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Fantasy top 60 'D': Perfect timing for Flyers' Timonen

by Brian Metzer

Every Wednesday during the season, fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.


It has been a tough season for the Philadelphia Flyers.

They have experienced a multitude of ups and downs, and one of the biggest downs hit them in August when defenseman Kimmo Timonen was diagnosed with blood clots in his leg and lungs.

Losing Timonen hurt, but it did provide an opportunity for Michael Del Zotto, who was signed the day Timonen's diagnosis became public. Del Zotto took a while to get going but he's become one of the Flyers' best defensemen. And now he could get a chance to skate with the player he was brought in to replace.

Timonen, who will turn 40 on March 18, has been skating by himself since Feb. 6 and joined full practices Feb. 17. He hasn't dealt with any setbacks and is hoping to make his season debut Saturday against the New York Rangers.

"That would be nice but again we go day-by-day," Timonen said. "If guys are playing like this, beating good teams, what's the hurry to get in there? Let the guys play who are playing really well. I'm not pushing myself into the lineup, because guys are playing well."

Timonen's return could not come at a better time for the Flyers, who have been playing better lately despite a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. Their solid play has helped them claw back into the Stanley Cup Playoff conversation and they are four points behind the Boston Bruins for the conference's final wild-card spot.

Timonen is going to be working through a lot of rust and isn't close to being the player he was five years ago, but he is someone that fantasy owners should be aware of coming down the stretch. He is owned in three percent of Yahoo Standard Leagues and is a low risk/high reward waiver-wire pick up. 

If we remove the first 15 games of last season, when the Flyers went 4-10-1 and the entire roster struggled, Timonen was pretty effective. He had six goals and 28 assists in 62 games, which works out to a healthy 0.55 points-per-game average. He had one goal and 19 assists on the power play.

The power play is one area of the game where Timonen should be able to help right away. He might not immediately get a chance with the Flyers' top unit, which features Braydon Schenn, Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek and Mark Streit and ranks third in the League at 23.3 percent, but he would certainly have a chance to log time on the second unit.

If Timonen plays Saturday he'll have one game to show he still can be a viable contributor before the NHL Trade Deadline, which comes March 2 at 3 p.m. ET. While we think he can be a solid fantasy addition as a member of the Flyers, his value would be enhanced if he were to move to a contender.

Our advice is to stash Timonen now if you have a roster spot available and reap the rewards if and when he gets plays again, for the Flyers or another team.

Dougie Hamilton
GOALS: 10 | ASST: 24 | PTS: 34
SOG: 155 | +/-: -1

Dougie Hamilton, Boston Bruins

Hamilton has frustrated Bruins coach Claude Julien at times this season and the same could be said for fantasy owners. But if you have been patient with him you are reaping some rewards. Hamilton has two goals and seven points in his past eight games. He is on the Bruins' top defense pair with Zdeno Chara, is skating on the top power play and is up to 10 goals and 34 points in 60 games this season. He has the ability to help in plenty of other categories with his 11 power play points, 39 penalty minutes, 81 hits, 45 blocked shots and 155 shots on goals. He is owned in 75 percent of Yahoo leagues but you might luck out and find him available in yours.


Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild

Spurgeon was injured last Tuesday in a game against the Calgary Flames and was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday. There isn't a lot of definitive information on the injury right now, but coach Mike Yeo said that Spurgeon is getting better. Without knowing if he will be available this week, our advice is to look elsewhere for fantasy production for the time being.


Adam Larsson, New Jersey Devils

Larsson finally seems to be rewarding the Devils for selecting him with the fourth pick of the 2011 NHL Draft. He has been particularly hot lately, with five points in his past three games. That includes a three-assist game last Friday in a 4-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks. He is also a plus-5 in that span. For the season Larsson has two goals, 15 assists, 22 penalty minutes, 79 blocked shots, 55 hits, 54 shots on goal and a plus-4 rating in 42 games. He is owned in two percent of Yahoo Standard Leagues.


These rankings are based on expectations for the season ahead. Value is quantified by defense pairings, overall upside and past performance in standard Yahoo categories (goals, assists, plus-minus, penalty minutes, power-play points and shots on goal). NOTE: Players with D/RW eligibility in Yahoo leagues (Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Burns) have been ranked as defensemen.

1 Kris Letang, PIT (SAME) 31 Trevor Daley, DAL (+2)
2 Brent Burns, D/RW, SJS (+1) 32 Alex Goligoski, DAL (-2)
3 Mark Giordano, CGY (-1) 33 Brent Seabrook, CHI (-2)
4 Shea Weber, NSH (SAME) 34 Mike Green, WSH (+1)
5 Erik Karlsson, OTT (SAME) 35 Aaron Ekblad, FLA (-1)
6 P.K. Subban, MTL (+1) 36 Dougie Hamilton, BOS (+2)
7 John Carlson, WSH (+2) 37 Jake Muzzin, LAK (-1)
8 Dustin Byfuglien, D/RW, WPG (-2) 38 James Wisniewski, CBJ (-1)
9 Keith Yandle, ARI (-1) 39 Nick Leddy, NYI (+1)
10 Duncan Keith, CHI (SAME) 40 Michael Del Zotto, PHI (+2)
11 Roman Josi, NSH (+2) 41 Jacob Trouba, WPG (-2)
12 Victor Hedman, TBL (-1) 42 Tobias Enstrom, WPG (-1)
13 TJ Brodie, CGY (-1) 43 Hampus Lindholm, ANA (+1)
14 Andrei Markov, MTL (+1) 44 Anton Stralman, TBL (+4)
15 Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI (-1) 45 Lubomir Visnovsky, NYI (-2)
16 Drew Doughty, LAK (+1) 46 Seth Jones, NSH (SAME)
17 Alex Pietrangelo, STL (-1) 47 Marek Zidlicky, NJD (-2)
18 Mark Streit, PHI (SAME) 48 Justin Schultz, EDM (-1)
19 Tyson Barrie, COL (+1) 49 Jason Garrison, TBL (+1)
20 Ryan McDonagh, NYR (-1) 50 Brian Campbell, FLA (+1)
21 Niklas Kronwall, DET (+1) 51 Jack Johnson, CBJ (-2)
22 Johnny Boychuk, NYI (+1) 52 Marc-Edouard Vlasic, SJS (SAME)
23 Ryan Suter, MIN (-2) 53 Danny DeKeyser, DET (SAME)
24 Dennis Wideman, CGY (+3) 54 Matt Niskanen, WSH (SAME)
25 Cody Franson, NSH (-1) 55 Kevin Klein, NYR (+1)
26 Cam Fowler, ANA (-1) 56 Cody Ceci, OTT (+1)
27 Zdeno Chara, BOS (-1) 57 Zach Bogosian, BUF (+1)
28 Torey Krug, BOS (+1) 58 Andrej Sekera, CAR (+1)
29 Justin Faulk, CAR (-1) 59 Kris Russell, CGY (+1)
30 John Klingberg, DAL (+2) 60 Tyler Myers, WPG (NEW)

Key injuries: Sami Vatanen, Christian Ehrhoff, Kevin Shattenkirk, Olli Maatta, Kimmo Timonen, Damon Severson, Ryan Ellis, Matt Carle, Erik Johnson, Dion Phaneuf, Kevin Bieksa, Jared Spurgeon, Alexander Edler


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