As the beginning of a five-part series on finding value in your fantasy hockey draft, today's article will focus on left wings. 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 left 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 left wings are drafted in each round of a standard draft (on average). At the left wing position, there are 15 players taken in the first three rounds combined; this is a continuance of the trend of more and more left wings being selected earlier in drafts in recent years. Following the spike of seven left wings drafted in Round 3, just two left wings are taken in Round 4 and then the pattern flattens for the remainder of the draft. We can use this information to better understand who and when to take when our name is called during the draft.
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 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 nine players who are eligible at left 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.
Kyle Connor - The 25-year-old Winnipeg Jet has finally caught the attention of fantasy hockey managers. We put him on the radar in last Summer's Finding Value article when we noticed that managers were waiting until the 5th round to draft him. Connor is a high-volume shooter (four shots per game last season) who consistently sees at least three minutes of ice time per game on the power play. He was on pace for 97 points last year and has scored 111 goals over the past three seasons (he's tied with Connor McDavid for 4th in the NHL over that time span). Best of all, his production was not signficantly boosted by luck (outside of a high IPP which likely increased his assist production). Connor makes for an excellent 3rd round target in this year's drafts.
Andrei Svechnikov - Svechnikov is close to a perfect player in this scoring format. He now generates over three shots per game, over two hits per game, has fairly balanced production between goals and assists, and sees ample time on the power play. Carolina is a strong puck possession team and lines that include Svechnikov have a history of outscoring the opposition at even-strength. That's good news for his +/- value. Svechnikov's ADP sits at 37.7 in drafts this year (but he's being drafted earlier and earlier as the weeks go by), so you'll need to strike in the 3rd round to grab him.
Filip Forsberg - In last year's Finding Value article, we helped you land the 42-goal Forsberg while managers mostly ignored him until the 11th round. Snaring that amount of value will be impossible this season as Forsberg's ADP has soared to 57.7 (late 5th round). Forsberg is a strong candidate for regression (his performance was boosted by luck in SH%); but the fantasy community is still undervaluing him this Summer. He's capable of 35 goals, will generate over three shots per game, and can be relied on for about 120 hits. Factor in about three minutes of power play ice time per game and you have a player who contributes across the board in the standard Yahoo categories.
Taylor Hall - Hall will start the season on a line with David Krejci and David Pastrnak on what is likely to be a strong, puck possession unit. He's largely being ignored until the 14th round in drafts this Summer and remains unowned in 8% of Yahoo leagues. Production in the neighborhood of 20-40-60 is a reasonable expectation (with some possible upside if he sees early-season usage on the top power play unit). There are far worse targets to spend your 13th or 14th round draft pick on this Summer.
Customized Player Rankings
If you're looking for a chance to draft players with great projections who 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 16 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 2022-2023 season. Order your kit today!
PLAYER: an NHL player involved in this analysis. Click player name to visit player profile page.
TEAM: the current NHL team for this player.
YPOS: the official position designation for this player in the Yahoo Fantasy Hockey system.
LWLRANK: the rank assigned by Left Wing Lock for this player in this specific scoring system only.
ADP: the average draft position for this player in the Yahoo Fantasy Hockey system.
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