The Shark Blog
4. September 2013 19:01
The goalie position
continues to be the hardest by far to predict with certainty. I can only recommend two names to be sure
winners worthy of a first round pick.
After that, you have a collections of very good options that are almost
interchangeable parts. Because of that,
if you miss out on Lundqvist or Rask, I recommend waiting until the goalie run
is over and picking the 8th or 9th goalie off the board, as there shouldn't be
much drop off from the 3rd best option.
1. Henrik Lundqvist
While he fell just
shy of another Vezina nod last season, you simply cannot get more in terms of
reliability than Hank. I suspect that the coaching change will have an overall
positive effect on his fantasy numbers. He should see significantly more shots
this season, which means more saves. And the shots that Torts dictated be
blocked out front tended to be the easier saves for a goalie. Logically, you
should see a higher save percentage, more saves, and overall total domination
for Lundqvist as this year's top goalie pick.
2. Tuukka Rask
If anyone can
challenge Lundqvist for the top spot on the goalie list, it's Rask. He had to
wait patiently for his opportunity as Boston's #1, but has proven to be worth
the wait. His dominance in the regular season even carried through the
playoffs. With Boston promising to be one of the most dominant teams this
season, he is assured of large helping of Wins. Expect 40, perhaps even 50.
Can't go wrong with Rask.
3. Sergei Bobrovsky
After a revelation
of a season, all eyes will be on Bobrovsky to see if he can repeat the magic.
The Jackets are clearly on rise and will rely on Sergei to keep them moving
that way. There is no reason to doubt he will be a solid contributor once again
fantasy wise, but expecting another Vezina may be overshooting. He is certainly
a safe #1 option in net.
4. Jimmy Howard
Howard has been a
reliable fantasy option for four years now. He stepped it up a notch last
season, arguably carrying them into the playoffs. The Wings have committing to
him for the long haul, so he won't have contract issues on his mind. Detroit's
young defensive crew is coming together nicely and ought to provide enough
support for Howard to make it 5 straight seasons as a solid fantasy keeper.
5. Jonathan Quick
Simply put, Quick
tanked last season. He showed no signs of the man who dominated the position
for the prior two years. That changed in the playoffs, as he returned to form
and carried the team for 2 rounds. That run brings hope to fantasy owners
looking for a top notch goalie that may be underrated at this year's draft. He
didn't even crack the top 20 in fantasy points by the end of last season. Look
for a rapid return to the top 5 this year.
6. Corey Crawford
If it's wins that
you crave, consider holding out for Crawford as your #1 in net. The Hawks will
surely deliver plenty in the W column again in 2013-14, and this time, assuming
he stays healthy, Crawford won't have to share the net with Emery. Khabibulin
will fill in only when Crawford needs a breather. His numbers last year were
among the best in the league. He just needs more starts to rank with the elite.
7. Antti Niemi
According to my
charts, Antti Niemi provided more fantasy points than any other player in the
league. (I'll pause while you absorb that thought). (thought you might need
more time...) Much of this came in the first 3 weeks of the season when San
Jose seemingly couldn't lose a game. He finished the season strong as well,
piling up 24 wins in 43 games. While I don't expect the Sharks to be as good
this time around, he is the undisputed #1 in net for San Jose. He will again
get his fair share of wins and will remain a viable #1 option. Just don't
expect a repeat as the top fantasy man.
8. Craig Anderson
Anderson was the best goalie in the league last season, by far. His 1.69 GAA
and .941 save percentage were silly good. He just needed to stay healthy a
little longer. He didn't show a sign of weakness all season until the 2nd round
of the playoffs, where the Pens made him look human. A full season in good
health will show whether or not he is for real as a #1 option.
9. Pekka Rinne
Rinne, along with
the entire Nashville team, took a big step backwards last season. Maybe they
missed Suter that much. Despite the slip, Rinne remains the epitome of the word
"workhorse". He will continue to own the pipes for 85% of the action in
Nashville, which means wins should continue to pile up. Look for a bounce back
in other categories, with a Preds team that just has to be better this season.
