Saturday, August 11, 2018

Detroit Red Wings fantasy preview for 2018-19



Dylan Larkin, C/RW (NHL.com rank: 115) -- The forward had a breakout season with 63 points (16 goals, 47 assists) in 82 games. He led the Red Wings in points, assists and shots on goal (232). He also expanded his category coverage in face-off wins (656; second on team) and hits (76). Larkin finished tied for eighth on the Red Wings in power-play points (eight) but could see an increased workload on the man-advantage if center Henrik Zetterberg misses time with a back injury. Despite any team concerns, Larkin should be considered a value pick in middle rounds who could finish among Yahoo's top 100 for the second straight season (94th in 2017-18).
Filip Zadina, RW (163) -- The rookie is expected to compete for a top-six roster spot in training camp. His fantasy value obviously hinges on whether he makes the team, but if he does, the 18-year-old should be fantasy relevant in his first NHL season. Zadina led the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in rookie scoring with 82 points (44 goals, 38 assists) in 57 games last season and had another 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in nine playoff games. Zadina could find himself on a line with fantasy-relevant forwards Zetterberg (if healthy) and Thomas Vanek, and potentially on a power-play unit with Larkin and Anthony Mantha.
Anthony Mantha, LW/RW (168) -- The forward had an NHL career-high 48 points (24 goals, 24 assists) in 80 games and led the Red Wings in power-play goals (nine) and shooting percentage (12.6; min 15 games). Mantha could gain additional value in season-long fantasy leagues if he raises his SOG total (190) but should be considered valuable as a goal-scoring threat regardless. He finished second on the Red Wings (behind Larkin) with 10 multipoint games last season, including four three-point games. The 23-year-old will likely start the season on the top line with Larkin, making him worthy of a late-round flier.
Mike Green, D (189) -- The veteran defenseman was on pace for the highest point total of his Detroit tenure but missed 16 games with a neck injury. His 33 points (eight goals, 25 assists) and 22:05 of ice time per game, including 2:21 on the power play, led Red Wings defensemen (minimum 10 games). If Detroit's youth movement can reinvigorate its power play (17.5 percent; 24th in NHL), Green would have added fantasy value. Despite injury concerns, Green provides fantasy owners with the opportunity to get a No. 1 defenseman late in drafts.
Michael Rasmussen, C (249) -- In a similar situation to Zadina, Rasmussen will compete for a roster spot in training camp. The 19-year-old finished second in Western Hockey League playoff scoring with 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists), including 10 power-play points, in 14 games. If he makes the team, Rasmussen could play on Detroit's top power-play unit featuring Mantha, Larkin and Green. Although the Red Wings are one of the lowest-rated teams in NHL.com's fantasy power rankings, they have several players with sneaky upside.
Other players with fantasy upside in late rounds or off waiver wire: Henrik Zetterberg, C - INJ.; Thomas Vanek, LW/RW*; Andreas Athanasiou, C/LW; Gustav Nyquist, C/LW/RW, DET*; Jimmy Howard, G*; Jonathan Bernier, G
*Potential 2019 unrestricted free agent
**Potential 2019 restricted free agent
INJ. - Injury concern entering 2018-19

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