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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Fantasy All-Access: Spoilers have value for playoffs

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

With the push for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in full swing there are teams trying play spoiler, and within those teams you can find fantasy gold.

The Calgary Flames have won five out of their past 10 games and Mike Cammalleri has six goals in those games. A youth movement has begun in Florida, but it is veteran Scottie Upshall who is continuing his bounce-back season with nine points in his past 14 games. And in Buffalo, Tyler Ennis has four goals in eight March games.

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In the Cage: Tight schedule adds value to backups

Thursday, 03.13.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

With only a few days before standard Yahoo Fantasy league playoffs begin (March 17), it's time to pinpoint some hidden talent that can help you squeeze more points out of your goaltending categories.

Fortunately, the condensed NHL schedule has opened the door for plenty of backups to gain some crucial fantasy points that, if earned a few months ago, would have largely gone unnoticed.

To get an idea of how jam-packed the schedule will be over the next month, look at the remaining back-to-back games. The Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins will play five sets over the next month. The Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens and the New York Islanders all have four sets remaining. The rest of the League has two or three.

Now is a great time to consider adding an Edmonton Oilers goaltender. Not only are the Oilers 8-3-2 in their past 13 games, but their schedule is not as grueling as the rest of the League. They only have two back-to-back sets remaining and they play 10 of their final 16 games at home.

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On the 'D'-fence: Timonen producing at typical pace

Wednesday, 03.12.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen has long been a staple on fantasy hockey blue lines, but that started to change a bit this season. While he led all Flyers defensemen in scoring last season with 29 points in 45 games, prompting fantasy owners to draft him on average in the 11th round of Yahoo Fantasy Leagues, he and the Flyers limped out of the gates to a 4-10-1 record in their first 15 games.

Timonen managed to put up just one assist and a minus-2 rating over that span, causing fantasy owners to cut and run. He found himself on the most-dropped lists in many different platforms and formats, but while owners weren't paying attention he and the Flyers were heating up.

The Flyers have gone 29-15-6 over their next 50 games, effectively turning their season around. Timonen appeared in 47 of those games, collecting 25 points in the process. His .53 points per game over that span might not compare to the .64 he put up last season, but it is on par with some of his best career numbers to date.

The 38-year-old native of Kuopio, Finland has only broken .60 points per game in a season on three occasions. He achieved the feat in both of his final two seasons with the Nashville Predators back in 2005-06 and '06-07, and then again last year.

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The Front Line: Hemsky, Moulson thrive after trades

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

In all likeliness, your league's trade deadline has passed (March 6 was the standard league trade deadline date). Hopefully you've made some moves to help your team toward winning a championship, or if you weren't in contention for the title, you made some trades to build for the future.

The NHL saw plenty of trades that will impact your league. From the Montreal Canadiens' acquisition of Thomas Vanek to the subtle Minnesota Wild trade for Matt Moulson, here's a look at how six of the top forwards have performed since joining their new team and what to expect for the remainder of the fantasy season (in order of where they fall in my updated rankings).

Martin St. Louis, New York Rangers

Games with new team: 3 (0 G, 1, minus-1, 0 PIMs, 1 PPP, 9 SOG)

St. Louis has been skating on a line with former Tampa Bay Lightning teammate and good friend Brad Richards and speedy forward Carl Hagelin. The one noticeable difference is his playing time. With the Rangers having a bit more depth than the Lightning, St. Louis has eclipsed the 20 minute mark just once in three games -- on the season St. Louis' has averaged 21:33 of ice time per game.

Expectation: He'll remain a top-15 forward and should continue to put up point-per-game numbers while getting comfortable in New York.

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Fantasy All-Access: The push for the fantasy playoffs

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Now that the dust has settled from the NHL Trade Deadline, the final push for the fantasy playoffs has begun.

Whether you are on the edge on making it, fighting for positioning or trying to play spoiler, paying attention to matchups becomes more important as the end of the season approaches. With 18 teams playing four games this week, lineup decisions will be tougher each day, but if you research matchups and your players’ career numbers against their opponents, those tools will help you make the important decisions.

Looking for some goalie wins, don’t forget about the backups as there are 24 sets of back-to-backs scheduled this week with the Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins having two each.

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In the Cage: Trade deadline winners and losers

Thursday, 03.06.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy goaltenders in NHL.com's weekly segment: "In the Cage." From updated goalie rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.

The NHL Trade Deadline on Wednesday saw an unprecedented 11 members of the goalie union trade places before the 3 p.m. ET deadline. Surprisingly, not a single goalie prospect (American Hockey League or otherwise) was involved in any of the transactions that took place, so a lot of fantasy rosters saw some significant changes.

To reflect on the trade fallout, we selected the top three fantasy goalie "winners" and "losers" and took a look at their potential usage for the remainder of the season.