10. Marc-Andre Fleury
You'll need to focus
hard, but try and forget what happened in last year's playoffs. And the
playoffs the year before that. Focus. In the regular season (which is what we
care about in fantasy town), Fleury has been a very good option. The Pens (for
some unknown reason) insist on standing behind him as their #1, despite having
a far more stable option in Vokoun at the ready. As long as that vote of
confidence remains from the man behind the bench, Fleury will carry significant
fantasy value. The Pens promise to rack up the wins again this year, and the
Flower is the default option to gather those Ws. Because of his post-season
struggles, you will probably see Fleury slide deep come draft time, making him
a potential sleeper win.
To see the rest of
my top 50 goalie rankings, visit: http://www.landsharkhockey.com/LS/tools/DraftRankings.aspx. You can also customize your own list there.
18. January 2013 08:39
As a follow up to my
previous article on CBS Fantasy Hockey Draft Strategy, I wanted to come back
with a breakdown of how you should approach drafting in a standard head-to-head Yahoo
league. Many of the principals are the
same as CBS (and any league for that matter), so if you missed it, check it out
For now, I'll focus
on the specific things you need to know for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey leagues in
order to draft a winning team.
The first thing to
note about the standard Yahoo settings is that they choose to break down
forwards by specific position (C, LW, RW), as opposed to grouping wingers, or
all forwards together. This has a
noticeable impact on your strategy. It
used to be on Yahoo, that Left Wingers came at a premium; however, this year
they dramatically opened up the number of players that qualify at multiple
positions. That designation is gold
here. The flexibility gives you far more
options when it comes to setting your day to day lineup. So, while I would otherwise favor Stamkos and
Crosby over Malkin, he's the only one of the three to (arbitrarily) be granted
C/LW status. That makes the reigning MVP
the best option on offense this year. I
can't over-emphasize the edge that this gives you to have that flexibility.
Yahoo has a unique
option that lets you carry one player on the IR that won't count against your
other roster spots. Take advantage of
this throughout the season, and even during the draft. I recommend drafting a player you know will
start the season injured (e.g. Kesler).
At the start of the season, you can put him into the IR spot and you'll
have a free pick to backfill it. Always
look to pick up hurt stars and keep the spot filled.
As opposed to CBS,
which awards fantasy points based on stats, the standard head-to-head Yahoo
leagues are scored on an old-school rotisserie fashion. (Note: this is one major reason I rarely play
on Yahoo.) This setup affects your
strategy in several major ways.
1. Pay attention to all categories.
In a points based
system, +/- can largely be ignored. In a
Yahoo league, having the best +/- is
just as important as goals. This makes
no logical sense, but that's the way it is, so plan your draft
accordingly. If a guy is notoriously bad
in +/- or refuses to take a penalty to save his life, downgrade that
2. Goons are welcome.
minutes are valued equal to goals, why not draft a goon to round out your
wingers? One player could
single-handedly win that category for you, so even if Zenon Konopka only nets you 2 goals again next season, his
15 Pims a week may be worth it.
3. Bring on the backup goalies.
Total goals allowed
and saves matter not here. It's all
about the averages (GAA / save %). What
that means is that a workhorse who may lead the league in saves won't
necessarily be as valuable as a guy who plays every other game and puts up a
low GAA in the process. So don't
necessarily shy away from backups or goalies in a split-crease scenario. You have to meet a minimum games played each
week, so the best strategy here it to grab a top-notch, # 1 goalie early in the
draft, then wait it out for your 2nd goalie.
There will be plenty of solid backups out there into the 10th round and
beyond. Options like the split crease
in St. Louis become viable, as they'll both see a game or two a week and should
register decent numbers behind that solid Blues defense. In a points-based league, these two would
slide to late in the draft. This
approach may hold you back in wins and shutouts, but you'll benefit in the
4. Sadly, Defense is irrelevant
It breaks my heart
to say this, but in this format, you can and should treat defense as an
afterthought. If you can grab one of the
top 5 defensemen early, go for it, because the talent level drops off
significantly after that. Karlsson and
Weber will score like a forward and so they are worthy of early selection. However, since defense and offense are
grouped together in Yahoo leagues for scoring, they have relatively little
value. Best plan is to grab 1 elite
defenseman if you can early, get your second D around round 8-10, then fill up
your other starting spots before rounding out this position.
