It's always harder to build a successful fantasy team in league's the have salary caps, so our Fantasy expert Darryl Dobbs gives you some bargains to look out for. This week we look at defensemen and goalies, after looking at forwards last week.
Time to look at the best "cap hit" values for defensemen and goaltenders in fantasy hockey. Those of you involved in leagues that implement a salary cap based on NHL contracts have quite the juggling act. You need to maximize the production of your fantasy squad, but you have to be smart with your salary allocation. Going out and grabbing the 20 highest-scoring stars would probably make your roster illegal by the time you add the fifth guy.
Looking at cap hits and production to date in the key stat categories (thanks to Frozen Pool), as well as guessing at how things will project going forward this season, I have put together an "all-fantasy" team. From the list, you will be able to pick out a couple of trade targets. Or just feel warm inside for owning some of these players.
See the forwards right here in the first part of this two-part set.
P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens, $2,875,000
For a defenseman who is going to enter the rarified air of 70-plus points, as well as top 80 PIM and 80 hits, you're not going to find a lower price. Still only 24, he's just scratching the surface. When his "bridge" contract is up in the summer, the next one will skyrocket.
Jonas Brodin, Minnesota Wild, $894,167
Once again an entry-level contract makes a star player so much more valuable in this type of league. Brodin is looking as though he will break out into the 40-point range this campaign. He still has another year on his ELC so the savings just keep rolling in, don't they?
Raphael Diaz, Montreal Canadiens, $1,225,000
The 27-year-old was signed as an undrafted unrestricted free agent in 2011 and so far he has proven to be quite the find. His cheap deal expires next coming summer and he's bound to get a raise. In the meantime, he looks like a safe bet for 30 points and a pretty appealing plus-minus rating.
Cody Franson, Toronto Maple Leafs, $2,000,000
Proving last season was no fluke, Franson is producing at about the same pace. The Leafs were late signing him in the summer, squeezing out the best deal possible for his one-year contract, making him one of the best bargains among fantasy defensemen.
Brenden Dillon, Dallas Stars, $743,333
An underrated player last season due to his solid defensive ability and bone-crushing hits, Dillon is now showing that he has offensive skills as well. A multi-category stud, Dillon will flirt with 90 PIM, 160 hits, 30 points and plus-10 this year. For a cap hit that is well south of a million bucks.
Jake Muzzin, Los Angeles Kings, $1,000,000
With the emergence of Slava Voynov, Muzzin wasn't getting the ice time or PP time that he was getting last season. But with Voynov sputtering a little, Muzzin's getting his chance again. And he's converting, posting seven points in just 10 games.
Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild, $1,900,000
Four wins in a row, including two shutouts. That's the kind of run Harding is on. But the four games were split around his missing a couple due to injury. And therein lies the drawback of owning Josh Harding. He gets injured frequently. But when he does play, his numbers are as good as anyone's in the league.
James Reimer, Toronto Maple Leafs, $1,800,000
He's getting just half the starts, but when Reimer plays he's been very good, with the exception of a couple of appearances. If your cap league is daily and you pay close attention to starting goalie announcements, then his price tag can't be beat.
Steve Mason, Philadelphia Flyers, $1,500,000
Yes, the Flyers aren't exactly a winning team right now. But starting goalies are expensive, so when you want to save cap space in the position, there are only a handful you can look at. Mason won't hurt you. The wins are few and far between and the losses are piling up, but Mason's save percentage is a respectable .922 and his goals-against average is 2.42. He's faced 296 shots, 18th highest in the league.
Alexander Steen - Sean Monahan - Kyle Okposo
Brandon Saad - Frans Nielsen - Brendan Gallagher
Tomas Hertl - Lars Eller - Alex Chiasson
Mason Raymond - Andrew Shaw - Matt Read
Jonas Brodin - P.K. Subban
Raphael Diaz - Cody Franson
Brenden Dillon - Jake Muzzin
Nazem Kadri, Mathieu Perreault, Nathan Gerbe, Mike Santorelli, Mark Arcobello, Nick Bonino, Jakob Silfverberg, Matt Duchene, Lee Stempniak, Martin Hanzal, Ryan Johansen, Phil Kessel, Justin Faulk, Radko Gudas, Ben Bishop