A couple of weeks ago we took a look at the New York Rangers' best fantasy options, counting down from 10-7. Then we went through 6-4. And now, we're at the final three (assuming, of course, there is a hockey season).
Before we begin, let me remind you all again about how these rankings work:
These rankings are based off of fantasy value. Fantasy value does not mean that the players are ranked based on real hockey value. For example, Michael Del Zotto is fantasy ranked miles ahead of Marc Staal and Dan Girardi (both of whom might not be drafted in even the deepest of leagues). Does that mean Del Zotto is the better overall player? No. It just means that his fantasy value (goals, assists, points, etc.) is higher.
And away we go:
3. Brad Richards - Is there any player on the Rangers happier about the Rick Nash trade than Brad Richards? I mean, think about it, Richards was already playing with one of the best snipers in the game, and now the Rangers will be bringing in another one. No matter who Richards plays with -- be it Nash or Marian Gaborik once he returns to the lineup -- Richards with have a lethal sniper on his wing.
There will also be instances in which he has both of them on a line with him. How crazy is that going to be?
Despite a rough regular season in which Richards only scored 66 points, Richards had a fantastic playoffs posting 15 points in the Rangers 20 postseason games. He also happened to be one of the clutch scorers the Rangers needed while Gaborik was nursing an unknown injury that turned out to be a torn rotator cuff.
Regardless, fantasy owners can expect a bounce-back year for Richards. I would be shocked if his numbers were akin to what they were last year. I'm expecting a nice bump.
2. Rick Nash - If anyone is happier about the move than Richards it would have to be Nash himself. Nash goes from a role with no supporting cast to a premier player surrounded by a plethora of talent. No matter where Nash plays he's going to have space to do some damage.
Expected to see major even strength minutes, along with a ton of power play time, Nash will have all the tools needed to become a 50-goal player. Again, while you can't determine his true value or success based on raw numbers, his fantasy value should be looked at by the numbers. Expect Nash to hover near the 40-goal mark. And I wouldn't be shocked if he topped that number. I also wouldn't be shocked if he had 90ish points. Then again, I wouldn't be surprised to see a 30-30-60 season either.
No matter how you slice it, Nash is a guaranteed 30-goal scorer (if he plays in all 82 games) and should be picked as such.
1. Henrik Lundqvist - Who else? Honestly, who else would be the top gun? Lundqvist has been a 30-game winner since the year he entered the league, his numbers were otherworldly last year and the Rangers' defense figures to be even better this year than it was last year.
Lundqvist is a remarkable talent. He's easily one of the top three goalies in the league (if not the best goalie) and there's nothing he can't do. You hear all about how the Rangers' success depends on Lundqvist, well the Rangers were pretty successful last year, and The King had a lot to do with that.
In fantasy leagues in which you have two starting goalies (a standard setting) goalies go fast. If you used the first overall pick on Lundqvist, you wouldn't be crazy at all.