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Fantasy All-Access: Believing in J.T. Miller

Low ownership belies hot streak by Rangers forward

by Sean McCullen @McBrooklyn77 / NHL.com Staff Writer

Miller's game-tying goal

MIN@NYR: Miller ties the game with a one-timer

2/4/16: Derick Brassard sends a pass from behind the Wild net to J.T. Miller, who unleashes a one-timer into the twine that ties the game

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In the past six weeks, New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller has emerged as one of the top goal-scorers in the NHL, but he has not picked up much steam in terms of fantasy ownership. 

Miller, whose 11 goals since Dec. 18 are tied for fifth in the League, is owned in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues as of Monday morning.

The five other players who have scored 11 goals since Dec. 18? Jonathan Toews, Wayne Simmonds, Tyler Toffoli, Corey Perry and Tyler Seguin. Of those five, only Simmonds is owned in less than 90 percent of Yahoo leagues, and he was at 84 percent. 

Perhaps fantasy owners are scared off by Miller's 30.6 percent shooting percentage over his past 19 games (11 goals on 36 shots), anticipating a regression to the mean. After all, he never had a shooting percentage better than his 10.9 of 2014-15 over his first three NHL seasons. 

Perhaps they're troubled by the fact Miller, who the Rangers selected with the 15th pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, entered 2015-16 with 15 goals in 114 NHL games. 

I'm buying though, because I view Miller as a highly skilled player who finally has come into his own. I see his 18.8 shooting percentage through 52 games this season as a sign of the 22-year-old's progression as a goal-scorer in the League. 

Miller is eligible only at center in Yahoo leagues despite playing left wing on Derick Brassard's line for much of the season. The center position is loaded with talented players, but not too many of them are averaging better than a half a goal per game since mid-December. If Yahoo makes Miller eligible at left wing, he becomes a must-add player. 

Video: NYR@NJD: Miller gives Rangers lead with second goal

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WAIVER-WIRE WATCH 

Andre Burakovsky, LW, Washington Capitals (15 percent owned) -- The 20-year-old is on a seven-game point streak after he had an assist in a 3-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. He had six goals in a five-game goal streak Jan. 19-Feb. 6. Burakovsky, playing with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Justin Williams, has 13 points in the past 10 games. 

Vincent Trocheck, C/RW, Florida Panthers (33 percent owned) -- Trocheck's 17 goals lead the Panthers, and his 33 points are fifth. The 22-year-old has five goals and four assists during a five-game point streak. 

Benoit Pouliot, LW, Edmonton Oilers (13 percent owned) -- Rookie phenom Connor McDavid was back in the Oilers lineup last week after missing 37 games because of a fractured left clavicle. That bodes well for Pouliot, who had two goals, three assists and nine shots on goal in the first four games after McDavid returned. 

LINE CHANGES

Video: DET@BUF: Zetterberg dekes, backhands to extend lead

-- Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg played on the same line in the Detroit Red Wings' 5-1 win against the New York Islanders on Saturday. Datsyuk had two assists. Coach Jeff Blashill said he plans to keep the veteran forwards together for the time being. 

-- The Los Angeles Kings have put "That 70s Line" together again after the All-Star break. In fact, they've used two versions of it. In their first game after the All-Star break against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday, it was the original "That 70s Line" of left wing Tanner Pearson (No. 70), center Jeff Carter (No. 77) and right wing Tyler Toffoli (No. 73). By the end of that game and for the entire game against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday, it was Dwight King (No. 74) skating to the left of Carter and opposite Toffoli. The four players combined for two points in the two games; Toffoli had a goal against Anaheim, and King had an assist against Arizona. 

-- The Calgary Flames reunited Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Jiri Hudler (49 percent owned) for the first three games after the break. The move benefited Monahan and Hudler more than Gaudreau in the first week. Monahan had six points (two goals), including four in a 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday. Hudler had four points (one goal). Each is on a three-game point streak; Hudler has at least a point in five of his past six. Gaudreau had a goal and an assist in the win against Carolina but was kept off the score sheet in the other two games. 

-- Ryan Spooner (41 percent owned) is no longer skating at right wing on the Boston Bruins' top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand since returning from the break. He had a goal but no assists in three games back at third-line center between left wing Matt Beleskey and right wing Jimmy Hayes. Spooner had two goals and nine assists in 10 games filling in at second-line center with David Krejci injured Dec. 29-Jan. 19, then had a four-game point streak (four assists) splitting time between third-line center and top-line right wing leading into the break. 

SCHEDULE NOTES 

-- The Bruins, Ducks, Flyers, Kings, Panthers, Rangers, Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, Colorado Avalanche, New Jersey Devils and Tampa Bay Lightning each will play four games this week. The Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens each will play twice, and the rest of the League has three scheduled games. 

-- There are no home-and-home sets this week. 

-- Anaheim and Los Angeles each begin a seven-game road trip this week. The Ducks open theirs at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday, and the Kings start theirs at the Bruins on Tuesday.

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