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Fantasy Spin: Saad is best-kept secret on map

by Pete Jensen

With the fantasy hockey playoffs in full swing, owners find themselves eyeing the waiver wire for anything resembling a player with consistent category coverage.

At this time of year, it's even more rare to find such a readily available asset who is also worthy of keeper consideration in such leagues.

That's why Chicago Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad may be the best-kept secret on the fantasy landscape.

Chicago rookie Brandon Saad, owned in only 25 percent of Yahoo! leagues, may be the best-kept fantasy secret in the land. (Photo: Getty Images)

The 20-year-old rookie is somehow only owned in 25 percent of Yahoo! leagues despite posting at least a point in 13 of his last 17 games. He's been especially explosive lately from a goal-scoring standpoint, tallying four goals over his last three games.

And, believe it or not, Saad's fantasy stock may still be on the rise. His linemate, top-tier right wing Marian Hossa, returned from injury on Thursday against the St. Louis Blues. Saad scored a second period goal assisted by his other linemate, Jonathan Toews, to extend his career-best goal-scoring streak to three games.

Saad (LW-eligible) has made an impact from a fantasy standpoint ever since his surge began in late February, allowing his owners to forget about his slow start to the season (three points over first 18 games). The Pittsburgh native currently sports the best rating of any rookie forward (plus-13) and ranks in the top five among all rookies in goals (8), assists (13) and shots on goal (75).

With only a few weeks to go, don't dwell on the fact that Saad only sees 1:26 of power-play ice time per game (3 PPP in 35 games). The bottom line is that the League's hottest rookie of late, playing on an explosive line, is still up for grabs in the vast majority of leagues.

If he's still available in your league, be sure to invest in his services the rest of the way. In terms of rookies that hold developmental keeper value moving forward, one of my second-half fantasy sleeper picks has emerged near the top of the list.


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