fantasy insider Sergei Feldman brings you his weekly piece highlighting various players who have increased or decreased their value after each week and suggesting which players to buy or sell moving forward. In the end, you'll have a clearer picture of the marketplace and be in perfect position to enhance your fantasy hockey portfolios.

When the 48-game 2012-13 season began, everyone had a theory as to how things would unfold.

Speculation ranged from injuries dominating early headlines to veterans finding their name atop the scoring list, and everything in between. The uncertainty that came with a compressed season had various fantasy implications.

Will the recognized big names remain the powerhouses we've expected them to be?

Will those young studs break through and lead the new wave of fantasy impact performers?

What to make of it all?

Well, as the halfway point of the season approaches, it's as good a time as any to examine where we stand and what to expect from our current crop of the game's best.

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In the Cage: It's all about the Benjamins

Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, Justin Goldman, the Director of Goalie Scouting for McKeen's Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy goaltenders in NHL.com's weekly segment: "In the Cage." From updated goalie rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.

Ben Scrivens
Goalie - TOR
RECORD: 6-6-0
GAA: 2.41 | SVP: 0.923
For a backup, opportunities to play more than sparingly are few and far between. Unless the starter is struggling terribly, the best chance a No. 2 goalie will have to showcase his value is when an injury occurs.

Some backups go years without getting a chance to step into the starter's role (Jonathan Bernier), while others are blessed with that opportunity right away (Braden Holtby). This season, due to so many minor injuries, a bunch of rookies and backups are earning unforeseen chances to increase their fantasy value.

In fact, with Philipp Grubauer making his NHL debut last night, there have now been 12 teams that have used at least three goalies.

For Ben Scrivens and Ben Bishop, their solid play amidst injuries to James Reimer and Craig Anderson has not only elevated their role within their respective organizations, but they have now become ripe for the picking in both one-year and keeper leagues.

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Fantasy experts set for 'Report Card' hangout

Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

We're nearly six weeks into the 2012-13 NHL season and it's time to evaluate the fantasy hockey landscape. As always, NHL.com has you covered.

NHL.com and Rotoworld fantasy hockey experts get together today at 2:30 p.m. ET to dish out their report cards in their latest Google+ hangout. NHL.com insiders Chris Foster, Pete Jensen, Matt Sitkoff and Brian Metzer will team with NBC Rotoworld fantasy analyst Michael Finewax to answer as many of your fantasy hockey questions as possible.

The experts will provide a dose of reality in their fantasy assessments of some of the most compelling names around the League. They'll reveal their most surprising and disruptive students to this point, while also identifying players who have fully lived up to expectations. Our team will also touch on which highly-owned players should be dropped and which waiver wire assets are worth pursuing.

Submit your fantasy questions leading up to and during the live video hangout via Twitter (using the hashtag #NHLhangout) and through the Google+ comments section.

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NHL.COM FANTASY STORIES | VIDEOS
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