How to approach RFAs in your fantasy hockey draft

Yahoo Sports Canada

I can’t remember there ever being a time like this in fantasy hockey where so many high-profile players remained without a contract this close to the start of the season.

And while it certainly helps fantasy players that Mitch Marner and Brock Boeser have already ended their standoffs, there’s still a lot of question marks to navigate while making your decisions with the remaining RFAs.

Based off of their current ADPs, here is how I’d rank the value of the players still looking for a new deal.

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1. Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning - Yahoo ADP: 47.3

Based off of average draft position, Point is currently being taken one slot behind Elias Pettersson.

Although I love me some EP40, I don’t think I could take him before the Lightning centre.

Despite the absolutely brutal lowball offers and the ominous tone that the negotiations have taken on lately, I still would feel good about drafting Point considering where he is going in drafts.

This is someone who, when in the lineup, checks off all the boxes of what you’d want out of a premier fantasy producer. He’s an elite goal-scoring talent, he’s among the best when it comes to power-play production and the 23-year-old will return to a star-studded Tampa Bay team.

At his current ADP, he’s worth the risk. Even if he misses some time.

2. Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche - Yahoo ADP: 21.9

I’m probably not going to end up with a lot of shares of Rantanen, simply because the ADP is a little too rich for my liking currently, but if he starts to fall deeper into the third round, I’d consider it.

Right now, he’s going around the start of round three in a standard 10-team league. As far as forwards go in that range, I’d much rather select Aleksander Barkov or Taylor Hall, who are currently going after him. Both those players enter the season with much-improved team situations, which should help boost their fantasy production.

Plain and simple, I’m just not willing to take the risk of selecting Rantanen that early in my draft unless his contract situation is resolved.

3. Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets - Yahoo ADP: 43.6

Although Laine’s ADP isn’t as rich as Rantanen’s, there’s a reason for that.

Last season, the former second-overall pick took a major step back after two strong campaigns. Despite playing a full-82 game season for the second straight year, his goal total dropped from 44 to 30, and his point production fell from 70 to 50.

The Jets also lost a lot of valuable members of their squad this summer. Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers and Brandon Tanev all left, while Dustin Byfuglien is no guarantee to play this season.

Missing valuable time in training camp and pre-season after a down-year makes his contract holdout even more of a concern. I’d much rather draft Jake Guentzel, Point, and Jonathan Huberdeau - all players currently going later than Laine according to Yahoo ADP.

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