2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Sleepers

by Justin Cheng
2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Sleepers

With the start of the preseason less than two weeks away, the buzz of NHL is in the air. With most fantasy drafts just around the corner, it is time to highlight the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Sleepers who can take your team to the next level.

Maybe a bad 2021-22 season has caused their stock to plummet. Or maybe a key injury or trade has the average GM nervous, causing their ADP to fall. Finding a late-round steal can often make or break your whole fantasy season.

Without further ado, here are three players who are being drafted significantly later than is justified.

If you are looking for help on Draft Day, check out my 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Rankings here, which of course does include some of my 2022-23 fantasy hockey sleepers.

2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Sleepers

Brad Marchand, LW, Boston Bruins (ADP: 84.9)

Embed from Getty Images

Fantasy championships are not won in October. Or November. They are not even won in February.

At the end of the day, your Fantasy season rides on a successful 3-4 week stretch in April. As a result, it always surprises me how much GMs tend to overreact to long-term injuries at the beginning of the season.

Similar to last season, Brad Marchand is expected to miss the first month or two of the regular season. He is recovering from off-season hip surgery, leaving a gaping hole on Boston's top left wing.

Despite being on the wrong side of 30, Marchand managed to put up 32 goals and 48 assists for 80 points in 70 games last season. While age will undoubtedly catch up to Marchand eventually, I think he is still too strong of a fantasy producer to fall as far as he is in a lot of drafts.

I still have Marchand as the fourth-best left winger available on a per-game basis, after only Leon Draisaitl, Alex Ovechkin, and Jonathan Huberdeau.

Brad Marchand 2022-23 Projected Stats

GPTOI/GGAPPPSOGHITBLK
6519:123149242107117

If Marchand is still available in rounds 6-8 of your draft, that is a homerun pick. If you manage to snag him, you will be thanking yourself come April.

Blake Wheeler, C/RW, Winnipeg Jets (ADP: 134.2)

Embed from Getty Images

From one veteran winger to another.

While Blake Wheeler is not projected to miss the start of the season, he has had trouble staying healthy for a full season. Over the past two seasons, Wheeler has missed a combined 23 games. If Wheeler is out due to injury during the final stretch of the year, this can spell trouble for your winning changes.

The injury concern along with the fact that we are four seasons removed from Wheeler's last point-per-game season is pushing his ADP lower and lower by the day. To be honest, I am not exactly sure what is making fantasy hockey GMs so hesitant.

Last year, Wheeler managed to put up 17 goals and 43 assists over 65 games. If he managed to play the whole season, that is a 76-point pace. Wingers taken at a comparable location as Wheeler in fantasy drafts are players with 60-65 point ceilings. I would take my chances with an aging Wheeler.

I project that Wheeler will finish the season as the 59th best player on a per-game basis. At an ADP of 134.2, if you manage to grab Wheeler in the 10th round or later of your draft, that is a very solid value.

GPTOI/GGAPPPSOGHITBLK
7219:182146221807843

While there is some injury risk here, I would take my chances on a guy who all but has the top-line RW spot in Winnipeg locked up.

Elvis Merzlikins, G, Columbus Blue Jackets (ADP: 122.3)

Embed from Getty Images

After an up-and-down season in 2021-22, Elvis Merzlikins has found himself in the doghouse in the eyes of many Fantasy GMs.

Last year, Merzlikins started 56 games and was credited with 27 wins, a 3.22 GAA and a .907 save percentage. While his Goals Against Average leaves something to be desired, the volume is what is appealing here. Throughout all of last year, only six goalies started more games than Merzlikins. Of those six, only three faced more shots against.

The thing about fantasy goalies is that volume is king. Especially in points leagues, where more shots against mean more total points.

An average goalie that is a clear-cut number one is significantly more valuable than an elite goalie in a 50-50 timeshare. As a result, Merzlikins rockets himself up my fantasy hockey rankings strictly on the back of his heavy workload.

Based on my preseason rankings, I have Merzlikins ranked 72nd overall. That is 50 spots higher than his ADP of 122.8 on Yahoo.

Elvis Merzlikins 2022-23 Projected Stats

StartsWinsSavesGoals AgainstShutouts
55251730.4173.22.3

If you are looking for a solid goalie to grab later in your draft, Merzlikins is your guy.


Check out more Fantasy Hockey advice from the F6P team.

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