Finding Value at the RW Position
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.
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). There is not much difference between the drafting of right wings and the drafting of left wings in this year's draft. There are two reasons for this: (1) there are a nearly equal amount of right wings and left wings ranked in the Top-150 players and (2) nearly half of players that meet the right wing or left wing descriptor are dual eligible. The only noticeable difference is that there are three more right wings than left wings being selected in Rounds 7-12 (because more left wings than right wings were selected in Rounds 1-6).
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 win the first-ever Zero Transaction Fantasy Championship. The draft kit 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 right 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
Elias Lindholm - Managers are waiting until late in the seventh round to target the Calgary forward who has averaged 71 points per season (based on 82 games) in his three seasons since the trade that brought him over from the Carolina Hurricanes. Another 70-point season is a reasonable projection that includes 20+ points on the power play. He'll sniff 200 shots and 85 hits and provide you with some roster freedom given his C,RW eligibility. He's an easy steal in drafts this season if you target him in Round 6 or earlier.
Kevin Fiala - With the Joel Erikson Ek line eating the tough minutes for Minnesota each night, wingers Kevin Fiala and Kirill Kaprizov are freed up to face easier competition from opposing teams. With Fiala's three shots on goal and three minutes of power play time per game, he should be a solid addition to your roster this season. Fiala is being ignored until the middle of the twelfth round which means you should wait until late in your draft to target him.
Patrik Laine - Targeting Patrik Laine in your draft all comes down to how much risk you're willing to take on. Despite Laine generating three shots per game consistently while with the Winnipeg Jets, he managed just 1.8 shots per game during his first season with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Laine's even-strength shot production in 2020-2021 fell by over 50% from his production in 2019-2020. Do you believe these one-year shot totals are an anomaly? Or do you believe something has fundamentally changed about the 23-year-old Laine that would warrant more caution? For those concerned about Laine's +/- rating, his SHSV value (a measure of luck at even-strength) was just 959 in the 2020-2021 season; this was the seventh-worst value in the league. You should anticipate a double-digit improvement over his -28 from last season.
Drake Batherson - If you want Drake Batherson this season, you can pretty much get him in any round you choose. The physical right wing is being selected in the middle of the fifteenth round on average and is owned in just 47% of fantasy leagues. His three minutes of power play time and two hits per game seem to be flying under the radar so far in September. Spend a late-round pick on this Ottawa Senators forward and you won't be disappointed.
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 15 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 2021-2022 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.