NHL

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

On the same day that it was announced that center Zemgus Girgensons would miss six months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn hamstring, the Buffalo Sabres welcomed captain Jack Eichel back to practice after he suffered an upper-body injury during the offseason. Eichel has become one of the league’s biggest stars over the last five years and the young American has been coming off the board in the first round of standard 2021 Fantasy hockey drafts. Last season, Eichel finished with 36 goals and 42 assists. 

However, can Eichel live up to a 2021 Fantasy hockey ADP of sixth overall given that he is entering a truncated 56-game season having already been injured after missing 43 games during the first five years of his career? Making sure you nail your early picks and identifying potential 2021 Fantasy hockey sleepers, breakouts and busts will be key to building depth during a season where the coronavirus will still loom large. 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: Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy. The former first-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft is entering his fourth year in the NHL and has produced 92 points in his first three seasons. However, he’ll be stepping into an even larger role on the Bruins’ blue line after Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara both left in free agency.

McAvoy will now pair with Jeremy Lauzon on Boston’s top defensive line and as the most trustworthy defender on the roster, he’ll likely see a significant increase in playing time after averaging a career-high 23:10 of ice time last season. He’ll also likely slide into the top power-play unit to replace Krug, which gives him added scoring upside. That’s why SportsLine’s model is ranking McAvoy as a top 100 overall player for 2021.

Another surprise: Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry is one of the biggest 2021 Fantasy hockey busts. The 24-year-old won the backup job prior to the start of last season and then spent time as the team’s No. 1 goaltender with Matt Murray struggling. Jarry had a .921 save percentage while Murray .899 save percentage was a 20-point drop from the previous season.

Murray has signed with the Senators now and Jarry figures to be the No. 1 in Pittsburgh moving forward, but some of the peripherals create cause for concern with Jarry. The former second-round pick ranked 49th among NHL goaltenders in 2019-20 in high-danger save percentage (.805). That’s a big reason why the model ranks him as its No. 197 overall player despite a 2021 Fantasy hockey ADP of 67.

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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