NHL

Fantasy hockey rankings 2021: NHL sleepers, breakouts and busts from proven computer model

After 14 seasons with the Boston Bruins, former Norris Trophy winner Zdeno Chara has joined the Washington Capitals on a one-year contract for the 2021 NHL season. The 43-year-old was once a fixture in Fantasy hockey lineups, but you probably won’t find him very high on the 2021 Fantasy hockey rankings in what should be an intriguing season. Just over three months after the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals concluded, the NHL will begin a 56-game schedule on Jan. 13 with five games.

The defending champion Lightning will take on the Blackhawks on NHL Opening Night and they’ll be without former Hart Trophy winner Nikita Kucherov, who will miss the entire regular season after undergoing hip surgery. So what Lightning forwards will pick up the scoring load with Kucherov out, and who are some of the other 2021 Fantasy hockey sleepers, breakouts and busts that you need to be aware of? Before going on the clock in any 2021 Fantasy hockey drafts, 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 sleepers from SportsLine’s 2021 Fantasy hockey rankings: Canucks center Elias Pettersson. The No. 5 overall pick at the 2017 NHL Draft and 2019 Calder Trophy winner has put up 66 points in both of his first two seasons in the NHL. Pettersson had 28 goals and 38 assists over 71 games in his rookie season and then put up 27 goals and 39 assists in 68 games during the truncated campaign last season. 

Then in the 2020 NHL Playoffs, Pettersson put up 18 points in 17 games to help the Canucks win two playoff series and take the Vegas Golden Knights to a Game 7 in the second round. Pettersson is surrounded with a lot of young talent in Vancouver and last year’s playoff performance showed he’s ready to take the next step towards superstardom, which is why the model ranks him as its No. 11 overall player despite a 2021 Fantasy hockey ADP of 32.

Another surprise: Panthers wing Jonathan Huberdeau is one of the biggest 2021 Fantasy hockey busts. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft is now entering his ninth NHL season and has put up 170 points in just 151 games over the last two seasons.

However, the Panthers lost Evgenii Dadonov and Mike Hoffman, who combined to score 54 goals last year, during the offseason. Patric Hornqvist, Alexander Wennberg and Vinnie Hinostroza should help give the Panthers a more balanced group of forwards, but that group will struggle to equal the ultimate offensive output of Dadonov and Hoffman and that’s a potential detriment to Huberdeau. That’s why the model ranks him as a late fourth-round draft pick despite the fact that he’s coming off the board in the second round on average.

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.


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