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: Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf
Perry missed 15 games with the mumps and a knee injury, and had a down 2014-15 season by his standards, but he was tied for 10th in goals (33) and provided rare category coverage to salvage his year-end Yahoo rank (68th). He was one of seven players with 55-plus points, 65-plus penalty minutes and 190-plus shots on goal in 2014-15, and saw a production spike in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 18 points in 16 games. Since the start of the 2010-11 season, only Alex Ovechkin (206) and Steven Stamkos (202) have more goals than Perry (178), who has significantly more PIMs than those two over that span. Perry is a strong injury bounce-back candidate, and I would draft him among the top 15 overall players. If you can get him early in the second round, don't think twice.
DUCKS' FANTASY-RELEVANT PLAYERS
Below is a list of the fantasy-relevant players in the Anaheim Ducks organization. These players have been arranged by NHL.com's fantasy staff based on projected value and by position. These players range from top-tier assets to deep sleepers and should be on your radar in standard Yahoo leagues.
* Red indicates newcomer to team
Getzlaf, Perry's longtime linemate, is a score if available in the third round of a 10-team league draft, especially if you get Perry in one of the first two. Two seasons ago, Getzlaf and Perry had the most team goals with each recording a point (55) in the NHL. If healthy, and they usually are, Getzlaf and Perry will be among the League's best duos with Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars, Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers, Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals, and likely Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Getzlaf has back-to-back seasons of 70-plus points and becomes a second-rounder in leagues that count hits (100 last season) and/or blocks (95, 2nd among forwards).
Undervalued: Sami Vatanen
Vatanen was one of the League's most explosive offensive defensemen in his second full NHL season and needs to be taken seriously in fantasy. The 24-year-old missed 15 games because of injury and played 21:27 per game (71st among defensemen), but 17 of his 37 points came on the power play (T-15th among D) and he was sixth at his position in goals per 60 minutes (minimum 67 games). If he avoids injury and improves at even strength, he could end up among the top 10 or 15 fantasy defensemen and as valuable as any power-play quarterback. Considering he's ranked 109th in Yahoo's preseason rankings, he's a fantasy steal waiting to happen. Target him in the eighth or ninth round as the second D on your roster.
Overvalued: Ryan Kesler
Big names are not always going to win you a fantasy title, and Kesler was an example of a player whose reputation didn't stack up to reality in 2014-15. He played 81 games and was among the top 15 in total ice time among forwards, but his 47 points were tied for 100th in the NHL and his 11 power-play points were tied for 144th, each a far cry from earlier in his career with the Vancouver Canucks. Kesler, who turns 31 on Aug. 31, scored 41 goals on 260 SOG in 2010-11 and had back-to-back 70-point seasons. Could he rebound with 30 goals and rack up 80-plus PIMs? Absolutely. But that's far from a sure thing, so I wouldn't draft Kesler in rounds 6-8 solely based on career PIMs outputs and past scoring totals. He appears to have moved past his 2012-13 injury woes but remains an incomplete fantasy asset. The later you land him, the more you get for your investment.
Deep sleeper: Jakob Silfverberg
Silfverberg is ranked outside Yahoo's preseason top 200 after a breakout Stanley Cup Playoffs, when he was one of four players with a point per game or better in 15-plus games (others: Patrick Kane, Perry, Getzlaf). He's been on the outskirts of the fantasy map for years after being acquired in the Bobby Ryan trade and spent most of last season on the third line with Andrew Cogliano. He wasn't given much of a power-play role (0:35 per game) but put up strong even-strength numbers and was plus-15 with nearly 200 SOG. The fact that Silfverberg was elevated in the playoffs to a line with Kesler and Matt Beleskey (signed by Boston Bruins; replaced by Carl Hagelin this offseason) and signed to a four-year contract Aug. 7 bodes well for his role this season. Silfverberg is a dark horse for 55 to 60 points and is worthy of being picked once round 15 rolls around -- and even higher in keeper leagues.
Goalie outlook: Frederik Andersen, John Gibson and Anton Khudobin
The second you think you know what will happen with this goalie dilemma, something changes. That said, the Ducks still have as good of a tandem as you'll find in fantasy these days, and they got even deeper with the addition of Anton Khudobin as a third goalie. Andersen is undervalued based on his impressive career regular-season record (55-17-5) and made a deep playoff run last season, but you just never know when Gibson will take the reins as starter. Coach Bruce Boudreau has never shied away from line changes and goalie trends, so Andersen's job is far from safe.
If you can get Andersen in the 18-20 range among goalies, you absolutely need to draft him. He's currently ranked 22nd among goalies in Yahoo and he's too proven at this level to be going that low. Gibson will probably go a round or two after Andersen and is worth taking a chance on as the third goalie on your roster. Gibson is a top-notch prospect who's been on everyone's radar for years, but you can get him late in many drafts (250th in Yahoo's preseason rank). If you find yourself in a tricky situation where you need to reach for Gibson or you'll lose him, be ambitious and take a chance on a sleeper goalie for an elite team. The reward outweighs the risk. Khudobin could start the season as the backup and potentially gain short-term fantasy value, but Gibson should eventually get his chance.