Draft Room Rules
Unlike CBS, Yahoo
leaves you the keys and lets you drive your car how you please. There is no restriction on the number of
players you can draft at any position.
If you want to fill your bench with 4 goalies, you're free to do
so. I only point this out, as it's a
dramatic difference from the approach in CBS.
Here, you're free to take the best player available at all times.
Finally, take a
close look at those Yahoo player rankings and play off of them
accordingly. The average GM will tend to
follow Yahoo's picks rather blindly. Be
informed and watch for these situations.
Here are some
undervalued players that you can wait on and grab as a steal later than you
would in other draft rooms:
Nugent-Hopkins, Benn (despite the contract issues), Skinner
Left Wing: Lupul,
Right Wing: Gaborik,
Here are some names
that will fly off the board before their time, based on Yahoo overrating them:
Zetterberg (demise in Detroit is upon us), Backes
Left Wing: Heatley
Pominville, Alfredsson, Jagr
16. January 2013 09:19
Everyone seems to be
in scramble mode this week to pull together drafts, leaving very little time to
prepare. If you're like me and play on
various sites, it's easy to forget the rules and nuances of each league. Blindly drafting without regard to the rules
can be fatal. Even if you're Biff
Tannen and you know exactly how many points each player will score next season,
it's no guarantee for fantasy victory if you don't fashion your draft strategy
to the league you're in. In this post,
I'll give you some tips and guidance on how to draft (and win) in a standard
CBS fantasy hockey league.
The first step for
any league is to study the point system so you know the relative value of each
position. CBS does a good job of
weighting the value of offense, defense, and goaltending, to ensure that each
position has somewhat equal weight.
Quick recap of points in key categories:
Offense: Goals = 3, Assists = 2
Defense: Goals = 5,
Assists = 3
Goalies: Win = 5,
Saves=.2 , GA=-1
So what does this
mean? First off, the tendency for the
inexperienced GM is to blow off drafting defensemen until the later rounds,
since the big names and leading scorers obviously come from the forwards. Huge mistake here. Because of the weighting of points, a 20 goal
scorer on offense will earn 60 points for his efforts, while a 20-goal
performance by a defenseman will net 100 points. Another critical factor to realize is the
relative gap between the elite players on defense versus on offense. When it comes to defensemen, there's a fairly
small number of predictable, elite performing players. After that group of 10 or so, it drops off
considerably to the point where it doesn't matter much who you pick. The story is different for forwards. (Aside from a few obvious exceptions like
Crosby, Stamkos, and Malkin), you won't see a huge point difference between the
top 10 forwards and the next 20 or so on the list.
Bottom line here:
don't be shy about drafting one or two defensemen in the first 4 rounds, even
if it means enduring a laugh or two from your unschooled competition.
And what about the
other stats categories?
- Penalty Minutes - At .25 a
piece, it's worth considering, but not worth planning your draft around
it. There are few players in the
league that bring a steady diet of points and PIMs. Those that do should be bumped up your
list a few notches (Perry, Lucic, Clowe, Marchand); however, don't go
crazy drafting goons.
- +/- - Perhaps the most
arbitrary stat in fantasy sports.
Don't waste your time trying to predict this one. Generally speaking, favor players on
good teams over those with poor goal ratios. Often times a decent +/- will line up
nicely with points, and when it doesn't, it's not worth worrying about.
- SHG/PPG - For as often as a
short handed goal is scored, pay no attention. Power Play time (and goals) on the other
hand are more predictable and should factor into your rankings. CBS offers a bonus point for each goal
on the power play, so give a slight boost to guys like Selanne and Franzen
that might otherwise not be worth a look.
