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What the Fantasy Experts Got Wrong: Under-Rated Players

by chewy 26. September 2014 05:41

Part 2 of our look at where you can go wrong by drafting purely off a magazine draft list continues with our underrated players.  (Part 1 called out those over-rated players).




Nathan MacKinnon (Yahoo:25 / landsharkhockey:9)

If you trust Yahoo, you're missing the boat.  MacKinnon will dominate for the next decade.


Anze Kopitar (THN:29 / landsharkhockey:12)

Kopitar could carry your team for long stretches.  He will be gone by round 3.


Jordan Eberle (NHL:58 / landsharkhockey:13)

I don't get being down on Eberle.  The Oilers will score goals in bunches, and he'll be right there in the middle of it.


Kyle Okposo (Yahoo:59 / landsharkhockey:24)

Last I checked, he's still riding shotgun to J.T.


Patric Hornqvist (Yahoo:60 / landsharkhockey:27)

Hornqvist = Neal.  Whether it's Crosby or Malkin dishing him the puck, he will finish.


Jonathan Druin (THN:72 / landsharkhockey:34)

Maybe THN foresaw the injury - or maybe they're missing the boat on this dynamic rookie on a fantasy heavy Tampa roster.


Marian Gaborik (THN:71 / landsharkhockey:37)

He's inconsistent, but a goal scoring machine who quietly reemerged in the playoffs.


Nail Yakupov (NHL:153 / landsharkhockey:53)

Again with the Oiler hate.  Nail will be much better this time around.


Ondrej Palat (Yahoo:102 / landsharkhockey:58)

No love for the Calder nominee.  Even if he doesn't improve in year 2, he's surely a top 100 pick, Yahoo.


Beau Bennett (THN:243 / landsharkhockey:68)

Apparently, THN hasn't seen the Penguins play with Bennett in the lineup.  A healthy stretch on Sid's wing will do wonders towards changing their minds.


Joffrey Lupul (THN:142 / landsharkhockey:74)

Lupul will get action with some pure goalscorers in Toronto.  Ignoring him at 142?  Your loss.






Dustin Byfuglien (Yahoo:27 / landsharkhockey:4)

Perplexing.  Even if he really does stay anchored to the blue line, he'll pot 10+ goals. 


Drew Doughty (THN:38 / landsharkhockey:6)

Doughty is top 3 in pure talent and certainly top 10 in fantasy impact on defense.  This must have been a misprint, THN.


Brent Burns (Yahoo:31 / landsharkhockey:12)

Yes, he's "officially" moved back to defense, but even the off chance that he shifts back occasionally bumps his value way above 31.


Seth Jones (NHL:51 / landsharkhockey:18)

The youngster will break out this year, despite what the experts at NHL tell you.  Peter Laviolette will see to that.


Jacob Trouba (NHL:41 / landsharkhockey:12)

No way to sugarcoat this one.  NHL is wrong.


Tyson Barrie (NHL:29 / Yahoo:24 / landsharkhockey:13)

Not a horrible miss, but Barrie is running the powerplay on the team who will score the most goals this season.  Do the math and get back to me.





Corey Crawford (NHL:9 / Yahoo:9 / landsharkhockey:2)

Crawford in Chicago.  Chicago = Wins.  Find me 8 goalies better than Crawford, please.


Marc-Andre Fleury (Yahoo:11 / landsharkhockey:4)

This isn't the playoffs.  Fleury is a top notch regular season goalie.


Antti Niemi (NHL:11 / landsharkhockey:5)

No goalie gets less respect than Cup winning Niemi.  He piles up wins and nobody notices.


Jake Allen (Yahoo:34 / NHL:32 / landsharkhockey:12)

I guess this comes down to whether you believe in Allen or Elliot as the #1 in St. Louis.  I believe in Allen.


John Gibson (Yahoo:30 / landsharkhockey:22)

Somebody at Yahoo missed the playoffs last season.  I thought I had him ranked too low 22.

What the Fantasy Experts Got Wrong: Over-Rated Players

by chewy 25. September 2014 06:42

For the average fantasy hockey player, draft preparation consists of purchasing a magazine, turning to the last page and cracking open a beer 10 minutes before draft time.  They may pull up an injury report while they're waiting for that last guy to drop off his kids and show up 10 minutes late for the draft.  For those who put their fate entirely in the hands of the experts, you will undoubtedly miss on a few of your picks.  To provide some context for your cheat sheet, I've taken the liberty of rating their ratings.  After finalizing my own draft rankings (free at, I took the liberty of pulling up the lists for some of the major go-to sources: The Hockey News,, and Yahoo.  Here's what they got wrong.  Today, I'll deal with the over-rated players.  I'll follow up tomorrow with the under-rated misses.





Corey Perry (NHL:3 / Yahoo:3 / landsharkhockey:11)

Ryan Getzlaf (Yahoo:6 / THN:8 / landsharkhockey:18 )

These two go together.  Either you believe last season was a bit of an anomaly (I do), or you overdraft them both.


Nicklas Backstrom (THN:11 / landsharkhockey:19)

Unless your league is based purely on assists, this is overreaching in the early rounds.


