Finding Fantasy Value: Duchene an interesting trade target after move

Hockey Central panel debates if the Ottawa Senators' future is better or worse off with Matt Duchene, Derick Brassard and Erik Karlsson's contracts coming up.

There’s nothing like a real-life trade to pique interest in a player in fantasy leagues. Such is the case with Matt Duchene, who we mentioned as a potential buy-low candidate a few weeks ago. Now that we know that Duchene’s landing spot is Ottawa, Duchene might now attract more interest in fantasy leagues.

What do we mean? Well, a player who was selected on average at around pick 160 in Yahoo leagues has recently been traded in one-for-one swaps for Nicklas Backstrom and Max Pacioretty – players who were drafted much higher than that. (He has also been traded for Patrick Marleau and Kyle Turris – players closer to his pre-draft ranking.)

Duchene hasn’t played a single game for Ottawa as of the time of this writing. Yet there’s at least the perception that his fantasy value has increased since he has finally moved out of Colorado and received the trade he wanted. So could now be a good time to deal him? His production could improve in Ottawa and you could reap the rewards if you’ve been waiting on him. But you shouldn’t turn your back on an offer that increases the overall quality of your team.

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Mitchell Marner, C/RW, Toronto Maple Leafs

So because Marner’s production is below projections (just one goal and nine points with a minus-8 in 17 games), he’s already been mentioned as a possible trade candidate in a one-for-one swap with Darnell Nurse in Edmonton. Does that not seem like a buy low to you? Can you apply that same line of thinking in your fantasy league? Recent trades on Yahoo involving Marner have cost owners a range of players drafted after Marner in most leagues including Corey Perry, Jake Guentzel, Kyle Turris, Brayden Point, and even Yanni Gourde. Marner may not reach 60 points this season, but what matters is that you are only paying for his production for the rest of the season.

Yanni Gourde, C/RW, Tampa Bay Lightning

Speaking of the aforementioned Gourde, you may want to know why in the world he might be traded for Marner. With two assists on Wednesday, Gourde now has points in four consecutive games playing on a line with the red-hot Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat (more line combinations here). Or over a longer stretch, that’s nine points over his last eight games. A one-time 124-point scorer in the QMJHL, Gourde scored 48 points in 56 games in the AHL last season. He provides a high-powered Lightning squad with even more scoring depth.

Mathew Barzal, C, New York Islanders

Barzal’s five-assist performance on Sunday may have grabbed your attention, but it’s also important to look at the entire body of work here. Barzal has placed himself in early contention for the Calder Trophy with a six-game point streak and 14 points over his last 10 games. If you’re not sure about the talent, Barzal is one of the NHL’s leaders in even-strength offensive puck possession per game, alongside the likes of Connor McDavid and Patrick Kane. Or you can simply check out this clip from Wednesday’s game against Edmonton.

Ryan Miller, G, Anaheim Ducks

With John Gibson leaving Tuesday’s game with a possible concussion, Miller enters the picture as the Ducks’ starter for the time being. And if there’s one backup in the league that’s used to being a starter, it’s Miller, who has played over 60 games five times in his career and played at least 50 games over his last two seasons. His goals-against average and save percentage over those past two seasons were more of a reflection on the struggling Canucks’ team in front of him, as Miller kept the Canucks many times. This season Miller has a hobbled Ducks’ squad in front of him, but so far he has been up to the task (2.13 GAA, .946 SV%).

Charlie Lindgren, G, Montreal Canadiens

We still like Carey Price as a potential buy-low candidate. But for now he’s sidelined with a lower-body injury, so Lindgren is a great short-term pickup for Price owners or anyone else needing a goalie start. Lindgren is expected to make his third consecutive start on Thursday against Minnesota after posting wins in his first two NHL starts, including a shutout of the Blackhawks on Sunday. Lindgren will likely be back in the AHL once Price returns, but he’s an option if you are in a weekly head-to-head battle and need goaltending help.

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