Top 10 fantasy hockey players to sell high on right now
With the all-star game just behind us, it’s a good time to gauge exactly where your team sits, and how you can make it better for next season if you’re out of it, or maybe even the rest of this year if you’re still competing.
Of course, sometimes it’s hard to tell who is a good sell-high candidate having a career season, and who is just stepping on the road to superstardom. So while Jakub Voracek, Vladimir Tarasenko and Kyle Okposo are having great seasons, they do not qualify for sell-high as it wouldn’t be crazy to think they can continue a high pace for a few years.
Here are the top 10 sell-high players.
10. Tyler Johnson
This was the hardest guy to judge for this list, and probably the toughest in any fantasy league. Is he legitimately a top-10 point guy in the league who can score at a point-per-game pace for a few years? It’s a tough call. He comes with a lot of positives: He’s still young, plays on a great offensive team, is eighth in the league in points, has plenty of hype, etc. I put him in sell high because you may never get more for Johnson than what you’ll get now.
Many poolies think that because he’s been healthy and has been piling up the wins, Halak is having a great season. But he’s actually been struggling fantasy-wise, and is only doing well because he’s playing behind the league’s second-best offense. He’s got 25 wins (third in the league) and four shutouts (fourth), but has been struggling with goals against average (his 2.41 is 18th in the league) and save percentage (at .910, he’s ranked 29th). Though to be fair, after the first seven games those numbers were 3.08 and .903 so they have been climbing. But we’re also waiting for his inevitable injury to happen. This could be a good chance to sacrifice some wins in order to upgrade save percentage and goals against average.
The Jets backup has turned the Jets crease into a 1A/1B option, but there are some red flags. As a rookie goaltender, he has a 14-4-2 record, with a 1.90 goals against average and a .935 save percentage. Undoubtedly, those numbers will get worse. But what’s the future in Winnipeg for Hutchinson? Long-term, will he unseat Pavelec for the top spot? That’s pretty tough, considering Pavelec is signed for two more seasons. Even with his great play, he’s still not getting the bulk of the starts. Once Hutchinson falters, Pavelec will get the top spot all to himself again.
7. Mike Ribeiro
If Mike Ribeiro keeps up his current pace, he’ll hit 70 points, the first time he’s done this since 2010-11, and only the fourth time in his 13-year career. His career looked almost over after Phoenix bought him out last summer, but Ribeiro has found new life in Nashville. With Ribeiro being a free agent again this summer, he may find himself chasing the money and going to a worse situation next season.
Hey, guess who is one point away from his career high? Sure, circumstances have changed for Boychuk. Once he was traded from the Bruins to the Islanders, he went from a guy who was far down the depth chart offensively to one where he is relied on heavily to produce. There are a few reasons to worry about Boychuk: He’s averaging 3:25 of power play ice time a night, which is way higher than the 18 seconds he averaged with Boston in 2013-14. More than half his points have come on the power play. He’s on a contract year, so there’s a good chance a team will overpay him this offseason, and all of a sudden, he’s further down the depth chart again and not getting the man advantage ice time.
5. Mark Streit
Maybe one of the quietest point leaders this season, not much has been written about Streit unless someone is talking about how bad the Philly defence is. But right now, Streit is fourth among NHL defencemen in assist and points. And it’s not like his minus-two is horrendous enough to force poolies to shy away from him. If you can convince someone to trade a younger defenceman with lots of potential or one having a down year, you have to go for it.
It may be a little too late for this one, but you could still sell high if you find someone who hasn’t been paying attention. In the NHL, he’s still first in shutouts, eighth in wins and save percentage, and 12th in goals against average. But in his last 12 games, he’s just 3-5-3 with a 0.896 save percentage. And in eight of those games, he’s allowed three goals or more. So he’s quickly crashing down to earth. But despite the last dozen games, he’s still on career highs for GAA, save percentage and shutouts. So if you can convince someone he’s still on that great high, it shouldn’t be hard to upgrade your goaltender.
3. Nick Foligno
The all-star captain has already matched his career high in goals, a new career high in power play goals and is only five points off his career high in points. There are plenty of reasons for his great season, some are sustainable, and some aren’t. He’s on pace for 171 shots, a career high. His 19.2 shooting percentage is well above his career average of 12.2 per cent. He’s also regularly playing with breakthrough superstar Ryan Johansen.
2. Rick Nash
If Rick Nash wins the Rocket Richard trophy this year, he’ll be the first guy in decades to win scoring championships a decade apart. But fantasy owners need to face facts: If Nash gets to 80 points this year, it will be the first time in his 12-year career he ever hit that mark. A veteran having his best season a dozen years after he began his pro career? That’s the very definition of sell-high. Because of his high shot total and knack for scoring, he’ll always have value. But you may will never get this much in return for him every again.
After a crazy start to the season, Giordano has been cooling off lately as he has just five points in his last 10 games. However, his first-half stats are enough to have Gio be considered a top-three defenceman. Even if he gets just 15 points in the team’s last 35 games, that will still put him at 55 points for the year. At 31 years old, he’s definitely a late bloomer (he set his career high in points last year, and is about to break that this season). But can he keep setting career highs every season at this late stage? Sadly, no. So now would be the best time to sell.
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