Geek of the Week: New Faces in New Places – Defensemen

Scott Royce

2022-09-18

Hey everybody, it's Sunday, and you know what that means! Time for another installment of Geek of the Week. Last week we officially kicked off the 2022-23 season with a look at goaltenders who found new homes in the offseason. This week we continue that trend and move out from the crease, and shift our focus onto the blueline. It's very easy to overlook your fantasy teams' defensive corps. There are as many flashy names on defense as you get up front at forward, but at the same time, not having good defensive depth can really set you back. There's only a handful of elite scoring d-men, but there's a ton of guys who earn their keep with blocks and hits. Let's take a look at some defenders who donned new jerseys this summer.

John Klingberg

After eight consistent and successful seasons as a member of the Dallas Stars, 30-year-old Swedish defenseman Klingberg opted to test free agency this offseason. He landed a one year, seven-million-dollar deal with the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks addressed a few things with this signing. First and foremost, they needed another top-four defenseman. Klingberg more than fits that bill, and should easily be getting top-pairing minutes this season. Aside from that though, the Ducks needed a bit of veteran presence on the team. Along with fellow signee Ryan Strome, the two should add some well needed experience to help guide this extremely young roster.

In my opening statement I mentioned the different ways defensemen could be of use to your fantasy team, but if you are taking Klingberg, you are doing it purely for his offense. Currently on Yahoo his ADP is sitting at around 121, which is around the 10th or 11th round. I think that's pretty good spot on for where you should target him. He's been a solid 50-point defenseman for most of his career. While that could be obtainable this season, you have to account for Anaheim being a bit weaker of a team than what Dallas has been over the past decade. I think a safe floor for him is 40-45 points, assuming he stays healthy (and that may be a bold assumption given his injury history). 

He will get no shortage in opportunities and deployment both in even-strength and power-play time. He's averaged two shots per game throughout his career, which is good enough for a defenseman, and on top of that he should be good for about one blocked shot per game or so. He won't get you much in terms of hits, but that isn't what you are drafting him for. I think targeting Klingberg as a solid number two defensemen on your team is your best bet, and I wouldn't recommend reaching too early for him.