John Carlson represents a great buy-low opportunity after a bit of a slow start.

Even though we’re almost a month into the season now, each team has only played around 10 games. With that, small sample sizes run rampant, and some significantly good players are bound to underperform. For instance, Torey Krug only has one point through 10 games and Sean Monahan’s four points in 12 games is far below expectations. Also, Washington Capitals defender John Carlson has been held to only four assists in 10 games so far this season, so some fantasy owners already getting a bit frustrated. However, he’s bound to turn it around and now may be the time to pick up an already undervalued player for a cheaper price on the trade market.

Drafted in the first round by Washington in the 2008 draft, Carlson didn’t instantly become the top defenseman he is today. In his rookie season, Carlson only recorded six points in 22 games while averaging around 15 minutes of ice time per game. In the following season Carlson would go on to notch 37 points, but it would be another three seasons before he hit those totals again. But in the 2014-15 season, Carlson exploded for 55 points and followed that up with 39 points in only 56 games in his next season.

There’s no question Carlson can score and his slow start this year shouldn’t scare you. Last year, right after Carlson returned from a lower-body injury, from January 27 to March 27 he only scored one goal and four assists (in 15 total games). Despite that cold stretch, he still tallied 39 points in 56 games and you shouldn’t worry about a big dropoff this season.

Assuming Carlson breaks out of this funk (which is very likely), he should end up near his projections from the beginning of the season. And Carlson brings a lot of value to fantasy teams. Using the Fantasy Hockey Geek Tool, we can see just how much value Carlson has. For the league, we’ll being using an average 12-team H2H Yahoo league measuring G, A, PPP, SOG, Hits, W, SV%, GAA, and SO with Dobber’s projections.


FHG Rank






Vladimir Tarasenko







Shea Weber







John Carlson







Johnny Gaudreau







In average Yahoo fantasy hockey leagues, Carlson provides the 20th most value out of all skaters and is one of the best defenseman available. Right next to Tarasenko and Gaudreau in terms of value, Carlson provides significant value and is undervalued in the fantasy hockey community. He would have been a good player to target in your draft but if you didn’t grab him, now would be a good time to make a play for him. You won’t be able to get him for dirt-cheap, but if you find a frustrated owner, you should be able to get him at a bit of a discounted price. Considering he wasn’t drafted on average too high to begin with (56th overall in Yahoo leagues and 49th overall in Fantrax), Carlson could be a good trade target. But you better hurry, because Carlson isn’t likely to underperform for much longer.

To identify more players with great value in your specific league settings, check out Fantasy Hockey Geek to generate custom rankings tailored for you. With the Season Toolkit, you can use our advanced tools to manage to the top and take down the title. Head to the Dobber Sports Shop and pick it up today!