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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Fantasy top 60 'D': Habs' Gonchar, Therrien reunite

Wednesday, 11.19.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

It isn't often you have the opportunity to find a difference-making defenseman sitting on the waiver wire a month into the season in a Yahoo Standard League, but that is exactly what you could be getting if you're willing to take a chance on Sergei Gonchar.

The veteran is owned in just five percent of leagues, but his value got a shot in the arm when he was traded from the Dallas Stars to the Montreal Canadiens last week.

Playing in Montreal doesn't change the fact he is 40 years old, a step or two slower and in the twilight of his career, but it does put him back in a situation that helped him have some of the most productive seasons of his career: playing in Michel Therrien's system.

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Nashville trio breaking mold

Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber has been their leading scorer in each of the past two seasons. The Predators haven't had a 60-point producer since J-P Dumont in 2008-09, the longest active drought in the NHL.

But times are changing in the Music City under coach Peter Laviolette, and fantasy owners are cashing in on the Predators' offensive resurgence. Through 17 games, each of Nashville's top-line components, James Neal, Mike Ribeiro and rookie Filip Forsberg, is on pace for more than 60 points.

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Fantasy All-Access: Coyotes' Dubnyk worth pickup

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

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Kane, Subban slumps among hot fantasy topics

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar's fantasy struggles in the early parts of the 2014-15 season have been well-documented. He has seven points in 14 games after putting together a 70-point effort a season ago. Coming into this season, Kopitar was drafted on average with the 19th pick. Right now he ranks 449th among all players in Yahoo fantasy leagues.

It's been an ugly start for Kopitar. However, he missed three-and-a-half games because of an upper-body injury. We can sort of give him a free pass for his struggles due to the injury. An excuse, perhaps. Plus, Kopitar has two goals and two assists in the past three games. Maybe he's breaking out of the slump. If so, the buy-low window may have just disappeared.

If you can't acquire Kopitar, there are two other elite players you should be targeting: Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane and Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban. Try and pry either of these guys away from their owners at a discounted price right now. It may be the last chance you have.

Let's take a look at their situations.

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Hurricanes' Ward has awoken

Thursday, 11.13.2014 / 12:20 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Goldman will be your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward is kind of like the Rip Van Winkle of fantasy hockey.

For the first time in more than five seasons Ward has won five games in a row. It’s the first time he has accomplished this feat since stringing together nine straight wins from March 18 to April 9, 2009.

Considering he was 0-3-1 with a .840 save percentage (84 saves on 100 shots) in October, Ward is starting to prove to even his harshest critics that he's waking up from a very lengthy slumber.

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Flames' Giordano tops rankings

Wednesday, 11.12.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

The Calgary Flames have been one of the most interesting stories through the first month of the NHL season. They have gotten off to a 9-6-2 start and sit just three points behind the Western Conference-leading Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division. There have been many reasons for that success, but one of the biggest has been the play of Mark Giordano.

Giordano, who jumps to the head of the line in our rankings this week, leads all defensemen in assists (14) and points (19), and ranks second in goals (five) and points per game (1.12). He collected 10 of those points (three goals) over his past five games and is probably the hottest player in the league not named Sidney Crosby.

He might not have been the first name you thought of when drafting defensemen for your fantasy team, but he probably should have been, especially when you consider he rolled up 47 points (five goals) over the 64 games he played last season.

That production translated into .73 points per game and was good enough to rank him behind the Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson (.90) and the Chicago Blackhawks' Duncan Keith (.77) in that category.

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Flyers' Voracek sustainable

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek was taken on average with the 94th pick in Yahoo fantasy hockey drafts.

The upside was clear: the 25-year-old was fresh off a career season in terms of goals, assists, shots on goal and power-play points. He was a lock to play with top-tier fantasy asset Claude Giroux again, so getting a taste of that pie was only logical for fantasy owners.

That said, Voracek didn't have the pedigree to suggest such elevated consistency and offensive balance through 14 games in 2014-15.

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Fantasy All-Access: Inside Penguins winning streak

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

The Pittsburgh Penguins seven-game winning streak is helping fantasy teams everywhere. They have outscored their opponents 32-8, their top-rated power play has scored 13 times in 34 attempts, their penalty kill has been successful on all 25 shorthanded opportunities and they have only trailed for 19:18 during the streak.

Individually, the top line of Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Patric Hornqvist has combined for 13 goals, 22 assists and a plus-22. Defenseman Kris Letang has eight points and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has given up only seven goals in six starts during the streak, while stopping 149 of the 156 shots faced (.955 save percentage). The Penguins play the New York Rangers on Tuesday, followed by back-to-back games against the Toronto Maple Leafs, then the Rangers again on Friday and Saturday. Fantasy owners should continue to have high hopes.

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Tarasenko, Luongo among hot fantasy topics

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

We've just about reached the point of no return, at least in my book. As I stated a few weeks ago, I tend to give players a 12-15 game trial every season to prove themselves. If they've performed at a high level for those 12-15 games, I have reason to believe they can continue to perform at that level for at least most of the remainder of the season. If they've struggled and disappointed in those 12-15 games, I usually start to think this might not be their season.

Of course, players will prove my benchmark wrong. Claude Giroux's 2013-14 season got off to an abysmal start when he went without a goal in his first 15 games. We all know what happened after that.

There will be Girouxs this season. At some point players like Anze Kopitar, David Backes and Gabriel Landeskog should turn things around. But for lesser-known players, the 12-15 game benchmark usually has worked for me. This is your chance to start gauging what you can expect from a player this season.

St. Louis Blues sensation Vladimir Tarasenko is the perfect example. Tarasenko's been the hottest topic in fantasy hockey this week and is the No. 2 overall fantasy player in Yahoo leagues. Will he remain a top-10 player? Maybe. But he's the type of player that has proved to me he can carry this hot start throughout the season. I'm a believer.

Let's have a look at some other hot topics in fantasy hockey right now.
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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Flames' Hiller early surprise

Thursday, 11.06.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Goldman will be your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.

The Calgary Flames were tied 3-3 late in the third period Tuesday with the Washington Capitals. With only a few seconds remaining in regulation, Flames goalie Jonas Hiller pulled off a beautiful right-toe reaction save on Capitals forward Tom Wilson to earn a point in the standings and plenty of public praise from his coach.

Thanks to Sean Monahan's overtime game-winner, that save also helped Calgary earn a second point.

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NHL.COM FANTASY STORIES | VIDEOS
Hottest topics: Rinne, Shattenkirk shining
Top 30 goalie ranks | Luongo underrated
Top 60 defensemen ranks | Anaheim's trio
Top 100 forward ranks | Seguin new No. 2
Fantasy Spin: Dallas Stars move Eakin to top line
All-Access: Cameron's impact on Senators