• Marcus Bender

NHL Fantasy Playoff Sleepers 2020 - Forwards

NHL Fantasy Playoff Sleepers 2020 - Forwards Edition


I can't believe we are planning for a hockey pool, in mid-July. I also can't believe in a week's time, we will be watching four NHL games a day. It's like the World Cup and Christmas all rolled into one.


Happy World Cup Christmas In July, everyone!


So I did what anyone else would do in my situation. I made my list of sleeper picks while sitting in the park, wearing sandals. What a strange year.


This year being particularly strange, I suggest whichever premonition you have, you go with it. Anything can happen in this crazy, unpredictable chaos-filled 2020.


This is a list of Sleepers which I defined as a player who didn't appear on the NHL.com's Top 100. That list for the record, is very well done in my opinion.


NHL Fantasy Playoff Sleepers - Forwards


1. Andre Burakovsky – Doesn’t appear on the NHL Top 100, but he probably should. He’s been a point a game since January 1, and seems to be fitting in very well in Colorado under Coach Bednar. Colorado seems like a great bet to go far. The only question will be where does he slot now that Rantanen will be returning to the lineup? Regardless, Burakovsky seems to be a very solid sleeper choice.


2. David Krejci – I feel like we've all collectively forgotten about David Krejci. If you are as old as I am, you will remember Krejci during the Bruins' Cup Run in 2011; scoring big goals and fist-pumping all the way down the ice like a boss. We're talking about the second-line center, 0.78 PPG player on arguably the best team in the League. He's not on the Top 100. He will be a steal wherever he is drafted.


3. Alex KillornKillorn started out like a rocket this season with 34 points in 36 games. And while he cooled off significantly after that, it still shows how streaky this guy can get. Tampa has been the best team in the League since January. They've been crushing their competition since that time. If you want a Lightning player for a deep run, or if you want to stack your Kucherov or Stamkos, Killorn is definitely your boy.


4. Joe Pavelski – I'm not entirely in love with this pick. I think Roope Hintz might be a better look if you are going with Dallas, but I picked Pavs for his veteran presence. "Little Joe" had a rather pedestrian season in Dallas, and was largely a disappointment. But two things in his favour: He’s usually pretty good in the playoffs, and his team has a good chance to do some damage. If Dallas succeeds in the Playoffs this season, it will be because of Pavelski. I don't love this pick, but I don't hate it either. You could do much worse than Pavelski in the later rounds.


4. Mike Hoffman – Another former Shark, haha. Mike Hoffman has been over a point a game since January 1, and has been the best Panther in 2020 with 32 Points in his final 30 Games. I don’t love the Panthers’ path to the Cup, but if they do it will be riding a hot power play, which means Hoffman will be a beast. Mike Hoffman doesn’t appear on the NHL Fantasy Top 100, but Huberdeau and Barkov come in at 46 and 47 respectively. I believe you’ll get almost as much if not more value out of Hoffman, and 7-10 rounds later.

5. Mikael Granlund – Here's a guy most of us have forgotten about. Now we're digging deep into the barrel. "Granny" didn't do much in Nashville prior to the Laviolette firing. Since that time however, Granlund is the third leading scorer on the team. Under Hynes, Granlund has seen his ice increase by an average of 3 minutes a game, and he is seeing more time on the Power Play. John "The Lizard King" Hynes really likes this player. If Nashville goes far, Granlund will be a sneaky under-the-radar play who has a very good chance of outscoring bigger names like Johansen and Duchene. You could probably draft Granlund in like the 20th Round too.

6. Oliver Bjorkstrand – Most of us are over-looking the Blue Jackets. I know I am. We’ve been doing it all year. And yet, they keep proving us wrong. What better match up for the hard-nosed Blue Jackets than the soft and graceful Maple Leafs? Tortorella demands hard work and attention to detail, and I believe these will both be important factors in this tournament.


I would still pick the Leafs to win this series, but there is a slight possibility of an upset here. If you are going to own one Blue Jacket, it should be Bjorkstrand. This guy has been an absolute animal for the Jackets this season. From the eye test, he is very clearly the top Blue Jacket to own. This guy is ready to explode; pick him next season for sure. He has nothing but green arrows next to his name.

7. Patrick Marleau – If you need a late round Penguin, don't forget that Patrick Marleau now plays for Pittsburgh! He might score some clutch goals, and he’ll probably be the first to step up if there’s an injury. You could probably get him very, very late in your draft as nobody seems to remember he's even playing. Marleau is the NHL's active leader in career Playoff Games played. This is the type of pick you make and everyone goes, “damn! I forget about ____!” His name is Patrick Marleau.


8. Justin Williams – I'm an Oilers Fan, so I get a really bad taste in my mouth every time I say his name. But there is no denying Justin Williams is a Playoff Performer. We all know what "Mr. Game 7" can do. Former Conn Smythe Winner let's not forget. Many people seem to be overlooking the Hurricanes this year, and Williams sat out most of the season, meaning that most people might forget that he's still available. He could be a very nice late round steal, if you can stomach it.


9. Brock Nelson – Brock Nelson had a really good season on Long Island. His 26 Goals led the team, and he seems to have emerged as the main goal scoring threat for the Islanders (Barzal being the set up wizard). I like the Islanders' matchup as well. A defensive juggernaut versus the worst defensive team in the League. Florida loves giving up goals. The Islanders may catch a lot of teams off guard these playoffs. If you find yourself late round not knowing where to go, the second-leading point-getter on the Islanders might be your guy.


10. Zach Hyman – Zach Hyman can't seem to get any respect. Don't forget he's pretty much locked onto the Top Six on one of the highest scoring teams in the League. He's getting Power Play Time, and he's very obviously a key player for the Leafs. 13 Points in his final 19 games tying him with William Nylander, who ranks 63rd on the NHL Top 100. You could get Hyman on the cheap, and would be an excellent way to stack your Matthews, Marner, Tavares or even Nylander. He'll end up playing with one of those players almost guaranteed.


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That concludes our list of Fantasy Playoff Sleepers 2020 - Forward Edition! Stay tuned in the next few days for our Defensemen predictions.


Good luck in your Pool everyone!


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