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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Daily fantasy advice for DraftKings NHL contests

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

From television and Internet advertisements to social media trends and even subway billboards, daily fantasy sports surrounds us every day. It's the wave of the future.

Every day is a new season in #DFS (the popular hashtag used to distinguish this fantasy format), so it doesn't warrant the level of commitment of traditional season-long leagues. Daily contests involve far greater attention to injuries, starting goalie updates and line combinations leading up to games, because it all comes down to performance on the night of the contest you join. Once the puck drops, you're glued to your smartphone or laptop for scoring plays involving your players.

Fantasy forward bargains based on draft position

Wednesday, 09.30.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Perception impacts where players are drafted in fantasy, usually to the point where proven commodities remain on the board much later than they should.

Whether it's because of age, single-position eligibility, lineup instability or recent production, it's always worth referencing Yahoo average draft position to pinpoint how late you could land a proven player. If you compare ADP to rankings, you'll see discrepancies to capitalize on.

Forwards being drafted outside the top 75 on average and 15-30 spots lower than they are in my rankings offer serious value on draft day. Jumping on players going much later than they deserve sets your team up for success if they exceed expectations.

Cu-bet on it: Team-by-team bold fantasy predictions

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Each season, NHL.com fantasy insider Matt Cubeta makes his bold fantasy hockey predictions. They are wild, outrageous and possibly even ridiculous, but that's the point. He's not here to tell you Sidney Crosby will lead the NHL in points or Alex Ovechkin will lead the League in goals. This story is here to deliver the unexpected.

Of course these predictions might not actually end up coming to fruition, but Cubeta believes there is a chance they could, even if that chance is slim. The point of this story is so you the fantasy player can discover which players Cubeta might be high on going into the season, and those he thinks you should avoid come draft day.

You'll disagree with plenty of them (maybe even all of them), but in years past, Cubeta has nailed some. Of course he'll get more wrong than right, but again, these are supposed to be over-the-top predictions to emphasize how strongly he feels about specific players.

Five backup goalies to handcuff in fantasy

Eric Goodman - NHL.com Fantasy Staff Writer

When considering goaltenders in head-to-head fantasy leagues, owners can hardly go wrong with drafting top-tier talent like the Montreal Canadiens' Carey Price or Nashville Predators' Pekka Rinne in the early rounds and a solid starter like Vancouver Canucks veteran Ryan Miller in the middle of their respective drafts.

But after settling on a dependable tandem, grabbing a third goalie who is projected to be a backup on his respective NHL team can give owners the edge in taking their fantasy matchup on any given week.

In addition to the bonus statistics, handcuffing a team's backup goalie to the superstar that you drafted early provides much-needed insurance in the case that a starting goaltender sustains a long-term injury.

Saad, Kuznetsov lead Jensen's fantasy breakout picks

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Last season, forwards Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues and Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers went from reliable fantasy producers to elite-level assets. On the defenseman and goalie fronts, fantasy owners witnessed Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators and Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils joining the likes of stardom at their respective positions.

These were players who made their mark on the fantasy landscape before, but never to the degree of statistical prowess that they put forth last season. Sleepers are under-the-radar players who are drafted much later than they should be. Breakout players are known commodities who elevate their fantasy production to new heights, usually in an expanded role.

Targeting breakout candidates in your fantasy draft can go a long way in building a championship-caliber roster. Here are five players I believe can make the jump from household name to superstar in 2015-16. Matt Cubeta's breakout list can be found here.

Huberdeau, Allen lead Cubeta's fantasy breakout picks

Thursday, 09.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Last season, forwards Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues and Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers went from reliable fantasy producers to elite-level assets. On the defenseman and goalie fronts, fantasy owners witnessed Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators and Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils joining the likes of stardom at their respective positions.

These were players who made their mark on the fantasy landscape before, but never to the degree of statistical prowess that they put forth last season. Sleepers are under-the-radar players who are drafted much later than they should be. Breakout players are known commodities who elevate their fantasy production to new heights, usually in an expanded role.

Targeting breakout candidates in your fantasy draft can go a long way in building a championship-caliber roster. Here are five players I believe can make the jump from household name to superstar in 2015-16.

1. Jonathan Huberdeau, C/LW, Florida Panthers

Yahoo average draft position: 148.5

Yahoo end-season rank: 102

Oilers' Hall, Sabres' Kane lead injury bounce-backs

Wednesday, 09.23.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Sean McCullen - NHL.com Staff Writer

Losing your top scorer during a playoff push in late February or early March can leave you on the outside looking in come the fantasy postseason.

Injuries play a major role in fantasy hockey each season. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prepare for them; they are completely out of your hands.

What you can control is who you draft and who you add off the waiver wire, and that includes players coming off an injury-shortened, subpar season. Knowing whether a player returning from injury is worthy of an early, middle-round or late draft pick could go a long way in determining whether you make the playoffs and win your league.

Those fantasy owners who were scared off by Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne’s injury woes in 2013-14 almost certainly regret not drafting him last year after he won 41 games and had a stellar 2.18 goals-against average and .923 save percentage to finish second in 2014-15 Vezina Trophy voting.

Analysis of 2015-16 NHL.com fantasy mock draft

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

The NHL preseason is underway and fans around the world are putting together their fantasy leagues, so we've created a simulation to help you be as prepared as possible for draft day.

NHL.com's fantasy staff of Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen, Brian Metzer, David Satriano, Eric Goodman and Sean McCullen joined LNH.com's Sebastien Deschambault, Yahoo's Scott Pianowski and NHL.com's Brian Compton, Mike Morreale, Darryl Haberman and Thomas Imperato to participate in this 12-team mock draft. The league has 192 draftees and standard Yahoo scoring.

Below are the results of the simulation with commentary pertaining to the first eight rounds and observations for later rounds. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect every trend of this mock draft to translate to your league format, but we recommend using NHL.com's top 250 ranks, analysis stories, Yahoo average draft positions and this exercise to shape your draft-day decisions.

Spezza, McDonagh among bounce-back candidates

David Satriano - NHL.com Fantasy Staff Writer

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was the Fantasy MVP last season and no doubt helped many who owned him to fantasy championships.

But it takes more than a great season from a goalie to win. You also need to be able to identify when to drop a player who is playing below his draft value. It's not easy dropping Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon, who had 38 points one season after winning the Calder Trophy, but holding on to a player and waiting for them to turn the corner during a rough year can be costly.

Here are 10 players you can expect to have bounce back fantasy seasons:

Soderberg, Niskanen lead Cubeta's fantasy sleepers

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Top-tier players at each position are needed to compete for a fantasy title, but late-round, under-the-radar options with upside, known as sleepers, can pay large dividends.

Fantasy sleepers are found late in drafts with a chance to outperform expectations, but this concept needs to be distinguished from breakout, draft bargain, and bounce-back candidates. Breakouts (i.e. Jakub Voracek, Vladimir Tarasenko in 2014-15) usually are obtained in the 90 range, or a little later in drafts, but can reach superstar production after showing signs of promise in the past. Draft bargains (Blake Wheeler, Radim Vrbata, Scott Hartnell in 2014-15) have pedigree but are overlooked. Bounce-backs, whether injury (Pekka Rinne, Kris Letang in 2014-15) or performance (Rick Nash, Braden Holtby in 2014-15), have a track record of fantasy relevance that comes with a factor that hindered their ceiling the previous season.

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