CBS strikes a decent
balance when valuing goaltenders between wins, saves, and goals against. A player who sees a ton of shots (Rinne,
Ward, Smith) has an edge out of the gate over a guy who only has to wake up
every few minutes to turn aside a casual kick save (Lundqvist). So don't completely shy away from a good
goalie on a poor defensive team.
Shutouts are hard to predict, but there are certain goalie who
historically will give you that added bonus on a regular basis (Smith,
Lundqvist). The obvious category (and
the one that may be easiest to predict) is wins. At 5 points a piece, this is where you'll
want to weight a good bit of your ranking for this league.
Bottom line: focus
on Wins and Saves.
Points Per Game Rule
One last point worth
noting in CBS scoring rules is how they award points. It's not the total points earned that matter
in a head-to-head matchup. It's fantasy
points per game played. While this won't affect most of your
decisions at draft time for forwards and defense, it's something to think about
for goaltenders. This makes a
split-crease situation somewhat more palatable. This makes the goalies in St. Louis a prime
target in CBS, whereas they may be overlooked in other formats. Halak could be the most valuable player in
the league. It's still risky to go with
a part-time goalie in net, but in this format, you can pull it off.
Then 2nd thing to
consider for any league is the number of players per position, and how the
league breaks down offense. The standard
CBS rules call for:
- 2 goalies
- 4 defense
- 6 forwards
- 4 bench spots
One of the nuances
with the CBS draft rules merits serious consideration. While you can mix and match centers and
wingers once the season begins, CBS
limits you to selecting just 3 total centers at draft time. I don't understand why they do it, but if you
don't play to this rule, you could seriously hurt yourself late in the
draft. First off, high-scoring fantasy
centers are abundant. It's tempting to
jump all over guys like Stamkos, Malkin, and Giroux in the early rounds, but
step back and look further down the list.
Guys like Backstrom, Jordan Staal, and Benn will be around much later in
the draft, and is that really so bad? If
you spend 3 early picks on centers, you'll be regretting it in round 14 when
you see that Henrique and Jeff Carter
are still available, but CBS won't let you pick them. Budget your center selection for value and
save one of the 3 for the final couple of rounds. Give yourself room to cash in on a sleeper.
Note: Perhaps the most frustrating part about
this rule is that it's different in the mock drafts. In a mock draft, CBS will let you pick up to
6 centers. I had to learn this the hard
way two years back in my Premium League when I went to take Anze Kopitar in
round 9, only to have the unfriendly red text tell me somebody else would be
benefiting from his breakout campaign.
Consider yourself warned.
Also note, some CBS
leagues draw distinction between left wing and right wing (as opposed to
grouping them all together). If this is
the case, you must mock draft this way to learn a thing or two. You'll quickly find the talent pool drops off
considerably by position in these drafts.
Centers are a dime a dozen, relatively speaking here, and shouldn't be
drafted until round 5 or later.
In a 12 team league
starting 2 goalies, it's critical to get at least one elite player at this
position. Having two is even
better. If you don't pick a goalie in
either round 1 or 2, you may lose interest quickly, because you'll be losing on
a regular basis. There's only so much
talent to go around, and you'll only find a handful of useful options on the
waiver wire over the course of the year.
Contrast that with the forward position.
You're guaranteed to always have a serviceable forward available
throughout the season when the need arises, purely based on quantity.
Note: The 3 player
limit also applies to goalies during the draft, so if you're the type that
likes to stash 2 backups on your bench, you'll have to wait until after the
draft to add #4. The approach here
should be different than for centers, however.
There are only 25 or so goalies worth drafting, and you need a good
player in your 3rd slot, so do not wait past round 11 or 12 to grab your
CBS grants you 4
bench spots, one for each position.
Again, once the draft is done, you can fill those 4 spots with any mix
of position. At draft time, you'll
obviously want to place 1 center and 1 goalie in there. Beyond that, feel free to grab 2 defense, 2
wingers or 1 of each. You'll probably
end up dropping one of those within a few weeks anyway (possibly for 4th center
or goalie), so don't sweat it much.
