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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Edmonton Oilers fantasy hockey preview

Saturday, 08.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Taylor Hall

Hall had arguably the least productive season of his five-year career in 2014-15 with 14 goals and 38 points in 53 games (.72 points/game). A shooting percentage of 8.9 percent could've had something to do with his low goal total, but health continues to be Hall's biggest question mark. If he can avoid injury, Hall has the potential to be one of the better fantasy performers of the future. With the possibility of playing on a line with rookie Connor McDavid and usual suspect Jordan Eberle, Hall should be in line for a big bounce-back season.

Undervalued: Jordan Eberle

Including his breakout 34-goal, 76-point season in 2011-12, Eberle has 241 points in 287 games (.84 points/game). Those 241 points are tied for 17th most in the NHL during that stretch, and Eberle has proven to be extremely durable as well, missing seven games. Let's also not forget he had 32 points in his final 32 games last season after a tough start. Target Eberle between rounds five and six with hopes he exceeds that draft position by the end of the season.

Offseason top 200 fantasy hockey rankings

NHL.com fantasy insider Matt Cubeta reveals most valuable players

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Whether it's Phil Kessel getting traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Brandon Saad being shipped to the Columbus Blue Jackets or T.J. Oshie being dealt to the Washington Capitals, we've seen some impactful trades this offseason that could change the fantasy landscape for the 2015-16 season.

We've also seen our share of players changing addresses in free agency. Players including Mike Green and Justin Williams have new homes and could see a spike in fantasy value.

With these changes, fantasy owners are likely salivating at the chance to start preparing for draft season in September. To help you prepare, it's time for my offseason top 200 fantasy hockey rankings.

These rankings have been built on what I have learned following several free agency signings and trades this summer. As training camps draw closer and more moves take place, these rankings will be updated, including position-by-position rankings and breakdowns.

These rankings should be viewed as my projections of the NHL's most valuable fantasy players based on expectations for this season. Factors taken into account include position eligibility, line combinations, category coverage and statistical performance from previous seasons.

Offseason moves catapult fantasy value of forwards

Wednesday, 07.08.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

The unrestricted free agent crop didn't include many marquee forwards, but the flurry of offseason trades certainly did.

Several big-name forwards around the NHL changed scenery in recent weeks, setting the table for a summer of speculation about line combinations and fantasy implications. We've seen summer trades pay sizable fantasy dividends in recent years, with no better example being the July 2013 trade that sent Tyler Seguin from the Boston Bruins to the Dallas Stars.

Seguin, a young role player with the Bruins at the time of the trade, played with Jamie Benn and scored 161 points in 151 games in the next two regular seasons with the Stars. Last season, Scott Hartnell (trade to Columbus Blue Jackets) and Radim Vrbata (signed by Vancouver Canucks) finished among the top 50 fantasy forwards after moving to new teams.

Trades, signings create uncertain goalie situations

David Satriano - NHL.com Fantasy Staff Writer

Three weeks after the NHL season ended, trades and free agent signings have already made for some interesting goalie situations that are sure to affect fantasy hockey this season.

Fifteen goalies have changed teams so far (seven in trades, eight in free agency). Some will get a chance to be a No. 1; others may have to adjust to a time-share.

Though things may change in the months leading up to the 2015-16 season, here are five goalie situations worth monitoring:

Defensemen in new places could see fantasy spike

Eric Goodman - NHL.com Fantasy Staff Writer

With the NHL free agency period in full swing, now is the time for fantasy owners to start analyzing which players to consider for the 2015-16 season. The pool of quality forwards is much larger than that of viable defensemen, so it's important to be selective on which blueliners to target.

Assembling a deep group of defensemen is key; getting good fantasy numbers from your third or fourth option can help bring home a championship.

The following players were recently traded or signed with new teams and could see a boost in fantasy value next season:

Top 2015 NHL Draft picks with fantasy value

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Rookies can make a major impact on fantasy teams and can lead to long-term success in dynasty and keeper leagues. Seven players from the 2014 NHL Draft class played in at least one regular-season game in 2014-15. That group was made up of defenseman Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers)  and forwards David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins), Sam Reinhart (Buffalo Sabres), Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers), Viktor Arvidsson (Nashville Predators), Samuel Bennett (Calgary Flames), and Kevin Fiala (Predators).

Ekblad won the Calder Trophy and his 39 points were two shy of the NHL record for a defenseman to start the season as an 18-year-old, set by Bobby Orr in 1966-67 (13-28-41). Ekblad was joined by forwards Johnny Gaudreau (2011 fourth-round pick) and Mark Stone (2010 sixth-round pick) as finalists for the Calder, showing rookie production doesn't just come from freshly drafted players. But with two generational talents at the top of its class, some members of the 2015 draft class should play a big role in fantasy sooner rather than later.

Underrated playoff standouts to target in fantasy

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

We're only a few days removed from the conclusion of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but it's already back to the drawing board for fantasy hockey owners.

When reflecting on another memorable postseason, it's easy to recall elite-level players (i.e. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Henrik Lundqvist, Alex Ovechkin, Corey Perry, Duncan Keith) fueling deep playoff runs for their respective teams. Breakout forwards (i.e. Tyler Johnson, Vladimir Tarasenko, Filip Forsberg, Nikita Kucherov, Johnny Gaudreau), emerging defensemen (i.e. Victor Hedman, Roman Josi) and rising goalies (i.e. Braden Holtby, Ben Bishop) also held their ground on the big stage.

But mainstream playoff heroes are usually taken in early rounds or retained in keeper leagues the following season. That's why surprising players who stay under the radar for a variety of reasons (sample size, position battles, etc.) will be much more attainable in fantasy.

2014-15 NHL.com Fantasy Hockey award selections

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

With the 2014-15 regular season now in our rearview mirror, it's time for NHL.com's fantasy hockey insiders to reflect on players that have defined the landscape -- for better or worse.

Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen, Matt Sitkoff, Brian Metzer and Evan Sporer have cast their votes, outlining the best fantasy players at each position based on eligibility in Yahoo leagues.

The list of year-end awards is also complete with the biggest underachievers and most notable rookies, as well as sleeper and bounceback candidates to keep an eye on for next season.

So, as we officially say goodbye to another compelling season, here are the 2014-15 NHL.com Fantasy Hockey awards.

Fantasy top 30 goalies: Ranks entering offseason

Thursday, 04.09.2015 / 12:15 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

It was an unpredictable season for goaltending in the NHL.

There were some big names who, as expected, put up impressive numbers. Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators and Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils each had Vezina Trophy-caliber seasons.

There were also players like Devan Dubnyk, Cam Talbot, Michael Hutchinson and Andrew Hammond, who at one point or another became must-own fantasy assets.

Fantasy top 60 defenseman: Ranks entering offseason

Wednesday, 04.08.2015 / 12:28 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

The Stanley Cup Playoffs get started next week and that means another fantasy hockey season is in the books. It's hard to believe we all entered our drafts wide-eyed and hopeful roughly eight months ago dreaming of fantasy glory.

P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens), Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators), Shea Weber (Nashville Predators) and Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks) were the first four defensemen off the board in Yahoo Standard Leagues and all were on rosters inside the first 40 picks. They rewarded their owners, but for those who waited around the rewards were still great.

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