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(Page 26 of 55)
Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

On the 'D'-fence: Kronwall strong without Lidstrom

Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

The Detroit Red Wings have always been a great source of fantasy production from the blue line, but that was due in large part to the presence of the now retired Nicklas Lidstrom. Would someone on the roster step up to offset such a substantial loss?

Heading into drafts this season, owners hoped that Ian White, who had a resurgent year playing alongside Lidstrom, would be able to provide some offensive punch. His 32-point campaign was good enough to get him drafted in 79 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey leagues. After producing just one point in February and two on the year, he is currently owned in just 18 percent of leagues.

Many were drawn in by the potential of youngster Brendan Smith, our 51st ranked defenseman, selecting him in 76 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey drafts. Unfortunately a sprained right shoulder has sidelined him for all but eight games this season. He has just one assist on the year and has seen his ownership drop to 16 percent.

While a number of owners were left disappointed by White and Smith, many others are patting themselves on the back for selecting a guy who has spent the past nine seasons as Lidstrom's understudy, Niklas Kronwall.

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The Front Line: Brunner leads crop of youngsters

Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy forwards in his weekly segment: "The Front Line." From updated rankings to players you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy forwards expert all season long.


It's been a fun first five weeks to the 2012-13 NHL season. We've seen plenty of highlight-reel goals, assists, saves and hits, but the one thing that seems to be talked about throughout every game this year is the emergence of young players in the National Hockey League.

On opening night we saw rookie Jonathan Huberdeau score his first goal and add two assists for the Panthers. That same night, Tampa Bay's Cory Conacher notched a goal and an assist in his NHL debut and Russian sensation Vladimir Tarasenko chipped in two goals and five shots on goal in his first game.

All three of these extremely talented youngsters have been fantasy relevant this season. Conacher leads all NHL rookies with 17 points in 18 games, with his Yahoo! fantasy ownership at 59 percent. Huberdeau is second on that list with 13 points in 18 games -- he's owned in 45 percent of leagues. Tarasenko (who was lost due to an injury last week) is tied for third in points with 12 in 17 contests -- he's owned in 50 percent.

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Fantasy All-Access: The goalie carousel continues

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.

Of the 538 goalie starts so far going into Monday's action, there have been 72 goalies to see action and 69 goalies to start in a game. Already this season we have seen starters Craig Anderson, James Reimer, Miikka Kiprusoff, Mike Smith, Kari Lehtonen, Corey Crawford and Jaroslav Halak spend time on the injury list.

Some more in-depth numbers to confuse fantasy owners, as 15 teams have their starting goalie play 75 percent or more of the games and 12 teams have their starting goalie play 68 percent or less. Finally, 11 teams have played three goalies this season, while the Flames have played four.

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The Stock Exchange: Chasing down consistency

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.

Life as a fantasy hockey owner is no picnic.

Constant roster juggling is inevitably followed by digging through the waiver wire, which is followed by a slew of (ridiculous) trade proposals, which inevitably is followed by more roster juggling.

Enter consistency, the Advil for fantasy hockey owners. It's that one characteristic that's so hard to come by year in, year out, even for the most (seemingly) reliable of players. That's what all fantasy owners strive for, the knowledge that your guy will get your couple goals, few assists, PIMs, hits and shots in a given week and throughout the year.

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In the Cage: Emery defying fantasy odds in Chicago

Thursday, 02.21.2013 / 12:10 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.

There has been plenty of talk about owning tandems this season, and for good reason. The condensed schedule has already forced nine teams to use three goalies, with Calgary already using four. Backups are playing on a more consistent basis than ever before, and that trend won't change anytime soon.

Ray Emery
Goalie - CHI
RECORD: 6-0-0
GAA: 2.28 | SVP: 0.925
In terms of fantasy value, Chicago clearly has the best tandem so far, and while they'll eventually lose a few games and regress statistically, we still believe they're the best tandem to own in the long run.

Corey Crawford is 7-0-3 with a 1.65 goals-against average and .935 save percentage, which has been a big surprise considering he was drafted 136th overall on average in Yahoo! Fantasy leagues.

Even more impressive than Crawford's play, however, has been the play of Ray Emery.

His fight to overcome Avascular Necrosis was an inspiring story that transcended sports and motivated athletes everywhere. Combined with the time he spent rehabbing and re-strengthening his hips and lower body, then staying healthy since joining Chicago, the lockout was more of a luxury than a layoff for the 30-year-old native of Hamilton, Ontario.

