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Unexpected Pleasures

By Steve Schwarz, Fantasy Sports Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Sure, your Zach Parise pick didn't work out the way you planned on Draft Day. And neither did the selections of Ilya Kovalchuk, Mike Green, Drew Doughty or Duncan Keith. Nor can you be happy about the concussion that is keeping Sidney Crosby out of your lineup for what seems like forever.

But if you have one of the five guys listed below on your roster, who are playing well above their drafted level, you may still have enough power to bring home the title.

Corey Perry, Anaheim - Perry has an unusual combination of scoring and muscle that plays well on your fantasy roster. He's sixth in points (33 G, 38 A) but also is nearing the 100-minute mark in penalties. Playing primarily on a line with Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan, Perry has already set a career high for goals and will likely crack his personal bests for points, power play points, penalty minutes and shots. If only he could get his plus/minus rating into the black he'd be a top-five fantasy player.

Ryan Kesler, Vancouver - Kesler has already set a career mark for goals and has posted 60 points through 69 games. But his best feature is an excellent +21 rating, by far the best of his career. While the Sedin brothers, Henrik and Daniel, get most of the media attention along with goalie Roberto Luongo, Kessler's fantasy stock is quickly rising. Let's see how long it takes the rest of the world to notice.

Patrick Sharp, Chicago - Sharp wasn't highly thought of on Draft Day, but those who took a late flier on him have been rewarded handsomely. He should reach his career points total sometime next week, as he's averaging almost a point-a-game (63 points in 67 games). Considering he was a 18th-round selection (ADP 206), he's been one of the best bargains of the season. His only downfall is a minus three rating, after posting a +24 last season, but the entire Blackhawks team isn't playing well at that end of the ice.

Kris Letang, Pittsburgh - Letang wasn't on the fantasy radar last season, but he's been one of the best scoring defensemen in the league in 2010-11. He's posted eight goals and 38 assists to easily break his career mark of 33 points set in 2008-09. As a 15th round draft pick, he's brought back top-three value at the blueline position.

Milan Lucic, Boston - Lucic is surpassing all expectations fantasy owners had for him back in October when he was a ninth-round selection (ADP 110). Despite missing a half dozen games due to injury, he's set a career mark for goals, points, and shots on goal. Throw in a +25 rating and 100+ penalty minutes and you have an very effective fantasy left winger for a bargain basement price.

2010-11 Selected Statistics

Player...........Gm....G....A..Pts..+/-..PIM..PPP...SOG...ADP

Corey Perry......67...33...38...71...-1...96...21...217....42

Ryan Kesler......69...33...27...60..+21...54...22...207....50

Patrick Sharp....67...34...29...63...-3...34...23...249...206

Kris Letang......68....8...38...47..+10...95...22...197...176

Milan Lucic......64...29...22...51..+25..106...11...142...110

03/11 15:29:00 ET


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