Eastern Edge: Fantasy MVPs through the first half

Brennan Des

2021-03-16

The 2021 Dobber Hockey Midseason Guide is now available! It has all the information you need to make a run for your league's title, including first-half analysis, second-half projections, and prospect coverage to prepare you for the future.  It's hard to keep up with everything going on across the league with this year's condensed schedule, but the guide certainly helps me stay on top of things!

In this week's Eastern Edge, we'll look at the midseason fantasy MVP from each team. When I think about value in fantasy hockey, I think about players who have outperformed expectations. So, this isn't just a list of each team's best player or leading scorer, it's a list of players whose contributions outweigh their preseason acquisition cost.

Boston BruinsCharlie McAvoy

The Perfection Line has been productive this season, with David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand all scoring near or above a point-per-game pace. However, we've come to expect offensive excellence from the trio, so I wouldn't say their current value significantly surpasses preseason projections. In contrast, Charlie McAvoy has provided a surprisingly high level of offense. He has 17 points through 26 appearances – which translates to a 54-point-pace in your typical 82-game season. McAvoy has been especially valuable in leagues that track blocked shots, sitting in the top-20 for that category.

Buffalo SabresLinus Ullmark

To say Buffalo has struggled this season would be an understatement. The Sabres sit dead last in the league standings, having won just six of their 27 games. Despite his team's struggles, Ullmark has managed a 5-4-2 record, posting a 2.44 GAA and 9.19 save percentage in the process. Injuries may have limited the impact he's had on your fantasy roster, but I have a hard time giving an MVP title to any of Buffalo's skaters when the team has the league's worst offense.

Carolina HurricanesJordan Staal

After scoring at a 33-point pace last year, expectations for Staal were low heading into the season and he wasn't drafted in most fantasy leagues. As such, it's all the more impressive to see he has 10 goals and 12 assists through 25 games this year. He's contributed to a variety of categories, sitting eighth in the league with 301 face off wins while posting significant power-play point and hit totals. I could make a similar case for Vincent Trocheck as Carolina's fantasy MVP, but he was on the radar more than Staal – whose production came out of nowhere.  Honourable mention to goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic who sports a 6-2-1 record alongside a 2.08 GAA and .929 save percentage.

Columbus Blue Jackets Jack Roslovic

It's been a disappointing season for many of Columbus' fantas