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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

On the 'D'-fence: Remembering the season that was

Wednesday, 04.24.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Where did the time go?

It seems like it was only a few weeks ago that we were talking about the end of the lockout, training camps opening and preparing for hastily-planned fantasy drafts -- apparently what happens when you cram 48 games into a 99-day window.

The season has been a wild one in terms of defensemen.

We saw last year's Norris Trophy winner, Erik Karlsson, suffer a horrific injury back on Feb. 13 when his Achilles tendon was severed by the skate blade of Matt Cooke. The situation might have been even more devastating to fantasy owners who invested a top draft pick in the young Swede than for the Ottawa Senators, as there wasn't a quick fix on the waiver wire to replace his otherworldly production.

P.K. Subban exploded onto the scene, taking over the top spot in our rankings with a mixture of power-play prowess, goal-scoring ability and all-round category coverage not often found in the defensive ranks.

The Front Line: Season-ending forward rankings

Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

We've made it. It's been a fast few months, but the end is finally here for fantasy hockey owners. In all likelihood, you're either already done with fantasy hockey, battling it out in the championship round of your head-to-head league or hanging on for dear life at the top of your rotisserie league. Either way, it's probably been a treacherous season, as all fantasy hockey seasons seem to be, and through good and bad decisions, tough ones and easy ones, you've made it to the end. While fantasy hockey is just about over, there's never a bad time to reflect on the year that was and start looking ahead to the future.
Patrick Kane scored the NHL season's first goal and never looked back. He completed an outstanding fantasy season with 21 G, 30 A, plus-9, 8 PIMs, 17 PPP and 128 SOG. (Photo: Getty Images)

From Patrick Kane scoring the NHL season's first goal, to Sidney Crosby proving that he's still the most dominant player in the NHL when healthy, to P.K. Subban taking the fantasy world by storm as the new top defenseman, to Alex Ovechkin rediscovering his elite form, this season has been filled with storylines galore. NHL.com's fantasy hockey staff has discussed these storylines and highlights on a daily basis and hopefully we provided you with enough good advice to help you in your leagues.

Today, the advice ends. Instead, I will send you off with a look at my season-ending top-100 fantasy forward rankings and I'll discuss some player values for next season.

Many things will change between now and September (when most fantasy hockey drafts begin to take place), but as of April 23, 2013, this is where I believe the world of fantasy hockey forwards stands.

Fantasy All-Access: Keepers to keep an eye on

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

We have hit the final week of the regular season and some of our readers are preparing for their league's championship. For the others, don't worry, we will look at some of top prospects' keeper value going into next season, because how someone finishes can help you decide if they are worth building your team around.

For those fighting for bragging rights with your friends all summer and that engraving of your name on the league trophy, here are some schedule facts that you need to know when setting your lineup this week. Teams with four games scheduled this week are the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes and Ottawa Senators. Don't forget the Senators have that make-up game with the Boston Bruins on Sunday, making owning one of their players extra important.

The Columbus Blue Jackets only have two games scheduled this week.

In the Cage: Candidates for fantasy goalie MVP

Thursday, 04.18.2013 / 3:20 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Overall workload always plays a key role in which goaltenders earn consideration for the Vezina Trophy, but due to the 48-game schedule, determining three finalists will be a tricky endeavor for the National Hockey League.

With so many injuries suffered by the goalie union this season, a solid argument could be made for nearly eight or nine goalies. And while you can point to save percentages and win totals to validate those arguments, it ultimately comes down to the individual votes of 30 general managers.

Sergei Bobrovsky
Goalie - CBJ
RECORD: 18-10-6
GAA: 2.03 | SVP: 0.931
We've held our own internal discussions here at NHL Fantasy, and with 10 days left in the regular season, we feel the Vezina Trophy is still up for grabs. So with that in mind, we've gone ahead and presented our case for three goalies we feel are the most-deserving -- with a fantasy slant, of course!

Sergei Bobrovsky -- Blue Jackets: With only eight goals against during a current five-game winning streak, Bobrovsky continues to be one of the best goaltending stories of the season. Boasting a brilliant 2.03 goals-against average and .931 save percentage (second only to Craig Anderson's .949 save percentage), he's the driving force behind Columbus' push for the playoffs. His .938 even-strength save percentage is better than anyone who has played 20 or more games, and his .731 save percentage in shootouts is fifth-best for goalies facing more than 10 attempts. Widely considered the most improved goaltender this season, if Columbus punches a ticket to the post-season, there's no denying Bobrovsky has strong odds to win the Vezina.

Fantasy experts set for final Google+ hangout

Thursday, 04.18.2013 / 10:40 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

We're less than two weeks away from the conclusion of the 2012-13 NHL season, so your fantasy hockey team is either battling for a championship or reflecting on the year that was.

