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31 in 31

Anaheim Ducks fantasy preview for 2017-18

Silfverberg can break out after another strong playoff; Manson, Montour deep sleepers on defense

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

As part of NHL.com's 31 in 31 series, our fantasy hockey staff is breaking down each team's fantasy landscape. Fantasy-relevant players are listed in order of rank in NHL.com's top 250. Today, we look at the Anaheim Ducks.

 

[DUCKS 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Behind the numbers]

 

FORWARDS

Ryan Getzlaf, C - The Anaheim Ducks captain was nearly a point-per-game player last season (73 points in 74 games) and even better in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs (19 points in 17 games). The perception is that he's past his prime at 32, but the reality is he's a potential bargain in the third round or later.

Corey Perry, RW - His goal total dipped considerably last season; he scored 19 after five straight full seasons of at least 33. That said, Perry still covers all six standard fantasy categories well and could bounce back alongside Rickard Rakell to rejoin the top 25 overall.

Ryan Kesler, C - The veteran was one of the biggest fantasy steals in the League last season, finishing 32nd in Yahoo after being drafted 128th on average. He's a category cog alongside Jakob Silfverberg at even strength and also plays on Anaheim's first power-play unit, so wait for him in the middle rounds and bank on another top 75 finish.

Rickard Rakell, C/LW - Rakell broke out for an NHL career-high 33 goals (18.6 percent shooting) last season, earning a spot among the preseason fantasy top 100. But for him to avoid regression, he needs to play on the first power-play unit and alongside Perry at all times.

Jakob Silfverberg, RW - Only Getzlaf (1.10), Nikita Kucherov (0.95) and Sidney Crosby (0.94) have a higher points-per-game average than Silfverberg (0.93) over the past three postseasons (minimum 40 games). This high-volume shooter needs more consistent power-play usage to finally break out; he's never hit the 50-point mark or double digits in power-play points.

Patrick Eaves, RW - The 33-year-old likely won't finish among the top 100 again (99th in Yahoo). But his chemistry with Getzlaf was well-documented; he had 14 points (11 goals, three assists) in 20 games after being traded to Anaheim from the Dallas Stars. He's worth selecting in one of the final rounds of a 12-team draft.

Video: EDM@ANA, Gm5: Getzlaf nets slapper from the point

 

DEFENSEMEN

Cam Fowler - The Ducks have one of the deepest defenses in the League, and Fowler is the safest fantasy pick of the bunch. He's a fixture on the first power-play unit with Anaheim's top forwards and scored an NHL career-high 11 goals last season. He's only 25 and likely attainable after the first 12 rounds of a 12-team draft.

Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm (INJ.) - The Ducks' second- and third-best offensive defensemen, Vatanen and Lindholm each likely will miss the start of this season because of a shoulder injury. Each is worth stashing on injured reserve if you have the room.

Josh Manson and Brandon Montour - These young defensemen had impressive postseasons and are poised to take advantage of time missed by Vatanen and Lindholm. With Shea Theodore being selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL Expansion Draft, Manson and Montour could see offensive spikes.

Video: EDM@ANA, Gm5: Fowler makes it a one-goal game late

 

GOALTENDERS

John Gibson - The 24-year-old will have his best chance yet to reach 30 wins. The Ducks return most of the roster that reached the Western Conference Final, and Gibson thrived with the heaviest workload of his NHL career (52 games). He had a .924 save percentage (.928 at even strength) and six shutouts, and is ranked sixth among goalies by NHL.com.

Ryan Miller - Miller is the clear backup in Anaheim, but he's more than capable of a fantasy surge if Gibson deals with injury at any point. He's getting old (37), but his save percentage last season (.914) was in line with his career average (.915). Handcuff Miller if you draft Gibson in the first few rounds.

Others to consider: Ondrej Kase (RW), Nick Ritchie (LW)

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