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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Fantasy Faceoff: Ovechkin vs. D. Sedin

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

At various points throughout the 2011-12 season, NHL.com and its panel of fantasy experts will dissect individual matchups with "Fantasy Faceoffs." Torn between two players? Look no further than NHL.com/Fantasy for the edge on the most compelling toss-ups as the twists and turns of the regular season impact your fantasy squad.

Here's how it works:

For each "Faceoff," fantasy experts Sergei Feldman and Pete Jensen will make their case as to why a particular player deserves consideration in the particular debate. Resident fantasy hockey guru Matt Cubeta will then juggle the two arguments and reach a final verdict for who deserves the edge.

We continue with NHL.com's preseason fantasy rankings at the left wing position, where the always potent Alex Ovechkin occupies the top-overall spot. Daniel Sedin, who anchored the Canucks en route to a Cup Final appearance, is ranked second among left wingers.

And with that, here's NHL.com's take on the matter …

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Fantasy Face-off: Rinne vs. Luongo

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

At various points throughout the 2011-12 season, NHL.com and its panel of fantasy experts will dissect individual matchups with "Fantasy Face-offs." Torn between two players? Look no further than NHL.com/Fantasy for the edge on the most compelling toss-ups as the twists and turns of the regular season impact your fantasy squad.

Here's how it works:

For each "Face-off," fantasy experts Sergei Feldman and Pete Jensen will make their case as to why a particular player deserves consideration in the particular debate. Resident fantasy hockey guru Matt Cubeta will then juggle the two arguments and reach a final verdict for who deserves the edge.

We continue with NHL.com's preseason goaltender fantasy rankings, where Nashville's rising star Pekka Rinne occupies the top-overall spot. Roberto Luongo, who turned in yet another prolific campaign in the crease for the Western Conference champion Canucks, is ranked second among netminders.

And with that, here's NHL.com's take on the matter...


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Fantasy Faceoff: Stamkos vs. H. Sedin

Thursday, 09.22.2011 / 10:30 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

At various points throughout the 2011-12 season, NHL.com and its panel of fantasy experts will dissect individual matchups with "Fantasy Faceoffs." Torn between two players? Look no further than NHL.com for the edge on the most compelling toss-ups as the twists and turns of the regular season impact your fantasy squad.

Here's how it works:

For each "Faceoff," fantasy experts Sergei Feldman and Pete Jensen will make their case as to why a particular player deserves consideration in the particular debate. Resident fantasy hockey guru Matt Cubeta will then juggle the two arguments and reach a final verdict for who deserves the edge.

We begin with NHL.com's preseason fantasy rankings at the center position, where rising star Steven Stamkos occupies the top-overall spot. Henrik Sedin, who turned in a memorable season last year for the President's Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks, is ranked second among centers.

And with that, here's NHL.com's take on the matter...

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Benn, Seguin among top fantasy sleepers this season

Wednesday, 09.21.2011 / 11:52 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

A year ago, Corey Perry's average draft position in standard Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues was 43.5. Of course, he went on to put together the most well-rounded season of any player and finished as the No. 2 overall fantasy player, behind only Vancouver's Daniel Sedin. Hardly anyone saw that kind of season coming from Perry. Sure, the Ducks forward had a very solid 2009-10 campaign (27 goals and 76 points), but none of us expected what he did last season.

Here's how it works:

But every year we seem to see guys like this -- players that we don't know too much about that end up having a major breakout season. Some erupt for seasons like Perry or Dustin Byfuglien had last season, and some are just on a smaller scale, like Brandon Dubinsky or Kris Letang, but either way, there are always plenty of players that perform beyond our expectations.

The goal is to be lucky enough to have the right ones on your fantasy team. Whether it's on draft day, or picking up a player on waivers, or through a trade, the objective is to obtain players that are undervalued by everyone else.
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Fantasy Spin: Selanne's return boosts draft day value

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Finnish Flash is back -- well, for one more year anyway.

Anaheim forward Teemu Selanne announced on Thursday that he would return to the Ducks for at least one more season. Despite an aching left knee, the 41-year-old will be back for his 19th NHL season.

How does this affect you from a fantasy viewpoint?

Selanne was listed in our Top 175 fantasy rankings at 89th overall, as depicted by our panel of experts. In our positional rankings, Selanne came in at 15th among right wings, right behind Vancouver's Alex Burrows and ahead of San Jose's Joe Pavelski. Obviously these projections were done prior to the knowledge that Selanne would definitely be back this season.

