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Finding Value at the RW Position

September 20, 2022   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). At the right wing position, there are just seven players taken in the first three rounds combined; this is just half the number of left wings chosen in the first three rounds. The number of right wings drafted per round remains mostly flat throughout this year's draft, outside of a bump of eight right wings taken during the span of picks 61 through 84. 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

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 11 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.

David Pastrnak BOS RW 6 24.9
Bryan Rust PIT RW 43 96.0
David Perron DET RW 48 150.9
Drake Batherson OTT RW 61 85.6
Blake Wheeler WPG RW 91 167.1
Brock Boeser VAN RW 102 148.5
Travis Konecny PHI RW 105 161.5
Jesper Bratt NJD RW 106 124.3
Tanner Jeannot NSH RW 115 161.3
Oliver Bjorkstrand SEA RW 132 165.6
Alex Tuch BUF RW 151 165.1

David Pastrnak - Yes, the Boston Bruins have injury concerns. Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy are likely out through Thanksgiving. Matt Grzelcyk will likely miss the month of October. But when you're facing your opponent in the fantasy playoffs in March, do you think you'll care about November? You shouldn't. Do you think Pastrnak is going to miss Marchand? Probably not as much as you think; as it turns out, Pastrnak spent more time playing with Taylor Hall in 2021-2022 than he did with Marchand (and still generated 40 goals in 72 games). Managers are letting Pastrnak slip until early in the 3rd round this Summer. Make them pay for their cowardice; hoist your fantasy trophy next Spring with Pastrnak leading the way. Note: Boston has 13 games (tied for 2nd most) during the final weeks of the season most often used by fantasy leagues for the playoffs.

Bryan Rust - Managers continue to view Bryan Rust with hesistancy when it comes to fantasy hockey drafts. His ADP is 96.0 which marks the end of the 8th round in 12-team leagues. Rust was a point-per-game player in 2021-2022 who generated three shots per game, played on the top power play unit with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and had a +/- of 7. We anticipate a modest pullback in overall points for the Pittsburgh winger, but his production on the power play and higher shot volume make him a solid draft pick this Summer. Don't jump early; an 8th round pick should get the job done at just the right time.

Drake Batherson - By opening night of the 2021-2022 season, Drake Batherson was owned in just 48% of Yahoo fantasy leagues and his average draft position was 173.8 (middle of the 15th round). If you were a Left Wing Lock draft kit client last Summer, you knew better. We had Batherson ranked 64th overall in the Yahoo system and advised managers to spend a late-round draft pick to steal him in their draft. That decision paid off with huge returns as the Ottawa right wing posted point-per-game production in 46 games last season. An injury kept him from being a true force. Managers aren't being caught so off guard this Summer, as Batherson's ADP sits just outside the 7th round (making the 7th round an ideal spot to grab him). There is still value here as Batherson delivers the goods in both hits and shots on goal. He'll be a fixture in Ottawa's heavy top-six with power play time being the only potential limiting factor.

Travis Konecny - The Flyers were likely going to be bad this season and we had them projected to finish in 24th place. But, that was before the Sean Couturier injury news. Things just went from bad to worse in Philadelphia (unless you like high draft picks - and you should in a salary cap league). But, you can still find solid fantasy value from players on bad teams. Travis Konecny should be a very late-round target in your fantasy draft this Summer (as per our draft kit advice: don't draft him at his rank of 105; selections must be made with manager behavior taken into account). The Flyers winger generated 2.8 shots per game last season, but converted on just 7.3% of those attempts. Between bad luck at even-strength and on the power play, Konecny left eight goals on the table last season. Konecny's offensive starts were below 50% last season; we know from John Tortorella's history that he uses a wide spread in zone start assignments and Konecny could be on the receiving end of that gift.

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 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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