Cockcroft: The fantasy hockey all-stars


The NHL announced its All-Stars on Tuesday, and the accolades are flying for the game's elite, like Martin Brodeur, Sidney Crosby, Nicklas Lidstrom and Roberto Luongo. But you -- the fantasy owner -- knew those guys were pretty good already, right?

Fantasy hockey is so much different a beast, and when it comes to all-stars, it's value we crave, not simply league dominance. Oh sure, a standout season by a superstar is always appreciated, but what makes or breaks a season are those lesser names, the guys in the third, fourth and fifth rounds who perform like first-rounders, or those out-of-nowhere late-rounders or in-season pickups who challenge for top-50 status.

So to complement the real-life game's All-Star announcement, I'm here to award the honors for fantasy's best standouts so far. No, you won't see a Brodeur or Luongo on the list -- oh, they're real-life all-stars, no question -- but the guys below have been pretty good, too, and exceptional values if you added them to your squad.

Tristan H. Cockcroft covers fantasy sports for ESPN.com. You can e-mail him here.