Jonathan Toews (NHL:12 / landsharkhockey:33)

As a Captain, sure.  As a fantasy Round 2 pick?  No way.


Patrick Sharp (NHL: 18 / Yahoo:18 / THN:26 / landsharkhockey:64)

Injury prone and getting older.  I see a major decline for Sharp.  They don't.


Patrice Bergeron (Yahoo:20 / landsharkhockey:81)

I assume Yahoo was looking at the faceoff stats.  Otherwise, are you serious?


David Backes (Yahoo:27 / landsharkhockey:76)

Again, Yahoo loves their captains.  This is fantasy hockey, not the real thing.  Don't reach nearly that far for Backes.


Martin St. Louis (THN:28 / landsharkhockey:62)

He's 39 years old, guys.


Jason Pominville (THN:38 / landsharkhockey:60)

Not a horrible reach at 38, but you can wait a few more rounds here.


Jaromir Jagr (THN:54 / landsharkhockey:88)

He'll be sitting there in the last round.  Be patient.







Mike Green (THN:4 / landsharkhockey:19)

Wow.  Fourth?  That would be great for the Caps and the NHL to see this revival.  Won't happen.


Ryan McDonagh (Yahoo:12 / NHL:13 / landsharkhockey:45)

Once again - real NHL he's a stud.  Fantasy?  Average.


Mark Streit (THN:13 / landsharkhockey:45)

Best days are behind him.  Way behind him.  13th is silly.


Mark Giordano (THN:14 / landsharkhockey:44)

I can't see him repeating last year's magic.


Matt Niskanen (Yahoo:14 / landsharkhockey:39)

Plus-minus fluke has Yahoo reaching crazy early for an average fantasy option you'll drop in week 3.


Jason Garrison (THN:17 / landsharkhockey:48)

I just don't understand this one.


Brian Campbell (THN:19 / Yahoo:25 / landsharkhockey:52)

He's still in Florida, right?






Ben Bishop (THN:2 / landsharkhockey:8)

I see a big season for big Bishop.  Just not that big.


Semyon Varlamov (THN:3 / landsharkhockey:9)

He won't come close to last season's breakout numbers again.


Corey Schneider (NHL:10 / landsharkhockey:21)

The Devils will be bottom feeders this season, meaning Schneider won't compile enough wins, no matter how well he plays.


Cam Ward (THN:21 / landsharkhockey:35)

I love the Canes, but can't understand why Ward continues to get fantasy attention like this.







2014 Fantasy Teams to Target (and Teams to Avoid)

by chewy 28. August 2014 06:19

Ready to shake off the summer slumber and get to work on your draft prep yet?  First step: Figure out which teams to target and which teams to avoid.  Let's get to it then. 


Teams to Target in 2014:


1.       Colorado

The Avalanche surprised most last season, charging down the mountain from the first puck drop to be a dominant force in the West and a fantasy gold rush.  Nobody should be surprised to see that continue in year 2 of the Roy Regime.  From MacKinnon, Duchene, Landeskog and Iginla up front, to Barrie and Johnson on the back end, and throw in a rising O'Reilly, the goals will flow freely in Denver this year.  Get a piece of this action early and often in your draft.


2.       Pittsburgh

It seems redundant to list the Penguins as a team to target in fantasy circles.  It has been that way since about 1984.  The new front office may be reforming the image of this squad for better Spring results, but you still can't go wrong with Crosby, Malkin and a host of adequate complimentary wingers to finish those passes.  The addition of Ehrhoff more than offsets the loss of Niskanen on defense, and a full season from Letang could land him back in the Norris party.


3.       Philadelphia

The Flyers took their time getting started last season, but finished among the best in the NHL.  I'll avoid grabbing for the obligatory Giroux jokes and say that he remains a top 3 fantasy option, making Voracek and anyone else that finds their way to his line worth drafting.  The fantasy-worthy options stretch into the third line in Philadelphia.


4.       San Jose

Who cares about the playoffs, right?  Just keep picking Sharks for their regular season success and you'll be a happy drafter.


5.       Los Angeles

The evil-opposite of the Sharks don't care a lick about the regular season.  Nonetheless, with 3 lines of top end offensive talent, including a slew of first and second year speedsters, you should keep the Kings on your radar.  Look for potentially monster seasons from the likes of Kopitar, Carter and Gaborik.  Doughty is due for a big fantasy campaign as well.


6.       Chicago

Like LA - The Hawks like to spread it around and get the wins.  Some of their top names will be overrated and overdrafted as they approach the back end of their career.  Don't overreach for anyone on this squad, but if the value is there come draft time, there should be about 10 Chicago players going off the board in your draft.


7.       Dallas

My surprise pick for fantasy explosion this season is coming out of Texas.  The top line may be the best in hockey this season.  The Stars have quickly transformed to a to a resurgent powerhouse over the last several seasons.  Don't expect much from the defense crew.


8.       Tampa Bay

With two Calder runners-up last season, and strong Calder favorite in Drouin this season, the Bolts are building a fantasy power from youth.  And then there's potential MVP Stamkos.  Hedman continues his slow ascent to the elite on D.


