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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Colorado Avalanche fantasy hockey outlook

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon

The three forwards are ranked within six spots in my offseason rankings (Landeskog at No. 47, Duchene at No. 51 and MacKinnon at No. 52). For two straight seasons, Landeskog has provided extremely consistent production. His average stat line during the two seasons: 25 goals, 38 assists, plus-10, 75 penalty minutes, 14 power-play points and 218 shots on goal. That kind of production makes him a lock as a top-50 fantasy player with an even higher ceiling. Duchene had a disappointing season after posting 70 points in 71 games in 2013-14, but at 24 he obviously can bounce back and is worth drafting around rounds 4-5. Despite Landeskog and Duchene's immense upside, MacKinnon has the greatest potential for stardom. He showed it in his rookie season, with 24 goals and 63 points with excellent peripherals. But he hit a sophomore slump last season and finished with 14 goals, 38 points and a minus-7 in 64 games before suffering a season-ending foot injury. MacKinnon has as much upside as anyone in fantasy hockey, and despite my cautious ranking for him this offseason it would make sense to select him anywhere around round three. Point-per-game production is within reach for the 19-year-old.

San Jose Sharks fantasy hockey outlook

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Joe Pavelski

Pavelski is the only player League-wide with 70-plus points, a plus-10 or better, 30-plus power-play points and 200-plus shots on goal in each of the past two seasons. Even as his shooting percentage dipped from 2013-14 (18.2) to 2014-15 (14.2) and the San Jose Sharks missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs, his fantasy stock didn't waver. His versatility is well-documented with experience at each of the three forward positions and in all situations. If he falls to the third round of a fantasy draft, he should be your priority.

Columbus Blue Jackets fantasy hockey outlook

Saturday, 08.08.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Ryan Johansen

Consistent production is extremely valuable in fantasy hockey and Johansen was one of the most consistent performers in the game last season. Not only did he build off his breakout 63-point season in 2013-14 with 71 points, but he did so without any long droughts. Three games was the longest span he went without a point, doing so twice all season. He recorded at least one point in 52 of 82 games, the fourth most in the NHL. It's scary to think what kind of stats the 22-year-old might put up as he matures. I have him ranked 27th among all players and wouldn't be surprised if he was a late second-round draft pick in many pools.

Philadelphia Flyers fantasy hockey outlook

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek

Giroux cracks my offseason fantasy rankings at No. 1 and Voracek comes in at No. 20. Both players are elite fantasy contributors and should be viewed that way again this season. Though Voracek finished last season as the No. 4 overall player in Yahoo leagues, I would expect some regression this season. His 81 points were a career high and a big jump from the 62 he had in 2013-14. He also had 78 penalty minutes, the most of his career, but two unlikely fighting majors and two 10-minute misconducts contributed to that total. I wouldn't expect that again.

New Jersey Devils fantasy hockey outlook

Thursday, 08.06.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Cory Schneider

The New Jersey Devils goalie is the only Devil in my offseason top-200 rankings and he comes in as the ninth best goalie at No. 53 among all players. If he played on a better team, Schneider would have the potential to be a top five fantasy goalie. Schneider's 68 starts ranked third in the NHL last season, his .925 save percentage ranked fifth and his 2.26 goals-against average was ninth. Over the past three seasons among goalies that have played in at least 100 games, Schneider has a League-best 2.14 GAA and is third with a .924 save percentage (behind Tuukka Rask and Carey Price). Simply put, Schneider is elite. He just won't get you many wins.

Carolina Hurricanes fantasy hockey outlook

Wednesday, 08.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Eric Staal

For the second consecutive season, Staal was a bit of a disappointment to his fantasy owners. After scoring 61 points in 79 games in 2013-14, Staal regressed with 54 points in 77 games last season. He's 30 years old, so there's reason to believe he can revert back to his old form, but the issue that remains constant is the lack of offensive firepower surrounding him in Carolina. Either way, Staal is capable of being a solid contributor in all categories except plus/minus and should be targeted sometime after round six (he's ranked 75th in my offseason rankings).

