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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Fantasy top 30 goalies: Ramo trending up for Flames

Thursday, 12.17.2015 / 12:18 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

David Satriano - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey staff writer David Satriano provides in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Satriano is your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.


The Arizona Coyotes' goaltending situation hasn't been a topic of conversation much in this space mainly because Mike Smith has been unable to regain his form from a few years ago. Following a 2014-15 season when he was 14-42-5 with a 3.16 goals-against average and .904 save percentage, Smith is 10-9-1 with a 3.03 GAA and .901 save percentage. He had surgery earlier this week to repair a core muscle and will be out 8-10 weeks.

Smith (48 percent owned in Yahoo Leagues) hadn't played since Dec. 8 with Anders Lindback starting each of the two games since. Lindback was signed by the Coyotes in part as an insurance policy in case Smith got injured. He's 4-5-1 with a 2.92 GAA and .900 save percentage. Lindback (10 percent owned) has allowed five goals in two of his past three appearances but is expected to get most of the starts in Smith's absence, although general manager Don Maloney didn't rule out acquiring another goalie.

Fantasy top 60 'D': Penguins' options without Letang

Wednesday, 12.16.2015 / 12:20 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey contributor Brian Metzer provides in-depth defenseman analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer is your go-to guy for fantasy D-men advice all season long.


Things aren't going according to plan for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are outside the Stanley Cup Playoff picture in the Eastern Conference and have recently gone through a coaching change. Most of their problems can be tied to an inability to score goals, something that has left fantasy owners who used high draft picks on players like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang feeling left out as well.

Crosby and Malkin have shown flashes of getting back to form, but Letang is on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. That has his owners, 91-percent strong in Yahoo standard leagues, worried that the defenseman who they selected 55th on average will again spent time on the shelf.

Letang, who has a goal and 14 points in 25 games, isn't just hurting fantasy owners. He's left a pretty large hole on the Penguins' blue line as well. The Penguins don't have the depth to fill in for the 19:14 of even-strength ice time, and 4:20 on the power play, which the 28-year-old has left behind.

Fantasy top 100 forwards: Self-sustaining assets

Tuesday, 12.15.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen provides in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top-100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen is your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.


Year after year, linemates go a long way in determining fantasy value. So often it makes a night-and-day difference for certain players seeing elevated minutes and/or playing time alongside elite teammates.

Look at this season alone: Matt Duchene, coming off a down season, has gone from an early fantasy disappointment to one of the most productive players in the NHL over the past month and a half since being moved to the Colorado Avalanche's top line with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog. Once-slumping Chris Kunitz of the Pittsburgh Penguins is back with his old linemate Sidney Crosby and has quickly rejoined the top-100 fantasy forwards with points in five of his past six games since the move. Leon Draisaitl, who was off the fantasy map last season in a depth role for the Edmonton Oilers, has exploded for 26 points in 21 games alongside mostly Taylor Hall.

There are plenty of elite-level players in this League who raise the bar for their linemates and maintain production no matter who their linemates are. But once you venture beyond the household names that many targeted in the early rounds of drafts, it becomes even more impressive when middle-tier players maintain steady production as line changes come and go.

Here are five players who have proved to be self-sustaining fantasy assets this season despite line changes, injured linemates and/or competition for top-line duties on their teams.

Fantasy All-Access: McGinn, Atkinson worth adding

Sean McCullen - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Monday, NHL.com staff writer Sean McCullen identifies potential waiver-wire pickups and points out lineup moves and schedule impacts for fantasy hockey.

The Pittsburgh Penguins fired coach Mike Johnston on Saturday after a disappointing start to their season. Johnston is the second NHL coach fired in 2015-16, joining Todd Richards, formerly of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Sidney Crosby owners undoubtedly hope new coach Mike Sullivan will help Sid return to form (he has six goals and 13 assists in 28 games).

Unfortunately, you can't fire your coach to try to spark something with your fantasy team; you're the coach, general manager and owner, so you'll have to live with your poor decisions and underperforming players, and plow on through the rest of the season.

Fantasy Friday: Can Kane, Benn, Seguin get to 100?

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane leads the NHL with 44 points in 29 games. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars are next on the leaderboard; each has 39 points in 28 games. Kane is the No. 1 fantasy player in Yahoo leagues, while Seguin and Benn rank second and third, respectively.

