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Fantasy Five: Stewart injured; Semin tops RWs

By Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Fantasy Five: Stewart injured; Semin tops RWs
NHL.com breaks down one of the more uncertain positions in the game -- right wing.
With our updated Top-50 Overall Fantasy Hockey Rankings recently released, today we'll break down one of the more uncertain positions in the game -- right wing. The last time we took a look at the League's right wings, we had Corey Perry at the top. While Perry has been outstanding this season, it's Alexander Semin that claims the top spot for now. Not only does our leader change, but we also see a big name drop significantly because of an unfortunate injury.

1. Our initial re-rankings of the right wing position came over three weeks ago, and today we shake things up again. These modified re-rankings are based on expectations of the season going forward (including injuries). The plus or minus for each player is based on our most recent rankings, NOT our preseason ranks -- however, position eligibility predicated on NHL.com's original preseason rankings. (NR means not ranked in previous rankings.)

Rank
 Team
Player
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
    
Rank
 Team
Player
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25

Right wings who dropped out of last segment's top-25: Ales Hemsky, Mikael Samuelsson.

2. A Look at the Top

We don't see much of a change until the No. 8 spot, but can anyone really argue? Semin has practically outplayed teammate Alex Ovechkin through their first 25 games with 18 goals and 12 assists. Corey Perry is the prototypical fantasy player because of his ability to record points and post penalty minutes (35 PIMs in 25 contests). Martin St. Louis (somehow owned in just 91 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) is back to his usual tricks, setting up teammate Steven Stamkos with a never-ending amount of goals.

While Semin currently holds down the top spot, that could easily change with his tendency to get injured -- he has never played a full season and has only eclipsed 70-plus games twice in his six-year career -- so be aware if you own him. The talent will always be there, as will his tremendous teammates, but if Semin goes down, your team will suffer dramatically.

3. Trending Upward

Claude Giroux -- Despite a three-game pointless streak, Giroux still has 12 goals and 11 assists in 25 contests for the Flyers. Not only has the talented youngster been producing plenty of points, but he also has a solid plus-5 rating and 7 power play points, thanks to 3:23 of man advantage ice time per game. Giroux is just four goals away from the 16 he scored last season, and he should easily surpass his career-high of 47 points from last season as well.

Rene Bourque -- Up six spots in our rankings, Bourque has provided consistent scoring throughout his 21 games this season -- he had 9 points in October and 8 points so far in November. Rene currently leads the Flames with 11 goals, which puts him on pace for over 40 goals if he can remain healthy for the full season. People tend to forget that Bourque had 27 goals, 31 assists, as well as 215 shots on goal and 88 PIMs in just 73 games for Calgary. It's very possible the 28-year-old puts up more points this season, but he may not find the sin-bin quite as often.

Milan Hejduk -- With 26 points in 23 games for the Avs, the 34-year-old forward has completely surprised the fantasy world. Even better news for Hejduk owners is the injury to Chris Stewart (also a RW). With Stewart out for about a month, Hejduk becomes the clear-cut leading producer at right wing in Colorado for the time being. While Milan's point production might not stay at this amazing pace (92 points), he should still be good for 25-30 goals and 70-plus points.

4. Trending Downward

 
Daniel Alfredsson -- The Senators captain hasn't recorded a point in his last three games and hasn't scored a goal in his last five heading into Monday's action. Not only is Alfredsson not scoring points, but he also only has 3 shots in his last five contests. The veteran forward is clearly capable of a hot streak, but the fact that he won't have a great plus/minus playing in Ottawa and doesn't record too many PIMs, Alfredsson's value is clearly not the same as it used to be.

Dustin Brown --
Despite a respectable 9 goals, 5 assists, a plus-8 rating and 33 PIMs on the season, Brown takes a slight dip in our rankings because of his recent cold streak -- Dusty hasn't notched a point in his last four contests. Brown is still a very solid play at right wing, but you shouldn't expect more than 30 goals and 60 points on the season.

Chris Stewart -- Well, this is the price to pay when you're a talented player that's willing to drop the gloves every so often. Stewart, arguably the most pleasant surprise in the NHL so far, broke his hand in a fight against Kyle Brodziak in Saturday's game against the Wild -- he's expected to miss at least four weeks. This is a crushing blow to Stewart fantasy owners. Don't go dropping the forward by any means (even if you don't have an IR spot available in your league), and just be hopeful that he can return as soon as possible. For those of you looking to add a replacement -- look no further than his teammate, Kevin Porter, who is likely to move up to Colorado's top line.

5. Player to Keep an Eye on

Not many people know who Teddy Purcell is, but you might want to take a look at the Tampa Bay forward. With 3 goals and 5 assists in his last six games, Purcell is quietly putting himself on the fantasy radar among right wings. He has 5 G, 12 A, an even rating, 6 PIMs, 8 PPP and 54 SOG in 24 games for the Bolts. What clearly stands out among his statistics is the eight power play points. He can thank his teammates Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis for that, but either way, Purcell is a valuable commodity because of his power play ice time per game -- 3:25. Sure he's only seeing 14:19 of total ice time per game, but in his last two games he's played in over 18 minutes. He has clearly earned the trust of his coaches and teammates, and you should too, at least while he's on a hot streak.

NHL.COM FANTASY HOCKEY COVERAGE
30 in 30 fantasy hockey preview index
Ward vs. Khudobin | Promising Wild trio
Elliott vs. Allen | Gibson vs. Andersen
Offseason top 200 fantasy hockey ranks
Be aware of goalie trends, strategies
Buy-low veterans with hidden upside

OFFSEASON FANTASY RANKINGS

RANK TEAM PLAYER
1. Sidney crosby
2. Steven Stamkos
3. Corey Perry
4. Evgeni Malkin
5. alex Ovechkin

CUBETA & JENSEN'S COMPLETE RANKINGS