The third major
factor to consider is the default player rankings in CBS. Each site features their own set of player
rankings, and it's worth studying them in order to guess the tendencies of your
opposition. Most GMs will tend to lean
on the default rankings, particularly late in the draft. With this in mind, you can learn a lot by
searching for both underrated and overrated players in their listings.
If you run through a
mock draft or two, and look through the rankings, you should find some players
significantly undervalued in their rankings.
While you may have ranked these players quite high on your list, they may
just go a few rounds later than you would have picked them. Take advantage of this information and spend
that early pick on a another position and get the value in the next round. This is a risky strategy, but if you're in it
to win, you've got to take some chances to cash in big. Here are some players that I find to be
noticeably undervalued by CBS's rankings:
Goalies: Halak, Fleury, Schneider (perhaps they don't
get news out of Vancouver?)
Nugent-Hopkins, J. Staal
Gaborik, Vrbata, Lupul
NOTE: if you're in a
more serious league with established managers, take this advice with a grain of
salt. If you know what you're doing,
you'll have done your own homework and have your own custom draft list.
On the opposite end,
it's worth looking for players that CBS has rated artificially high against
your personal draft list. In this case,
you have a decision to make. If you want
the player badly enough, know that you'll have to grab him earlier than you
would like. A better bet may be to
resign yourself to finding value someplace else. Here are a handful of players that probably
won't make it on to my squad, as somebody is bound to grab them way too early
for my liking:
Bryzgalov, Luongo (see Schneider above)
Del Zotto, Brendan Smith
Zetterberg, Kopitar (hurt)
Wingers: P. Kane,
delve into the Yahoo fantasy draft strategy.
8. January 2013 09:21
If you're like most
and haven't given much thought to fantasy hockey over the past 8 months (either
out of self-defense, spite, or indifference), you may need a little help
getting grounded before piecing together your fantasy squad this week. So, here's a quick primer to get your mind
back on important matters:
- Last season was largely about
the dominance of the Penguins (at least in the regular season). Malkin and Neal were unstoppable. Crosby was dominant as ever in half a
season of action. Jordan Staal
played his way out of town with a career season. Kris Letang would have been in the
running for the Norris, had he stayed healthy.
- Steven Stamkos ran away with
the goal scoring title, pounding in another 60 tallies
- Claude Giroux continued to
show he deserves a spot among the elite, with a 93 point effort
- Jason Spezza returned to star
status, finishing 4th in scoring
- Erik Karlsson was in a class
by himself on defense, amassing 78 points and 19 goals
IN THE CREASE
- After several years of being
overlooked, Lundqvist finally earned a Vezina
- Jonathan Quick made his case
for top goalie, piling up 10 shutouts
- Mike Smith emerged as a top
tier goalie in Phoenix with a .930 save percentage and 8 shutouts of his
- Brian Elliot and Jaroslav
Halak formed the best 1-2 punch in the league, combining for 13 shutouts
- Tim Thomas likely played out
his final campaign, opening the door for Tuukka Rask to emerge this year
- Roberto Luongo slowly slid
back in favor of Cory Schneider, opening the door for a likely trade this
- Ilya Bryzgalov mostly crashed
and burned in his Philly debut
- Patrik Elias and Ray Whitney
showed they still had something to give, piling up 78 and 77 points,
- Scott Hartnell became a
serious fantasy factor. Paired with
Giroux, he put up 37 goals on top of 136 PIMs
- Radim Vrbata was among the
league leaders in goals through the first 3/4 of the season, before
- Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel
brought fantasy relevance back to Toronto
- Alex Ovechkin and the Caps
- Marian Gaborik played 82
THE (LONG AND
PAINFUL) OFF SEASON
- Jordan Staal joined big
brother and looks to get a more prominent top line center role
- The Minnesota Wild claimed
the big double-whammy, signing Parise and Suter
- Rick Nash finally found his
way out of Columbus and into New York
- Tomas Vokoun was brought into
Pittsburgh to spur Fleury on to post-season success
- Anders Lindback became the
man in the Tampa net
- The decline in Detroit is
eminent. Lidstrom has finally hung
'em up. With Stuart gone, too, look
for the playoff streak to end.
