Right of Way: Selanne still valuable as Ducks struggle

By Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Right of Way: Selanne still valuable as Ducks struggle
Despite some struggles in Anaheim, Teemu Selanne continues to be a valuable fantasy player at the age of 41.
Every Friday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy right wings in our weekly segment: "Right of Way." From updated right wing rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy right wing expert all season long.

Amidst a coaching change, teammates being involved in trade rumors and his team struggling worse than ever, Teemu Selanne continues to provide fantastic fantasy value for his owners at the age of 41.

With 8 goals, 14 assists, 11 power-play points, 38 penalty minutes and 70 shots on goal, Selanne has been one of the most effective right wings in fantasy hockey. Of the players eligible solely at RW in Yahoo! Leagues, Selanne is rated only behind Phil Kessel -- he is 25th among all players and somehow is still owned in just 88 percent of leagues.

Teemu Selanne
Right Wing - ANA
GOALS: 8 | ASST: 14 | PTS: 22
SOG: 70 | +/-: -4
Despite Anaheim's woeful season and their powerhouse offensive players not playing up to their capabilities (they are showing signs of coming around though), Selanne has been a rock. He has 7 points in his last seven games and has even chipped in with 2 penalty minutes in four of those contests -- a nice little bonus from a guy not known to take too many penalties.

While Selanne's plus/minus is at minus-4 (surprisingly not bad when you look at other Ducks), he has been extremely valuable on the power play with half of his points coming on the man advantage. He is receiving 4:10 of PP ice time per game while skating with a unit of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry up front. During even-strength situations, Selanne has been on a line primarily with fellow Finn Saku Koivu and first-time Duck Andrew Cogliano

With Bruce Boudreau now behind the bench for Anaheim, you can expect their entire offense to get a boost because Boudreau is known for his offensive-minded coaching tactics. Regardless of the line combos Boudreau ends up going with, you can always rely on Selanne for a solid amount of fantasy production.



These modified re-rankings are based on expectations of the season going forward (including injuries). The plus or minus for each player is movement based on our most recent rankings from last week. (NR means not ranked in previous rankings). Note: Positions are dictated by how they're labeled in Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues.
*dual position eligibility in Yahoo! Leagues

Players that dropped out of previous rankings: Justin Williams, Martin Erat, Milan Hejduk
Johan Franzen -- Franzen has arguably been Detroit's most valuable fantasy forward this season. He has 10 goals and 23 points in 23 games and sports an outstanding plus-10 rating. Not only that, but he's also capable of rewarding his fantasy owners with occasional sin-bin minutes (18 right now) and isn't afraid to shoot the puck on net (63). He has 1 goal and 6 helpers in his last six games and has only been held pointless in one of those contests. Skating on a line with Pavel Datsyuk certainly helps his production going forward, and you should rely on Franzen as a solid No. 1 wing.

David Backes --
Backes is slowly moving back up to where his fantasy owners expected him to be -- he's not quite all the way back to his usual self, but he's doing well under new coach Ken Hitchcock. Known for being one of the more well-rounded fantasy players in the game, Backes has 5 goals and 4 assists in the 11 games since Hitchcock took over. On the season, he has just 16 points and 18 penalty minutes in 24 games, but it's safe to expect those numbers to continue to get better as the season progresses.

Ryan Callahan -- The Rangers are red-hot and they've been led by their three best forwards: Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and their captain, Ryan Callahan. Callahan has 2 goals and 4 assists -- with both goals coming on the power play -- during New York's current four-game winning streak. He is averaging just over 21 minutes of ice time per game while skating on a line with Richards. He's also seeing 4:06 of power-play ice time per game with a unit of Gaborik and Richards up front. Callahan is headed for the best season of his career and he isn't afraid to play physical, so he'll help contribute some penalty minutes for your team as well.


Patrick Kane -- Don't panic, Kane is still one of the elite forwards in all of fantasy hockey. He takes a little dive in the rankings because of his current mini-slump -- Kane hasn't scored in his last six games and has just 3 assists during that time. However, Kane is being shifted back to his usual position of right wing for Friday's game against the Islanders, and we wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he erupted for a big night against one of the League's worst defensive teams. The four players ahead of Kane in the ranks are all top-notch players, but no matter what, Kane should always find himself among the top-five right wings.

Joe Pavelski -- Pavelski still has tremendous overall numbers on the season (11 G, 9 A, plus-7, 5 PPP and 72 SOG in 22 games), but he seems to be in a little rut right now. The Sharks reunited their top two lines in Thursday's win against Montreal, but the unit of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Pavelski couldn't get anything going -- Pavelski was a minus-3 with 3 shots on goal in 19:16 of ice time. He has just 1 goal and 1 assist over his last six games, but look for him to snap out of this slump soon enough.

Justin Williams -- Owned in 65 percent of Yahoo! Leagues, Williams drops out of our rankings thanks in part to a real cold spell and a line demotion in L.A. Williams has been held pointless in each of the last four games and hasn't scored a single goal since Oct. 27 -- a span of 16 games. He also hasn't had a plus rating in his previous 12 contests and has now been placed on the team's third line, skating with Kyle Clifford and Andrei Loktionov. Williams posted 57 points in 73 games for the Kings last year, but struggling worse than ever right now, you're better off benching him or even considering dropping him.


Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little -- Little has RW eligibility in Yahoo! Leagues, but he's actually the center on Winnipeg's top line, with Wheeler on the right side and youngster Evander Kane on the left. Either way, Wheeler and Little should be on your radar as this unit has definitely found some chemistry recently. Wheeler (owned in 8 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) has posted 2 goals and 5 assists in his last 7 games, while Little (19 percent) has 6 goals and 4 helpers over his previous 11 contests. This is a very young line combination and all three players have plenty of skill, so don't hesitate to grab any of them.
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