Fantasy Hockey: 30 NHL teams in 30 Minutes
With the 2015-2016 National Hockey League (NHL) season set to get underway on Wednesday, October 7th 2015. It is high time we offer our daily fantasy sports (DFS) managers a brief look into what we are anticipating to see on the ice this year.
Will the New York Rangers repeat as President’s Trophy winners? Will the Edmonton Oilers end their post season drought? Will the Detroit Red Wings see their incredible 24 straight year playoff participation end? Will the Calgary Flames prove to be more than last season’s flash in the pan?
These are but a few of the riveting story-lines and sub-plots that fantasy hockey managers will have to weave through during this year’s cash draft contests. There are more storylines than there are teams this year, and as such the laymen will have a wondrous time watching it all play out. But the fantasy hockey manager has to look at it another way, the fantasy hockey manager has to be proactive, not knowing the fantasy sports landscape is the difference between winning, placing or being out of the money.
With that being said, here are 30 thoughts for the 30 hockey clubs in NHL:
The Ducks were not happy with their 2014-2015 end. Losing to the eventual Stanley Cup winners does not make the pill easier to swallow, not when you are often picked by experts to go all the way. That is the case again for the Ducks, pundits have chosen them as early cup favorites, what does that mean for fantasy hockey cash draft contest managers? Simply put, selecting an Anaheim goaltender will be a value pick for the course of the season, they will win more than they lose. If you are looking for skaters to fill up the score sheet, Corey Perry is a surefire goal scorer, for the right price he should be looked at hard. Sleeper forward on the Ducks could be Jiri Sekac. He coul offer big points for a low cost.
The Vancouver Canucks were surprise participants in last season’s spring dance. Unfortunately we don’t see them repeating the exploit in 2015-2016, not with the aging cast they currently boast. Ryan Miller, Henrik and Daniel Sedin along with Chris Higgins and Radim Vrbata have been great warriors on the ice for many years, but the sun is setting on their careers and we do not believe that they will have enough gas in the tank to make the post season. That being said, there are some value picks here should a fantasy hockey manager look at the roster. Miller will face and stop a lot of shots, Jannick Hansen will likely have a breakout season and Radim Vrbata, we believe, will reward managers well for the price.
If the Canucks are trending downward, the Flames are trending upward. Young, hungry and well coached, the Flames will look to show that they are more than just last year’s flash in the pan. While we do expect to see the Flames make the playoffs, we are weary to stock out fantasy hockey lineups with players who proudly wear the flame. Can Hudler repeat last season’s point performance?
Los Angeles Kings:
The Kings were onetime NHL favorites, due in large part to their size and style of play, but that did not stop them from missing the post season last year. Nor does it stop us from predicting another long and tumultuous season for the LA club. While we won’t’ pronounce ourselves on their fate, we will say that we expect a BIG year from Anze Kopitar and Tyler Toffoli, 2 players that will reward your hockey rosters with a great deal of points.
San Jose Sharks:
Jumbo Joe was stripped of his captaincy last season and the Sharks were, essentially rudderless and ended up out of the post season. This year saw Jumbo Joe maintain his non captain status but little Joe (Joe Pavelski) was named captain, in fact ushering in the “future” for the embattled Sharks. We don’t expect to see this move pay off with a playoff participation, but we will say that Joe Thornton will likely have an axe to grind, making him a great fantasy hockey pick up! For the price, he will reward managers with fantasy points.
In 2014-2015 the Oilers were… well the Oilers. Bottom feeders yet again, luckily for the Oil, their ineptitude got them Connor McDavid, the most sure fire prospect since Sidney Crosby. We will go out on a limb and say that YES the Oilers will indeed make the playoffs on the back f super rookie McDavid. With that being said we will say this for all fantasy hockey managers to note, Connor McDavid will reward his inclusion into a fantasy roster with top value! We also expect former #1 Taylor Hall to give manager a big bang for their buck.
The desert dogs have fallen from grace in recent memory, though many will argue that last season this was due in large part to being “all-in” in the McEichel sweepstakes. As it stands, the Coyotes fell just shy of the vaunted 1-2 draft picks. Arizona drafter D-man Noah Hanifin with 3rd overall pick. We expect the Coyotes to endure serious growing pains this season, but we do foresee OEL (Oliver Ekman Larsson) to continue his Norris trophy play and rack up points for fantasy hockey GMs. On the front end we will say that youngster Anthony Duclair will be a great value pick for the cost.