Matt is covering the forgettable 2009-10 fantasy campaigns, so I am going to look at some guys who really surpassed expectations this season and hopefully helped deliver your team a fantasy title. This is part 2.
O-Rank: 42; Final Rank:14
Despite scoring 38 goals in 2008-09, Marleau wasn’t getting much love from Yahoo! coming into this season because… well, he’s Patrick Marleau. He responded with 44 goals, a +21 rating, 25 PPP and 3 sorties for good measure. He is UFA this off-season, so his value next year will largely be dependent on where he ends up. Don’t take a chance on him if he leaves the Shark Tank.
O-Rank: 210; Final Rank: 21
Any fantasy manager who knows what they’re doing knew Richards was a huge value pick at 210. I had him on three of my teams. He missed significant time in 2008-09 due to injury, but still put up 48 points in 56 games. It was more of the same in 2009-10 for the former Conn Smythe winner. He put up 91 points, and his 40 PPP easily offset the -12 rating.
O-Rank: 207; Final Rank 24
As has been well documented in the Big 50 comments section, I love Ryan Kesler, but even I did not expect this season’s monster performance. I had him pegged as a top no.3 center, and he performed at a no.1 level. 75 points, 104 PIMS and 26 PPP is pretty good production from a guy you probably got off the waiver wire.
O-Rank: 208; Final Rank: 36
Despite scoring 44 points in 61 games in 2008-09, Sharp wasn’t getting much respect, likely due to the addition of Marian Hossa in Chicago. He responded by scoring 66 points to go along with a +24 rating. He could have been even better, but was hampered by the second lowest shooting percentage of his career at 9.4%. However, his most valuable contribution was the ability to deploy him at any of the three forward positions.
O-Rank: 253: Final Rank: 25
Rask finished the season as the fourth highest ranked goalie in fantasy hockey. Not bad for a guy who only started 39 games. He did this by posting the best GAA (1.97) and SV% (.931) in the league. Nothing is guaranteed next year though as reigning Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas is under contract for two more years. Should Rask struggle, Thomas could regain the starting job in Boston.