Winning fantasy leagues is all about the perfect balance. You never want to be too bold, too risky, or draft too many rookies. Another thing no one wants in fantasy is to be too boring. But boring can win fantasy championships. This reminds me of a holiday party I was attending last year with some buddies, simpler times of course. I brought a 2012 wine bottle of Hermitage. I guess I read the crowd wrong as most of the guys weren’t too impressed with my bottle, with one friend calling me boring for drinking wine. Well, believe you me! That bottle was delicious! And I turned one buddy into a big wine fan. So let’s convert haters into believers here and find those “boring” undervalued players to target who can help your fantasy hockey teams this season
While the Stanley Cup Championship was as good as ever, the 2019-20 NHL season left something to be desired for fantasy hockey managers. No worries, the NHL is getting right back at it, and you should too! Whether you want to join an existing league or start one of your own, The Fantrax Fantasy Hockey Commissioner has all the features that will make the upcoming season a success for all.
Undervalued Players for Fantasy Hockey 2020-21
Pierre Luc Dubois, C – Columbus Blue Jackets
Well, the name certainly isn’t boring! Pierre-Luc Dubois still isn’t getting the attention he deserves after a great season and stellar playoff run. Dubois finished last season on a 57-point pace in 82 games and took his game to another level leading the Jackets in goals, assists, and points during their playoff run. The advanced statistics show a breakout is coming for the 22-year-old with a top 20 Corsi percentage (CF%) and Shots For on-ice percentage (SF%) among Centers. Not to mention being top-10 in the league in offensive zone start percentage, now that’s where I want my players to start! Head Coach John Tortorella has been saying all off-season he expects a more up-tempo offense rather than the gritty fore-checking one we see in the post-season. Expect the Jackets to lean on the gifted Dubois so move him up those draft boards!
Brendan Gallagher, RW – Montreal Canadiens
What does Brendan Gallagher have to do to get some love in drafts? Top 15 in shots in the NHL for three straight seasons. Back-to-back 30 goal seasons and he was on pace for 30 last year in a full 82-game season. No. 1 in Fenwick percentage, meaning the Habs controlled the puck when Gallagher’s on the ice (sign me up please!), second in Corsi For percentage (CF%), and second in Shots For percentage (SF%). Back to normal verbiage, Montreal was second in the league in shots per game at 34.1. In conclusion, when Brendan Gallagher is on the ice, pucks are going on net…I’m on board and you should be too. He won’t be one of fantasy hockey’s most undervalued players for long.
Darnell Nurse, D – Edmonton Oilers
This is more so for leagues that include hits and blocks, because Darnell Nurse can fill out the stat sheet and definitely deserves a spot on your roster. He was the only defensemen in the NHL to finish in the top 11 in shots, blocks, and hits. It doesn’t hurt to be involved in an offense with two of the best scorers in the game as well. Any increase in PP time could really set Nurse apart and make him a fantasy steal in 2020. He also has a chance to be paired with newly acquired defensemen, Tyson Barrie.
Brandon Saad, LW – Colorado Avalanche
Team change can be a huge pivot in changing a player’s fortunes. As is, Brandon Saad has five 20-goal seasons over his past six which is nothing to sneeze at. He scored 21 goals in 58 games played last season putting him on a 30-goal pace which would rank top 20 in the NHL. Now he goes from the Blackhawks who were 18th in goals per game to the Avalanche who were 5th in GPG at 3.37 as well as top 10 in shots per game. More shots, more goals, more opportunity for Brandon Saad in 2020-21 who as of now is projected for a top-six role in Colorado. Saad can toss in a few hits and PIMS here and there making him someone to target at the end of drafts.
Mike’s take on undervalued players is just the tip of the iceberg! We’ll be pumping out lots more great Fantasy Hockey content in the coming weeks!
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