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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

10 under-the-radar fantasy pickups for final stretch

Matt Cubeta - Staff Writer

It's never easy deciding on whether or not to drop a player from your fantasy roster, especially this late in the season, and even more so if it's a guy you grabbed on draft day and are afraid to part with because of emotional ties. We never want to give up on the players we drafted because we don't want to admit we were wrong with our expectations of that player. We're all the same and we'll always believe they could still turn their season around, despite a never-ending 60-game slump. But the simple fact remains: there are better players to be had.

The 10 players listed below are guys that will help you down the stretch in your fantasy league. From recently traded players to scrappy third-line forwards, these players may not jump out on paper to you, but they will definitely provide more value than some of your late-round draft choices from back in September or October. Most of them are flying under the radar and you may not even know who they are honestly, but regardless, they are players that should be owned in several more leagues than they are.

Fantasy Spin: Dennis Wideman headed to D.C.

Matt Cubeta - Staff Writer

Looking to add a valuable defenseman for the stretch run in your fantasy league? Dennis Wideman just might be the guy to grab. Owned in 46 percent of Yahoo! fantasy leagues, Wideman was traded Monday from the Florida Panthers to the Washington Capitals for a third-round pick in the 2011 Entry Draft and prospect Jake Hauswirth.

If you take away one stat category, Wideman's minus-26 rating, you'd be looking at an extremely useful fantasy blueliner. With his departure from the Eastern Conference's 12th-place team, Wideman's one hurtful fantasy category should be on the rise. Besides his plus/minus, the 27-year-old has 9 goals and 33 points in 61 games this season, as well as 33 penalty minutes, 19 power-play points and 135 shots on goal. His 19 power-play points are pretty incredible, considering the Panthers have the No. 29 power play, converting just 13.7 percent of the time.

Fantasy Spin: Brad Boyes Goes to Buffalo

Sergei J. Feldman - Staff Writer

With less than 24 hours remaining until the NHL trade deadline passes, the Buffalo Sabres pulled the trigger on a trade that helped bring in St. Louis Blues right wing, Brad Boyes, in exchange for a second-round draft pick.

Fantasy Spin: McCabe Broadway Bound

Saturday, 02.26.2011 / 6:43 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Sergei J. Feldman - Staff Writer

It's official: Bryan McCabe is a New York Ranger.

The Rangers acquired the 35-year-old defenseman from the Florida Panthers on Saturday for Tim Kennedy and a third-round pick in the 2011 Entry Draft. Now, as the Blueshirts bolstered their blue line, it’s your turn as fantasy owners to bolster your fantasy rosters.

While it may be unreasonable to pencil in the kind of production McCabe had as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2003-07, McCabe has shown he can still be a more than serviceable contributor night in and night out.

Fantasy Spin: Gaborik, Koivu, Kunitz Injury Updates

Sergei J. Feldman - Staff Writer

It's hard to have many doubts about a two-time 40-goal scorer, but when it comes to New York Rangers right wing Marian Gaborik, the big question year in and year out centers around his health.

Just how much will fantasy owners be able to capitalize on his talents?

After missing some time earlier in the year due to a shoulder injury, Gaborik now remains out with a concussion -- one of the more difficult injuries to predict a timeframe. As a result, a player who had put up 17 goals, 21 assists and 141 shots through 47 games becomes absent from your fantasy rosters.

Unlikely goaltenders providing plenty of fantasy value

Weekly Wire: February 28 – March 6

Bill Dean - Staff Writer

As the NHL and its teams prepare for the stretch run, trade talk begins to really fly as the Feb. 28 deadline fast approaches. Teams look to shore up their rosters, whether they need more scoring, better defense or a more trusted hand in net. The same goes for fantasy owners, as their postseason comes much sooner than the NHL version.

One player that could come available prior to Monday is New Jersey Devils netminder Johan Hedberg. Martin Brodeur has not had the season fantasy owners or the Devils themselves had expected. With his knee injury and Hedberg's strong play, Brodeur has found himself on the bench since he was deemed healthy. Since Feb. 8, Hedberg is 7-0 with two shutouts, a 0.98 goals-against average and .959 save percentage. The Devils are on an eight-game win streak and likely will continue to ride Hedberg as long as he continues to produce.

Updated top-50 overall fantasy hockey rankings

Matt Cubeta - Staff Writer

With the three-quarter mark of the season officially here and the NHL trade deadline just days away, it's time to give fantasy hockey fans our final update of the top 50 overall player rankings. While things can definitely change depending on where certain players might get dealt, these rankings are here to help guide your team to the playoffs and eventually to the fantasy championship.

In early January provided fans with the midseason top-50 rankings, and to no surprise for many, Sidney Crosby found himself at the top spot. At that time Sid the Kid had just suffered his concussion and we expected him back fairly soon. However, a month and a half later, Crosby is still on the sidelines and there's no telling when he'll return. Obviously, he has been dethroned -- in fact he's not only out of the No. 1 rank, but he's completely out of the top 50. Even if he does return for, say, two or three weeks, he's still not as valuable as any of these players for a full six weeks. If you do own Sid, it's obviously a tough break, but you should play it safe and prepare as if he's not returning.

With that said, read on to find out who is our new No. 1 player for the remainder of the season and how the rest of the top 50 shakes out.

How does the Neal-Goligoski trade impact you?

David Kalan - Staff Writer

Both Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero and Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk had their reasons for Monday's trade, but their concerns are likely not the same as yours. James Neal's move to the Penguins and Alex Goligoski's move to the Stars could have a number of implications for your fantasy team.

In the case of Neal, the change of scenery seems to have little downside. On a roster that was screaming for production from the wing, Neal is almost certain to get time on Pittsburgh's top line, and he'll be continuing his offensive development later this season next to Sidney Crosby, who expects to play again this regular season. If Neal is next to Jordan Staal for now, he should still be a safe bet to exceed the 27 goals he scored a year ago. Neal already has 21 goals through 59 games and if Crosby comes back soon, he could easily see his 39 points balloon past the career-high 55 he tallied in Dallas last season.

Having Neal on your team certainly couldn't hurt, but if Crosby is to return with significant time left in your league's regular season or playoffs, picking up or making a deal for Pittsburgh's newest winger could pay significant dividends.

U.S.-born players delivering fantasy value

Weekly Wire: February 21 - February 27

Bill Dean - Staff Writer

In tribute to Hockey Day In America on Sunday, this week we'll look at some under-the-radar U.S.-born players to keep your eye on for this season and the future.

It's easy to write about top-flight stars like Bobby Ryan, Patrick Kane, Zach Parise, Paul Stastny, Tim Thomas and Ryan Miller. Other players, such as Keith Yandle, Dustin Byfuglien and Jonathan Quick, have broken out in the last few seasons and could become future stars as well as reliable, if not extraordinary, NHL fantasy players.

Fantasy Spin: B's make splash, add Kaberle, Peverley

Matt Cubeta - Staff Writer

For years Tomas Kaberle's statistics slightly have been hampered because of the team he played for. Well, Kaberle fantasy owners finally got their wish Friday, as the Toronto Maple Leafs dealt the veteran blueliner to the Boston Bruins in exchange for top prospect Joe Colborne and Boston's first-round pick.

While Kaberle has recorded at least 49 points in four of the last five seasons, he's also had a minus rating in four of those five seasons. Switching from a Toronto squad that has been building for the future for the last three seasons to a team that is a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, Kaberle's plus/minus woes should be a distant memory going forward.
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