As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.
Leading the way: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin
Crosby is the No. 2 fantasy player in my offseason rankings behind Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin. The difference between Crosby and Ovechkin in fantasy is simple. Ovechkin has stayed healthy over his career and he's a shooter and a scorer, and that carries more value in fantasy leagues. The Russian sniper finished as the top player in Yahoo leagues last season while Crosby finished fifth. Sure, Crosby had three more points than Ovechkin, but Ovechkin had 25 more goals and 158 more shots. Ovechkin is also a wing, which helps his fantasy value even more considering the immense depth at the center position.
Regardless, Crosby still remains one of fantasy hockey's best players and has the highest ceiling for point production of any player in the game. He's the only player since 2006 with five seasons of at least 100 points and his career 1.36 points-per-game are far and away the best in the League. Meanwhile, Malkin ranks eighth in my offseason rankings but has the potential to be the top fantasy player if he can avoid injury. His 1.20 points-per-game in his career are second to Crosby. Malkin has the ability to help fantasy owners in all categories and is a surefire first-round draft pick in all fantasy leagues. Taking him as high as third isn't out of the question, but there is some risk that early because of his constant injury problems.