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31 in 31

Ottawa Senators fantasy preview for 2017-18

Where to draft Karlsson up for debate; Hoffman among most underrated forwards

by Ben Zweiman @BZweimanNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

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 Ottawa Senators. 

 

[SENATORS 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Behind the numbers | More team fantasy previews]

 

FORWARDS

Mike Hoffman, LW/RW -- Consider Hoffman the Rodney Dangerfield of fantasy hockey heading into this season. Despite finishing 14th overall (average draft position, 142nd) last season, Hoffman still doesn't get any respect. He provided some of the best category coverage of any forward, scoring 61 points (26 goals, 35 assists) with 51 penalty minutes, 26 power-play points and 224 shots on goal, and was a plus-17, which led the Ottawa Senators. Hoffman was one of two players (Alex Ovechkin) to have at least 25 goals, 50 PIM, 200 SOG and 25 PPP with a positive plus/minus in 2016-17. Chances are he'll go overlooked in your draft and will drop to the fourth or fifth round.

Video: PIT@OTT, Gm6: Hoffman cranks slapper in off post

Kyle Turris, C -- Another overachiever on the Senators last season, Turris finished among the top 100 overall (84th) despite being drafted 171st on average. When healthy, he's been a reliable mid-round center option, scoring at least 55 points in three of the past four seasons. Turris has also averaged at least 19:00 of ice time in four of the past five seasons, and set an NHL career-high with 47 PIM last season. Ottawa has essentially retained its entire roster from the 2016-17 run to the Eastern Conference Final, so don't expect much regression from Turris.  

Mark Stone, RW -- Rounding out what should be the Senators' top line is Stone, who had the worst showing of the three last season. After scoring at least 61 points in each of the past two seasons, Stone finished with 54 (22 goals, 32 assists) in 71 games. His category coverage wasn't as strong with 25 PIM, 14 PPP and 134 SOG, but the opportunity was there, averaging 18:34 of ice time. There aren't many top-line RWs available as late in a draft as Stone will be, so he could pay dividends as an upside player on your bench. 

Derick Brassard, C (INJ.) -- The 29-year-old center's first season in Ottawa didn't go as planned, from a fantasy standpoint. Brassard had his lowest point total (39) in a full NHL season since 2009-10 with the Columbus Blue Jackets (36). But there's reason to believe a bounce back is in order. Brassard averaged 2:32 on the power play but finished with seven PPP, tied for his lowest total since 2008-09. He was never going to provide many PIMs, and his plus/minus (plus-12) and SOG (195) were respectable. Brassard, who had offseason shoulder surgery, could be overlooked in drafts and has glaring sleeper potential.

Video: 31 in 31: Ottawa Senators 2017-18 season preview

 

DEFENSEMEN

Erik Karlsson (INJ.) -- There's not much to debate when it comes to Karlsson's place in fantasy. What does need to be debated is whether he'll be ready for the start of this season and how does that affect his draft stock. Assuming Karlsson, who had foot surgery June 14, is ready to go by Oct. 5, he should be selected in the first round, second among defensemen behind Brent Burns. If Karlsson isn't ready, you could argue for selecting defensemen Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg Jets) and Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning) ahead of him. Byfuglien finished ahead of Karlsson (2nd among defensemen, 15th overall), and Hedman was one spot behind him (4th, 17th overall) last season. 

Video: OTT@NYR, Gm6: Karlsson buries Ryan's slick dish

Dion Phaneuf -- If you can believe it, Phaneuf was a top 20 defenseman last season. He also finished among the top 150 overall, thanks in part to his value as a category specialist. Phaneuf was 14th in the League in PIM (100) and tied for 17th among defensemen in PPP (16). It will be hard for Phaneuf to duplicate his PP production, particularly if rookie Thomas Chabot emerges. But Phaneuf could be a nice add if you need PIMs late in your draft.

 

GOALTENDING

Craig Anderson -- In one of the feel-good stories of last season, Anderson dealt with adversity but finished among the top 10 fantasy goalies. He left the Senators multiple times during the season to be with his wife, Nicholle, who was diagnosed with cancer. Anderson went 25-11-4 with a 2.28 goals-against average, .926 save percentage and five shutouts in 40 games, finishing 44th overall in Yahoo (ninth among goalies). Not much has changed in Ottawa, and if Anderson plays a full season, he has plenty of potential as a No. 2 goalie you can find late in a draft. 

Others to consider: Bobby Ryan (RW), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (C), Ryan Dzingel (LW), Cody Ceci (D), Thomas Chabot (D)

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