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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Seguin, Voracek join 'Saul' as popular spin-offs

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

According to Wikipedia, a television spin-off is defined as, "a new series which contains either characters, a different character or theme elements from a previous series."

AMC's "Breaking Bad" was considered one of the better television shows of this generation. It won countless awards during its five seasons from 2008 to 2013. This past Sunday, AMC released a spin-off from the critically acclaimed "Breaking Bad" called "Better Call Saul." Not every television spin-off is successful and clearly, the verdict is still out on "Better Call Saul" (only two episodes have aired).

But throughout television history, we've seen tons of spin-offs. Some turned out to be effective, like the hit show "Frasier," which was a spin-off from "Cheers," and "The Jeffersons," which was a spin-off from "All in the Family." And then there were also some misses, like "Joey," which was a spin-off from "Friends," and "Joanie Loves Chachi," which of course was a spin-off from "Happy Days."

I'm not here to ramble on about TV, though. I'm here to discuss the best and worst fantasy hockey spin-offs in recent years. I'm talking about players that once had a small role on one team, and then joined another team for a larger, more prominent, leading-type role, if you will.

And just like with the television industry, we've seen some hits and some misses. Here are five of the most and least successful fantasy hockey spin-offs in the past five years (feel free to add some of your favorite fantasy hockey spin-offs in the comments section below):

Fantasy top 30 goalies: Dubnyk thriving with Wild

Thursday, 02.12.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com's Evan Sporer will provide you with in-depth analysis of goaltenders. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Sporer will be your go-to guy for advice on fantasy goalies all season long.

Devan Dubnyk isn't the hero many in Minnesota expected, but he's certainly performed the role of hero quite well.

Or maybe the Minnesota Wild saved Dubnyk. How one defines the situation is a matter of semantics, but one thing that's not up for debate is Dubnyk's resurgence in Minnesota and how much he's been able to help the Wild in such a short period of time.

Fantasy top 60 'D': Defensive duos showing the love

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 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.

People around the globe will be celebrating Valentine's Day this Saturday. It is a chance for dynamic duos to show how much they care about one another and to celebrate their love and affection.

With that in mind, it seemed fitting to take a look at some of the highest scoring defensive duos that are earning lots of love from fantasy owners this season.

Fantasy top 100 forwards: With a little bit of luck …

Tuesday, 02.10.2015 / 12:10 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.

Buying low at the right time and price is an art that all fantasy owners try to master.

Looking at low shooting percentages and the chances they can improve over time can be an indication of strong options to target. There are always exceptions, but for the most part if a proven player is creating chances consistently with a track record of shooting a high percentage in the past, it's can simply be a matter of time before the flood gates open.

Take forward Rick Nash of the New York Rangers. He's tied for the NHL lead in goals (33) after he couldn't buy the back of the net during the Rangers' run to the Stanley Cup Final (3.6 percent shooting). He did have a strong regular-season track record of even-strength goal scoring prior to this season, but it would've still been tough to envision a 17.1 shooting rate and top 10 standing among forwards.

Fantasy All-Access: Building your team in pairs

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.

This weekend couples all over the world will be celebrating Valentine's Day with chocolates and flowers. The NHL is full of great duos that have been helping fantasy teams all year long, so in the spirit of Saint Valentine let’s hand out candy hearts to the top three pairs.

Hot fantasy topics: The value of the empty-net goal

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Here's a look at three of the hottest topics in fantasy hockey right now.

1. Empty-net goals

Empty-net goals count just as much as Vladimir Tarasenko's gorgeous goal back on Nov. 3. Every goal carries the same value in fantasy hockey. And while empty-net goals might not occur in every game, there are certain players who have the chance to record either an empty-net goal or assist on one more than others. These players are typically the ones trusted by their coaches who are out there for the final minute of ice time in a close game in which the goalie is pulled.

If you look at the table below on the left, you'll see a list of forwards that are on the ice most with the opposing team's goalie pulled over the past three seasons, according to war-on-ice.com. Meaning, these guys are on the ice the most when facing an empty net. While it won't always translate to getting an empty-net goal (and it hasn't in some cases), they have been given more opportunities to get one than other players in the past three years.

Fantasy top 30 goalies: Habs' Price earns No. 1 rank

Thursday, 02.05.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com's Evan Sporer will provide you with in-depth analysis of goaltenders. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Sporer will be your go-to guy for advice on fantasy goalies all season long.

Wins in baseball can be a deceiving stat for pitchers. Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners went through stretches of being one of the most dominant starters in the majors, but with win totals that didn't reflect it because of poor run support.

It's a concept somewhat analogous to hockey and goalies, and if there is currently a king of doing more with less, it's Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens.

Fantasy top 60 'D': Penguins' Letang king of January

Wednesday, 02.04.2015 / 12:01 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 Pittsburgh Penguins didn't have a lot to be excited about during the month of January. They posted a 5-4-3 record, but that was only part of an overall run that saw them go 6-8-4 over their past 18 games. That has been enough to cause more than a little panic in and around the three rivers, but one bright spot has emerged over the past few weeks: defenseman Kris Letang.

Letang, who saw last season wrecked by a number of health issues including a stroke, has been one of the Penguins best players through their first 50 games and he took it to another level during January.

Fantasy top 100 forwards: Pavelski, Steen avoid dip

Tuesday, 02.03.2015 / 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.

Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks and Alexander Steen of the St. Louis Blues were two of the fantasy crown jewels of the 2013-14 NHL season. Each posted career-best shooting percentages of 18.2 and 15.6, respectively.

Entering 2014-15, the law of averages indicated each would come back to Earth. But while their high shooting rates have regressed (Pavelski: 16.1; Steen: 10.9), their fantasy value has hardly dipped.

The common denominator is quantity of shifts and first-rate scoring chances each generates (and converts on) for his respective team.

Fantasy All-Access: Keep eye on Kings down stretch

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.

The Los Angeles Kings visit the White House on Monday to celebrate winning the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons in 2014. But entering the week the Kings are on the outside of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, three points behind the Calgary Flames for the second Western Conference wild-card spot. But the Kings always save their best for the end.

Some players to keep an eye on that traditionally turn up their play as the season goes on are center Anze Kopitar and defenseman Alec Martinez. Kopitar led the Kings in points in games played after Feb. 1 in 2013-14 (27 points in 26 games) and 2011-12 (32 points in 32 games). Martinez had a combined 25 points in games after Feb. 1 in the Kings' championship seasons.

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