The right wing position has proven to be arguably the deepest in fantasy hockey this season, but over the last month or so there have also been a few unexpected players delivering in ways we didn't think would be possible.
Sure, Evgeni Malkin (center and right wing eligible in Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues) and Corey Perry have been coming through as we expected over the last 30 days, but let's take a look at guys you didn't expect that are producing at an elite level of late and can be extremely useful for your run at first place:
Right Wing - TBL
GOALS: 20 | ASST: 35 | PTS: 55
SOG: 119 | +/-: 8
SOG: 119 | +/-: 8
Last 30 days: 7 G, 19 A, plus-2, 0 PIMs, 11 PPP, 35 SOG
Blake Wheeler (56 percent) -- We've mentioned him a lot recently, but Wheeler's numbers do the talking for us. He's currently seventh among all RW-eligible players over the last month and he's playing the wing on Winnipeg's most lethal line that includes Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd. Wheeler seems to electrify Jets fans every time he has the puck, and it has certainly given him confidence.
Last 30 days: 6 G, 13 A, plus-7, 8 PIMs, 4 PPP, 48 SOG
Michael Ryder (50 percent) -- Ryder comes in right behind Wheeler on Yahoo's rater over the last 30 days and he's actually fourth among all players in goals scored during that time -- behind only Stamkos, Perry and Max Pacioretty. Along with Loui Eriksson and Mike Ribeiro, Ryder and his linemates have been carrying the Stars during their current hot streak (8-1-1 in their last 10) that has them atop the Pacific Division.
Last 30 days: 10 G, 6 A, plus-9, 8 PIMs, 4 PPP, 49 SOG
TOP 40 FANTASY RIGHT WINGS
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. (NR means not ranked in previous rankings). Note: Positions are dictated by how they're labeled in Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues.
- 1. Evgeni Malkin, Penguins* (same)
- 2. Claude Giroux, Flyers* (same)
- 3. Corey Perry, Ducks (same)
- 4. James Neal, Penguins* (+2)
- 5. Ilya Kovalchuk, Devils* (same)
- 6. Marian Hossa, Blackhawks (+2)
- 7. Phil Kessel, Maple Leafs (-3)
- 8. Marian Gaborik, Rangers (+1)
- 9. Patrick Sharp, Blackhawks* (+1)
- 10. Teemu Selanne, Ducks (+1)
- 11. Jarome Iginla, Flames (+2)
- 12. Patrick Kane, Blackhawks* (same)
- 13. Martin St. Louis, Lightning (+3)
- 14. Tyler Seguin, Bruins* (+4)
- 15. David Backes, Blues* (-1)
- 16. Johan Franzen, Red Wings* (-1)
- 17. Joe Pavelski, Sharks* (same)
- 18. Rick Nash, Blue Jackets* (+1)
- 19. Jason Pominville, Sabres (+2)
- 20. Radim Vrbata, Coyotes (same)
- 21. Jordan Eberle, Oilers (+1)
- 22. Ryan Callahan, Rangers (+2)
- 23. Loui Eriksson, Stars* (+8)
- 24. Erik Cole, Canadiens* (+3)
- 25. Alexandre Burrows, Canucks* (+4)
- 26. Jeff Skinner, Hurricanes* (+2)
- 27. Jeff Carter, Kings* (-4)
- 28. Blake Wheeler, Jets (+12)
- 29. Dany Heatley, Wild (-3)
- 30. PA Parenteau, Islanders (+2)
- 31. Michael Ryder, Stars (NR)
- 32. T.J. Oshie, Blues* (+5)
- 33. Ryane Clowe, Sharks* (-3)
- 34. Teddy Purcell, Lightning (NR)
- 35. Milan Michalek, Senators* (+1)
- 36. Dustin Brown, Kings* (NR)
- 37. David Clarkson, Devils (NR)
- 38. Alexander Semin, Capitals* (-5)
- 39. Jaromir Jagr, Flyers (-1)
- 40. Danny Briere, Flyers* (-1)
Last 30 days: 4 G, 8 A, minus-1, 34 PIMs, 3 PPP, 32 SOG
T.J. Oshie (60 percent) -- An extremely underrated fantasy asset, Oshie (rated 15th among RWs over the last 30 days) has been paired alongside fantasy stud David Backes all season long -- and it has certainly increased Oshie's value. He's one goal and point away from setting a career-high (he had 18 goals and 48 points respectively in 2009-10) and won't hurt you in any single category, with his plus-14 being his biggest bonus to fantasy owners.
Last 30 days: 3 G, 11 A, plus-1, 8 PIMs, 6 PPP, 36 SOG
Martin St. Louis -- Sure, St. Louis came into the season rated 10th among all players in Yahoo! Leagues and he's only currently rated 83rd overall, but all we care about is that he's been playing the way we expected recently. With points in five of his last six games (3 G, 5 A) and 62 in 62 games on the season, St. Louis is giving us the point production we need. His PIMs will always be minimal (16) and his shots on goal are down a bit (he finished with 254 last season and has just 154 this year), but we can't complain about the point-per-game numbers.
Tyler Seguin -- He's moving back up. After two straight weeks of falling in the rankings, Seguin finds himself back on the rise and nearing the top 10. Seguin has 4 goals and 3 helpers during a current five-game point-scoring streak, and his plus-35 on the season continues to lead the NHL (Patrice Bergeron and Ian White are tied for second at plus-30). The Bruins have been shaking up their lines of late, but no matter where Seguin ends up skating, he has certainly proven one thing: His skills are for real.
Dustin Brown -- While he likely won't reach his totals from last season (28 G, 57 points), there's a definite chance Brown could hit 25 goals and 50 points thanks to a big-time hot streak of late. The Kings captain is in the middle of a six-game point-scoring streak in which he's totaled 5 goals and 5 assists -- we suppose all he needed to get going was a little motivation (once his name appeared in trade rumors, Brown's play really picked up).
Phil Kessel -- While Kessel's production has been extremely solid all season long, the fact he's lost his running mate, Joffrey Lupul, for possibly the rest of the regular season has us a bit concerned. Kessel is a tremendous goal scorer and has unbelievable speed, but Lupul was the guy that dug the puck out of the corners and helped create many of his 34 goals this year. Can Kessel still produce without him? Time will tell, but if Wednesday's game is a sign, then fantasy owners won't be too worried -- Kessel finished the game with a goal on six shots.
Danny Briere -- Despite posting 2 assists in Thursday's 5-0 win against Florida, Briere simply cannot be relied on for much fantasy value down the stretch. Prior to the 2-assist performance, Briere had gone six games without a point and he has still been held without a goal for the past 21 contests. Coming into the season Yahoo! had him rated 52nd among all players -- he is currently rated 117 and continues to fall.
Daniel Alfredsson -- Alfredsson just barely slips out of the top 40 for the time being -- come this time next week we could see the Sens captain back in the fold and Briere on the outside. While Alfredsson's 22 goals and 49 points have been extremely useful, he hasn't found the back of the net in the previous six games and has just 2 assists during that time. Regardless, it has still been a very solid season for the aging veteran.
KEEP AN EYE ON...
Martin Erat -- Despite not cracking the top-40 right wing ranks, Erat is performing at an extremely high level this season for the Preds. Highly underrated, Erat has points in each of his last three games, giving him totals of 16 goals and 49 points in 59 games this season. While he doesn't fire the puck on net too often (90 SOG), he makes up for that with his outstanding plus-12 and 14 power-play points. He's available in 69 percent of Yahoo! Leagues -- you know what to do.