Fantasy Hockey: Relevant Rangers Pt. 2

Some hidden gems to consider on draft day and beyond

Today, we’re concluding our guide to the Rangers most fantasy relevant players for the 2019-20 season. In addition to looking at some players who are going in almost every league — like Henrik Lundqvist and Chris Kreider, for example — we’ll also look at some potentially hidden gems that should be on your radar heading into the season.

Henrik Lundqvist

Yahoo! ADP: 107.9 | FantasyPros ADP: 147.2

The days of Lundqvist being an automatic Top-5 goalie in fantasy are long over, but to many he still holds value in fantasy hockey because of his resume and the big moves made by the Rangers this offseason. However, Lundqvist started in nine fewer games last year than he did in 2017-18 and just posted the lowest save percentage (.907) of his career. That’s why there are 17 goalies who typically are selected before Lundqvist in drafts this September.

There’s also the matter of Alexandar Georgiev and Igor Shesterkin, and whether or not one or both of them will take starts away from Hank. We already saw that happen with Georgiev last season, and chances are the Rangers are going to want to take a long look at what they have in him with Shesterkin also knocking on the door and looking to make a quick jump from the AHL to the NHL.

All things considered, Lundqvist still has fantasy value, but he should by no means be your second goalie. If you are a manager who likes to roll with three goalies, there’s definitely a case to be made that he’ll have better numbers than he did last year. However, there are a few goalies who go later than he does that might prove to be more valuable, including Petr Mrazek and Robin Lehner.

Jacob Trouba

Yahoo! ADP: 117.9 | FantasyPros ADP: 180.3

We all know that Trouba put up a career-best 50 points with the Jets last season and we all expect him to eat up a lot of minutes because of the price tag attached to his new contract.

Yahoo! expects Trouba to finish the season with 39 points — 10 of which should come on the power play — and 161 SOG. Obviously, that’s a clear step down from the 50 he had last year, but it’s worth noting that 18 of those points came on the power play and, for the moment, his role on the Rangers’ power play is unclear.

Over the last three seasons, Trouba has averaged 0.54 Pts/GP, which is noteworthy. Unfortunately, he also missed significant time in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 campaigns. That is definitely a stain on his fantasy resume, but not one that should scare you off of taking him as a depth piece for your fantasy team.

It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Trouba stays healthy and doesn’t end up having real value in fantasy hockey this year, especially those that care about hits and/or blocked shots. The Rangers are going to want to get their money’s worth for him and his $8 million AAV contract. He should be given at least some time on the power play and, until Tony DeAngelo signs, his biggest competition right now for that role is rookie Adam Fox.

Chris Kreider

Yahoo! ADP: 157 | FantasyPros ADP: 131.6

Kreider has tremendous upside and value considering where he’s going right now, especially in Yahoo! drafts. Maybe he’s slipping down the draft board because so many eyes are fixed on Panarin, or perhaps people are forgetting that he was playing hurt when his production fizzled towards the end of the year. Whatever the case may be, Kreider could be the steal of your draft this year if you play your cards right.

Yahoo! projects Kreider to bury 27 goals and earn 25 assists this season, which would put him on par with the 52 points he had last year. He also belongs to a unique class of wingers who score goals, take the body, and take north of 200 shots a season. So, if your league cares about hits, you will be hard-pressed to find a left winger with as much value as Kreider late in the draft.

Another dimension to Kreider’s fantasy value is the potential that he gets traded before the deadline. Generally speaking, we can assume that if he gets moved he would end up on a stronger team, which should be a net positive for his value. There are definitely some question marks there, but if he’s healthy, Kreider should be a great value pick late in the draft.

Pavel Buchnevich

Yahoo! ADP: 170.3 | FantasyPros ADP: 199.0

Yahoo! projects Buchnevich to score 21 goals and pick up 24 assists this season. That total would eclipse his previous career-best of 43 points, but it might actually be conservative.

If Buchnevich scores at the pace he established from January until the end of the 2018-19 season, he could crack 50 points this year. In the last 42 games of the season the Russian winger notched 27 points, including five power play goals. If Buchnevich left enough of a lasting impression on Quinn and the Rangers coaching staff, he could find himself a featured weapon at both even strength and on the power play this season. He might even share some ice time with Panarin, which on paper, could be a match made in heaven.

Clearly, there’s some big upside with Buchnevich considering how late he’s going in the draft, but he’s going right around where he should be going. It’s no secret that the bulk of the Rangers scoring is going to come from the first and second lines. If Buchnevich finds himself demoted to the third line, he will go from a fantasy asset who has an intriguing amount of upside to one that is likely worth dropping.

Deep Cuts

  • Brady Skjei | It may be hard to believe, but Skjei has an ADP of 157.7 in Yahoo! leagues and 215.5 ADP for FantasyPros. Skjei is coming off of back-to-back 25-point seasons, so there’s little reason to be excited about his fantasy value based on those numbers. However, many expect him and Trouba to be the Rangers’ new top pair, which should definitely help Skjei’s boxcar stats and underyling numbers. With all of that being said, you should pass over Skjei and instead grab Ryan McDonagh, Jeff Petry, or Alexander Edler.
  • Tony DeAngelo | DeAngelo might not have a contract right now, but if you’re in a deep league, he’s a compelling option for a fifth defenseman because of his offensive acumen. Remember, DeAngelo averaged 0.49 points per-game last season, on par with P.K. Subban, Duncan Keith, and Nate Schmidt. If and when he signs his contract, he’ll be on the power play and his ability to move the puck will also result in plenty of assists at even strength. If he goes undrafted (which he probably will), you should definitely keep an eye on him as the season progresses.
  • Adam Fox | If Kakko is the most fantasy relevant rookie forward on the Rangers, there’s no doubt that Fox is the team’s most fantasy relevant rookie d-man. I highly recommend reading Scott Wheeler of The Athletic’s piece about Fox and why he has all the makings of a great power play quarterback. If you’re not already stoked about what he could bring to the Rangers in his rookie season, you definitely will be after finish Scott’s article.
  • Vitali Kravtsov | Admittedly, it’s unlikely that Kravtsov will prove to be an impact player in fantasy hockey as a rookie, but he should still be on your radar. The Russian winger led all U20 players in the KHL in scoring last season despite the fact that he played on a weak team. He currently has an average pick of 176.3 in Yahoo!, which is likely heavily influenced by folks who are drafting for keeper leagues./