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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

The Front Line: Steen rises from injury-plagued past

Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy forwards in his weekly segment: "The Front Line." From updated rankings to players you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy forwards insider all season long.

UPDATED TOP 100 FORWARD RANKINGS


Alexander Steen's best season was 2009-10, his second as a member of the Blues, when he had 24 goals (seven of them on the power play), 47 points and a plus-6 rating in 68 games.

At that time Steen was 25, and as a first-round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2002 (No. 24), Blues fans were hoping this would be the emergence of a true superstar. He followed that breakthrough season with career-bests of 51 points and 218 shots on goal in 72 games, leaving many to believe this was a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately injuries took a toll on Steen the next couple of seasons and derailed his high expectations.

Now, four seasons later, we can see that Steen, still just 29, is performing at a level we hadn't seen over his 10-season career. Perhaps he's right on schedule after all; he just had a few bumps in the road.

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Fantasy All-Access: Silfverberg showing early value

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

The fantasy rookies are making a huge impact as Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks goes between his legs and Sean Monahan of the Calgary Flames just keeps going streaking with points to lead early fantasy surprises.

With the Flames only having two games scheduled this week, including a head-to-head matchup of these two rookies on Saturday, Calgary will have more time to decide whether to send the No. 6 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft back to juniors or keep him on the roster. The whole fantasy world awaits general manager Jay Feaster's big decision.

WAIVER WIRE WATCH

Jakob Silfverberg, Ducks (owned in 38 percent of Yahoo leagues) -- The return of Bobby Ryan to Anaheim was also a chance for the guy he was traded for to show off against his former team. Although Ryan was the one that filled up the score sheet, it is the 23-year-old Silfverberg that needs to be noticed for his play this season. Looking at their head-to-head stats it's been pretty even. Each has five points, Silfverberg has four goals to Ryan's three, and Silfverberg is playing almost as many minutes as the three-time 30-goal scorer he was traded for (79:16 to 85:20 total time on ice). Playing on a line with the ageless wonder, Teemu Selanne, and on the second power-play unit makes the Swedish forward a dangerous player. The Ducks have a great fantasy schedule this week, playing on Wednesday (@CGY), Friday (PHX) and Sunday (DAL), accounting for three of the seven games scheduled those days.

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In the Cage: Varlamov a fantasy commodity

Thursday, 10.10.2013 / 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 goalies you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.

Semyon Varlamov didn't win a single road game last season until April 26, just one day before the Colorado Avalanche ended their season. With a 1-14-2 record, a 3.67 goals-against average and .887 save percentage away from Pepsi Center, he was one of the worst goalies to own in any type of one-year fantasy league.

But one week into this season, Varlamov appears to be revitalized completely. Not only is he a perfect 3-0 under new coach Patrick Roy, but he has allowed just one goal in each game, stopping 88 of 91 shots (a .967 save percentage). Furthermore, he is yet to allow a power-play goal or relinquish a one-goal lead. And in his only start on the road, he stopped 27 of 28 shots.

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On the 'D'-fence: Jets defensemen taking off early

Wednesday, 10.09.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com Correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy defensemen in our weekly segment: "On the 'D'-fence." From updated defensemen rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Metzer will be your fantasy d-man insider all season long.


The Winnipeg Jets find themselves in good standing in the Central Division after one week of games and their deep group of offensive defensemen is a big reason why. Their top four in terms of minutes played have combined for 11 points (one goal) in their first three games.

Our No. 3-ranked defenseman, Dustin Byfuglien, is leading the way with four assists and that isn't shocking when you consider his history since joining the Jets.

Byfuglien has posted .55 points per game over his career, but that number jumps to .72 per game when you look just at his games played with the Jets. His shots per game also jumped from 2.99 to 3.73, which includes a season in which he took 347 shots.

The big rearguard has picked up two of his points on the power play and is averaging 4:24 of ice time with the extra man each night. He is also contributing in some lesser fantasy categories with nine hits and eight blocked shots.

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The Front Line: Turris, Hertl among fast starters

Tuesday, 10.08.2013 / 12:20 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy forwards in his weekly segment: "The Front Line." From updated rankings to players you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy forwards insider all season long.

UPDATED TOP 100 FORWARD RANKINGS


While we're just barely approaching the one-week mark of the 2013-14 season, we've still seen plenty of fantasy headlines early on. From Alex Ovechkin continuing his dominant ways, to Marc-Andre Fleury putting his playoff woes behind him, to Claude Giroux being held pointless in his first three games, this season's storylines are slowly starting to unfold.

