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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Fantasy All-Access: Filling in for injured stars

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Injuries have plagued the fantasy world lately and some of the biggest names currently are out of action.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin missed the past two games with a lower-body injury, but could return to the lineup Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, is expected to miss the next 4-5 weeks with a strained groin, and the Detroit Red Wings are without Pavel Datsyuk (concussion) and Henrik Zetterberg (back).

Recent additions to the list of injured players has been Philadelphia Flyers center Vincent Lecavalier (back), Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (lower body), Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler (lower body) and Toronto Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak (oblique).

What does this mean for your team? If you are dealing with these injuries, look for the players featured below in our waiver-wire watch to step up.

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In the Cage: Lundqvist's extension, rookies on rise

Thursday, 12.05.2013 / 12:09 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Whether it was adjusting to smaller leg pads, acclimating to a new defensive system, or just trying to stay focused amidst ongoing contract negotiations, it has been a cumbersome first quarter of the season for New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

As a result, Lundqvist has experienced an unceremonious “first” in his eight-year NHL career: a losing record in back-to-back months. He went 3-5-0 with a 2.84 goals-against average and .908 save percentage in October, and then 5-6-0 with a 2.27 GAA and .924 save percentage in November.

That culminated with him riding the pine in consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 5-7, 2011.

Regardless, Lundqvist’s elite skills and overall consistency merited an extension that will make him the highest-paid goalie when his brand new seven-year, $59.5 million contract kicks in next season.

Knowing that Lundqvist’s workload will likely result in another 30-win campaign, expect his fantasy value to rise as the season continues. This is historically his weakest month in terms of save percentage (.913), but over his entire career, Lundqvist has a .921 save percentage in both January and March, a .924 mark in February, and a .928 mark in April.

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On the 'D'-fence: Where to find power-play points

Wednesday, 12.04.2013 / 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.


Fantasy hockey shouldn't be complicated.

At the end of the day you want to discover and roster the players that will score and set up the most goals, and in some hockey pools that is all you need. Like the game that is actually played on the ice, if you score more than the other team you are going to win, but it isn't always that simple in leagues that track stats above and beyond those counting by standard scoring.

We are all guilty of dumbing the game down to goals and assists at times, while we neglect categories like hits, blocked shots or the one we'll discuss today, power-play points. Power-play points can be tough to come by, and that stems from the fact most teams only have five to eight players that log significant ice time with the extra man.

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The Front Line: Malkin, Penguins forwards excelling

Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 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.

And just like that, Evgeni Malkin is back. How did it happen so quickly? The Pittsburgh Penguins forward went from outside the top 50 fantasy players in Yahoo leagues to the No. 4 overall player in less than two weeks.

After earning the week's No. 1 star, Malkin made his fantasy owners completely forget about his sluggish start when he had just three goals and 10 points in 13 October games. Thanks to an incredible November that saw him post four goals and 25 points in 15 games, Malkin's 35 points on the season trail only his teammate, Sidney Crosby, and by just one.

But for fantasy owners, Malkin has been even more valuable. His 15 power-play points are tied for the NHL lead with Alex Ovechkin; he is tied for ninth in the NHL with 13 minor penalties (good for 26 penalty minutes); and he has a plus-1 rating and 80 shots on goal which have certainly helped. He's been a completely dominant fantasy player, and most of this incredible production has come in the month of November. He would likely be the No. 1 player if not for his slow start.

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Fantasy All-Access: A November to remember

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

The second month of the fantasy season is over and some of the big names in the NHL reclaimed their spots at the top.

Evgeni Malkin
Center - PIT
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 28 | PTS: 35
SOG: 80 | +/-: 1
Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin had only 10 points in 13 games played in October, but followed that up with 25 points in 15 games played to lead all scorers in November.

The Chicago Blackhawks embarked on their Circus Trip to end the month and Patrick Kane, the reigning Conn Smythe trophy winner, had a 12-game point-streak where he had eight goals and nine assists.

