Top 10 Fantasy-Relevant Players Over 35

Nathan Weselake

2021-09-13

I'm pretty fit for 45. Not Zdeno Chara fit, but between kettlebells in the morning and training to race mountain bikes in the evening, I can forget I am middle aged. I can forget, that is, until my competitive juices get flowing and pretty soon I am sprinting up stairs, having a chin up contest, or find myself in a wheelbarrow race against a guy in his 20's. Even on the rare occasions where my body seems to still be able to do it, I pay the price the next few days (weeks, months).

All this to say as I get older, I marvel at the professional athletes who are still getting it done. When I was younger, I used to cheer for the underdog. Now, I cheer for the old dog.

Top 10 Old Dogs (Fantasy Relevant Players Over 35)

Ryan Getzlaf (honorable mention)

I include Getzlaf because he is the only NHL player to look better with a helmet on and every single aging beer league player can relate. No one knows you are grey or bald when you got the lid on. At this stage, he is not fantasy relevant, but as an aging rec. hockey stud, I find him encouraging.

Jeff Carter (honorable mention)

A bit of a surge at the end of last season hints he may have something left to give. An injured Malkin to start this year hints that he might get the opportunity. You don't have to be Sherlock to figure out those clues. 

10. Keith Yandle

His points per game hadn't dropped off at all until last year. That decline seemed to be more about coaching than about ability. I call for a rebound at the tender age of 35.

9. Mike Smith

In a condensed season he split the crease with Mikko Koskinen and is probably penciled in as "1A" again. But when Koskinen loses the confidence of his teammates again, and with more time off than a Covid schedule, Smith will put up solid numbers and be fine as your backup goalie, especially since you can probably get him with your last round pick.

8. Joe Pavelski

We all thought "Little Joe" was starting to decline at 35, then last year he was back to normal at age 36. I call for another solid year simply because age has already caught up to him and he is still awesome. 

7. Brent Burns

He is coming off his worst year, but there is no one on the SJ roster who will steal a second of his minutes. He should bounce bac