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Fantasy Spin: Few better than Kessel in recent years

by Pete Jensen /

Tuesday was just another day at the office for Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel.

The 26-year-old had a hand in each of his team's goals, scoring twice and dishing out a pair of assists, as the Leafs blanked the Edmonton Oilers, 4-0. His four-point night marked the 10th time in 13 games that he's registered at least one point.

Over the past 10 days, no player League-wide is producing at a higher level than Kessel. With seven goals, 10 points and plus-7 rating over that four-game span, Kessel is single-handedly carrying fantasy owners in head-to-head league formats.


Player (Yahoo Eligibility) Games Points
1. Steven Stamkos (C) 142 172
2. Phil Kessel (RW) 143 152
3. Evgeni Malkin (C/RW) 118 152
4. Martin St Louis (RW) 137 148
5. Claude Giroux (C/RW) 136 147

And that elite-level production should no longer be surprising to fantasy owners. Kessel is the only player in the NHL to combine for 150-plus points and 500-plus shots on goal over the past three seasons. Only Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (172 points in 142 games) has more points than Kessel over that three-season span.

His chemistry with linemate James van Riemsdyk has peaked this season, as that duo is tied with Stamkos and Martin St. Louis for the most productive point pair in the NHL (11 team goals where each player records a point).

All things considered, Kessel continues to solidify his standing among the League's most consistent point producers.

Even as a top-10 pick on average in Yahoo leagues, he has still found a way to prove fantasy owners wrong. It's still early in the season, but those who drafted Henrik Lundqvist or Claude Giroux ahead of Kessel are surprised at the Maple Leafs forward's outstanding start.

Outside of Alex Ovechkin, Kessel is arguably the most valuable fantasy wing in the game today. For those who have doubted Kessel in years past, it's time to let that sink in.


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