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(Page 30 of 48)
Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

In the Cage: Four buy-low candidates

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Monday during the season, goalie specialist and founder of The Goalie Guild Justin Goldman 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.

As the sense of urgency rises for teams hinging on a playoff spot, so too does the sense of urgency for their goaltenders. We've seen hints of brilliance from a few savvy veterans over the last week, so we want to give you the lowdown on four interesting buy-low candidates for the rest of the regular season. There will always an inherent risk with these goalies, but this is universal; if you own them, expect a lot in return. If you want to acquire them, try to sneak a buy-low steal from otherwise unaware managers!

1. Craig Anderson: Leading the race in volume stats categories, Anderson is 4-0-1 in his last five games and currently playing the best hockey of his season. He sits first in games played (41), second in minutes (2,289:59), and first in shots faced (1,219). He plays at his best when he's ultra-aggressive and fierce in the crease, so if you see him shoving players in the back and swiping his stick to create space, you know he's on his game. This type of attitude and durability is what made him so successful in Colorado (in the 2009-10 season), and it could make him a major force for the Senators in the second half.

2. Cam Ward:
With a monumental 3-2 win over the Bruins last Saturday night, the Hurricanes finally came up on the right side of a tight one-goal game, and Ward was a big reason for that. Sunday's return of Jeff Skinner acted as another morale booster for the team, and now Ward's value is rising. He stopped 89 of 95 shots in his last three games, and has allowed just two goals against in each of his last five games (3-2-0). Keep in mind that Ward's best month in his career is in March (35-11-4 with a 2.29 goals-against average and .924 save percentage), so we feel he fits the profile of a buy-low candidate.
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Fantasy Mailbag: Reimer's value dwindling in January

Fantasy Insider Pete Jensen answers your weekly fantasy hockey questions

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com fantasy insider Pete Jensen has you covered all season long with the weekly Fantasy Hockey Mailbag. The most compelling questions posed each week will be answered in an effort to provide you with the best chance to succeed in your particular league.

Submit your best questions for the NHL.com Fantasy Mailbag by contacting
PJensen@NHL.com.



KENNY FROM ALBERTA is contemplating dropping James Reimer for either Josh Harding or Evgeni Nabokov.

It's no secret that Reimer's value has taken a significant hit over the past two weeks, leaving his fantasy owners bewildered. Jonas Gustavsson has started all six games for the Toronto Maple Leafs this calendar year, emerging as the team's most reliable goaltender. Reimer sports a 7-4-4 mark this season but has allowed three or more goals in eight of his 11 outings since returning from a concussion that caused him to miss 18 games. The good news for Reimer owners is that Gustavsson, following a four-game win streak that included two shutouts, has fallen back down to earth with consecutive losses at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers. But the reality holds true for the time being, as the 23-year-old Reimer (owned in 58 percent of Yahoo! leagues) hasn't played since Dec. 31 and can only bide his time as coach Ron Wilson continues to dissect the goaltending dilemma. Reimer should still be retained if at all possible, but stability should be sought from an available netminder.

James Reimer
Goalie - TOR
RECORD: 7-4-4
GAA: 3.01 | SVP: 0.900
Harding (29 percent) has the sixth-best save percentage in the League (.929) and has been in net for the Minnesota Wild in each of its last three games. Once starter Niklas Backstrom (flu) is back, this will return to a free-for-all for playing time, but Harding remains a nice short-term option with game-breaking capability as evidenced but his monster 47-save effort in Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues. The Wild have only won twice in their last 15 games, but if Harding gets his season back on track, there is potential left in the tank from a fantasy standpoint. That being said, your best bet at this time is probably Nabokov (27 percent), who has started 11 straight games for the New York Islanders and is fresh off his 300th career win Saturday vs. Buffalo. Nabby, believe it or not, has overcome a forgettable 2-8-0 start with five wins in his last eight outings. Al Montoya (concussion) is working his way back, but Rick DiPietro (sports hernia) is likely done for the season leaving a familiar void in net on Long Island. The bottom line is this veteran is rediscovering his rhythm and already becoming a growing commodity in the fantasy world.
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The Real Spiel: Hossa emerging as fantasy MVP

Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 8:31 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

Given the complex, never-steady landscape of fantasy hockey, each week, NHL.com Fantasy Insider Sergei Feldman will give you The Real Spiel on some of the quirks and trends that permeated your week of fantasy hockey by way of in-depth analysis.


