There are plenty of sleepers each season in fantasy hockey. And then there are deep sleepers.
These are players who likely will go undrafted even in a 12-team league but have the potential to be huge waiver-wire adds during the season to help you toward your goal of winning a championship. In most cases, deep sleepers are players who are relatively young (25 and under) and who either haven't reached or lived up to their potential.
Right wing Devante Smith-Pelly and defenseman Damon Severson cracked NHL.com's list of deep sleeper candidates for the 2016-17 season in Yahoo standard leagues. Both could go undrafted in a 10-team league and warrant late-round consideration in a 12-team league.
Smith-Pelly could be thrust into a spot in the Devils' top six playing with center Adam Henrique and left wing Taylor Hall on the first line or Mike Cammalleri and Travis Zajac on the second, writes NHL.com's Ben Zweiman:
Obviously, the first-line assignment would do more to enhance Smith-Pelly's fantasy prospects, but either would land him in deep sleeper consideration. He had 13 points (eight goals) in 18 games with New Jersey after being traded by the Montreal Canadiens last season, but it's hard for any player to keep up that type of point pace. Still, Smith-Pelly could make a push for 20 goals with a nice amount of PIM to go with decent hit totals. He may be best suited as a streaming option if the Devils have a favorable matchup."
Stat projection: 20 goals, 22 assists, minus-5, 42 PIM, 6 PPP, 138 SOG
Meanwhile, Zweiman anticipates that the Taylor Hall deal that sent Adam Larsson to Edmonton will create an opportunity on the Devils' blue line:
That should bode well for Severson, who figures to skate with Andy Greene on New Jersey's top pair and could be the lone defenseman on the Devils' impressive power-play unit. He led New Jersey defensemen in points (21) and was second in PP ice time per game (1:42) last season. Severson's numbers were hurt from the sixth lowest shooting percentage (1.1) among defensemen who played at least 70 games last season, so expect his goal total to rise, among other stats.
Stat projection: nine goals, 30 assists, plus-3, 48 PIM, 11 PPP, 134 SOG