Colorado Avalanche Players to Consider for Fantasy Hockey

Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche have a glut of skilled forwards, some defensemen that can put points up, and a goalie who could bounce back. So, who should fantasy hockey fans consider picking up from the Avalanche roster?

The Colorado Avalanche also have a couple rookies who might end up making an impact this season; although, Mikko Rantanen is likely the only rookie that makes the lineup.

Still, with the amount of talent on this young team, there are a bunch of options that fantasy hockey fans, and Avalanche fans might consider drafting in their leagues.

I’m more of a fantasy football fan myself, but I have dabbled with fantasy hockey, and the general concept is the same anyway. So, I’ll break this down into four categories: Top Players, Potential Bust Players, Sleepers, and one Rookie Breakout Player.

Top Players

It’s a pretty simple rule of thumb that the best players on any given team are going to be the ones with the highest fantasy value. Simply put, the players with the highest fantasy value on the Avalanche are Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Gabe Landeskog and Tyson Barrie.

Out of those four players, I give Tyson Barrie the highest value because of the new coaching systems based on aggressive defense, but MacKinnon is a close second and could be primed for a career season.

Related Story: Will Nathan MacKinnon Have a Career Year?

Obviously Matt Duchene has a lot of upside, and Gabe Landeskog is a pretty consistent 55-60 point producer so he’s a valuable pick as well.

Here’s the average draft position for all those players currently:

  • Tyson Barrie (round 4)
  • Nathan MacKinnon (round 4)
  • Matt Duchene (round 6)
  • Gabe Landeskog (round 4)

So, if you wanted to take some risks you could potentially get some pretty high value out of some mid round flyers on Avalanche players.

Semyon Varlamov could also be considered a top Avalanche player to choose in drafts, but his groin poses issues for fantasy teams.

Potential Bust Players

Varly is certainly a potential bust player considering he’s the highest ranked out of all Avalanche players. Varly is coming off of most draft boards during the late third round.

Semyon Varlamov has only broken the 30 win mark once in his entire career, during the 2013-14 season. He’s also gotten steadily worse the last two seasons since that career year. Furthermore, his groin seems to be acting up with more regularity. If I were constructing my team, I would avoid Varly at all costs.

More From Mile High Sticking: Avalanche Defenseman Erik Johnson to Return Soon

Another potential bust player is Jarome Iginla. He’s going off most draft boards in early round 13, and he certainly has powerplay value. But, if last season was any indication of age catching up with him, that could get worse this year as he nears 40. However, taking a chance on him in round 13 is not the worst idea.

Still, there are some other Avalanche players I might consider before Iginla, even if I would be taking them early.


I’m taking a flyer on players like Carl Soderberg and Mikhail Grigorenko before Iginla because I think both are poised for a big season, particularly Grigs.

Related Story: The Talented Mikhail Grigorenko

Although Soda is still contributing for the Avalanche in underrated ways.

Related Story: Carl Soderberg Quietly Stepping Up

Both players aren’t even being considered on a lot of the draft boards I was looking at. Even though Soda doesn’t score too many goals, and Grigs is still looking for that breakout campaign, I’d take a chance on them in the late rounds.

Another sleeper to think about is Joe Colborne. If he’s able to keep a similar pace as last year, or even take his game to the next level, then he becomes a top six forward.

Related Story: What Will Joe Colborne's Role Be?

One more sleeper to consider is Chris Bigras, although he’s certainly a stretch. Still, his two goals in the rookie showcase were both some mean slappers from what I hear. So, hopefully he’s able to contribute more offensively this season. Nonetheless, he doesn’t even have a guaranteed roster spot at this point so he might be a mid season waiver pick up.

Alright folks, time for the last player to consider.

Rookie Breakout Player

Of course, I’m talking about Mikko Rantanen. I’ve been known to say that Rantanen is my dark-horse pick to win the Calder Trophy this year. And, if he’s able to get into a top six role with the Colorado Avalanche he certainly has a chance to produce at a high rate.

Unfortunately, he’s injured for the next 1-3 weeks (it was 2-4, but it’s been a few days since the report came out from the Denver Post).

More from Mile High Sticking

Mikko Rantanen is also not being picked up in most leagues, but that will certainly change if he’s able to get a top six role on the Avalanche out of training camp.

Hopefully Rants has a big year for the Avalanche regardless of fantasy value because the Avalanche might need his services in the top six with their lack of depth on the wing.


The Colorado Avalanche have a bunch of players who produce in the 55-65 point range consistently, but no one who is pushing for that 75-85 point range. In other words, they don’t have any forwards or defensemen who are going to go in the first three rounds.

However, Nathan MacKinnon, Tyson Barrie, and Matt Duchene have elite potential in any given season. And, if they find a niche with these new systems, Colorado Avalanche fans could be in for career years for all three of them.

Gabe Landeskog would also be part of that production. Seeing as he has been one of the more consistent producers for the Avalanche since he joined the league, he’s always a safe draft option.

Semyon Varlamov is a risky draft pick, but if you draft Varly as you’re starting goalie it would be a great idea to pick up Calvin Pickard. Picks could be in for a huge season if Varly goes down, and both goalies should be battling hard for the No. 1 spot with the expansion draft coming up.

Related Story: Colorado Avalanche Will Move Goalie Before Expansion

Finally, Mikko Rantanen, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Carl Soderberg are all sleepers to consider on the Avalanche.

Rants probably has the highest value out of the three, but that will depend on where he is placed in the lineup. Soda is obviously a great option as well, and Grigs could be a candidate for a big breakout year in the way of 40-50 points if he’s playing up in the lineup.

Next: Avs Add Jiri Tlusty to a PTO Contract

Fantasy questions are obviously dependent upon training camp questions, which is why most drafts take place after the conclusion of the preseason.

However, I figured I might give the fantasy fiends an article on some of the mid-to-late round value the Avalanche possess on their team.

Good luck fantasy fiends, and pay attention to training camp and the preseason because a lot of fantasy decisions will be made for you during those weeks.