Fantasy Hockey Defensemen under the Radar

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Looking at defensemen for your fantasy team can be tricky depending on which stats are taken into account in your league.  Goals and assists are taken into account with every league, many leagues track plus/minus, power play points, shorthanded points, GWG, PIM and hits.  While even more in depth leagues track shots.  Many top tier offensive defensemen dominate in many of the stats however so far this year there has been a new leader amongst the ranks.  Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames is 2nd amongst defensemen with 5 goals, leading defensemen with 14 assists and his 19 points sit at a tie for 3rd in the league scoring behind Sidney Crosby (24 points) and Jakub Voracek (22 points).  Giordano has a respectable +6 rating, 17 PIM, 5 PP points, 1 shorthanded goal, and 39 shots all in 17 games played. Giordano is currently on a 7 game point streak totaling 12 points in those games.  Calgary defensemen don’t just end with the captain… There is the young T.J. Brodie who has been paired up with Giordano for the last few seasons making Calgary’s top pairing.  Brodie sits 3rd in defensemen scoring with 4 goals and 10 assists for 14 points.  He also has a +9 rating, 8 PIM, 5 PP points and 29 shots.

Sitting 2nd in defensemen scoring is Brent Burns; Burns is also listed as RW eligible as he played last year on the wing before moving back to the blue line this year.  Burns is leading defensemen in goals with 6, has 9 assists, -3 rating, 20 PIM, 5 PP points, 1 GWG and 53 shots.  Some other notable defensemen that are often picked quite early in fantasy drafts are Erik Karlsson (4 goals, 7 assists, 11 points, 7 PP points), P.K Subban (3 goals, 6 assists, 9 points, 1 PP Point), Duncan Keith (3 goals, 6 assists, 9 points, 4 PP Points), Drew Doughty (6 assists, 6 points, 3 PP Points).



Category specific defensemen are often picked up in later rounds depending on which category they specialize in.  The PP points leader among defensemen is Anaheim’s Sami Vatanen who has 4 goals, 6 assists all coming on the power play, he is a 0 for +/-, has 16 PIM and 25 shots.  There are two defensemen tied for 2nd in power play scoring at 9 points a piece.  Kris Letang of the Pittburg Penguins has bounced back after missing much of last season suffering from a stroke and has 3 goals, 9 assists, 12 points, -1 rating, 9 PP Points, 8 PIM and 41 shots on goal.  Tied with Letang is Keith Yandle of the newly renamed Arizona Coyotes he has 1 goal, 10 assists, 11 points, +1 rating, 9 PP Points, 8 PIM and 53 shots.

Leading in plus/minus is Tampa Bay’s Anton Stralman with a +14 rating to go along with his 2 goals, 8 assists, 8 PIM and 23 shots. PIM leader for defensemen is Pittsburg Simon Depres with 38 PIM as well as 5 points and a +6 raing.  Shots are lead by Erik Karlsson with 57.


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