NHL Olympic Break Fantasy Analysis

Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin are a dynamic duo in Washington.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - While it's true that the NHL Olympic break isn't the halfway point of the season (teams have played 60-63 games) it's a convenient time to look at what has taken place year-to-date.

So let's look at each position and see who has been the best overall and the best fantasy bargain.

Centerman

Nicklas Backstrom, Washington - Being on a line with Alex Ovechkin is like being born into royalty. Everything comes very easy. Despite being a late second-round selection on Draft Day (ADP 22), Backstrom (26G, 50A) is outplaying higher picks like Evgeni Malkin (21G, 44A) and Ryan Getzlaf (17G, 44A). He just edges out the great Sidney Crosby on the strength of a superior plus/minus rating; +32 vs. +9.

Henrik Sedin, Vancouver - Sedin, a seventh-round pick on Draft Day (ADP 86) is playing at a first-round level. By the end of the season he'll break his personal bests in goals, assist, points, plus/minus and shots.

Left Winger

Alex Ovechkin, Washington - It's always nice when the top draft choice plays like it. Ovechkin leads the league in scoring, goals, plus/minus and shots on goal. Even a two-game suspension and injuries to his shoulder and knee can't stop him.

Alex Burrows, Vancouver - Burrows played three nondescript seasons before sparking some fantasy interest in 2008-09 when he totaled 51 points in 82 games. He's already matched that total in 61 games this year. Considering his preseason ADP of 98, he's been a huge bargain. I've got him ranked as the No.6 left winger and 18th overall.

Right Winger

Alexander Semin, Washington - Like Backstrom, things come easy when your linemate Ovechkin gets all the attention from the opposing defenses. The second-round pick on Draft Day (ADP 15) has totaled 30 goals, 35 assists and a solid +25 rating. Throw in 50 penalty minutes and 210 shots and you have the No.1 right winger.

Patrick Sharp, Chicago - Sharp was barely on the radar on Draft Day as his ADP of 202 indicates. But the Blackhawks winger has totaled 19 goals, 33 assists and a plus/minus of +20. In my league he's eligible at both center and right wing, but he's much more valuable as a winger.

Defenseman

Mike Green, Washington - Ok, so Washington players have dominated most fantasy leagues this year. There is nothing you can do about it. Green is the fourth Capitals player to win his position, but in this case there is no one even close to him in production. He's totaled 60 points (14G, 46A) and has a +28 rating. He's also fired 158 shots on net and has been everything you asked for as a top-10 pick.

Duncan Keith, Chicago - Considering he was a 10th-round pick back in October, he's given you more than expected. He's posted 11 goals and 42 assists putting well ahead of guys drafted much higher like Shea Weber, Nicklas Lidstrom and Dion Phaneuf.

Goaltender

Ryan Miller, Buffalo - While Martin Brodeur, Evgeni Nabokov and Miikka Kiprusoff got all the attention on Draft Day, Miller, the 13th goalie off the board has played better than any of them. He has the best GAA of anyone with at least 30 games played (2.16) and his 30 wins has him ranked seventh, five behind Jonathan Quick. His save percentage of 0.930 is ranked second to Tomas Vokoun (0.931).

Craig Anderson, Colorado - Considering that his preseason ADP was 187, Anderson has been a fantasy miracle. He's posted 31 wins, a save percentage of 0.924 and a GAA of 2.42 including six shutouts.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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