MIDWEST HOSS-PITALITY: The Real Spiel on Marian Hossa

Marian Hossa
Right Wing - CHI
GOALS: 17 | ASST: 30 | PTS: 47
SOG: 153 | +/-: 23
One might argue that Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa has had himself an MVP-caliber season, both in real life and in fantasy hockey. One might also agree. Hossa is a bona fide stud for fantasy team owners. His assists (30), points (47), plus/minus (plus-23) and power-play goals (7) all rank in the Top 10 in the NHL. Throw in his 17 goals and 153 shots and you've got yourself a more-than-reliable option to lead your team to greatness. History of production is also on Hossa's side, as he is essentially a point-per-game player. However, he hasn't played in 80-plus games in each of the past four seasons. When healthy, Hossa's the guy to get your team to the Promised Land.

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Breaking down our updated top-50 fantasy rankings

Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 4:09 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Having released our midseason updated top-175 overall fantasy hockey rankings, it's time to provide you with some explanations for our top-50 picks. Why was Evgeni Malkin chosen over the Sedin brothers, or over the League's top goal-scorer in Steven Stamkos? Why was the struggling Alex Ovechkin ranked one spot higher than the surprising superstar-like Phil Kessel? Why did Brian Elliott not crack our top 50 despite being second in the NHL in goals against average and save percentage?

These are just a few questions many of you are probably wondering, but this is our reasoning for our top-50 overall rankings at the midpoint of the 2011-12 season:

The overall ranking order is based on Matt Cubeta's updated rankings at the midpoint of the 2011-12 season.

Rankings are based on a standard fantasy hockey league that includes a 6x4 scoring system: goals, assists, plus/minus, power-play points, shots on goal, penalty minutes, goalie wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts.

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Updated top-175 overall fantasy hockey rankings

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Welcome to the second half of the NHL season. With the midway point of the 2011-12 campaign officially behind us as of Monday, Jan. 9, it's time re-rank every fantasy player.

These rankings take everything into effect. They are based on a standard fantasy league (categories: goals, assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, power-play points, shots on goal, goalie wins, save percentage, goals-against average and shutouts), with fantasy being the key word. These rankings are not an ordered list of the best NHL players -- they are based solely on their fantasy hockey value.

These rankings are based on expectations for the remainder of the 2011-12 season. Obviously what a player has done up to this point plays a critical role on where they are ranked, but just because Bobby Ryan has had a rough first half, doesn't necessarily mean we think he's going to struggle as much in the second half. They also include players that are currently injured or listed on IR -- their rank takes into consideration how long that player is expected to be sidelined. 

Lastly, these rankings have been compiled solely by NHL.com's fantasy guru, Matt Cubeta -- therefore you may see he has goalies in a different order than Justin Goldman's "In the Cage" rankings, or different from Brian Metzer's defenseman rankings in his "On the 'D'-fence" weekly feature.

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On the 'D'-fence: A look back at the first half

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Tuesday 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 expert all season long.

We have officially hit the midway point of the NHL season and with that, the midpoint of the fantasy season. Though it seems as if fantasy owners have reaped the benefits of defensemen that are scoring a bit more than the norm, they have also had to weather a number of significant injuries to players that were expected to be big-time contributors for their teams.

No less than 26 fantasy relevant defensemen have missed varying chunks of time during the first half, including Drew Doughty, Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Letang, Mike Green, and our preseason No. 1-ranked rearguard, Shea Weber. The silver lining is that these injuries have allowed others, such as Dennis Wideman (in Washington) and Matt Niskanen (in Pittsburgh) to make a larger fantasy impact than they likely would have under normal circumstances.

Though these injuries have been a big story during the first half, there are several other trends that should be on your radar when trying to determine the impact of defensemen on your fantasy lineup during the second half of the season.
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In the Cage: Midseason mysteries

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Monday during the season, goalie specialist and founder of The Goalie Guild Justin Goldman 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 the official midpoint of the regular season here, NHL.com's fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will release his updated top-175 overall fantasy rankings on Tuesday, with a breakdown of the top-50 players to come on Wednesday.


Since Monday is the official midpoint of the regular season, we think this is a perfect chance to discuss six mysterious situations (in no particular order) facing poolies in the second half. These unknown elements of NHL goaltending could make or break your playoff run over the next two months, so keep an eye on these developing situations as you jockey for positioning in all of your fantasy leagues!
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Fantasy Mailbag: Ryan's resurgence in the making

Fantasy Insider Pete Jensen answers your weekly fantasy hockey questions

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com fantasy insider Pete Jensen has you covered all season long with the weekly Fantasy Hockey Mailbag. The most compelling questions posed each week will be answered in an effort to provide you with the best chance to succeed in your particular league.

Submit your best questions for the NHL.com Fantasy Mailbag by contacting
PJensen@NHL.com.



JEREMY FROM WASHINGTON, D.C. is contemplating benching or trading Bobby Ryan in his fantasy league. He has three other players with LW eligibility on his roster (James Neal, Taylor Hall and Alex Tanguay), and his league counts goals, assists, plus-minus, PIMs and power-play points.

