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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

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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Spezza, Smith could be trade deadline steals

Fantasy Hockey Trade Deadline Decisions - Part 2

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

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 (Wednesday). 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.

Buy-low: Players to acquire before your trade deadline

Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators -- 54 games: 15 G, 30 A, minus-23, 34 PIMs, 16 PPP, 160 SOG

Take away Spezza's minus-23 and you're looking at an elite fantasy player, like many of us expected back when we drafted him. That rating is killing his value -- so much so that he is actually ranked all the way at 99 in Yahoo leagues. But it's only one category and the Senators are still a talented team. A little more luck and some better goaltending could go a long way in boosting Spezza's value. Right now Spezza's shooting percentage sits at 9.4 percent. His career mark is 14.0 percent. That's quite a difference. Throughout this story, I'm going to give you a bunch of players whose shooting percentages are well below their career averages and it's a good gauge for expecting a player to revert back to the norm for the final 20-25 games of the season. Of course, sometimes a player ends up getting a bit lucky for an entire season, but shooting percentage is one of the few statistics where we can spot whether someone has been lucky or unlucky. Either way, you should expect a few more of Spezza's shots to start finding the back of the net and both his goal production and plus/minus will improve.

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In the Cage: Six key goalie trade deadline topics

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 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.

With less than one week until the NHL Trade Deadline (Wednesday, March 5 at 3 p.m.), the window of opportunity to upgrade your goaltending before the fantasy playoff push is quickly closing.

The 2014 Sochi Olympics was a nice break from the grueling NHL schedule, but it also gave us a rare glimpse of some key fantasy goalies playing behind different defensive systems.

But now, with a few other goalies rumored to be on the move next week, we're focused in on six key goaltending storylines leading up to next Wednesday and the trade deadline.

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Miller, Vanek among top fantasy trade candidates

Fantasy Hockey Trade Deadline Decisions - Part 1

Wednesday, 02.26.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

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. Part 3: A list of players you should be trying to trade away before your deadline -- also known as sell-high candidates.

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.

Players who could be traded before the NHL Trade Deadline and how it would affect their fantasy value

Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres -- 39 games: 14-22-3, 2.74 GAA, .923 SV%, 0 SO

Miller currently ranks 313th among all players in Yahoo fantasy leagues. Not exactly what his drafters were hoping for. However, the American goalie has a .923 save percentage, which is good for seventh best in the NHL among goalies that have made at least 30 starts. The Sabres have allowed the third-most shots on goal per game (34.2) and are dead last in goals per game by an enormous margin (1.82 for Buffalo, 2.25 for the Los Angeles Kings). Assuming Miller gets dealt to a playoff-contending team, you can expect his wins and goals-against average to improve significantly, making Miller a potential top-10 fantasy goalie for the rest of the season.


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On the 'D'-fence: Defensemen left mark in Sochi

Wednesday, 02.26.2014 / 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.


It seems as if it were yesterday that we were releasing our preseason rankings, but the NHL season has already entertained us for close to five months. If that is hard to believe, it is even more so that the 2014 Sochi Olympics have already come and gone.

Four years of speculation, debate and analysis of each competing country has culminated in another gold medal for Canada, and while this tournament might not have been as high-scoring as the one that took place in Vancouver in 2010, defensemen played a huge role in the outcome.

Our top-ranked defenseman, Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators, tied for the tournament lead in scoring with eight points, leading Sweden to a silver medal. His four goals tied for second and he looked a lot like the player who won the Norris Trophy back in 2012.

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The Front Line: Oshie headlines Olympic beneficiaries

Tuesday, 02.25.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

NHL action officially resumes Tuesday (Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, SPSO, MSG-B, BELL TV) and fantasy owners should be prepared for their stretch run after a two-week hiatus due to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

It was a fantastic tournament, but now it's time to get back to work. I've provided updated top-100 forward rankings for the remainder of this season. Unfortunately, we've lost another elite forward in New York Islanders captain John Tavares, but hopefully fantasy owners will see Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos returning to their rosters in the very near future. This week should also see some other top fantasy forwards back in action as Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks, Evander Kane of the Winnipeg Jets, Marian Gaborik of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Johan Franzen of the Detroit Red Wings are all expected to play.

But before we officially hop back on the saddle, let's find out which forwards have seen their value increase thanks to their performances in Sochi.

Jeff Carter
Center - LAK
GOALS: 20 | ASST: 17 | PTS: 37
PIMs: 22 | SOG: 189 | +/-: 6
Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings -- Available in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues

While owned in nearly all Yahoo leagues, Carter makes for a great player to try and acquire via trade. He's coming off an impressive Olympic performance with three goals, two assists, 24 shots on goal and a plus-6 rating in six games. He bounced around the lineup all tournament, but looked dominant at times. Carter struggled before the Olympic break with no goals in eight games for the Kings, but expect him to finish the season strong.

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