With these immense point totals comes an excellent plus/minus rating (Kane is plus-11, Benn is plus-11, Seguin is plus-10) and plenty of power-play points (Kane has 14, Seguin has 13, Benn has 11), hence the top ranks in Yahoo fantasy leagues. If you can put up goals and assists, it will help in other categories and result in a better fantasy ranking. That's why points are the most important factor in fantasy hockey. They always help you in more than one category.

At his current rate Kane would finish the 2015-16 season with 123 points in 82 games. If he came close to that number he surely would be the No. 1 fantasy player by season's end. Benn and Seguin each are on pace for 113 points, likely good for at least a top-five fantasy ranking.

Fantasy top 30 goalies: Stick with Ducks' Gibson

Thursday, 12.10.2015 / 12:20 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

David Satriano - NHL.com Fantasy Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey staff writer David Satriano provides in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Satriano is your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.


The Anaheim Ducks goaltender situation was going to be one worth watching all season.

Frederik Andersen (69 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) was the incumbent and Anton Khudobin (four percent owned) the experienced backup with John Gibson (51 percent owned), who began the season in the American Hockey League, looming.

So far, it's unfolded the way many thought it would; Andersen started early and often, but the Ducks struggled and gave Khudobin some starts. Andersen has been out with the flu since Nov. 21 and missed the past seven games, each of which has been started by Gibson. And though Andersen may return Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes, it'll be hard for coach Bruce Boudreau to sit Gibson, who was named the NHL's first star this past week, going 3-1-0 with two shutouts, an 0.76 goals-against average and a .968 save percentage.

Fantasy top 60 'D': Ristolainen, Gostisbehere thriving

Wednesday, 12.09.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey contributor Brian Metzer provides in-depth defenseman analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer is your go-to guy for fantasy D-men advice all season long.


Fantasy leagues are not often won with the picks that you make in the first, second or even third rounds. More times than not, it's the players you draft in the late rounds or pick up on the waiver wire that carry you to a championship.

That's where you identify and take a chance on rookies, injury replacements and players primed for a breakout, players such as Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers and Rasmus Ristolainen of the Buffalo Sabres.

Each of these young defensemen fall into those categories, and are helping savvy owners win categories and match-ups on a weekly basis.

Fantasy top 100 forwards: Cammalleri biggest steal

Tuesday, 12.08.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen provides in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top-100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen is your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.


There have been so many fantasy steals among forwards to this point in the season: From the Chicago Blackhawks' Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov riding the coattails of leading-scorer Patrick Kane, to standout rookie Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings, to Evgeny Kuznetsov carrying over his breakout postseason (whether or not he's been on Alex Ovechkin's line). Mike Hoffman of the Ottawa Senators is another one, already doubling his power-play point production from his rookie season while producing even-strength points at an even greater pace alongside Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan.

But the trend with those players is they are young and/or sticking with proven linemates. The same cannot be said about New Jersey Devils forward Mike Cammalleri, who has been hands-down the biggest steal among fantasy forwards as we approach the one-third mark of the 2015-16 season.

Fantasy All-Access: Stars' Nichushkin fits on top line

David Satriano - NHL.com Fantasy Staff Writer

Every Monday, NHL.com identifies potential waiver-wire pickups and points out lineup moves and schedule impacts for fantasy hockey.

Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn leads the NHL in goals (18), and he and linemate Tyler Seguin are tied for second in points (35). So it's no surprise they are each owned in 100 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Valeri Nichushkin was promoted to their line Thursday and the right wing is owned in 15 percent of leagues.

Fantasy Friday: Veterans losing their luster

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

It wasn't long ago that Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa was one of the elite forwards in fantasy hockey. During the 2013-14 season, Hossa finished with 30 goals, 60 points, a plus-28 rating and was the 41st best fantasy player in Yahoo leagues. Last season he was even better, finishing as the 33rd best fantasy player.

However, the soon-to-be 37 year old seems to have taken a turn for the worse in 2015-16. Through 23 games, Hossa has 10 points and is a minus-1. Drafted on average with the 96th pick coming into the season, Hossa currently ranks as the 180th best fantasy player in Yahoo leagues.

Not many of us saw this steep decline coming after such a productive season last year, but this is the reality of the game. Eventually age seems to catch up to the player. While Florida Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr continues to buck the trend, Hossa has seen his production fall off. But he's not the only victim.

Below is a list of players who are currently 35 or older that have carried significant fantasy value in recent years but have seen a major decline in production this season.

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