The 2021 NHL season begins with five games on Wednesday and the Edmonton Oilers own the two consensus top picks in 2021 Fantasy hockey drafts. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl will both be in action for the Oilers on NHL Opening Night as they take on the Vancouver Canucks at 10 p.m. ET. However, is there anybody else you should be considering if you own one of the top picks in your last-minute Fantasy hockey drafts?
Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon has been labeled by some hockey pundits as the best all-around player in the NHL at the moment and he'll also be in action on Wednesday as they take on the Blues. Where should you be targeting MacKinnon as you make your Fantasy hockey picks? And which 2021 Fantasy hockey sleepers, breakouts and busts do you need to be aware of? Before setting your 2021 Fantasy hockey draft strategy, check out the Fantasy hockey rankings 2021 from the proven computer model at SportsLine.
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 NHL schedule 10,000 times and identify the top Fantasy hockey sleepers, breakouts and busts. Head to SportsLine now to see them.
McClure has used this model to help him win almost $2 million in daily Fantasy sports, and it also powers his season-long NHL rankings. The projections can help you create a draft strategy that ensures you have the depth necessary to survive what could be another challenging season.
McClure's model takes factors such as player history, schedule, injuries and matchups into account to create the most unbiased 2021 Fantasy hockey rankings possible. Now the model has zeroed in on the 2021 NHL season, ranked every player, and found the top sleepers, breakouts and busts. See every pick here.
Top 2021 Fantasy hockey picks
One of the 2021 Fantasy hockey breakouts from SportsLine's 2021 Fantasy hockey rankings: Montreal Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki. The 21-year old was a first-round pick of the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017, but landed in Montreal as part of the Max Pacioretty trade in 2018. Suzuki made his debut last season and was one of the league's best rookies as he scored 13 goals and recorded 28 assists in 71 games.
He saw his ice time jump to 19:11 per game in the postseason, up over three minutes from his regular season average. And even as Montreal lost to the Flyers in the playoffs, Suzuki recorded multi-point efforts in the team's final two games. Even though he's going off the board outside the top 200, according to Fantasy hockey ADP, SportsLine's model has him ranks at No. 133 overall, making him one of the breakouts who can be a valuable Fantasy asset this season.
Another surprise: Penguins center Sidney Crosby is one of the biggest 2021 Fantasy hockey busts. Crosby is arguably the greatest player of his generation, but he's 33 years old now and after stringing together six years where he was able to avoid major injury, he's coming off a season where he missed 28 games during the regular season.
Crosby is the centerpiece of an aging Penguins squad that has now been eliminated in the first round of the postseason the last two years and even though he's still productive on the ice (47 points in 41 games last year), there's a lot of risk built in given his age and all the games he's missed throughout his career. That's why the model ranks him 13th overall despite having a 2021 Fantasy hockey ADP of six entering this season.
How to find proven 2021 Fantasy hockey rankings
The model has also made a surprising call on where Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl ranks after winning the Ross Trophy, Lindsay Award and Hart Trophy last season and features a stunner in the top 10 that you need to see. You can only see the latest Fantasy hockey rankings 2021 here.
So what's the exact value of every NHL player in the 2021 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.