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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Fantasy All-Access: Breaking down Ducks' win streak

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Just like the Chicago Blackhawks' historic 24-game points streak to start the 2012-13 season, we are witnessing another incredible run this year by the Anaheim Ducks, who have won 17 of their past 18 games.

Let's look at the Ducks' recent run of victories from a fantasy perspective. Jonas Hiller has been carrying fantasy teams with a franchise record 14 consecutive wins. Eleven different Ducks have scored a game-winning goal in their past 18 games, with Kyle Palmieri leading the way with three. Captain Ryan Getzlaf, although day-to-day with lower-body, leads the team with 21 points in this stretch followed by Corey Perry with 18 points in the past 18 games. The Ducks have outshot their opponents in 14 of the 18 games, but have given up the first goal in 11 of those games.

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In the Cage: Hiller's fantasy value reaches new heights

Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 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.

Over the past six weeks, Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller has produced one of the best stretches of fantasy value since he was signed as a free agent way back on May 25, 2007.

Currently riding a 12-game winning streak (14-game unbeaten streak), Hiller has not suffered a regulation loss since Nov. 26, when he allowed five goals on 32 shots to the Dallas Stars. Since that game, Hiller has allowed more than two goals in only three games. In each of those games, he allowed just three goals.

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On the 'D'-fence: MacDonald providing hidden value

Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 12:30 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.

Andrew MacDonald may never win a Norris Trophy or finish as the NHL's leading defensive scorer, but he is proving to be a very valuable commodity to not only the New York Islanders but for fantasy owners.

His high-water mark in terms of scoring came back during the 2010-11 season when he averaged .45 points per game, picking up 27 points (four goals) in 60 games. He managed 12 power-play points, posted a decent plus-9 rating and fired 72 shots on goal, all of which got folks thinking he might be a sleeper pick in fantasy leagues heading into 2011.

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The Front Line: Sharp's scoring paces fantasy action

Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Welcome back. With the official midpoint of the 2013-14 NHL season behind us, it's time to focus on getting your team to win the title (rotisserie leagues) or getting your team to the fantasy playoffs (head-to-head leagues). We've seen plenty of fantasy action since Dec. 17 (my last "Front Line" story) and it should make for a fantastic finish in the second half.

Here are some of the highlights over the past couple of weeks:

Pittsburgh Penguins wing James Neal is no longer suspended and he's climbing the ranks quickly thanks to a stretch of six goals and six assists in his past five games. I've got him ranked eighth among all forwards.

The surprise story of St. Louis Blues wing Alexander Steen has taken a path for the worse as he's been out of the lineup since Dec. 21. Keep him on your injured reserve and hopefully he'll be back soon.

Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes and Evander Kane of the Winnipeg Jets are healthy again and performing like many of us hoped they would this season. Look for both of them to continue to rise as long as they can avoid injury.

Nathan Horton scored in his Columbus Blue Jackets debut and he's a player worth adding if he's still available. While I wouldn't expect much right out of the gate, Horton has upside and could help a fantasy squad earn a championship.

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Fantasy All-Access: Making New Year's resolutions

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

With a new year comes the promise of making things better. Making resolutions to go to the gym more or help out others are being said over and over again. Here are some NHL Fantasy New Year's Resolutions that will help owners see a better result in 2014.

It is time to quit on players that are not performing. One month of struggling has now turned to three months of not performing, and it is time to say goodbye to these players and move on in the new year. Some of these players to cut loose are New York Rangers forward Rick Nash, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz and Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby.

It's also time to take a risk in a trade and help your team while using strength to help out a weakness. Take a player who has been over-performing in 2013 and find a way to acquire a player who will strengthen an area of need in your ultimate goal of winning the championship. Players to target in trades are those on the trading block that could see their stock rise and goalies that are starting most of their teams' games.

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Midseason top 200 fantasy hockey rankings

NHL.com insiders Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen rank most valuable assets

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

The official midway point of the 2013-14 NHL season (Game No. 615 of 1230) falls on Jan. 2, but NHL.com has your fantasy hockey needs covered just in time for the holiday season.

