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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

On the 'D'-fence: Blue liners can make big difference

Wednesday, 01.23.2013 / 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 expert all season long.


It was a long four months, but the National Hockey League season finally kicked off on Saturday with a jam-packed schedule that saw 26 teams in action. What might have gone unnoticed is that those 26 squads weren't the only ones who were dashing off the starting line in what is sure to be a sprint through the shortened 48-game season.

Obviously, the key in any fantasy league is getting the right mixture of players, and as we have made a habit of preaching over the last 15 months, defensemen are a major part of that elixir. This column and each that follow it will help you figure out which blue liners you should be targeting.

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The Front Line: Aging veterans providing early value

Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

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 expert all season long.


Welcome back, fantasy owners! With the season already feeling like we're halfway into it, the first three days of NHL action has given us plenty to look forward to for the remainder of the season in fantasy hockey.

Nothing was more rewarding for fantasy owners than being one of the fortunate to have a 40-year-old forward on your roster. Of course, we're talking about Jaromir Jagr, Teemu Selanne or Ray Whitney. All three veterans got off to a fantastic start, and all three could end up being extremely valuable fantasy assets for the remainder of the season.

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Fantasy All-Access: New faces in new places thrive

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

We have 19 games down and 701 left to go in our fantasy hockey season and hopefully you are off to a good start. If not, then let us here at NHL Fantasy guide you back on track.

The first weekend of NHL hockey, we saw some New Faces in New Places have early success. In fact, there were 18 goals by players playing with new teams or rookies playing in their first weekend of action, and with that the hashtag #NewFacesinNewPlacesGoalCount was born.

The Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars had two of the biggest impacts from their offseason additions. Florida saw instant chemistry from Jonathan Huberdeau (19 years, 7 months) and Alex Kovalev (39 years, 10 months old) as they combined for six points in their first game together. Fantasy owners are hoping they have instant chemistry like Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr had last season.

Speaking of the 40-year-old Jagr, he also had a dazzling debut with the Stars on Saturday, recording two goals and two assists, and will still be a factor in fantasy once again this season.

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Fantasy Mailbag: Compelling draft week storylines

Wednesday, 01.16.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

With the start of the 2012-13 NHL regular season days away, fantasy owners find themselves in the midst of the most exciting yet anxious time of year -- draft week.

Entering a normal fantasy draft, owners typically reflect on the past season, injury history surrounding their targeted players, and other factors such as potential line changes.

But considering the unique landscape entering a 48-game season, fantasy owners face more dilemmas than ever when deciding on players.

So as you consider draft strategies, mull trade offers and monitor the waiver wire, fantasy insider Pete Jensen is here to point you in the right direction with NHL.com's Fantasy Hockey Mailbag. The most compelling fan-submitted tweets will be answered all season long in an effort to provide you with the best chance to succeed in your league.

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Cu-bet on it: 50 fantasy hockey predictions

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

With the 2012-13 NHL season rapidly approaching, it's time to have a look at my boldest, most outrageous fantasy hockey predictions for this year.

Many of these predictions will shock you, and I'm sure each and every one of you will disagree and flat out dislike several of them. Are these things definitely going to happen this season? Of course not, but I believe there is a chance they just might.

Some of these predictions are based on past seasons performances, in-depth statistical research, expected lineups or changes of scenery, but most of them are based purely on my gut instincts and what I believe. The reason I do these daring predictions is for you to get a general idea of which players I really like and which guys I might not be too high on this season.

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Youngsters on the rise for fantasy hockey this year

Thursday, 01.10.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

With the impending start of the NHL season, fantasy hockey drafts are going to come fast and furious so it's time to get reacquainted with some names that should be all over your radar. Here's a look at some of the important young players that will be available and what they did during the lockout in North American leagues ahead of the upcoming NHL fantasy season.

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Players who stayed active worth targeting in drafts

Wednesday, 01.09.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

When the puck drops on the 2012-13 NHL season, stars that had been competing internationally during the lockout will make their NHL season debuts. With that, a truly unprecedented fantasy hockey season finally will be underway.

Many players who competed overseas already were considered reliable or even elite fantasy assets. For example, reigning Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin (23 G, 42 A, plus-23, 58 PIM in 37 games for Magnitogorsk) and fellow Russian forwards Pavel Datsyuk (11 G, 25 A, plus-14 in 31 games for CSKA) and Alex Ovechkin (19 G, 21 A, plus-13 in 31 games for Dynamo Moscow) simply reaffirmed their status as clear-cut, first-round fantasy assets by their stellar performance in KHL action.