With that said, let's take a look at some unexpected forwards off to fast starts and whether I'm buying their hot starts, or selling them:

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Fantasy All-Access: Welcome to the 2013-14 season

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

What a wild first six days of fantasy hockey. We had some big surprises like Mikhail Grabovski, who was only drafted in nine percent of Yahoo leagues, storming out of the season with five points in his first three games with the Washington Capitals. We had some big disappointments like Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, who was picked on average at 13.7 overall in Yahoo leagues and is sporting an unsightly 4.35 goals-against average and .878 save percentage.

We are here to remind you that fantasy championships are not won or lost in the first week, but the right early waiver wire pick up can set you up nicely for a winning season.

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In the Cage: New kids on the block in fantasy

Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 2:00 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.

Sixteen goalies get their regular season started Thursday night, so we figured this was a good time to introduce you to the new kids on the block.

This group of first-year goalies may not play often, but their ability to chip in a few wins could mean the difference between a bubble team making the Stanley Cup Playoffs or just missing the cut. The same goes for your fantasy team, as third and fourth goalies need to produce quality starts despite seeing limited action.

But if you have never seen these goalies before, how do you know what value they bring to the table? Well, let us eliminate some of the guesswork by ranking their projected fantasy value for the season.

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On the 'D'-fence: Letang starts season on IR

Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

The preseason is a necessary evil in professional sports. Talent evaluators, coaches and general managers need to take a period of time to study their rosters, tweak them and determine which players give them the best chance to win. There is a drawback to playing as many as eight preseason games and it comes in the form of injuries.

The regular season kicked off Tuesday night with three games, and as the puck dropped there were 98 players listed on NHL injury reports, or roughly 14 percent of all League players. Of those 98, over 30 of them were defensemen suffering from injuries of varying severity. One of those defensemen was Kris Letang, who we already know will miss the Pittsburgh Penguins opener on Thursday night.

Many folks couldn't understand why Letang would only rank third in our preseason rankings, but this validates the positioning. Letang is one of the most productive defensemen a team can have; however, he has played a full season just once over the past five years. That doesn't mean you shouldn't have drafted him, because he will likely finish the season with the highest points per game among all players at his position.

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The Front Line: Preseason recap and looking ahead

Tuesday, 10.01.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy forwards in his weekly segment: "The Front Line." From updated rankings to players you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy forwards insider all season long.

UPDATED TOP 100 FORWARD RANKINGS


With the 2013-14 NHL season set to begin Tuesday night, fantasy hockey owners are surely ready for their teams to embark on a championship season.

Drafts are complete; rosters should be in place, now we just have to manage our teams and hope to outsmart the opponent until April 13, when the regular season and fantasy hockey comes to an end.

With that said, let's take a look at some notable tandems during the preseason and how it affects the fantasy landscape:

DYNAMIC DUOS

Jordan Eberle and David Perron (Edmonton Oilers) -- Perron missed Edmonton's last preseason game due to an illness, but prior to that he and Eberle had been two of the most productive players in preseason. Eberle tied for the NHL lead with eight points in five games while Perron tied for the lead in goals with five (in just four games). With injuries to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner, the Oilers will be leaning heavily on Eberle and Perron, and fantasy owners should too.

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Cubeta to host weekly Twitter fantasy faceoff

NHL.com

Have you ever wanted to put your fantasy hockey knowledge up against an NHL.com fantasy hockey expert? You'll have the chance to do so once a week during the 2013-14 NHL season.

Starting Friday, Oct. 4, NHL.com randomly will select one lucky fan to compete against NHL.com fantasy insider Matt Cubeta in a one-week Twitter fantasy faceoff (each matchup will include NHL play from Saturday to Thursday).

The rules are simple. Every Thursday via Twitter, Cubeta (@NHLQubes) will post the weekly guidelines. From a pool of specific players (announced on his Twitter account), you'll be able to compete against the NHL.com fantasy insider in a specific category. Whoever finishes with the better results for that week wins the fantasy face-off. Fans will be able to follow and comment using #MeVsCubeta.

Every Friday on NHL Live (5-7 p.m. ET), Cubeta will reveal who won the faceoff and what fan he'll be playing next.

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NHL.COM FANTASY HOCKEY COVERAGE
New teams alter outlook for these 10
Spin: Anaheim's depth will benefit Kesler
Elliott-Allen duo | Halak's value with Isles
2013-14 fantasy awards | Biggest steals
Cubeta's season-ending Top 100 forwards
Metzer's season-ending Top 60 D-men

TOP 100 FANTASY FORWARDS

RANK TEAM PLAYER
1. Sidney crosby
2. Steven Stamkos
3. Corey Perry
4. Alex Ovechkin
5. Evgeni Malkin

CUBETA'S COMPLETE TOP 100 FORWARD RANKS