As always, our team of fantasy insiders has you covered.

NHL.com fantasy experts get together Thursday, Apr. 18 at 2:30 p.m. ET for the final Google+ hangout of the season to answer all your questions and dish out their picks for positional fantasy awards, including overall MVP.

On the 'D'-fence: Fantasy owners Green with envy

Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

The Washington Capitals went 2-8-1 in their first 11 games of the season.

Mike Green
Defense - WSH
GOALS: 10 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 19
SOG: 77 | +/-: -2
That start left them reeling and written off by many pundits. Instead, the Capitals would go on to become one of the streakiest teams in the League and as March came to an end they were still trying to get back to the .500 mark.

Then everything changed. A switch was flipped as the calendar flipped to April.

The team, led by its stars, has run off eight consecutive wins, taking them from looking for a lottery pick in the NHL Draft to leading the Southeast Division and third place in the Eastern Conference.

Alex Ovechkin has been a big reason for the turnaround, but the contributions of Mike Green cannot be overlooked.

The Front Line: Getzlaf, Kunitz among surprises

Tuesday, 04.16.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Back in January, I discussed some early fantasy hockey surprises after 10 days of NHL action. The list included Patrick Marleau leading the League in goals, Alex Ovechkin not living up to expectations, Cory Conacher's hot start and many others.

Months later, we clearly notice there have been plenty of changes since those first 10 days of the 2012-13 season. With just a week and a half remaining in the regular season and fantasy hockey, let's have a look at the biggest surprises from the forward position this year.

1. Chris Kunitz is still ranked third among all players in Yahoo! leagues (21 G, 26 A, plus-29, 39 PIMs, 14 PPP, 92 SOG). This comes after he was initially ranked 142nd coming into the year and after many people expected his value to decline when Sidney Crosby got hurt. He continues to prove us wrong.

2. Sticking with the Pittsburgh Penguins, three of the top four players in plus/minus this season are Kunitz (plus-29), Pascal Dupuis (plus-28) and Crosby (plus-26) -- Jonathan Toews is sandwiched in there at plus-27.

Fantasy All-Access: Down the stretch we come

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday during the season, NHL.com 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.

Here at the Fantasy All-Access we try to get fantasy owners ready for the week ahead, and if you are knee deep in your league's playoffs here are some schedule oddities you should pay attention to when making lineup choices this week.

The Boston Bruins (four), Chicago Blackhawks (three), Colorado Avalanche (three) and Winnipeg Jets (three) play all their games this week at home. The Columbus Blue Jackets (four), Florida Panthers (four) and Detroit Red Wings (two) play all their games on the road this week.

With that in mind, pay attention to the road/home splits of players from those teams. Players like Avalanche forward Matt Duchene, who has 24 of his 39 points and 15 of his 16 goals this season at the Pepsi Center, and Tomas Fleischmann of the Florida Panthers, who has five of his nine goals this season on the road, see their value rise this week.

In the Cage: Potential free-agent goalies

Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 2:10 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. From updated goalie rankings to players you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.

Ray Emery
Goalie - CHI
RECORD: 15-1-0
GAA: 1.90 | SVP: 0.924
Considering the regular season comes to an end in just over two weeks, we realize most poolies have already laid their fantasy teams to rest. With that in mind, we've selected the top five free-agent goalies available this summer and took a quick look at their overall fantasy output this season.

Ray Emery – Blackhawks: Of the top five potential free-agent goalies available this summer, nobody has earned a new contract more than the 30-year-old Emery. He currently sits third overall in goals-against average (1.90) and seventh in save percentage (.924), all while posting a mind-blowing 15-1-0 record in 19 appearances. Regardless of the situation, Emery has found ways to steal some games that Chicago had no business winning. Not only has he proved that previous injury concerns are no longer an issue, but his 10-game winning streak, which included a 2.28 GAA, was the longest in franchise history.

On the 'D'-fence: D-men who help you win

Wednesday, 04.10.2013 / 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.

It seems like the National Hockey League season just got under way, but we are nearing its conclusion.

NHL teams are looking at 10 or less games to go on their schedules, which means that the fantasy hockey playoffs are under way or will be starting soon.

During the playoffs, especially in head-to-head leagues, every category gets magnified significantly. Suddenly, a player who specializes in winning faceoffs or logs a ton of hits can mean the difference between winning and losing not only a category but a match.

Two categories that tend to be ignored, at least until an owner realizes that he is trailing during a scoring period, are PIMs and shots on goal.

Here are a handful of options that are available in most Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey leagues that can bolster your PIMs or shots on goal, while at the same time contribute to other areas that help make them more viable for a roster.

These players are also great candidates to pick up for a game or two during the scoring period to play on nights when more productive options are idle.

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