Fantasy: 5 players to target on the Detroit Red Wings

Rick Osentoski / USA TODAY Sports

With your fantasy draft just around the corner, theScore's Ian McLaren and Darren Kritzer take a look at 5 players you should consider drafting this season.

Top Targets

Pavel Datsyuk

When healthy, Datsyuk can be as good as any player in the NHL. To wit, he ranks eighth among the top 10 active players in terms of career points per game with 0.97, and his 57.4 Corsi For rating at even strength over the course of the past five seasons slots him sixth among the league's top-producing forwards.

Questions arise around his health and age; Datsyuk, 36, missed almost half of 2013-14 due to injury, recording 17 goals, 20 assists, 12 power play points and 126 shots in 45 games. 

He remains a magician with the puck, and will produce with the best of them when on the ice.

Henrik Zetterberg

Zetterberg's situation is similar to that of Datsyuk; he sits two spots behind in the active players point per game rankings with a rate of 0.95, and posted an impressive even strength Corsi For rating of 55.1 since 2009.

Zetterberg, 33, was also limited to 45 games this past season, but produced at more than a point per game clip with 16 goals, 32 assists, 17 power-play points and 151 shots.

This pair may no longer be worthy of first-round picks, but don't sleep on them come draft day, especially now that they're being surrounded by young, complimentary talent.

Niklas Kronwall

On the blue line, Kronwall is right on the edge in terms of elite defensemen. He bounced back offensively last season, nearing his career high in total points with eight goals and 41 assists in 79 games, with 25 points on the man advantage. 

His shots (110, good for a .073 shooting percentage) and hits (93), however, were slightly down; if he rebounds in those categories, Kronwall will be a very capable second defender on any fantasy team.

Tap here to read about 3 Red Wings storylines worth following this upcoming season.

Proceed With Caution

Gustav Nyquist

Nyquist will be an obvious "sleeper" candidate after scoring 28 goals in 57 games last season, but an 18.3 shooting percentage suggests that kind of production may be unsustainable. 

In 40 previous games with the Red Wings heading into last season, Nyquist recorded four goals on 65 shots, good for a shooting percentage of 6.15 percent.

According to QuantHockey.com, the average NHL shooting percentage in recent years hovers around nine percent, meaning there's more than a good chance that Nyquist won't maintain the pace he set in 2013-14.

Take A Flier On

Tomas Tatar

Instead of banking on Nyquist, astute fantasy owners could turn to Tatar.

The 23-year-old scored 19 goals, added 20 assists points and a plus-12 rating in 73 games for Detroit last season; he also received 2:17 of power play time per game, and led all Detroit forwards with a 56.3 Corsi For and 208 total shot attempts at even strength, which bodes well for continued offensive production.

Tatar will likely remain somewhat sheltered by head coach Mike Babcock, meaning he'll start the majority of his shifts in the offensive zone and away from top defensive opposition. As such, Tatar could be good for 25 goals and 45-50 points, providing great value with a late pick.

Tap here to read an extended roundup of the Red Wings' not-so-busy offseason.

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Fantasy: 5 players to target on the Detroit Red Wings
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