Every Tuesday 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.
Each year fantasy owners plan out their strategies and spend countless hours poring over statistics, cheat cheats and rankings trying to find a couple of players that will give them the edge against the competition. We here at NHL.com do the same thing when it comes to studying the statistics and determining where to rank players to help provide that edge for you and, yes, even our own teams.
Though we have all done the work, it seems there are always surprises during the season's infancy, and that is the case again this year. The Colorado Avalanche didn't get a ton of respect heading into October based on the fact that they were placing a ton of faith in a young injury-prone goaltender and leaning on a new-look blue line led by former No. 1 pick Erik Johnson.
Thus far, the Avs are getting it done, and after an opening-night loss they have reeled off five consecutive victories. That success is noteworthy to fantasy owners and specifically those in need of some defensive depth, as they are getting far more production from the blue line than one would have dreamed. In fact, of the 18 goals they have scored as a team, 17 have run through their defense.