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Finding Value at the Right Wing Position

September 6, 2019   Left Wing Lock Staff   0 Comments


In part two of a five-part series on finding value in your fantasy hockey draft, today's article will focus on right wings (read Part I on left wings here). Specifically, we're interested in using the Yahoo average draft position (ADP) to not only determine the best players to target in your fantasy hockey draft, but also when to target them. The assumptions made in this article include the following: (1) you're in a Yahoo standard league, (2) your league has 12 managers, and (3) your league is not a keeper league.

Manager Behavior

Before we jump into the details of which right wings are undervalued, it's important to get a handle on how managers are behaving in their fantasy hockey drafts so far. In the image below, you'll see exactly how many right wings are drafted in each round of a standard draft (on average). Outside of a blip in round five where just one right wing is selected, there is a constanst stream of about three right wings being drafted in each of the first seven rounds. We can use this information to better understand who and when to take when our name is called during the draft.

Finding Value at Right Wing Position
Finding Value at the Right Wing Position

Player Rankings and ADP

At leftwinglock.com, we create annual fantasy hockey draft kits which marry your scoring settings with our projections to generate customized player rankings. This exact type of draft kit was used by our team to defeat the fantasy experts at NHL.com and includes sortable spreadsheets filled with projections in 25+ categories for over 600 NHL players. For the purpose of this article, we generated the customized player rankings for NHL players that can be drafted as left wings in the Yahoo fantasy hockey system. We then compared these player rankings to the player's ADP (average draft position) to determine which players are undervalued (it's never wise to draft on rank number alone). That is, we're looking for players who our draft system ranked highly and whom managers are overlooking.

Below, you'll find a table of 15 players who are eligible at right wing and are being undervalued by managers in fantasy drafts (there are many more listed in our draft kit). Detailed comments for some of these players can be found below the table.

Finding Value at the Right Wing Position

Jake Guentzel PIT LW,RW 7 44.2
Timo Meier SJS LW,RW 13 82.8
Brock Boeser VAN RW 27 71.1
Rickard Rakell ANA LW,RW 47 117.6
Anthony Mantha DET LW,RW 49 153.0
Kyle Palmieri NJD RW 53 146.4
Andrei Svechnikov CAR LW,RW 62 148.2
Brendan Gallagher MTL RW 65 126.6
Ondrej Kase ANA RW 70 154.4
Travis Konecny PHI RW 84 162.5
Jason Zucker MIN LW,RW 94 171.1
Tyler Bertuzzi DET LW,RW 101 167.8
Nikolaj Ehlers WPG LW,RW 106 169.4
Sam Reinhart BUF C,RW 119 164.1
Nino Niederreiter CAR LW,RW 120 171.4

Anthony Mantha - Anthony Mantha has one of the largest disparities between his ADP and his overall rank assigned by the Left Wing Lock team (104 units of difference equivalent to nearly nine full rounds of drafting). So who is right and who is wrong? Let's lay out the case for Mantha. He's a strong puck possession player who generates three shots per game. He plays on the top line. He plays on the top power play unit. He is given generous offensive zone starts (58%) by his coach. Although he missed time due to a hand injury, Mantha was on pace for 60 points in 2018-2019. And since we're talking about a scoring system that includes hits, it's worth mentioning that Mantha will provide your squad with at least one hit per game. Wondering how many NHL players generated at least 60 points and 80 hits last season? 24.

Andrei Svechnikov - When news broke on September 2, 2019 that Justin Williams would not be starting the season with the Carolina Hurricanes, it quickly became apparent that Andrei Svechnikov's fantasy value was headed north. Williams had spent most of the 2018-2019 on the top power play unit for the Hurricanes, but it was Svechnikov who the team counted on in that role when it mattered in the playoffs. We expect Svechnikov to get first crack on this unit in the 2019-2020 season in addition to his spot in the top-six at even-strength (a spot he had for just 30% of the 2018-2019 season).

Ondrej Kase - Kase's 2018-2019 season was marred by injuries. Initially, he suffered a concussion in the pre-season which cost him 18 games. He returned to play in 30 games for the Ducks only to tear his labrum (shoulder) - an injury which required surgery and 5-6 months of recovery. It seems as if fantasy hockey managers have forgotten about Kase completely. He's owned in just 2% of Yahoo leagues and 7% of ESPN leagues. The Anaheim Ducks are in transition after losing Ryan Kesler to injury for the 2019-2020 season, buying out Corey Perry (who signed as a free agent with the Dallas Stars), and hiring a new head coach (Dallas Eakins). If there were a season for a young Anaheim player to grab a top-line roll, this is it. We believe Ondrej Kase is that player. Prior to his shoulder injury, Kase was the strongest Ducks possesion player; was generating over three shots per game; and had earned over two minutes per game in power play time. Can you spare a 10th round pick on a guy with 240 shots and top power play unit exposure?

Sam Reinhart - As a member of Buffalo's top line, Reinhart has exposure to high-end NHL talents in Jeff Skinner and Jack Eichel. These three players were also members of the first unit power play. Reinhart generated 2.5 points per 60 minutes last season but was held back by an unlucky 7.4% success rate on his power play shots. With a little turn of luck, Reinhart could be a 70-point player still available to you in the 13th round.

Customized Player Rankings

If you're looking for a chance to draft players with great projections that are being ignored by the other fantasy hockey websites, then consider downloading one of our fantasy hockey draft kits this season. You won't be disappointed. While this article focused on the Yahoo standard scoring system, our customized draft kits can handle just about any scoring system you throw our way. You'll find plenty of draft day steals.

For over 13 years, you've trusted Left Wing Lock as a reliable source to bring you accurate starting goalie information, line combinations, and player news alerts. That same passion and dedication fuels us as we create the best fantasy hockey draft kits available. We invite you to let us build your customized fantasy hockey draft kit for the 2019-2020 season. Order your kit today!

An NHL player involved in this analysis. Click player name to visit player profile page.
The current NHL team for this player.
The official position designation for this player in the Yahoo Fantasy Hockey system.
The rank assigned by Left Wing Lock for this player in this specific scoring system only.
The average draft position for this player in the Yahoo Fantasy Hockey system.

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