Below are updated top-200 overall player rankings, as determined by fantasy insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen. As we approach the League's three-day break from game action, fantasy owners should use these rankings as a basis for team evaluation and future transactions.

These rankings should be viewed as our experts' opinionated projections of the League's most valuable fantasy assets based on performance to this point and expectations of the season moving forward. Injured players have been included based on approximate recovery time and potential statistical impact upon their return. Other factors taken into account include Yahoo position eligibility, line combinations, category coverage, contract status and statistical performance from previous seasons.

NOTE: 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.

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In the Cage: Bishop establishing elite fantasy value

Thursday, 12.19.2013 / 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.

Ben Bishop
Goalie - TBL
RECORD: 18-5-2
GAA: 1.96 | SVP: 0.934
Before the season started, very few people expected Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop to be a venerable fantasy asset. In fact, on average, 38 goalies were drafted before he was eventually selected 171st overall in Yahoo Fantasy leagues.

Less than three months later, Bishop has established himself as one of the best goalies to own this season. Not only does he sit fourth overall in goals-against average (1.96) and save percentage (.934), and second in wins (18), but his three shutouts also ties him with six other goalies for first overall.

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On the 'D'-fence: Familiar path for Stars' Gonchar

Wednesday, 12.18.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Many around the NHL raised an eyebrow when the Dallas Stars traded for the rights to defenseman Sergei Gonchar back on June 7 and signed him to a two-year, $10 million contract that would keep the veteran with the team through the 2014-15 season.

Though the move seemed a bit strange to some, it filled a need for the Stars, who were lacking a true quarterback for their power play. It also provided an opportunity for him to work with Alex Goligoski in much the same capacity that he had while the duo patrolled the blue line for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Sounded like a nice plan until the season started and Gonchar produced just one point, an assist, over his first 15 games.

He has now played in 32 games for the Stars and finds himself with just 11 points, seven of which have come on the power play. That production isn't up to his standards, but those who have followed Gonchar's career closely are reacting with a wink and a nod as if they are in on a secret.

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The Front Line: A look at the top 10 fantasy players

Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

We see it every year. Early on in each season, there's plenty of shuffling among the top-10 fantasy rankings -- this goes for Yahoo league rankings and my rankings. I have to try and determine where I believe each player fits in with so few games accounted for. If a superstar gets off to a slow start (Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers), do I drop him significantly or leave him high in the ranks with expectations he will return to past seasons' form? If a player comes out of nowhere to perform at the level of a superstar (Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues), do I rank him among fantasy's elite?

These are the questions that are most difficult to answer during the first month of the season. However, we're nearly three months into the 2013-14 NHL season and trends have now turned into realities.

Giroux is no longer a roster detriment like he was in the first few weeks of the season, but he's still ranked 52nd in Yahoo leagues. That's certainly not what we expected and that's why he's ranked 26th in my latest set of top 100 forwards. Steen's hot streak has lasted all season and he's currently the 10th most valuable fantasy player in Yahoo leagues, leading him to earn a top-20 place in my ranks for how I expect him to perform from this point on.

We see cases like Giroux and Steen throughout the ranks, where players have earned their high ranking or have fallen significantly despite being an early draft pick back in September.

Throughout all this player shuffling, consistency has finally started to develop within my top-10 forward rankings.

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Fantasy All-Access: The time for giving gifts

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

This is the last All-Access until the New Year, so we decided to give our fantasy holiday gifts.

For owners of the top three players, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane, we give the gift of an iPad Air to watch all the amazing highlights they have been providing your fantasy team this season.

For Steven Stamkos owners we give the gift of an Elf on the Shelf to monitor his recovery and return back to the top of the fantasy charts.

Lastly, we give the gift of a carousel to all the goalies in the NHL as that symbolizes the state of fantasy hockey goalies at this point of the season.

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NHL.COM FANTASY HOCKEY COVERAGE
Analysis of NHL.com's fantasy mock draft
Watch: Cubeta's fantasy draft strategy
Top 275 rankings | Top 50 breakdown
Positional rankings: C | LW | RW | D | G
Multicategory assets | Top specialists
Bounce-back candidates | Injury rebounds
Summer moves affect value of teammates

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