9.       Edmonton

This has to be the year Edmonton finally breaks through, right?  They could have 3 forwards in the top 10 by the end of the year.  And 2 more in the top 50.


10.   Minnesota

In any other division, Minnesota would be a clear favorite to finish first.  It won't come easy, but they will give the big 3 a run for their money.  Along the way, look for some very solid fantasy options to emerge, including the obvious (Parise, Suter, Pominville, Vanek), and the not so obvious (Grandlund, Niederreiter, Coyle).  If they could ever get a full year's work out of a goalie, one of them may emerge as a top 5 option in net.  All around, this is a solid, rising Wild squad.



Teams to Avoid:


1.       Nashville

The only coach they've ever known has moved on, leaving the team seeking a new identity.  Perhaps that is reason to hope that this team could finally turn a history of sweet defensive prospects into fantasy meaning.  The roster up front gives little hope for 2014 relevancy.


2.       New Jersey

When your only viable fantasy option is 42, you have no viable fantasy options.  Even Schneider will struggle to find wins.


3.       Phoenix (I mean, Arizona)

Defense first.  If he has a C or W next to his name, look elsewhere.


4.       Buffalo

Nothing to see here.  Move along.


5.       Florida

The Panthers seem content to throw silly money at average players, just to meet the salary floor.  Many of these guys could do well if paired with elite talent; however, given their location, they will see their totals dive down.  A handful of promising youngsters give a slight glimmer of hope on the horizon.






Hold On Jack -- Fantasy Preseason is Almost Upon Us

by chewy 21. August 2014 08:07

We're just a couple weeks out from Labor Day, which marks the unofficial start to fantasy hockey pre-season.  We've been hard at work making our preperations for delivering all the fantasy info you need to dominate your draft.  Here's a rough idea of what you should expect over the coming weeks:

Offseason Recap

Quick hit through the fantasy hockey-relevant headlines you missed while vacuuming your pool this summer.

Power Rankings

To get yourself grounded, it helps to get your mind around which teams will do well this season, and which teams have entererd (or lingered in) the dreaded "rebuild mode".  This is particularly critical when it comes to choosing goalies.

Goalie Rankings

Speaking of goalies, our official goalie rankings will available in about a week.

Defense Rankings

We traditionally follow that up rather quickly with our Defense picks.

Offense Rankings

Do I need an explanation?

Fantasy Breakdown

Armed with our final draftlist, you'll be prepared to configure your own (for free) right here.  We'll follow that up with focused articles on: Breakout Players, Rebound candidates, Sleepers, Gambles, Busts and other clever ways of putting a label on someone who makes more money than you. 


To quote the immortal Phil Bourque -- "Buckle up, Baby!"

For the Record - 2014 Playoff Predictions

by chewy 16. April 2014 05:26

Just a few hours before the puck drops on the most compelling contest in all of sports.  This year, at long last, we have a fixed bracket, making things much easier on those of us obsessed with fantasy contests.  Be sure to get in on the action at with your bracket selections.  Here are mine:




Cup Finals:  St. Louis Blues over Boston Bruins.

Despite entering the playoffs on a 6-game losing streak, my faith in St. Louis has not wavered from the start of the season when I projected them to hoist their first ever Cup.  If they can get healthy, no other team can roll 4 lines up front and 3 pair on defense like the Blues.  I was torn over the Boston/Pittsburgh selection, but goaltending has to favor the Bruins.


MVP: Alex Steen.  Steen finally emerged as an NHL star this season, leading his squad in goals and assists, despite missing several weeks of action.  He will be clutch.




Pittsburgh / Columbus

Fleury will be fine in this one.  Which is all anyone needs to hear.  A Pittsburgh loss would rival the '93 Islander upset.

Penguins in 5.


Boston / Detroit

Just keeping the playoff streak alive should satisfy Wings fans.  They certainly won't like what they get in Round 1, as they will be completely outclassed by the Bruins.

Bruins in a clean sweep


Tampa Bay / Montreal

Coin flip on this one.  Let the goaltending decide it.  With Bishop uncertain and Price in top form…

Canadiens in 6.


NY Rangers / Philadelphia

Another coin toss.  The Rangers just seem pieced together wrong, while the Flyers have the 2nd best player in the league on their side.

Flyers in 7.





Colorado / Minnesota

If you're looking for an upset in Round 1, it has to be here.  The Wild are better built for the playoffs than Roy's surprising Avs squad.  If only the Wild had healthy goaltending, they could have challenged St. Louis to come out of the West.

Wild in 6.


St. Louis / Chicago

Tough road for the Hawks to repeat in the West.  Toughest fight comes first, which they will lose.

Blues in 5.


Anaheim / Dallas

Biggest no-brainer on this side of the bracket.  Ducks should roll here.

Ducks in 5.


San Jose / LA

Wish I didn't have to stay past midnight for the next two weeks, but I can't miss what should be the best series of round 1.  When the teams are even, look to the net.  It doesn't get better than Jonathan Quick.

Kings in 6.



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