The 2021-22 NHL season is upon us with the puck dropping Tuesday evening. Penguins vs. Lightning and Kraken vs. Golden Knights are the games on the opening-night schedule, followed by four more games on Wednesday before the rest of the league gets in action on Thursday. That means it is down to the wire for 2021-22 Fantasy hockey drafts. The latest Fantasy hockey ADP is dominated by the Oilers at the top, with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl coming off the board in the top two picks.
The top-five Fantasy hockey picks have been relatively consistent in most leagues, but intrigue starts later in the top 10 with Artemi Panarin, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Cale Makar among the players getting first-round consideration. Where should they all land in the 2021-22 Fantasy hockey rankings? And who are the Fantasy hockey sleepers, breakouts and busts you need to know about throughout drafts? Before making any 2021 Fantasy hockey picks, check out the Fantasy hockey rankings 2021-22 from the proven computer model at SportsLine.
Last year, the model predicted Andre Burakovsky would have a top-100 season despite the fact that he was going undrafted, and the Avalanche winger produced 19 goals and 25 assists in 53 games. It also predicted Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry wouldn't live up to his top-70 Fantasy hockey ADP and he saw his GAA drop from 2.43 to 2.75 and his save percentage fall from .921 to .909 season over season.
The model was created by Mike McClure, a predictive data engineer and professional daily Fantasy player with almost $2 million in career winnings. He's used his prediction model to simulate the entire 2021-22 NHL schedule 10,000 times and identify the top Fantasy hockey sleepers, breakouts and busts. Head to SportsLine now to see them.
McClure's model takes factors such as player history, schedule, injuries and matchups into account to create the most unbiased 2021-22 Fantasy hockey rankings possible. Now the model has zeroed in on the 2021-22 NHL season, ranked every player, and found the top sleepers, breakouts and busts. See every pick here.
Top 2021-22 Fantasy hockey picks
One of the 2021-22 Fantasy hockey busts SportsLine has identified: Predators goalie Juuse Saros. The 26-year-old Fin earned the backup job behind Pekka Rinne in 2016-17 and has gradually been given more and more starts in net over time, eventually making 36 appearances to Rinne's 24 last season.
Now Saros is the clear No. 1 after Rinne retired this offseason and he has a current 2021-22 Fantasy hockey ADP of 29. However, Saros may have benefitted from a lot of good fortune last season, with 73 goals expected from the shots he faced compared to only 53 goals actually allowed. To make matters worse, the Predators were sellers this offseason, so he won't have as strong of a defensive group in front of him. That's a big reason why they model ranks him outside the top 50 for 2021-22.
Another surprise: Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin is one of the model's top Fantasy hockey breakouts. The 24-year old is set to be the clear-cut No. 1 goaltender for New York this season, and he's shown flashes of brilliance in his limited opportunities thus far. Injuries have been an issue, however, as he's played just 47 games over the past two years.
That has Fantasy hockey players waiting until outside the top 50 to draft him this year. But the model is projecting close to a full season for him, and with a career 2.59 goals-against-average, that could lead to some great production for Fantasy players. The model projects him to be the 34th best player overall, making him a steal at his current 2021-22 Fantasy hockey ADP.
How to find proven 2021-22 Fantasy hockey rankings
The model has also made a surprising call on new Blackhawks goalie and last year's Vezina winner Marc-Andre Fleury, and it features a stunner in the top 10 you won't want to miss. You can only see the latest Fantasy hockey rankings 2021-22 here.
So what's the exact value of every NHL player in the 2021-22 Fantasy hockey rankings? And what surprising player cracked the top 10? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy hockey rankings, all from a DFS pro who has won almost $2 million in his career and has simulated the entire NHL season 10,000 times, and find out.