Fantasy

Malkin edges Carter for Top Fantasy Center

Evgeni Malkin had an outstanding fantasy season.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - In preseason fantasy rankings, he wasn't even supposed to be the best center on his team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, but Evgeni Malkin won this year's 2009 TSN Fantasy Center Award.

Of course it's not like Malkin wasn't expected to perform at a high level, it's just that with Sidney Crosby on your team, it's tough to forecast anyone else as the No.1 center.

But that's just what Malkin did, outperforming Crosby in all six fantasy categories (goals, assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, power play points and shots on goal).

In fact, Crosby, the consensus No.2 overall selection behind Alexander Ovechkin on Draft Day, was just the fourth-best fantasy center in 2009 trailing Philadelphia's Jeff Carter and Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf as well.

In the Malkin-Carter matchup, Carter won goals, plus/minus and shots, but fell short in the other three categories, particularly assists where Malkin more than doubled Carter's 38-assist total.

But Carter's performance was good enough to score him the 2009 TSN Best Fantasy Bargain Award. Preseason, Carter had an Average Draft Position (ADP) of 76 and was rated the 25th-best center.

Most Disappointing Award goes to Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Coming off a 108-point 2006-07 and 92 points last year, much more was expected of the 1998 first-round pick. A fall in production of 11 goals and 14 assists dropped him to 18th-best after being a top-five center in preseason drafts.

2008-09 Final Center Rankings
RankPlayerTeamGA+/-PIMPPPSOG
1) Evgeni Malkin PIT 35 78 17 80 41 290
2) Jeff Carter PHI 46 38 23 68 24 342
3) Ryan Getzlaf ANA 25 66 5 121 37 227
4) Sidney Crosby PIT 33 70 3 76 40 238
5) Pavel Datsyuk DET 32 65 34 22 36 248
6) Marc Savard BOS 25 63 25 70 30 213
7) Mike Richards PHI 30 50 22 63 33 238
8) Eric Staal CAR 40 35 15 50 24 372
9) Nicklas Backstrom WAS 22 66 16 46 42 174
10) 0Joe Thornton SJ 25 61 16 56 35 139
11) Jason Spezza OTT 32 41- 14 79 31 246
12) Henrik Sedin VAN 22 60 22 48 26 143
13) Mikko Koivu MIN 20 47 2 66 26 236
14) Johan Franzen DET 34 25 21 44 19 246
15) Jonathan Toews CHI 34 35 12 51 22 195
16) David Krejci BOS 22 51 37 26 19 146
17) Patrick Marleau SJ 38 33 16 18 18 251
18) Vincent Lecavalier TB 29 38 -9 54 24 291
19) Joe Pavelski SJ 25 34 5 46 23 266
20) Travis Zajac NJ 20 42 33 29 15 185


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