- Lubomir Visnovsky was dealt
to the Isles, against his wishes, went to Russia, and may never come back
- Alex Semin will try to
reignite his scoring touch, moving to divisional rival Carolina
- Ryan Kesler remains on the
shelf in Vancouver with no timeline for return from wrist and should woes
- Marian Hossa appears to be
recovered from the concussion that ended his playoffs
- Anze Kopitar injured his knee
last week and may need a month to recover
- Rick Nash injured his groin
in December, but should be ready to make his Rangers debut on time
Be sure to check out
our free player rankings by position.
You can drag and drop / customize your own fantasy rankings from there
as well. Welcome back, NHL.
17. October 2012 09:51
Now that there is
some glimmer of light appearing under the door, it may be time to start getting
serious about preparing for some last-minute hockey drafts. We've previously highlighted some breakout
and rebound candidates to spice up your roster, but for the most part, it's not
a bad idea to play it safe. These guys
aren't the superstars, but they're a solid, safe pick. They probably won't
compete for the Art Ross, but you know what you're getting with these guys and
can sleep at night with them on your roster.
Check out Loui's
point totals for the last three seasons: 71, 73, 71. His goal totals have
lingered between 26 and 29 as well. Gotta love that consistency. And the truth
is, he's capable of more. The Stars brought in some help for the top 2 lines,
but Eriksson will still be counted on to be the team's top sniper. I fully
expect 35 goals out of brother Loui in 2012-13.
Kopitar seems to
start each season with a bang, giving hope that he'll emerge as an elite
fantasy forward. Mid season struggles have kept him from reaching the next
level, but few fantasy options have been as consistent as this one over the
past few years. He's good for 25-30 goals and close to 80 points.
Lucic managed to
repeat the solid effort he displayed in 2010-11 that vaulted into the fantasy
conversation. His blend of production in goals, assists, and PIMs make him a
safe 4th or 5th round pick.
had been on the decline for the past few seasons, but 2011-12 brought a sudden
bump in production. He hit the 30 goal mark for the 2nd time in his career. #29
turned 29 this year and there's no reason to predict a major dropoff. Another
70 point season should be in the cards, though banking on 30 goals may be
optimistic. Flag him as a safe mid-round selection.
If you're looking
for a safe, reliable pick early in your draft, Henrik Sedin is a good place to
start. His numbers have noticeably dipped for two straight seasons, but that
still kept him at a point a game. The biggest drawback here will always be his
lack of goal-scoring. If goals matter more to you than assists, adjust him
accordingly. Either way, you have a guy who has put up 7 consecutive seasons of
75+ points. During that stretch, he hasn't missed a single game.
If it's goals that
you seek, Sharp has been one of the most consistent producers in recent years.
He has topped 30 goals in 3 of the last 5 seasons, including the last two. He
has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career, which has kept him shy of
hitting the 40 goal mark. 8 Game Winners and a +/- of +28 helped boost his
overall fantasy rank to 12th best among forwards. Some of the young guns in the
NHL will likely pass him by this season, but he's still a reliable contributor,
particularly at right wing. He'll retain his place on the top unit in Chicago,
which ensures him plenty of opportunity to pop in another 30+ tallies.
Martin St. Louis
True, his stats took
a dive last season, dropping by 25 points and registering his lowest goal total
in a decade. He's also 37 years of age. It's tempting to assume the end is
drawing near; however, he's been overcoming doubts his entire career. As long as
he remains the Stamkos wingman, (no reason to believe that will change) he has
significant value. When you're trying to rank St. Louis, you also must consider
your point system. He doesn't take penalties. All told, he's one of the safest
4th or 5th round picks out there.
Aside from one
monster season coming out of the lockout (100 points in '05-06), Staal has been
remarkably consistent from year to year, lingering between 70 and 80 points.
