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Monday, July 21, 2003
Fantasy Spin: Ducks land Fedorov

By Graham Hays
ESPN Fantasy Games

Sergei Fedorov
Anaheim Mighty Ducks

If Sergei Fedorov craves the spotlight, he couldn't have picked a better place to sign than Anaheim.

A player whose reputation had begun to greatly exceed his fantasy value in recent seasons, Fedorov turned in a banner regular season for Detroit last season. With Steve Yzerman out of the lineup for much of the season, Fedorov totaled 36 goals and 83 points, his best marks in either category since the 1995-96 season. In fact, it was the first time since that season that he had topped 69 points. Yzerman also missed substantial time in the 1993-94 season, when Fedorov totaled career-bests with 56 goals and 120 points. In other words, there is some evidence Fedorov is at his most effective when asked to carry an offense (although he also won Selke awards in both 1994 and 1996).

And it's clear the Ducks expect him to log heavy minutes creating scoring chances and centering their top line, a line which could include Petr Sykora and Vaclav Prospal. While Fedorov may have more creative freedom in Anaheim than he did in Detroit, he'll also draw more defensive attention -- not that opponents ignored him with the Wings. All that attention could keep Fedorov from scoring 40 goals -- something he's done just once in his career -- but it shouldn't stop him from collecting at least 50 assists. Throw in solid power-play production and a realistic opportunity to take 300 shots and Fedorov is back in the mix for second- or third-round consideration in fantasy drafts.

Fedorov isn't the only Duck likely to make fantasy gains. Prospal totaled 22 goals and 57 assists skating with Tampa Bay's top line for much of last season, and there's every reason to think he could match that skating with Fedorov and Sykora. And after totaling 29 power-play points last season, he'll also be given every opportunity to produce numbers for an Anaheim power play that sputtered in the playoffs.

A host of big-name players could still start the season with new teams -- including Bill Guerin and Curtis Joseph -- but Fedorov's signing makes it worth taking a look at the 10 most important fantasy relocations thus far.

1Dominik HasekDetCould be three-quarters of his old self and still the best fantasy netminder
2Paul KariyaColKariya, Selanne, Sakic and Forsberg aren't all that different from Shaq, Kobe, Payton and Malone.
3Sergei FedorovAnaIt's his show now.
4Roman CechmanekLAHas a lot to prove after getting run out of Philly. Might even be good enough to prove it.
5Teemu SelanneColHasn't been a fantasy star for five years, but Kariya and Colorado could change all that.
6Andy DelmoreBufAfter back-to-back season of 16 and 18 goals, he's more important in FHL than Derian Hatcher.
7Vaclav ProspalAnaHaving Fedorov around makes it easier to prove last season wasn't a fluke.
8Jeff HackettPhiCould be a sleeper if Robert Esche can't handle the starting job.
9Chris DruryBufFormer golden boy looks to avoid becoming journeyman. Will get plenty of ice-time in Buffalo.
10Mariusz CzerkawskiNYIReturns to Long Island after disastrous stint in Montreal. Needs to prove he still has 30-goal skills.