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Fantasy hockey rankings 2022-23: Top sleepers, breakouts and busts from proven NHL simulation

CBS Sports logo CBS Sports 10/10/2022 CBS Sports Staff
Nov 23, 2018; San Jose, CA, USA; Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson (40) warms up prior to the game against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. © Provided by CBS Sports

Nov 23, 2018; San Jose, CA, USA; Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson (40) warms up prior to the game against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose.

The 2022-23 NHL season began with the 2022 NHL Global Series on Friday and Saturday, but many 2022 Fantasy hockey drafts will take place between now and the North American openers on Oct. 11. Lightning vs. Rangers and Golden Knights vs. Kings will be the NHL doubleheader on opening night and there are plenty of Fantasy-relevant players involved in both contests. Steven Stamkos turned in a career-high 106 points with his teammate Nikita Kucherov missing 35 regular-season games and he'll be going early in drafts this year.

But where exactly should you be targeting the 32-year-old, and who are some of the 2022 Fantasy hockey sleepers, breakouts and busts that you need to be aware of before you go on the clock? A reliable set of 2022-23 Fantasy hockey rankings can help ensure that you get maximum value out of every pick and have the depth necessary to thrive during a challenging 82-game season. Before making any 2022 Fantasy hockey picks, check out the Fantasy hockey rankings 2022-23 from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last year, the model predicted that Blues wing Vladimir Tarasenko would significantly outperform his 2021-22 Fantasy hockey ADP of 196. The result: Tarasenko went on to score 34 goals and dish out 48 assists for his first ever 80-point season and was a top-75 player in all of Fantasy hockey. It also predicted that Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov wouldn't live up to his top-30 ADP overall and he finished with just 31 points and a plus/minus of -20 to finish as the No. 81 defenseman in CBS Sports Fantasy hockey leagues.

The model was created by Mike McClure, a predictive data engineer and professional daily Fantasy player with almost $2 million in career winnings. He's used his prediction model to simulate the entire 2022-23 NHL schedule 10,000 times and identify the top Fantasy hockey sleepers, breakouts and busts. Head to SportsLine now to see them.

McClure's model takes factors such as player history, schedule, injuries and matchups into account to create the most unbiased 2022-23 Fantasy hockey rankings possible. Now the model has zeroed in on the 2022-23 NHL season, ranked every player, and found the top sleepers, breakouts and busts. See every pick here.

Top 2022-23 Fantasy hockey picks

One of the 2022-23 Fantasy hockey busts SportsLine has identified: Capitals goalie Darcy Kuemper. The 11th-year NHL veteran posted a .921 save percentage while leading the Avalanche to a title last season and has produced a save percentage of .920 or better in four of the last five seasons.

That earned him a five-year, $26.25 million contract to join the Capitals during the offseason but now he'll be joining a squad that allowed 2.95 goals per game last season. Washington's expected goals against (166.3) was over nine goals higher than the actual number of goals allowed (157) and the blue line from last season went largely untouched this offseason. Kuemper has been one of the first 50 players off the board on average in 2022 but the model predicts he finishes well outside its top 70 players.

Another surprise: Lightning center Brayden Point is one of the model's top Fantasy hockey sleepers. He was dealing with a torn quad during the 2022 playoffs, but he has made a full recovery from that injury. Point missed 14 of the Lightning's last 16 playoff games, which contributed to his team's loss to Colorado in the Stanley Cup Final.

He racked up 28 goals and 58 points in 66 regular-season appearances, and he also had five points in nine playoff matchups. Point was cleared before the beginning of training camp, so he should be in good form entering the regular season. He has scored at least 20 goals in five straight seasons and came up just short of his fourth 60-point campaign, making him one of the most consistent Fantasy hockey picks on the board. SportsLine's model has identified him as a sleeper that is being selected 60-plus spots too low in most drafts. 

How to find proven 2022-23 Fantasy hockey rankings

The model has also made a surprising call on new Blue Jackets winger Johnny Gaudreau after he led the NHL in points and led all forwards in Fantasy scoring a season ago. It also features a stunner in the top 10 you won't want to miss. You can only see the latest Fantasy hockey rankings 2022-23 here.

So what's the exact value of every NHL player in the 2022-23 Fantasy hockey rankings? And what surprising player cracked the top 10? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy hockey rankings, all from a DFS pro who has won almost $2 million in his career and has simulated the entire NHL season 10,000 times, and find out.

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