How does your fantasy league run? 2 keepers of any position? Perhaps you get five? Probably a little too much in my opinion. Must keep a goalie? However your fantasy keeper league works this article will be useful for you!
First we will start with Fantasy Hockey Centers all owners MUST keep. Centers come a dime a dozen usually you have a ton of them on the waiver wire and roster, but a GOOD center is not easy to come by in the NHL. Here are the top 10 Fantasy Hockey centers you should keep!
Nathan MacKinnon: A nor brainer obviously the guy had more than a point per game last year almost 40 goals(38) and 58 assists, the Avalanche’s clear number one guy, you would have to be on every drug in the world to skip this guy.
Evgeni Malkin: Does his value ever decrease? This guy does it all too, power play, penalty kill, scoring, assists and is always consistent.
Connor McDavid: Top point scorer in the NHL two years in a row and only 21. Sure why not! Enough said.
Sidney Crosby: Do we have to say anymore besides he will be a 90 point scorer next year and is the best player in the NHL.
Tyler Seguin: If Seguin does not ink a contract extension soon, this may be a John Tavares 2.0 situation all over again the Stanley Cup winning and glorified scoring center has emerged into an elite level center quickly since coming into the league. Seguin has scored 30 plus four times in his career with a career high of 40 goals last season. Not much will slow this guy down!
Anze Kopitar: He actually was not on my keeper list last year but he proved his worth and did not let the $900000 million contract get to his head. After a 72 point season and 35 goal year, Kopitar is viable fantasy keeper.
Blake Wheeler: After inking a 5-year extension, Wheeler is going to be hitting his stride over the next few years, after a slow start in the first few years of his career, Wheeler has emerged into an elite level center. Tallying 91 point last season a 17 point increase from his 2016-17 season!
Steven Stamkos: For some reason a lot of people are weary on the whole Stamkos situation, due to injuries, a lot of pieces in the line up producing, some may actually not keep Stamkos this year. Coming off a an 86 point year, his best season since 2011-12, I wonder what some think about Stamkos now? Definitely keep the elite center.
Claude Giroux: I would have not kept Giroux coming into the 17-18 year but after the pieces the Flyers added on the offensive side and coming off a MVP caliber season, Giroux is a solid fantasy keeper. After a 102 point season and 34 goals, it would be silly to pass on Giroux.
John Tavares: Heading back home to Toronto now and playing with that great young talent in Toronto, it will only make Tavares better. Lined up with Mitch Marner and Connor Brown the veteran center has a lot of tools to use and more freedom to his game. He will be targeted the same probably but having Auston Matthews on a different line will leave Tavares with some great defensive match ups.
Hockey is 22 days away which means, fantasy hockey drafts and leagues are getting back together to schedule their drafts soon. Whether your league is a keeper or non-keeper, being prepared is the best way to ensure a Fantasy Hockey Championship in 2018.
For me personally I am in two keeper leagues, so listen to this, one of my leagues you get to pick three keepers(2 skaters, 1 goalie), but cannot keep the same guy two years in a row and also do not lose any draft picks. My other league, you get to keep five keepers, whatever position you prefer but if you keep a player who was drafted in the first round last season you lose your first round pick this year. It’s tricky I’m not sure what league I agree with more they both have their flaws. One is a keeper but cannot keep the same player for several years, what’s the point of a keeper then? And the other league, there are way too many keepers and people could keep two goalies which are flawed in a sense.
Anyways, I’ve done my fair share of digging and research this offseason and I’m here to give you five Fantasy Keeper suggestions.
Look at the players track record, per se Nick Foligno had a poor 2015-16 season but bounced back in 2016-17, then he’s obviously shown some signs of struggle and inconsistency, is the situation Foligno is in right now good or bad? Is he worth a keeper status, can he produce better than numbers last season? These are questions you should ask yourself.
What is his status/role on his current team? Does the player top three forward minutes, is he their go-to guy? Does he do most of the power play and or offensive scoring? Take a player like Vladimir Tarasenko, who is the Blues most pure goal scorer, power play specialist and has shown to be a 30 plus goal scorer every season.
Is he coming off a contract extension and or poor season following a contract extension? Take a play like Aaron Ekblad for instance, Ekblad signed a long term deal with a cap hit of $7.5 mil, got awarded the “A” and had a terrible season, same goes for Anze Kopitar, both were possible Fantasy keepers heading into last season but they are a far fetched thought to be a keeper. Take contract extensions into consideration a lot of players perform poorly after a big signing bonus but some do not so be wary of it.
When did you draft him last season? Players move up and down the rankings all year no player will be in the same position all season and will constantly be changing. But a good tip is per se you drafted Rickard Rakell in the fifteenth round last season and he came out and had a 50 point year, his fantasy value increased a ton this season and is now a 4th round buy, so it may be worth it to keep Rakell in the fifteenth round rather than letting him walk
Don’t latch onto players. This one is more of a direct statement, you must come to grips with yourself on some players. If you have a serious attachment to players but they are not producing it is time to let them go. You’ll find a new fantasy hero and it won’t eat you up inside knowing you kept Anze Kopitar just because you love him and the Kings, Kopitar is a sixth round possibly even an eight round guy, and there are plenty of players like that. For instance Rick Nash as well, you can get Nash in the tenth round, don’t keep him because you are a die hard Ranger fan, let some players walk, even if it breaks your heart.
Depending on the league many of these tips are subjective and the drafting rounds may be different depending on the league. But for most, 10-14 is an averagely sized league, 10 being the lowest, 14 being the absolute maximum. For some, it may be easier to get away with stashing a player that is not worthy of keeper status but for others, it may come down to a heart-wrenching decision.
Keeper leagues are tricking but can be a ton of fun for the league, you can build a franchise around a few players, act like a general manager and it makes fantasy hockey that much more exciting when draft time comes! I hope these tips helped one in preparing for their Fantasy Hockey draft! Be sure to check out my next piece on “Mock Draft Results” and my strategies, also be sure to follow me on twitter @nhlhotcakes.