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Fantasy top 10 draft bargains for 2020-21

NHL.com identifies potential value picks who can far outperform expectations

by Fantasy Hockey Staff @NHLFantasy

NHL.com identifies the top 10 fantasy hockey bargains, value picks based on Yahoo average draft position (ADP), for the 2020-21 season. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.

 

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Top 250 | Mock draft | Cheat sheet

Stat projections: F | D | G

 

Nicklas Backstrom, C, WSH (ADP: 116.0) -- The Washington Capitals center leads the NHL in assists (378) since 2013-14, and his 211 power-play points over the span are tied for first with Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers. Backstrom's consistency, guaranteed top-six placement and strong linemates make him a valuable selection in fantasy, and he should finish among the top 75 overall on a safe Washington team that could benefit from coach Peter Laviolette in his first season.

 

Alexander Radulov, LW/RW, DAL (ADP: 123.2) -- The Dallas Stars wing will likely get the bulk of their point share this season with forward Tyler Seguin (hip surgery) expected to miss extended time. Radulov had consecutive 72-point seasons in 2017-18 and 2018-19 and scored 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 27 games last postseason. Radulov's dual eligibility and bounce-back appeal make him well worth a selection around the top 100 overall.

 

David Perron, LW/RW, STL (ADP: 127.1) -- The St. Louis Blues wing scored 60 points (25 goals, 35 assists) in 71 games last season. Perron's top-line placement with forwards Brayden Schenn and Ryan O'Reilly should carry over to this season with right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder) out. Perron's 27 power-play points led the Blues and were tied with centers Mika Zibanejad of the New York Rangers and Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres for eighth in the NHL.

 

Sergei Bobrovsky, G, FLA (ADP: 129.3) -- The Panthers goalie has bounce-back appeal after going 23-19-6 with a .900 save percentage in 50 games last season. Drafting a No. 1 goalie from a team that could make the Stanley Cup Playoffs outside the top 120 of a fantasy draft should return value, even if Bobrovsky doesn't reach his previous elite form (at least 37 wins in each of prior three seasons). The Panthers are a sneaky team in the Discover Central Division and could benefit from the signing of wing Anthony Duclair (undrafted on average in fantasy), who is projected to skate on the top line with Barkov and Huberdeau.

 

Chris Kreider, LW, NYR (ADP: 135.2) -- The New York Rangers left wing now has competition for a top-six role in rookie Alexis Lafreniere but remains one of the most valuable multicategory producers at his position. Kreider, who played on the top line with Zibanejad last season, had strong totals in all six standard categories last season and was one of seven NHL players with at least 24 goals and 100 hits (116 in 63 games).

 

Ryan Suter, D, MIN (ADP: 137.8) -- The Minnesota Wild defenseman was under appreciated in fantasy last season; he ranked ninth at the position in points (48 in 69 games), eighth in even-strength points (30) and tied for 12th in PPP (18). Suter and Minnesota's other power-play defenseman options Matt Dumba (ADP: 143.7) and Jared Spurgeon (162.0) should each be available in the 12th round or later in fantasy drafts and outperform his ADP with exposure to valuable wings Kevin Fiala, Zach Parise and rookie Kirill Kaprizov.

 

Sean Monahan, C, CGY (ADP: 144.1) -- The Calgary Flames center has scored at least 22 goals in each of his seven NHL seasons and should benefit from being on the first power play with elite left wings Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau under coach Geoff Ward this season. The Flames ranked second on the power play (25.7 percent) from when Ward replaced Bill Peters as coach on Nov. 29 to the end of last season behind the Edmonton Oilers (28.0). Monahan, who scored an NHL career-high 82 points (34 goals, 48 assists) in 2018-19, has collective bounce-back appeal with Gaudreau (ADP: 47.6) but should be available 75-100 spots later in fantasy drafts.

 

Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin, G, NYI (ADP: 157.5; 171.4) -- Although Sorokin, the touted New York Islanders prospect, could be among the most valuable rookies this season, Varlamov still enters the season as the starter under coach Barry Trotz. Varlamov went 11-7 with a .921 save percentage and two shutouts to help the Islanders reach the Eastern Conference Final last season and had a regular-season save percentage (.914 in 45 games) in line with his NHL career average (.915). Sorokin, who combined for 20 shutouts over the past two Kontinental Hockey League seasons (led league each year), and Varlamov form the fourth best goalie duo in NHL.com's tandem rankings.

 

Andre Burakovsky, LW/RW, COL (169.9) -- The Colorado Avalanche wing is skating on the top line with elite forwards Nathan MacKinnon, the No. 1 overall player in NHL.com's fantasy rankings, and Mikko Rantanen, the top ranked right wing, at training camp. Burakovsky, who had NHL career highs in goals (20), assists (25), points (45) and PPP (11) in mostly a secondary role last season, could have a full-fledged breakout with more exposure to MacKinnon and score a point per game or better.

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