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30 in 30

Ottawa Senators fantasy outlook

Erik Karlsson among top 10 overall players; Kyle Turris should bounce back

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

As part of's 30 Teams in 30 Days, the fantasy hockey staff is breaking down each team's landscape. From the most valuable assets to underrated options, impact prospects and more, this guide should help fantasy owners prioritize players for drafts this fall.

Starting at the top: Erik Karlsson, D

Karlsson was ranked No. 11 overall and No. 2 among defensemen in Yahoo's performance-based rankings last season, and was the top-ranked defenseman in each of the prior two seasons. Karlsson led the NHL in assists (66) and finished tied for fourth in points (82), the most by a defenseman since Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers had 85 in 1995-96. Karlsson, 26, does it all for the Senators; he led them with 248 shots on goal and 26 power-play points, and was fourth in penalty minutes with 50. He has not missed a game in the past three seasons and averaged 19 goals, 74 points and 265.7 SOG in that time. Simply put, he's one of the top 10 fantasy players in the game.

Video: PIT@OTT: Karlsson nets unconventional milestone goal

Undervalued: Zack Smith, C

Smith had 25 goals in 81 games last season, second on the Senators behind Mike Hoffman's 29. Smith took 121 shots and had a 20.7 shooting percentage, scoring on about one of every five SOG. If Smith, 28, can increase his shot total -- he had 154 SOG in 2013-14 and 134 in 2011-12 -- he could score 25-30 goals. The Senators, though, tend to spread the puck around. They had five players (Hoffman, Smith, Mark Stone, Bobby Ryan, Mika Zibanejad) who scored at least 20 goals, something accomplished by four other NHL teams (Florida Panthers, Rangers, San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals). Smith ranked second on the Senators with a plus-16 rating and third in PIMs (80), and his five shorthanded goals were second in the League behind teammate Jean-Gabriel Pageau's seven. Smith is an underrated player on the Senators, let alone the League, but offers plenty of value in many categories, including hits (175).

Senators 30 in 30: Season outlook | Top prospects | Burning questions, reasons for optimism

Overvalued: Derick Brassard, C

Brassard is coming off a career season. He led the Rangers in goals (27), was tied for third in assists (31) and finished second in points (58), but was traded for Zibanejad on July 18. Brassard, 28, also had 22 PPP, five game-winning goals and 182 SOG with a high shooting percentage (14.8). Brassard, who tied for the Rangers lead in PPP, will be competing for minutes with Ryan, Stone, Hoffman and Kyle Turris, among others, so expect that total to take a dip. It seems like a stretch to expect 25 goals and 60 points from Brassard this season, even though he will be Ottawa's first- or second-line center.

Video: The crew compares Brassard and Zibanejad

Sleeper: Curtis Lazar, C/RW

Lazar, the No. 17 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, has yet to break out. He had six goals and 20 points in 76 games in his second NHL season after scoring six goals and 15 points in 67 games as a rookie. It'd be nice to see Lazar shoot more -- he had 78 SOG last season and 92 in 2014-15 -- because that would help his confidence. He's 21, facing higher expectations in his third season and figures to begin on the third line but could be moved up. Given the depth the Senators have, it's not reasonable to expect 20 goals, but 15 goals and 45-50 points could happen. He could be worth a flier in the last round as a deep sleeper.

Bounce-back: Kyle Turris, C

Turris was limited to 57 games because of an ankle injury and didn't play after Feb. 27. He had eight goals in his first 12 games before cooling off significantly, scoring five in the next 45. Turris, who turns 27 on Aug. 14, had 30 points, three PPG, 32 PIMs and was a minus-15 after having at least 24 goals, 58 points, four PPG, and 215 SOG in each of the previous two seasons. He will be a top-six forward and could center the top line with Hoffman and Stone or the second line with Ryan and Smith. Turris should be available after the 13th round on average.

Video: 30 in 30: Ottawa Senators 2016-17 season preview

Impact prospect: Matt Puempel, LW

The No. 24 pick in the 2011 draft has yet to establish himself in the League. He had two goals and three points in 26 games, following those same totals in 13 games in 2014-15. Puempel likely will be competing for a spot on the third or fourth line. He had 17 goals and 30 points in 34 games with Binghamton of the American Hockey League last season, and Ottawa hopes that can finally translate into success in the NHL. If Puempel doesn't make the opening night roster, keep an eye on him because he would be one of the first call-ups if the Senators deal with injuries.

Goalie outlook

With Craig Anderson, you know what you're going to get. The save percentage and wins will be there, as will the occasional shutout, but the goals-against average won't be great. He faced the second-most shots (1,915) and made the second-most saves (1,754) last season, trailing Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist in each category. Because of that, Anderson tends to have a high SV% (.916 last season; .915 career) and a high GAA (2.78 last season, 2.73 career). The 35-year-old has topped 50 starts in three of the past four full NHL seasons but won't boost your team in shutouts; he has 33 in 439 starts. Anderson won 31 games last season and has at least 24 wins in five of the past six full NHL seasons. Injuries are always a concern, but considering his value in two of the four standard fantasy categories, he's a borderline top 25 goalie. Backup Andrew Hammond was a disappointment last season after going 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and a .941 SV% in his rookie season of 2014-15. He went 7-11-4 with a 2.65 GAA and .914 SV%, and, as of now, is no threat to unseat Anderson as the starter.

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