I have already drafted my fantasy teams for the season. Since I am done and some of you have drafts remaining, I thought I’d help by pointing out some sleepers when it comes to the Yahoo! NHL rankings. Players listed below tend to go late or not at all in drafts and might just bear some consideration. There are others of course, which we here at OGA would like you to comment on. But these we know to have been seen sliding under the radar.
Note in parentheses after the name is the Yahoo! NHL ranking followed by a dash and the average round chosen in a 10-team draft, if at all. We likely also give you the ‘why’ they are late picks and some things to consider for potentially not passing on them.
Brian Elliott / Jaroslav Halak (96 – 9th / 153 – 15th) – For not knowing which Goalie the starter is, who might get traded, when does Jake Allen come up to play, etc; Elliott averages 28 starts with a 18.5 – 9 – 2.5 record, 1.92 GAA and 6 Shutouts over the last two seasons with the Blues; Halak averages 30.5 starts with a 16 – 8.5 – 4 record, 2.06 GAA and 4.5 Shutouts over the same period; if you draft three or more goalies, snagging this tandem is not a bad idea
David Backes (110 – 11th) – For only 6 G’s last season at C/RW; brings 62 PIMs, 100 SOG, 477 Faceoffs Won and 158 Hits
Scott Hartnell (158 – 15th) – For only 8 G’s + 3 A’s and a –5 in 32 games last season from the LW; averages 126 PIMs, 164 SOG, and 141 Hits per season over the last four season, to include the 32 games played last year
Paul Martin (278 – Not) – For only 23 Pts last season on PIT’s top defensive pairing; note here that he missed 14 games with injury and still scored the most goals he has potted since he came to PIT in 2009-10; has been a + player all but one NHL season; is on the top defensive pairing with Brooks Orpik and will get PP time; only 50 Hits last year, but averaged over 120 the two seasons before
Valeri Nichushkin (342 – Not) – For no NHL regular season games played yet; let’s try 6’4” + 200lbs for the RW’er; likely the first No. 1 pick for Dallas to be on the opening night roster in the same year selected in the draft; 3 G’s, 17 SOG’s and 10 hits in the five pre-season games he played; and is being touted as a potential Calder Trophy candidate
Steve Ott (372 – Not) – For only 24 Pts last season from the C/LW positions; brings 93 PIMs, 298 Faceoffs Won and 187 Hits in last year’s 48-game season
There you have some of your late, ‘BENCH’ players to consider when completing your fantasy draft. Who do you think has slipped by fantasy team managers?