Finally, New York Rangers backup goaltender Cam Talbot burst on the scene with an NHL-leading 1.15 goals-against average and .956 save percentage for goalies with at least five November starts, and his two shutouts were tied for the most in the League in the 11th month of the year.

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In the Cage: Red Wings' Gustavsson stepping up

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

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.

Still celebrating the holiday with family and friends? Then sit back and feast on our cornucopia of goalie stats before the weekend kicks off with the 2013 NHL Thanksgiving Showdown between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers (1 p.m. ET, NBC, TSN). More specifically, we take a look at shot-for percentages for a couple of goalies that are seeing a rise in their fantasy value.

Owned in 12 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues, Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson is currently stuffing opponents at a high rate. Not only is he taking advantage of some inconsistent play from Jimmy Howard, but after stealing a few wins, he’s now benefitting from more offensive support.

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On the 'D'-fence: Thankful for a defensive fantasy feast

Wednesday, 11.27.2013 / 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.

We are one day away from the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, which provides the nation a chance to reflect on all of the things for which they are thankful.

While appreciating our health, prosperity, friends and family is at the heart of the day, we also see large gatherings in which everyone brings something to the table to aid in the celebration.

Today the defensemen of the National Hockey League come together to give you a fantasy feast!

This feast my not provide turkey legs, sweet potatoes or cranberry sauce, but the boys have covered dishes full of goals, assists, shots on goal and all of the other statistics you need to win your league.

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The Front Line: Giving thanks in fantasy hockey

Tuesday, 11.26.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

To say we should be thankful for the play of Alexander Steen is an understatement. After all, on average he was selected with the 163rd pick in Yahoo leagues during draft season and right now he's ranked fifth among all players. I mean, the guy's second in points (29), is second in goals (19) and is tied for second among forwards with a plus-15 rating. This coming from a player that I ranked 154th coming into the season.

Steen is the obvious forward to be most thankful for this season. But what about the rest of the bunch? So, in honor of Thanksgiving, from the forwards that have performed as expected to the guys that have surprised everyone, let's have a look at what fantasy owners should be thankful for at this point of the season.

Bryan Little, Winnipeg Jets -- For being one of the most complete fantasy players in the game. I ranked Little 192nd among all players at the start of the season and right now he's 40th in Yahoo leagues. Only three players in the NHL have more than 10 goals, 10 assists, 20 penalty minutes and a plus rating: Corey Perry (no surprise), David Backes (not a huge surprise) and, you guessed it, Bryan Little.

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins -- For not missing any games this season. To no one's surprise, Crosby is my No. 1 overall fantasy player right now, and as long as he can stay healthy, he should remain there.

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Fantasy All-Access: Giving #HockeyThanks

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

This is the week where fantasy owners get to stuff their faces with turkey, stuffing and plenty of hockey action; more on that later in the roster trends. Here are some of the players we are giving #HockeyThanks for in the fantasy world so far.

A healthy Sidney Crosby is where he belongs near the top of Yahoo fantasy rankings and it sure looks like there is no slowing down No. 87 on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Even though he hasn't scored a goal in 10 games, the reigning Norris Trophy winner, P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens, is the top-ranked fantasy defenseman with his 10 power-play points and 78 shots.

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In the Cage: Injury replacements thriving in fantasy

Thursday, 11.21.2013 / 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 guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.

After a 5-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, Los Angeles Kings goaltender Ben Scrivens has now compiled a 4-0-0 record, 1.00 goals-against average, .963 save percentage, and two shutouts since Jonathan Quick suffered his Grade 2 groin strain.

Scrivens' shutout streak finally ended at 191:19 minutes, nearly eclipsing Quick's franchise-record 202:11 streak. With some simple, yet effective style refinements that include a narrower stance and a more traditional glove hand positioning, Scrivens' impressive play has also revealed a key fantasy trend through the first quarter of the season: The injury replacements are thriving.

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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