Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 08/31/11 at 10:00 AM ET
We’ll kick off our look at the top forwards in fantasy with a listing of the top options at the right wing position.
You may be wondering why I will be covering the right wing position before left wing and center, which I can provide a reasonable explanation for. I am currently in a message-board style draft auction dogfight for a whole list of valuable centers, so I won’t divulge my center-drafting strategy until later. I am also shopping for some lesser-tier options on left wing, so I’ll cover the top options at a position where I seem to be mostly set (at least in this particular league).
Perry is clearly the top right wing in fantasy hockey, since I listed him as the top option in fantasy hockey in a recent post. However, the experts over at Yahoo! list Perry at number 5 overall, behind Daniel Sedin, Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, and Sidney Crosby. I would definitely take Perry over Crosby at this moment, and I still believe that Perry wouldn’t be a bad option over the other three. You can read more about Perry in my own article about the top five players in fantasy hockey. Since I already listed Perry, I’ll list five six more top options at the right wing position.
Martin St. Louis
Last season, I debated whether to list Perry or St. Louis as fantasy’s top right wing. My decision even came down to a second-round pick in a live draft, where I chose Perry. Mighty Mite is still not a bad number two at this position – a pure scorer who has racked up 90+ points the past two seasons as Stamkos’ wingman. Just don’t expect him to carry you in the PIM category - the back-to-back Lady Byng Trophy winner has accumulated a near penalty-free 38 PIM – over the past three seasons. For that reason, I give the slight advantage to Perry again.
Following a 20-point drop in production in 2009-10, Iggy looked like an over-30 power forward who was finally hitting his decline. However, a 17-point resurgence in 2010-11 (86 points, including 43 goals) vaults him back up to the game’s elite at this position. Aside from 2009-10, Iginla has hit at least 80 points in four of his last five seasons. The Flames have brought back preferred linemate Alex Tanguay, so Iggy remains a solid bet to reach 40 goals and 80 points once again. However, keeper leaguers should begin to be wary of his age and the fact that power forwards have shorter shelf lives than finesse forwards.
Whether you like his haircut and attitude or not, you can’t argue that Kaner is one of the best pure scorers at this position. In an effort to bulk up this offseason, Kane injured his wrist and may not be ready for the start of training camp. It’s unlikely that he’ll miss the start of the season, but this type of unexpected injury is worth monitoring. The good news is that Kane (and his young Blackhawks buddies) should be over the Stanley Cup hangover that resulted in a 15-point decline for the young forward. Kane has the talent to score 70 points easily and seems like a solid bet to reach 80 for the second time in his career.
Semin is on this list because a) there are no points awarded in fantasy hockey for effort, and b) there are no points awarded in fantasy hockey for playoff scoring. Semin has the pure talent to be well over a point-per-game scorer, as he has in two of the last three seasons. His ranking may fall simply because he reminds us of another Alex (Kovalev), but his ranking also falls because he has played no more than 65 games in three of his past four seasons due to injury. Semin produces eye-popping numbers in goals, points, plus/minus, and even penalty minutes. Keeper leaguers should keep an eye on his playoff performance, as another early playoff exit could send him packing out of DC.
Rick Nash/Jeff Carter
Usually listed as a left wing, Nash makes the switch over to right wing in Yahoo fantasy hockey this season. New linemate Carter is also listed as a right wing (dual C/RW eligibility), but it’s likely that Carter moves back to center while Nash plays one of the wing positions. Nash is a consistent 30-goal, 60-point scorer who can only improve with a linemate the caliber of Carter, something that the Blue Jackets have never provided him. Carter’s value should remain roughly the same with his new team, although his plus/minus will probably take a hit now that he is playing for a weaker team. The key for Columbus will be to determine which forward will do the passing, as both players have career goal totals that exceed their career assist totals.
Comments? Compliments? Criticism? Complaints? Please weigh in with your comments, and follow me on Twitter. You can also email me at gooding74 “at” shaw “dot” ca with your fantasy hockey question for a future mailbag article.
Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, thegoods13, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alexander+semin, corey+perry, fantasy+hockey, jarome+iginla, jeff+carter, martin+st.+louis, patrick+kane, rick+nash, right+wing
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