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Updated Top-175 Overall Fantasy Hockey Rankings

Tuesday, 01.08.2013 / 12:45 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

Below is a list of NHL.com's updated top-175 overall fantasy hockey player rankings for the 2012-13 season, as determined by fantasy experts Matt Cubeta (@NHLQubes), Pete Jensen (@NHLJensen), Sergei Feldman (@NHLFeldman) and Chris Foster (@NHLFoster).

Past statistics, potential linemates, injuries and much more are taken into account in producing these selections, but these rankings should be viewed as our experts' opinionated projections of the most valuable players in the League from a fantasy standpoint.

These rankings project value in standard fantasy hockey leagues, which include a 6x4 category scoring system: goals, assists, plus-minus, power-play points, shots on goal, penalty minutes, goalie wins, goals-against-average, save percentage and shutouts.

So, whether you're searching for a goal-scorer, distributor, power-play anchor, PIM producer or a top-tier netminder, our latest edition of the top-175 rankings will give you an edge in your fantasy hockey draft. 
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Sleeper projections: Tarasenko tops Jensen's list

Tuesday, 09.11.2012 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

With very few exceptions, the vast majority of top-tier players are established and well-known to the common fantasy owner. While these players are integral components of a championship team, under-the-radar options with high potential -- better known as sleepers -- can pay huge dividends in fantasy leagues as well.

Whether drafted or added off waivers, these players typically are undervalued on draft day but ultimately can become major fantasy commodities by season's end. Sleepers are extremely unpredictable every season, but the bottom line is these players end up outperforming everyone’s expectations, regardless of their age, team or position.

This week, NHL.com fantasy insiders Sergei Feldman, Pete Jensen and Matt Cubeta (Wednesday, Sept. 12) take in-depth looks at underrated players who should be on your fantasy team's radar entering drafts. Each expert will provide 10 sleeper picks with corresponding stat projections (in order of preference), along with five additional candidates for fantasy owners to keep an eye on.

PETE JENSEN'S FANTASY HOCKEY SLEEPERS

1. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, St. Louis Blues

Vladimir Tarasenko could be a fantasy difference-maker in his first NHL campaign with the St. Louis Blues. (Photo: Getty Images)

This 20-year-old Russian phenom was drafted in the first round of the 2010 Entry Draft but the 2012-13 season will be his first in North America after playing the last four seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League. He has point-production savvy beyond his years (47 points in 54 KHL games last season), making him an immediate threat to score 20-plus goals as a rookie. What's more, the opportunity to develop in coach Ken Hitchcock's system makes his situation even more promising. He's a projected third-liner heading into his first NHL season, but will be further utilized if injuries affect the Blues' talented group of forwards again.

Projection: 24 G, 23 A, plus-10, 25 PIM, 12 PPP, 175 SOG

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Sleeper projections: Hejduk tops Feldman's crop

Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

With very few exceptions, the vast majority of top-tier players are established and well-known to the common fantasy owner. But while these players are integral components of a championship team, under-the-radar options with high potential -- better known as sleepers -- can pay huge dividends in fantasy leagues as well.

Whether drafted or added off waivers, these players are typically undervalued on draft day but can ultimately become fantasy commodities by season's end. Sleepers are extremely unpredictable every year, but the bottom line is, these players end up outperforming everyone’s expectations, regardless of their age, team or position.

This week, NHL.com fantasy insiders Sergei Feldman, Pete Jensen and Matt Cubeta take in-depth looks at underrated players who should be on your fantasy team's radar entering drafts. Each expert will provide 10 sleeper picks with corresponding stat projections (in order of preference), along with five additional candidates for fantasy owners to keep an eye on.

SERGEI FELDMAN'S FANTASY HOCKEY SLEEPERS:

Milan Hejduk
Right Wing - COL
GOALS: 14 | ASST: 23 | PTS: 37
SOG: 170 | +/-: -12
1. Milan Hejduk, RW, Colorado Avalanche

What do you get when you take into account a one-time 50-goal scorer, a five-time 30-plus goal-scorer and an impressive crop of forwards to play alongside with? Hejduk, who figures to be a consistent contributor for fantasy owners given the new wave of talent in the Mile High City.

Projection: 22 G, 38 A, plus-5, 25 PIM, 25 PPP, 210 SOG

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