Hey guys! Over the next month, I will be taking a look at each team’s players to watch out for going into the 2019-20 fantasy hockey season. This analysis features everything from surefire studs, to sleepers, to streamers, deeper league holds, even to rookie-eligible prospects that may make an appearance at some point this season. Please let me know if you guys enjoy this type of material! Reminder that the stat totals are from last season.
Last year my previews went alphabetically, but this year we’re going to go division-by-division, starting with the top team. On our 18th stop on the 31 in 31 tour, we’re crossing the border again to stop in the 6ix – What’s up Leafs Nation? After the monster signing up Johnny T last summer, the Willy hold-out and re-upping Matthews for five years, the time has come to pay Mitch. GM Kyle Dubas has bobbed and weaved thus far, and I am sure they will get something figured out soon. That being said, there are 19 other Leafers to talk about!
SURE-FIRE STUDS: John Tavares (82GP 47-41-88), Auston Matthews (68GP 37-36-73), Mitch Marner (82GP 26-68-94), Morgan Rielly (82GP 20-52-72)
As usual, not much here you don’t already know. Tavares is bound to have another great season. Matthews is bound to take a step forward as long as he stays healthy. Once Marner gets his money, he should light it up with Tavares. Rielly arguably put together a Norris-caliber season last year, but didn’t receive a ton of credit from voters. If he puts together a similar season, he will definitely be more in the conversation.
SVEN’S SLEEPER: Andreas Johnsson (73GP 20-23-43)
A 20-20 season after two solid AHL campaigns? Not bad. #1PP next year and a full season with a healthy Matthews? Hellooooooooo we’ve got ourselves a sleeper! Maybe not so much up here in Canada as my Leafs Nation friends are huge on this guy, but anywhere else he’s worth a late look.
HOLDS: William Nylander (54GP 7-20-27), Frederik Andersen (60GP 36-16-7, .917SV%, 2.77GAA), Tyson Barrie (78GP 14-45-59)
New number and a new season for Willy. Perhaps one of the key bounce-back candidates going into this season. If he’s with Matthews the whole year, 70 points is well within reach. I don’t mind Freddy for points leagues as he plays minimum 60 games a season, but I’m not sure how his numbers will hold up in roto leagues given the high-risk, high-reward play of the team in front of him. For Barrie, this trade hurts his fantasy value as he won’t have nearly as many STP but he is still an easy hold.
STREAMERS: Kasperi Kapanen (78GP 20-24-44), Jake Muzzin (80GP 9-28-37)
I’m excited to see how Kasperi the Friendly Ghost and newcomer Alex Kerfoot gel together on that third line, as it could make for some solid secondary scoring. The addition of Barrie pretty much nullifies Muzzin’s value, but he will still chip in at 5 on 5. Also, look for Zach Hyman to catch a few hot streaks.
PROSPECT PIPELINE: I believe I covered everyone in my article last season, and honestly this will be a tough roster to crack so I don’t see anyone worth a look just yet. Ian Scott and Joseph Woll appear to be solid prospects, but it’s so hard to evaluate young goalies.