Toronto Maple Leafs fantasy hockey outlook

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: James van Riemsdyk

My top-rated Maple Leafs player comes in at No. 100 overall in my offseason rankings. Over the past three seasons van Riemsdyk has scored 75 goals, good for 16th most in the NHL during that time. He is a talented player and he can score. No one is denying that. The question is, now that Phil Kessel has been traded, who is he going to play on a line with this season? Van Riemsdyk is certainly capable of scoring 25-plus goals and having 250-plus shots for a third consecutive season even without Kessel, but I'm not sure he'll help fantasy owners in any other category. Look to grab him as rounds 8-9 approach, but use caution.

Undervalued: Morgan Rielly

Rielly delivered more than anyone could've expected entering his second NHL season as a 20-year-old. He finished with eight goals, 21 assists, nine power-play points and 148 shots on goal in 81 games. Now entering his third season, Rielly could make the jump to the next level for fantasy defenseman, granted the level is still that of a No. 5 type fantasy blueliner. Rielly is loaded with potential and he's already put together quite a highlight reel in his short NHL tenure, but like van Riemsdyk, there just isn't much talent on the roster to work with. Along with Dion Phaneuf, Rielly should be one of the Maple Leafs' top power-play threats from the blue line, and if all goes well he could eclipse 35 points.

Arizona Coyotes fantasy hockey outlook

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Ekman-Larsson was one of two defensemen in the NHL to lead his team in scoring (Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators was the other). However, he was the only blueliner to lead his team in goals and points (23 and 43, respectively). His 23 goals led all NHL defensemen and his 38 goals over the past two seasons are tied for second most among blueliners (Karlsson has 41). Ekman-Larsson, 24, should continue to improve while Arizona begins to deploy its youth movement (see deep sleeper below) and if his plus/minus improves, he could end up turning into a top-10 fantasy defenseman.

Undervalued: Steve Downie

PIMs, PIMs and more PIMs. As long as your league counts penalty minutes as a category, Downie needs to be drafted with one of your final picks. In the past two seasons, only Antoine Roussel of the Dallas Stars has more PIMs (357) than Downie's 344. However, Downie accomplished that number in 27 fewer games. Downie is also capable of chipping in offensively after scoring 14 goals and 14 assists with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season.

Buffalo Sabres fantasy hockey outlook

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Evander Kane

Kane ranks as my highest Sabres player in my offseason fantasy rankings (No. 80 overall) and a change of scenery could do wonders for this talented power forward. Since joining the NHL in 2009, only three other active players have totaled at least 100 goals, 100 assists, 350 penalty minutes and 1,200 shots on goal (Corey Perry, James Neal and Eric Staal). Keep in mind Kane has appeared in at least 42 fewer games than any of the other three. If Kane can stay healthy, he could be in line for a big fantasy season.

Edmonton Oilers fantasy hockey preview

Saturday, 08.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Taylor Hall

Hall had arguably the least productive season of his five-year career in 2014-15 with 14 goals and 38 points in 53 games (.72 points/game). A shooting percentage of 8.9 percent could've had something to do with his low goal total, but health continues to be Hall's biggest question mark. If he can avoid injury, Hall has the potential to be one of the better fantasy performers of the future. With the possibility of playing on a line with rookie Connor McDavid and usual suspect Jordan Eberle, Hall should be in line for a big bounce-back season.

Undervalued: Jordan Eberle

Including his breakout 34-goal, 76-point season in 2011-12, Eberle has 241 points in 287 games (.84 points/game). Those 241 points are tied for 17th most in the NHL during that stretch, and Eberle has proven to be extremely durable as well, missing seven games. Let's also not forget he had 32 points in his final 32 games last season after a tough start. Target Eberle between rounds five and six with hopes he exceeds that draft position by the end of the season.

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