Ryan's last five games have been a promising twist to a wildly inconsistent season, as the star forward has reeled off five goals, an assist and a plus-2 rating in that span. Ryan is now even with Corey Perry for the team lead in goals, but before his recent surge, the 24-year-old was locked into a six-game goalless streak. Ryan has proven to be a dynamic scoring threat in this League with three straight 30-plus goal seasons, but the bottom line is that the Ducks have the NHL's second-worst record and Ryan's season has been defined by erratic performance on a night-to-night basis with a dip in power-play production.

Bobby Ryan
Right Wing - ANA
GOALS: 15 | ASST: 8 | PTS: 23
SOG: 94 | +/-: -6
A good sign is that Ryan (15 G, 8 A, minus-6, 25 PIM, 2 PPP), and his linemate Ryan Getzlaf, responded well after general manager Bob Murray said he would leave it up to the team's core players to decide their own fate within the organization. Anaheim broke through Friday by scoring three times in the final period to upend the New York Islanders, 4-2. Your roster has depth at LW so Ryan is expendable, but with the recent news that Neal is out indefinitely with a broken foot, I would hold off on dealing Ryan for the time being. If the Ducks' struggles continue, there are no givens when it comes to Ryan's place in Bruce Boudreau's system, but that's not to say his value will not remain high. His recent outburst is an indication that Ryan has the determination to get his game back on track for the second half of the season. You obviously can't bench a fantasy game-breaker in Ryan at this time for Tanguay (5 G, 17 A, minus-3, 18 PIM, 9 PPP), who hasn't played since Dec. 20 because of an undisclosed injury, and with Neal's pace for a 40-plus goal season now in jeopardy, Ryan and Hall will be crucial contributors for your team moving forward. Hall has scored goals in four straight games and continues to show promise on Edmonton's top line, and with Ryan finally streaking, you owe it to yourself to ride out both hot stretches.
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The Real Spiel: Quick playing like royalty for Kings

Saturday, 01.07.2012 / 5:09 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

Given the complex, never-steady landscape of fantasy hockey, each week, NHL.com Fantasy Insider Sergei Feldman will give you The Real Spiel on some of the quirks and trends that permeated your week of fantasy hockey by way of in-depth analysis.


QUICK STEP: The Real Spiel on Jonathan Quick

Jonathan Quick
Goalie - LAK
RECORD: 18-10-6
GAA: 1.95 | SVP: 0.933
Los Angeles Kings’ netminder Jonathan Quick has had a quality career since his first full season in 2008-09 and if 34 games this go-around is any indication, he could be poised for his finest campaign yet. Look no further than the numbers: So far, Quick ranks in the Top 10 in every major fantasy goaltending category (18 wins, 991 saves and 1.95 GAA). His six shutouts, 34 games played and even two PIMs are nice bonuses. But as impressive as his stats have been, even more impressive has been his ability to shoulder the load night in, night out for the Kings, who are struggling to get their offense going. Quick has taken things upon himself to be the difference between victory and defeat. In his past five outings, victories have followed, as he has come out on top four times and lost in overtime. He also didn’t allow a goal on two occasions. Not bad – and things don’t appear to be slowing down.

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Right of Way: Could Semin's New Year be brighter?

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Friday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy right wings in our weekly segment: "Right of Way." From updated right wing rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy right wing expert all season long.

Earlier in the week we looked at which centers and left wings have disappointed fantasy owners and what those players needed to do to turn their seasons around. Today, we'll break down the right wings and explain what we hope they can do to snap out of their struggles.

Here are five of the biggest right wing disappointments and their New Year's resolutions for how they can turn their season around starting right now:

Martin St. Louis -- Nobody thinks your 31 points in 34 games this season has been disappointing, but it's the rest of your stat line that isn't helping your fantasy owners. A minus-1 rating, 8 penalty minutes, 6 power-play points and only 2.5 shots per game (down from 3.1 last season) are the main reasons your current Yahoo! rating is at 142 overall (you came into the season rated 10th among all players). We're hoping your power-play ice time goes up (down from 4:31 last year to 3:52 this season) and you start firing the puck on net more frequently, which will lead to more goals.
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NHL.COM FANTASY HOCKEY COVERAGE
Exclusive: NHL.com's top 275 rankings
30 in 30 fantasy hockey preview index
Pete Jensen's 10 sleepers for 2014-15
Matt Cubeta's 10 sleepers for 2014-15
Matt Sitkoff's 10 sleepers for 2014-15
Intricacies of NHL schedule important

TOP 275 OVERALL FANTASY RANKS

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

COMPLETE RANKINGS BY CUBETA, JENSEN & SITKOFF