Now, things change.
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2011-12 Top Overall 175 Fantasy Rankings

Wednesday, 09.07.2011 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

Below is a list of NHL.com's top 175 overall fantasy player rankings, as determined by our three fantasy experts: Matt Cubeta, Sergei Feldman and Chris Foster. In addition to their composite ranking -- a combined average rank from each expert (listed on the left side) -- you'll also be able to tell where each expert ranked players individually. While we take into account previous statistics, injuries and much more, these rankings are based on how we project players to perform this coming season.

Rankings are based on a standard fantasy hockey league that includes a 6x4 scoring system: goals, assists, plus-minus, power-play points, shots on goal, penalty minutes, goalie wins, goals against average, save percentage and shutouts.

Whether you're hunting for goal scorers, playmakers, power-play specialists, PIMs eaters or stud goaltenders, our top 175 rankings should have you covered for your fantasy hockey draft.
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Breaking down the top 50 fantasy players

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

"Everything has chains...absolutely nothing's changed."

Ah, little did Eddie Vedder know his famous line in Pearl Jam's "Corduroy" would be so applicable in the fantasy hockey world. Yet here we are again and Washington's Alex Ovechkin remains chained to the No. 1 fantasy rank -- year after year, Ovechkin reigns supreme.

Despite a relatively quiet season offensively for Ovechkin -- at least by his standards -- an MVP-season from Corey Perry, an NHL-best 104-point season from Daniel Sedin, and a 45-goal season by Steven Stamkos weren't enough to knock Ovechkin from his spot at the top of the charts.

Some will disagree, but truthfully, Sidney Crosby was the only other real option for the top spot, and with Crosby's health still undetermined, there really wasn't a safer play for No. 1. So much so, that all three of our fantasy experts each ranked Ovechkin as the top fantasy player heading into the 2011-12 season.

Having recorded at least 50 goals and 109 points in his three previous seasons, plus his ability to dominate the NHL in the shots on goal category every season, we believe in Ovechkin and think a bounce-back performance to his "usual" self is more than likely in 2011-12.

From Ovi to Sid and many others, below is our explanation for how our ranking of the top 50 fantasy players was put together.
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Burning questions face 2011-12 goalie class

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

At this point of the summer, predicting is part of the hockey lover's human nature. Everyone's level of anticipation has boiled over for the new season, but amidst all the questions we try to stay sane by knowing training camps are just a few weeks away.

When it comes to predicting what might happen with the goaltenders, there's a lot to discuss because there are so many "unstable" situations. By unstable, I simply mean that the situation could result in a significant or negative impact on a goaltender's career, or for their team's overall success.

But this is nothing new. Every year, some goalies face the pressure of extremely high expectations due to a high salary, high skill level or their previous season's success. Others are simply expected to rebound from an inconsistent or injury-plagued season.

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Weber, Chara and Lidstrom lead the way for D-men

2011-12 Fantasy Hockey Defensemen Rankings

Thursday, 09.01.2011 / 12:01 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com started their fantasy hockey rankings with centers on Monday, Aug. 29 and will release rankings for each position by day, finishing with goalie rankings on Friday, Sept. 2. We will release the top-175 overall fantasy hockey rankings on Tuesday, Sept. 6. Positions are based on where we project these players to start the season -- they may change when the season begins. Regardless of what kind of league you're in, NHL.com has you covered for fantasy hockey all year long.

There's no doubt people will question Shea Weber being our top fantasy blueliner. Truth is, there are a few players that could hold down the top spot, but we believe Weber possesses the most upside -- and his track record suggests just that.
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Perry an easy choice for top fantasy right wing

2011-12 Fantasy Hockey Right Wing Rankings

Wednesday, 08.31.2011 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com started their fantasy hockey rankings with centers on Monday, Aug. 29 and will release  rankings for each position by day, finishing with goalie rankings on Friday, Sept. 2. We will release the top-175 overall fantasy hockey rankings on Tuesday, Sept. 6. Regardless of what kind of league you're in, NHL.com has you covered for fantasy hockey all year long.

Coming into last season our right wing ranks looked completely different at the top -- we projected Patrick Kane, Marian Gaborik and Alexander Semin as our top three. This year you'll notice Anaheim's Corey Perry and Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis in the top two spots, with Kane coming in at No. 3.

Perry was named NHL.com's Fantasy Hockey MVP last year after putting together the most well-rounded stat line by any player. His ability to record points, a solid plus/minus and tons of PIMs make him the easy choice at No. 1. He did pretty well in real life as well, winning the Hart Trophy as the regular-season MVP.
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NHL.COM FANTASY HOCKEY COVERAGE
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Cubeta's season-ending Top 100 forwards
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TOP 100 FANTASY FORWARDS

RANK TEAM PLAYER
1. Sidney crosby
2. Steven Stamkos
3. Corey Perry
4. Alex Ovechkin
5. Evgeni Malkin

CUBETA'S COMPLETE TOP 100 FORWARD RANKS