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On the 'D'-fence: 'A great disturbance in the Force'

Wednesday, 02.20.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com Correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy defensemen in our weekly segment: "On the 'D'-fence." From updated defensemen rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Metzer will be your fantasy d-man expert all season long.

Erik Karlsson
Defense - OTT
GOALS: 6 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 10
SOG: 63 | +/-: 6
It isn't often that the reaction to an event in the Star Wars universe can perfectly capture the essence of something that occurs in the universe of fantasy hockey, but that is what happened one week ago in Pittsburgh.

When Erik Karlsson was lost for the season, fantasy owners felt a great disturbance in the force similar to the one that Obi-wan experienced when the Galactic Empire destroyed the planet Alderaan in Episode IV: A New Hope.

"I felt a great disturbance in the Force," Kenobi says in the aftermath of that cinematic event. "I fear something terrible has happened."

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The Front Line: The return of Ryan Kesler

Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 12:33 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy forwards in his weekly segment: "The Front Line." From updated rankings to players you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy forwards expert all season long.


What would you say if you could pick up a 28-year-old forward that had a 41-goal campaign two seasons ago, has two 70-plus point seasons under his belt and has consistently been known to be a major asset in the PIMs department? You'd have to be interested, right?

Of course we're talking about Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler, who is miraculously available in 41 percent of Yahoo! fantasy leagues. If you spent a draft pick on Kesler back in January and have had him stashed either on your injured reserve or your bench, you're finally being rewarded about a month later.

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Fantasy All-Access: Buy low on some fantasy stars

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.

Some of the top fantasy players have continued to struggle past the quarter mark, but that just means you can target them and buy low on a superstar that could lead you to a fantasy championship.

Claude Giroux
Right Wing - PHI
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 7 | PTS: 10
SOG: 38 | +/-: -6
Claude Giroux has not scored a goal in seven straight games, his longest streak since he went without a goal in 12 straight from Jan. 5 to Feb. 2 last season. There's no doubt Giroux, whose average draft position in Yahoo! Leagues was fifth overall, has struggled without his linemates from last season, but a key to buying low on him is that one of his wingers, Scott Hartnell, has been skating and could return soon.

Another top-line center struggling to find the back of the net is Henrik Sedin. Sedin, whose average draft position was 16.7 in Yahoo! Leagues, scored his first goal of the season Sunday and has only 24 shots on goal, infuriating his owners. One thing to consider, however, is typically the most productive month of his career is March, when he's scored 34 goals and 142 points in 159 career games.

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The Stock Exchange: Love-hate relationships

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 it comes to fantasy hockey, the relationship between owners and the players appearing in the starting lineup is special.

An untimely injury to a star asset is like an injury to you. A slump by someone you rely on could have you on the brink of dropping or trading the player, the fantasy hockey equivalent of a divorce or separation. On the other hand, a stint of impressive performances is like watching a first-born take their first steps.

Maybe not quite like that. The point is, it's a love-hate relationship. And what better time to explore that? Yesterday was Valentine's Day and love was in the air. Today, it's on the ice.

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In the Cage: Consider Lehtonen elite fantasy goalie

Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 1:00 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.

Poolies everywhere are raving about the surprising value of Roberto Luongo and Craig Anderson, and for good reason. They're running away with the key statistical categories, and they're arguably playing the best hockey of their entire careers.

Kari Lehtonen
Goalie - DAL
RECORD: 7-2-1
GAA: 2.17 | SVP: 0.933
But when it comes to discussing goalies entering the truly "elite" category, nobody deserves to be included in that conversation more than Kari Lehtonen.

So far this season, Lehtonen has been the Dallas Stars' backbone and MVP. He went 2-2-1 in his first five games, posting a .926 save percentage and allowing just 13 goals on 176 shots. This month he's on fire, going a perfect 5-0-0 with a .940 SV%, allowing just nine goals on 151 shots.

Even in his three losses, Lehtonen is still posting a respectable .906 SV% and giving Dallas a chance to win. Of the 22 goals he has allowed, only one has come while trailing by one goal, and only once this season has he allowed more than three goals in a game (4).

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NHL.COM FANTASY STORIES | VIDEOS
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Top 100 forwards | Pacioretty adds element
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All-Access: Fisher stepping up for Predators