Capped: Depth options for cheap
Hello and welcome to the beginning of the NHL season. We have your Cap League info covered, and what you most want to know right now, are who the best depth players are for you to fill out your roster with. Maybe fantasy owners are looking for replacements for players who were sent down? This is the place for those kinds of fantasy owners.
Tomas Jurco (EDM) – Cap hit $750,000
Last year Ty Rattie flamed out after spending a productive pre-season on McDavid’s wing. Can Jurco succeed in the same spot this time around, or is McDavid going to spend his first dozen years in the league dragging up low-to-mid-tier wingers? Jurco will have value as long as he’s on that unit, and it will get broken up at some point regardless of the possible initial success. If you do get on board, make sure to get off before Jurco gets dropped down the lineup.
Zac Rinaldo (CGY) / Micheal Haley (NYR) – $700,000
If what you’re looking for is guaranteed penalty minutes from a player that may also sit in the press box, then these are your two best bets. Rinaldo is unlikely to see too much time as the Flames also employ Milan Lucic. Haley is certainly not a main part of the rebuild in New York, however he does provide some snarl and security for the young roster they are assembling. I will take a wild guess and say Haley doubles Rinaldo’s games played total by the end of the season.
Robert Thomas (STL) – $894,166 / Cody Glass (VGK) – $863,333
If you’re in a one-year league, then previously drafted prospects may not have the same appeal as a proven producer, or the shiny new toy (Jack Hughes/Kappo Kakko). Players such as Thomas and Glass are sliding down draft lists in many leagues because we don’t know what their role will be. However, they are much more worthwhile using a bottom half roster spot on than Jimmy Stonehands that hit his ceiling of 40 points last season. Both players are projected to start the season on the top powerplay unit, and could see a boost.
*Karson Kuhlman – $750,000
Kuhlman impressed during last season’s cup run, notching three points in eight games in a depth role with the Bruins. This year, he has thus far filled in the second line wing slot vacated by Marcus Johansson. He looks to be sticking there for the time being, having spent the majority of the pre-season with the second line. His $750,000 cap hit is also very nice for those wanting some upside in the completely off the radar players.
Scott Sabourin – $700,000
You may ask “who”? Well, Sabourin is making a name for himself among some NHL stars, and as a big body player who isn’t afraid to get in the middle of things, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see him rack up a solid number of hits and penalty minutes with the Senators. Although, you will have to be careful adding him if your league counts plus-minus.
*Emil Bemstrom – $925,000
Remember Sam Gagner from a few years ago? The fourth line forward who provided almost nothing to fantasy squads except endless powerplay points. Well Gagner 2.0 is here, coincidentally or not, in Columbus, under head coach John Tortorella. Bemstrom should help replace some of Artemi Panarin’s scoring ability on a highly efficient powerplay unit from last season.
Roope Hintz (DAL) – $811,667 / Jason Dickinson (DAL) – $1,500,000
These two are both seeing deployment in the top six, and could provide some of the best cap league value this season, especially in leagues counting more than just points. At $1.5 million, Dickinson is the more expensive of the two. They may be waiver pick-ups in shallower leagues, or the last depth piece you’re looking for with a title run in mind for your dynasty league.
Dominik Kahun (PIT) – $925,000
After going into drafts last season with Kahun atop a lot of the main sleeper lists, the 37 points he put up was rather disappointing for owners. Now, with a possible top-six role in Pittsburgh, his value is low enough to be worth grabbing for his 40-50 points that he would be in line for with average deployment here. With many of the top wingers in Pittsburgh also being injury risks, Kahun may bounce around a little, but the time with Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby will keep his season-long numbers up.
*Neal Pionk (WPG) – $3,000,000
This one will cost you a little more and is the only defenceman on the list, but with Winnipeg’s suddenly depleted defence core, along with seven games in the first twelve days of the season, and Pionk’s ability to provide cross-category production, the 24-year-old is worth a look as a depth defenceman. At worst, he is a middle-pair defenceman that will get sheltered minutes and can at least fill up the hits, blocks, and shots columns.
Best of luck in your fantasy leagues this year!
If you have questions, comments, or article requests, you can find me on Twitter @alexdmaclean.
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