Wednesday, September 7, 2011

30 in 30 - Top NHL Fantasy Sleeper Picks - Buffalo Sabres

It’s almost time for those annual fantasy hockey drafts. While most drafts feature the same players going in the first two rounds, it’s those players that you take in the mid to late rounds that will win you your league. Here’s the third of the thirty players that could be great sleeper picks in your draft this year.

Marc-Andre Gragnani – Buffalo Sabres

Position – Defence
Height – 6’ 2”
Weight – 201
Drafted – 3rd Round, 87th Overall, 2005 NHL Entry Draft
2010/2011 AHL Stats – 66 GP, 12 G, 48 A, 60 P, +22, 51 PIM
2010/2011 NHL Stats – 9 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 P, 0, 2 PIM

Taking defencemen can be such a gamble in fantasy leagues. Depending on your league settings the obvious top guys like Lidstrom, Enstrom, Yandle, and Visnovsky will go early in the draft. As you get further along there really isn’t a huge difference when you get down to some of the 25 point defencemen. It’s always great when you can take a late round pick on a young defenceman who might be able to put up some decent numbers for you (see Alex Pietrangelo last season).

If you’re looking to take a gamble in one of the last rounds of your draft this year you might want to try Marc-Andre Gragnani. Gragnani was almost a point per game player in the AHL last season before getting called up to the Sabres towards the end of year. While he had a decent three points in nine games you should be excited about his stats in the playoffs last year. In the first round he suited up for all seven games against the Flyers and scored seven points. Even with the Sabres adding Robyn Regehr and Christian Ehrhoff to their blue line you should still see Gragnani get some decent minutes and some valuable time on their second unit power-play.

Previous Sleeper Picks:
Day 1 - Anaheim Ducks
Day 2 - Boston Bruins

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