Could the arrival of little brother be enough to spur him on to greater heights
once more? He's been one of the most durable forwards in the league, playing
just one season with less than 81 games. With the moves Carolina made to boost
his support, you should expect Staal to take at least a 10 point jump back into
the 80's in 2012-13.
It seems like
Thornton has been playing hockey forever. He started dominating the NHL at such
a young age, it's tempting to assume he's nearing the end. In reality, he's
"just" 33, plenty young enough to continue to near point-a-game
storyline he has written for years now. As always, the problem is all assists,
no goals, but man, those are a lot of assists. The man hasn't put up less than
68 points in a season yet this millennium. So, just write in 24 goals and 50
assists minimum. Use pen.
Matt Carle is
another safe, if un-sexy, pick for you to fall back on late in the draft. For
the last 3 seasons, he's popped in a handful of goals and lingered between 35
and 40 points. He will be the go-to guy for the Lightning this season and will
probably remain in that territory.
When Ehrhoff bolted
for Buffalo last summer, Edler slid into the #1 man job description. He seemed
to fill that role nicely, racking up close to 50 points, including an
impressive 228 shots on net. Even with the addition of Garrison and the
presence of a healthy Bieksa, Edler will continue to carry the mail for one of
the league's top contenders. Look for another strong effort in the 10 goal, 50
Phaneuf put together
a solid comeback season last year, restoring faith in his ability to rejoin the
ranks of the top fantasy D. His 12 goals ranked 6th at his position and helped
him slide into 6th in total fantasy production. Look for another solid play in
2012-13 from the Leafs captain.
If you're looking
for a safe pick on defense, you can't do much better than Seabrook. His
potential is probably limited, but you can't beat the reliability. For seven
years, he's been very healthy and has regularly put up decent goal and point
totals for the Hawks. Expect another decent go in the realm of 8 goals and 40
Bad news first: -27
on the +/- hurt his overall fantasy value in a big way in many league formats.
He's also seen his point totals decline for four straight seasons. However, he
had set the bar extremely high. Despite another slip, he still posted 47 points
for a team going nowhere. Streit showed no ill affects after missing all of
2010-11, having played in all 82 games last season. Expect another solid season
Miller had a rough
start to the season, which included missing a few weeks with concussion issues.
It took him (and the Sabres) just a bit too long to salvage the season, but man
did they look solid down the stretch. Miller was playing at All-Star levels
through most of the spring, which may bode very well for his prospects heading
into 2012-13. The Sabres are now a confident bunch and their young forwards are
starting to click. This means more help for Miller in getting those W's on the
stat sheet. Look for a solid, bounce-back year for Miller to re-establish
himself as a top-notch fantasy starter.
season with the Sharks was much like his first. Another solid 34 wins to
complement a respectable 2.42 GAA. He's still unchallenged for the #1 job and
will see close to 70 games again this year if healthy. While the Sharks no
longer get a regular mention with the league's elite, they're good enough to
put wins on the table and keep Niemi as a safe, low-end #1 option.
Price had plenty of
pressure (nothing new) after the Habs dealt away Halak. He rose to the
challenge and exceeded expectations. Montreal is clearly not among the elite
teams in the league, so he won't challenge for tops in wins; however, he'll
give you good stats across the board. Strong #2 goalie option.
Rinne put together
another fine season as the Predator's workhorse, amassing a whopping 43 wins in
73 attempts. That would be good enough for 1st in the NHL last season. On the
positive side, Rinne has seen his wins increase every season and he's really just
entering his prime. On the downside, he's going to feel somewhat abandoned when
camp opens and one of his two prime protectors is MIA. The loss of Suter will
be felt. The Nashville defense goes from being one of the best in the business
to somewhat undefined, as they're forced to promote some of their younger
talent. It may be unreasonable to expect Rinne to compete for the Vezina again
this season, and a repeat of the 43 wins is a long shot. That said, as far as
Rinne himself is concerned, he's done nothing to this point in his career that
would suggest he's not worthy of remaining among the elite at this position
from a fantasy perspective.
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