San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle was undervalued going into most fantasy drafts this season. His average draft position in Yahoo leagues was 107th overall and 21st among blueliners.
MOST PPG BY D-MEN (LAST 3 SEASONS)
When he missed time due to injury early on, many owners were especially down on his value. Some even bailed on him, making him temporarily available in shallow leagues.
With the 37-year-old facing unrestricted free agency next summer, the clock began to tick for him to perform -- both in fantasy and reality.
But since Boyle returned to the Sharks' lineup, there hasn't been a more explosive fantasy defenseman League-wide. He has racked up four power-play goals in six games, including the overtime winner Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks, and leads all defensemen in goals with the man-advantage.
He has also accumulated three assists, four penalty minutes and 18 shots on goal over that six-game span. At this point, the Sharks' power-play quarterback is on pace to shatter his previous career high in power-play goals (10 in 2006-07).
Boyle simply hasn't slowed down with age. Only Shea Weber, Zdeno Chara, P.K. Subban and Jason Garrison have more power-play goals than him over the past three seasons. Boyle's shots-on-goal average this season (3.25 per game) blows away his career average (2.13).
Thus, any doubt that he is still a top-20 fantasy defenseman has to be put to rest. At this rate, it wouldn't be shocking it he amounted to a top-10 player at his position by season's end.
What makes what Boyle is doing all the more impressive is other veteran defensemen around the League have dealt with dips in production (Sergei Gonchar, Kimmo Timonen) or injuries (Sami Salo, Lubomir Visnovsky).
All indications are Boyle is back to full strength after sitting seven games due to an upper-body injury. His ability to turn back the clock production-wise is more than enough proof.