Fantasy Top-10: Fantasy-Relevant Ironmen

Tom Collins

2018-06-04

While many fantasy general managers focus on avoiding Band-Aid boys, most don’t go the next step and specifically target iron men.

It should make sense. A player that is almost guaranteed to play in all 82 games should be more valuable than a player that will play in 75. It doesn’t matter why they miss the games, the seven-game loss could be enough to cost you a championship, especially in points-only leagues.

However, it’s not enough to simply be an iron man, you need to be fantasy relevant as well. Karl Alzner hasn’t missed a game in nine years, but he has no value in fantasy hockey. By the way, four active players have iron man streaks of at least 500 games. Alzner is the only one not on this list.

There have been 410 regular season hockey games in the past five years. For this list, I only looked at players that have played 400. That left us with 30 players, many of them elite.

I also want to make Sidney Crosby an honourable mention. His 394 games played in the last five years was just shy of the 400 needed for making this list. But considering that he played in only 46.7 per cent of Penguins’ games over three seasons from 2010-11 to 2012-13, he was the biggest Band-Aid boy in the league five years ago. To turn that around into someone who rarely misses games is truly remarkable.

The last time I wrote an iron man list was four years ago. Amazingly, five players from that original list make this year’s list, showing how durable they truly are.

On to this year’s list.

 

10. Patrick Marleau

At 706 games, Marleau has the second-longest active iron man streak, but he’s not as fantasy relevant as he used to be, averaging 47 points the last three years. He still has a knack for putting up goals, however, netting at least 25 in four of the last five years. He’ll be 39 by the time the next season rolls around, so there has to be some doubt in how long he can keep scoring goals and the iron man streak.

 

9. Anze Kopitar

Kopitar barely made the cut-off, coming in at exactly 400 games played, but he has also been one of the most inconsistent 400-game players in that timeframe. He’s produced anywhere from 12 goals and 52 points to 35 goals and 92 points, with a couple of 70-point seasons in between. Although he’s a near-certainty to play most of the season, it’s difficult to know which Kopitar you’re going to get.  

 

8. Jakub Voracek

What is interesting about Voracek isn’t that he’s missed nine games over the past five years, it’s that all nine games all came in one season. He’s played in every game in five of the last six seasons, and in his 11-year career, he’s missed more than two games in only two campaigns. He’s averaged 69 points the last five seasons, and like Kopitar, it’s hard t