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30 in 30

Anaheim Ducks fantasy outlook

Rickard Rakell has breakout potential; John Gibson eyes top-five goalie realm

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's 30 in 30 series, our fantasy hockey staff is breaking down each team's fantasy landscape. From most valuable assets to underrated options, impact prospects and more, this guide should help fantasy owners prioritize players for drafts.

Starting at the top: Corey Perry, RW

Perry, an early-round fantasy staple for years, finished among the top 25 yet again (24th in Yahoo) last season. He was one of four players with at least 60 points, 20 power-play points, 200 shots on goal and 60 penalty minutes, doing much of his damage on an even-strength line with Rickard Rakell instead of longtime center Ryan Getzlaf. Perry, 31, ranks third in the NHL in goals (212) since 2010-11 behind Alex Ovechkin (256) and Steven Stamkos (238), and has scored at least 30 goals in five straight full seasons. He still played alongside Getzlaf on the first power-play unit, but proved he's self-sustainable in fantasy. With coach Randy Carlyle beginning his second stint in Anaheim, Perry and Getzlaf could be reunited, making them worth targeting together in drafts. You should be able to land Perry in the second round of a 12-team draft and Getzlaf in the third or fourth.

Undervalued: Rickard Rakell, C

There's a lot to be sorted out in the Ducks' top-nine equation, but Rakell stepped right into prime minutes last season. The Ducks finished first in the League in power-play efficiency (23.1 percent), and got the spark they needed when Rakell was moved up to the first unit. He had 20 goals, 23 assists, 10 PPP and 169 SOG in 72 games playing mostly with Perry at even strength, and with Perry, Getzlaf, and defensemen Sami Vatanen and Cam Fowler on the power play (2:14 per game). Rakell, a restricted free agent, has work to do in the faceoff circle (43.7 win percentage on 451 draws), but finished 212th in Yahoo despite missing 10 games, and was good enough at points to split up Perry and Getzlaf. He's ranked 164th by NHL.com and would be in position for a full-fledged breakout if he remains in a similar role. Take a chance on him in the 13th round or later of a 12-team draft.

Ducks 30 in 30: Season outlook | Top prospects | Burning questions, reasons for optimism | Fantasy: Top 200

Video: 30 in 30: Anaheim Ducks 2016-17 season preview

Overvalued: Ducks' power-play defensemen

It's a crowded blue line in Anaheim, especially as it pertains to power-play time and production. There are also high expectations under a new coaching staff after being the top-ranked power play and the only team in the League with three defensemen who had at least 15 PPP. Vatanen, Fowler and Hampus Lindholm, a restricted free agent, each makes a compelling case to be on the first unit, but only one of the three could get that opportunity. It was mostly Vatanen (19 PPP) and Fowler (17) with three forwards last season, but Lindholm (15) was impressive in fewer power-play minutes per game compared to Fowler, Vatanen and prospect Shea Theodore. Vatanen had exactly half of his points on the power play, and Fowler and Lindholm scored more than half of theirs in such situations. Expect at least one, possibly two, of these defensemen to regress in the PPP department, hurting their already incomplete fantasy coverage. It's best to wait until the 11th round of a 12-team draft before considering Vatanen (134th by NHL.com) and until later rounds for Fowler or Lindholm.

Sleeper: Jakob Silfverberg, LW/RW

Silfverberg was a sleeper candidate that didn't pan out last season, but has a solid foundation of 66 even-strength points in the past two seasons (T-91st among forwards). He had great stretches in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs and at the end of last season (18 points, plus-9, 57 SOG in final 19 games), but has always been inconsistent, mostly because he's not used much on the power play (0:51 per game, four PPP last season). But there's a chance the Ducks' lines could be shaken up under Carlyle, and Silfverberg could be used more prominently at even strength and/or on the power play. Although Silfverberg played with forwards Ryan Kesler and Andrew Cogliano through Anaheim's ups and downs, Getzlaf and/or Perry could use a strong left wing. Silfverberg finished 177th in Yahoo last season and should be available in the final rounds of your draft again as a low-risk, high-reward option.

Bounce-back: Ryan Getzlaf, C

Being mostly separated from Perry at even strength led to another step back points-wise for Getzlaf. He has gone from 87 in 2013-14, to 70 in 2014-15 and 63 last season, playing 77 games in each season. But Getzlaf could potentially be the biggest beneficiary of the Ducks re-hiring Carlyle, who has coached him to outstanding production in the past and Anaheim to the Stanley Cup in 2007. Getzlaf is a fixture on the Ducks' first power-play unit (22 PPP) and remained an elite distributor (50 assists, T-7th in NHL). He could be one of the biggest bargains in all of fantasy if he falls to the third or fourth round of a 12-team draft. His linemates are a big question mark with the departure of David Perron, but Carlyle could easily reunite Perry and Getzlaf to make them one of the League's most productive duos once again. In a down season with a low shooting percentage (7.3), Getzlaf finished 34th in Yahoo, covering five of the six categories. If he bounces back, he could finish as high as the top 10.

Video: ANA@COL: Getzlaf wrists it by Varlamov for a PPG

Impact prospect: Shea Theodore, D

Theodore, 21 and rookie-eligible, had impressive numbers during his stints with the Ducks. He had three of his eight points on the power play and had a plus-7 rating with 28 SOG in his first 19 games in the NHL. His best stretch came when Fowler was injured; he had six points in six games from Jan. 13-26 before being reassigned to San Diego of the American Hockey League prior to the 2016 NHL All-Star break. He remained in the AHL for nearly two months before being recalled again late in the regular season. Theodore faces an uphill battle to steal power-play time from Vatanen, Lindholm and/or Fowler, but is a deep sleeper with a chance to make a good first impression on his new coach.

Goalie outlook

John Gibson has won nearly 60 percent of his 62 NHL starts (37 wins) and is worth drafting among the top 10 fantasy goalies after the Ducks traded Frederik Andersen to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Gibson finished tied for second in goals-against average (2.07; minimum 40 games) and ranked 11th among goalies in Yahoo. With a full-time workload, his fantasy ceiling is in the top five at his position. The 23-year-old jumped from 21 starts in 2014-15 to 38 last season, improved in save percentage (.914 to .920), and led the League in power-play SV% (.927; minimum 40 games) by a wide margin. ... Jonathan Bernier was acquired from Toronto separate from the Andersen move and is expected to back up Gibson. He had a .915 SV% in three seasons with the Maple Leafs, but was a high-end backup in 2012-13 with the Los Angeles Kings behind Jonathan Quick. The Ducks are as deep as any team in the Western Conference, making Bernier a worthwhile handcuff if you own Gibson in a league that allows you to carry four goalies.

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