Was checking out nhl.com's Fantasy Rankings today and see that fantasy hockey gurus Pete Jensen and Matt Cubeta both had nine Rangers listed in their pre-season Top 200 player rankings, and Jensen also listed Blueshirts center Derick Brassard as one of his Top 10 Sleepers for the upcoming season.
So since it's a quiet Thursday afternoon how about I condense where Pete and Matt (and a couple other sites) ranked Rangers players as far as their Fantasy Hockey value for 2014-15 and then we can open up to your thoughts and debate in the Comments section below? Put on your Fantasy Hockey GM's hats everyone and fairly assess where you'd rank Rangers players in a typical non-keeper 6x4 fantasy league this upcoming season.
For what it's worth I'd have five Rangers in my Top 100--Henrik Lundqvist, Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, Ryan McDonagh, and Chris Kreider. Yes I have Kreids in my Top 100, and I'd also have him as one of Top 10 Sleepers in 2014-15 because of his ability to score goals, generate points, compile power play points, and accumulate penalty minutes. I see Kreider using his rookie season as a real spring board for a very productive upcoming season.
That said, here are the nine Rangers ranked in the Top 200 by nhl.com's Pete Jensen and Matt Cubeta:
- Henrik Lundqvist-no surprise that both experts rated The King as the Rangers' top Fantasy performer. Jensen had Henrik ranked 12th overall, and third among goalies, only behind Tuukka Rask (7th) and Jonathan Quick (10th). Cubeta had Henrik ranked 15th overall, but second among goalies, only behind Rask (11th). ESPN.com had Lundqvist ranked 20th overall, while cbs.com had him 3rd among all goalies, behind Ben Bishop and Carey Price, making for--in my opinion--a very legitimate debate.
- Martin St. Louis--Jensen placed Marty 53rd overall, the second highest ranked Ranger, while Cubeta had him 43rd overall, though third among Blueshirts and five spots behind Rick Nash. It's a tough call, but Marty would be my second-ranked Ranger, too, just ahead of Nash because I think he will total more overall points and more on the power play.
- Rick Nash-so Cubeta had Nash 38th overall and Jensen had him 65th overall. That's a pretty big disparity. Depending on your league that is a difference of up to three rounds, or at least two, in the draft. The days of Rick Nash being a Top Ten or Twenty fantasy pick seemingly have passed, but is he capable of scoring 35 goals this season? Absolutely. Which is why I see him more in line with Cubeta's projection than Jensen's.
- Ryan McDonagh-both of nhl.com's Fantasy Hockey experts listed McDonagh as the Rangers' top defenseman in their respective rankings and I am certainly on board with that, though I am far from discounting Dan Boyle's fantasy worth, especially his contributions on the power play. Jensen listed McDonagh 73rd overall, 13th among d-men in the league. Cubeta ranked The Mac Truck 84th overall and 11th among all defensemen. For what it's worth both ranked P.K. Subban as the top fantasy blueliner and Erik Karlsson second.
- Chris Kreider-Neither Jensen nor Cubeta placed Kreider in the Top 100 as I did, but Jensen had him just outside that list at No. 108 and Cubeta ranked him 116th overall. Cubeta had Kreids behind teammate Derek Stepan, while Jensen placed Kreids five spots ahead of Stepan.
- Derek Stepan-there's a lot to like about Derek Stepan from a Fantasy Hockey point of view, and I am questioning not having him in my Top 100. In my book he's a near miss, but could be a steal midway through your draft considering his likely point production on the team's top line, on the top power play unit, and playing extensive minutes on the penalty kill, as well. Jensen had him 121st overall and Cubeta ranked Step 98th.
- Dan Boyle-here's another player who will help you in the middle rounds of your draft. Points and power play points from your defense position. Cubeta had Boyle ranked 124th overall while Jensen had him much lower at No. 149.
- Mats Zuccarello-the Rangers' top scorer from a year ago comes in at no. 112 by Cubeta and No. 141 by Jensen. I see him somewhere between those two projections.
- Derick Brassard-the last Ranger mentioned on both lists, and a Top Ten Sleeper pick by Jensen, Brassard sits at 174 on Pete's listing, and is ranked 186th by Cubeta.
OK, time to weigh in all of you Fantasy Hockey GMs. What do you see in 2014-15 from a fantasy point of view? Where do you rank Ranger players?