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On the 'D'-Fence: Trade deadline brings fantasy hope

Wednesday, 03.05.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

The NHL is always exciting, but it gets even more so a few days during the year. We'll call those days the "hockey holidays," and they come in the form of the NHL Draft, the start of free agency and the one we are celebrating Wednesday, the NHL Trade Deadline.

The hockey holidays provide an opportunity for all teams, be they buyers or sellers, to give their fans hope. The goal might be a Stanley Cup championship this season or the hopes of building toward one in a year or two, but hope is at the heart of it all.

That holds true for your fantasy team as well and you are probably gearing up for a trade deadline of your own, so today we'll look at a few defensemen who have been or could be moved and how they could help your team moving forward.

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The Front Line: Blues-Sabres swap may spark moves

Tuesday, 03.04.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Last week I addressed the NHL Trade Deadline from a fantasy perspective with a three-part series, breaking down players that could be traded and how it affects their fantasy value, plus some buy-low and sell-high fantasy candidates.

Since that time, two relatively fantasy-relevant forwards have been traded: Chris Stewart and Steve Ott.

Prior to the trade, Stewart had been ranked 89th among my forwards. Now a member of the Buffalo Sabres, Stewart slips down to No. 96 in my top-100 forward rankings. Of course moving from one of the best teams in the NHL to the team that scores the fewest goals per game (1.93) is going to hurt his value.

Stewart had been struggling with the Blues and was even demoted to the fourth line, so the fact he's now a top-six forward in Buffalo is the main reason he still remains within the top-100. He's actually ranked 119th among all players in Yahoo leagues, thanks largely in part to his 112 penalty minutes, which is the eighth most in the NHL. But outside of his PIMs value, there hasn't been much reason to own him in fantasy leagues since the new year -- Stewart has just two goals and four points in his past 20 games.

Owned in 49 percent of leagues, stick with Stewart for now to see if he can put up some more points with the Sabres while continuing to provide plenty of penalty minutes. On Monday, he skated on one of the team's top lines with Cody Hodgson and Matt D'Agostini -- he finished with a minus-2 and one shot on goal in 17:25 of ice time. His rating is sure to take a hit and if the points don't start to come within his next four or five games, it may be time to cut ties.

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Fantasy All-Access: Calm before trade deadline storm

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET marks the NHL Trade Deadline, and after the dust settles will come a flurry of waiver wire activity and trades in fantasy hockey, as players' stocks rise and new opportunities arise.

The big names in play include Ryan Kesler (Vancouver Canucks), Ryan Callahan (New York Rangers), Thomas Vanek (New York Islanders) and Matt Moulson (Buffalo Sabres). If traded, it won’t change that they are great fantasy plays. Sometimes it is the under-the-radar moves that can provide a spark for your team.

On Feb. 28, 2011, the Sabres acquired Brad Boyes from the St. Louis Blues and he went on to score 14 points in 21 games. On Feb. 27, 2012, the Colorado Avalanche acquired Jamie McGinn from the San Jose Sharks and he finished the season with 13 points in his final 17 games. On April 3 of last season it was Jussi Jokinen, acquired by the Pittsburgh Penguins from the Carolina Hurricanes, who finished the year with 11 points in 10 games.

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Steen, Pavelski among sell-high candidates

Fantasy Hockey Trade Deadline Decisions - Part 3

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

The NHL Trade Deadline is at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 5. The standard fantasy hockey league trade deadline is the very next day.

In order to have you fully prepared, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with a three-part "Fantasy Hockey Trade Deadline Decisions" series. Each part will feature a different list of players. Part 1: A list of players who could be traded before the NHL Trade Deadline and how it would affect their fantasy value. Part 2: A list of players Cubeta believes you should be trying to acquire before your deadline -- also known as buy-low candidates (Thursday). Part 3: A list of players you should be trying to trade away before your deadline -- also known as sell-high candidates (Friday).

Remember, when you're trying to make a trade, don't be afraid to start your negotiation off a little higher than what you're hoping to eventually land. You can always lower your asking price, but you won't be able to raise it if the other person you're trading with already accepts the deal.

Sell-high: Players to deal away before your trade deadline

Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues -- 47 games: 28 G, 18 A, plus-14, 34 PIMs, 10 PPP, 155 SOG

Steen arguably has been the biggest surprise in fantasy hockey this season. And I'm not taking that away from him. I've got him ranked inside my top-20 forward rankings, and I do believe he'll still be there by season's end. But if you can acquire a proven superstar for Steen, you should. He has an unsustainable 18.1 shooting percentage when his career mark is 10.0 percent. If he were to continue at that 18.1 clip, he'd end up with 42 goals in 71 games -- that's Alex Ovechkin-like. However, the more likely scenario is that percentage will fall somewhere closer to 15.0 percent (still very high), meaning he'd likely fall short of the 40-goal mark. Again, if we say Steen finishes with 35-40 goals, is anyone really complaining? Of course not. But dangle him to some other fantasy owners for a proven superstar like Claude Giroux, Jonathan Toews or Pavel Datsyuk to see if they bite.

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