Arizona Coyotes: Friday Fantasy Hockey

Clayton Keller is the top fantasy player on the Arizona Coyotes. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Clayton Keller is the top fantasy player on the Arizona Coyotes. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Happy Friday Arizona Coyotes fans! On Fridays we will look at Coyotes players from a fantasy hockey perspective in Friday Fantasy Hockey (cue the epic, cheesy music).

Fantasy hockey is one of the less popular fantasy sports, but is nonetheless the most fun. I am biased but if you are reading this, you probably play fantasy hockey and agree with me.

With daily matchups it draws time commitments comparable to fantasy baseball. The casual fantasy sports fan prefers football as the scoring is incredibly simple, and you set your line up on Wednesday and check your scores the following Monday night.

Easy enough.

Fantasy hockey has a slightly more intricate scoring system and requires a larger time commitment. Having to set your lineup every day and multiple scoring categories can be a turn off for some fans. Drafting your roster can get tricky once you get past the first few rounds.

Standard scoring leagues award points (+/-) for goals, assists, points, powerplay goals, powerplay assists, powerplay points, short handed points, goals against, saves, wins, loses, shutouts, and overtime loses.

There are modified stats/category leagues that in addition to the standard scoring system, award points (+/-) for advanced stats like shots, hits, blocked shots, faceoff wins, penalty minutes, and more (depending on the league commissioner).

While NHL superstars easily fill fantasy rosters, team owners always seem to add a player or two from their favorite NHL team, regardless of ability. There will always be that inherit bias with fantasy sports.

I have always been a huge Patrick Marleau fan and he has been on my roster since I can remember. Even during the latter years of his career. This year will be strange for me.

The Arizona Coyotes feature players who fly under the radar but have fantasy value. Each Friday I am going to take a look at a Coyotes players from a fantasy perspective and provide analysis and insights on where you should draft him in your league.

This Friday Fantasy Hockey we look at forward Clayton Keller.

A sleeper pick prediction last season, Keller was supposed to stay in the 50-point range given the team that he plays on. Keller exceeded all expectations last season with a 28-35-63 stat line, in 67 games. In standard scoring leagues he scored 175 points on the season, good for the 17th best winger in the NHL. Keller has an average draft position of 196 overall, meaning in a 10-man league he has been undrafted, in 12-man leagues he has been taken in the 16th round, and in 14-man leagues he has gone in the 14th round.

He should be a steal in standard scoring leagues but owners might shy away because he plays for the Coyotes. Depending on how many ‘Yotes fans are in your league, you could safely draft him in the 15th, 12th, or 10th rounds, respectively. I would not suggest taking him any earlier than the 9th round. At that point you are being a homer and could miss out on a much better fantasy player.

Looking at advanced stats, Keller had 5 powerplay goals, 11 powerplay points, 28 penalty minutes, 177 shots, 17 hits, and 31 blocked shots. In a modified stats league, Keller scored 366 points, good for 124th overall. In my 14-man league he was not drafted last season and by the end of the season was owned by 68% of Yahoo leagues. You can safely draft him in the 12th round or later in modified stats leagues.

In advanced stats leagues players like Minnesota’s Marcus Foligno or Seattle’s Adam Larsson score at a minimum 100 points or more than Keller (because of hits and blocked shots). Looking at players like this, Keller should not be drafted before the 12th round.

In most leagues Keller is listed at a RW/LW, meaning you can slot him into your lineup for either RW or LW, as a forward, or utility player. There are a few leagues out there where he is listed as a C/RW, meaning he can also be in a starting lineup as a center.

Clayton Keller is a stud and is amazing to watch and cheer for. Drafting him on your fantasy squad this year will help you win your league and give you something extra to cheer about when you watch the Coyotes this season. Just do not draft him too early!

Happy Howlin’!