A team with a couple of top tier forwards, the Anaheim Ducks generally provide depth and upside value for fantasy owners.
Top Picks: It's not surprise that C Ryan Getzlaf and RW Corey Perry are the two prime picks for the Ducks. They are the franchise cornerstones, links to their Stanley Cup win and anchors on the team's top line. Perry holds more relative value, generally, because the depth of talent at right wing isn't the same as centre. In leagues that count penalty minutes, Perry remains a viable first-round pick. Even if his MVP season is somewhat of an anomaly, over the last six seasons, Perry is the only player in the league with at least 180 goals, 360 points and 400 penalty minutes.
Getzlaf has been a point-per-game centre for five of the last six seasons, but his 2011-2012 season was a dud and he missed 31 games in the two years before, so he doesn't come without flaws. Nevertheless, he's a good bet as a low-end No. 1, top tier No. 2 centre.
Value Plays: When it comes to the rest of the Ducks, enthusiasm needs to be tempered. We all love RW Teemu Selanne. He's had a wonderful career and is by all accounts a wonderful guy, but he also had six goals and one assist (!) in his last 33 regular season games last season, so he's a long way from his most productive days and with a decreasing role, the 43-year-old is worth consideration in deep leagues.
D Francois Beauchemin had a career year and finished the season playing on a torn ACL, but keep it in perspective: he's 33-years-old and last season's plus-19 was the first time since 2006-2007 that he finished with a plus rating. He's also going to be missing his defence partner, Sheldon Souray, for the first couple months of the season after Souray suffered an injury while training this summer.
Goaltenders Viktor Fasth and Jonas Hiller are coming off strong seasons, but they cut into each other's value because as long as both remain healthy, it's hard to imagine a dramatic split in the workload. Forced to choose, give a slight edge to Fasth, who was better last season, even though he's 31 and has 25 games of NHL experience.
Sleepers/Breakthrough: Looking for upside plays, check out the left wingers. Jakob Silfverberg is a right winger, but should have an opportunity to play the left side with Getzlaf and Perry, a plum position that can make just about anyone more appealing. Silfverberg had a decent rookie season, but his pedigree and ability to generate shots on goal in his first NHL campaign suggest that there should be more production coming. Dustin Penner
Kyle Palmieri has 15 goals and 29 points in 70 career NHL games, and has 46 goals and 83 points in 84 AHL games over the last couple seasons, so he knows what to do with the puck in the offensive zone.
It has to be a deep league to consider taking a winger that had two goals in 33 games last season, but Dustin Penner is a five-time 20-goal scorer. If the 30-year-old ends up on a scoring line, he could warrant consideration.
Rookies: There aren't a lot of openings for Ducks rookies, but Souray's injury may make it easier for undersized Finnish D Sami Vatanen to earn a regular turn on the blueline. Vatanen was stellar in Finland and made a smooth transition to North America, putting up 45 points in 62 AHL games. With regular playing time, including time on the power play, he could put up some decent numbers.
The 15th pick in 2009, Peter Holland has six points in 25 career games, but 105 points in 119 AHL games does suggest that he might be able to fill a scoring role in the NHL. With Saku Koivu and Nick Bonino behind Getzlaf on the depth chart, Holland could still have a shot at the second-line centre job or he could be left battling for a spot in the lineup.
Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.