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.
Welcome to the world of right wings -- the position that provided the most elite group of players for fantasy owners during the 2011-12 season. While many players possess that multiple-position eligibility in Yahoo! Leagues, there were still more right wings among the top-25 overall fantasy players than any other position.
Eleven right wings currently find themselves within the top 25 in Yahoo! Leagues, just narrowly edging the center position, which had 10 players. The left wing position had six skaters, while four goalies (Jonathan Quick, Henrik Lundqvist, Brian Elliott and Mike Smith) and two defensemen (Erik Karlsson and Zdeno Chara) appeared in the top 25.
Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy left wings in our weekly segment: "Turn Left Here." From updated left wing rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy left wing expert all season long.
The left wing position has been as unpredictable as any in fantasy hockey this season. From the fall of Alex Ovechkin to the rise of James Neal, we've seen a number of different names atop our rankings each week.
While the elite players at this position aren't quite as deep as at center or right wing, the left wings have provided stable depth throughout the 2011-12 season. With players like Scott Hartnell and Milan Lucic, fantasy owners were able to get penalty minutes in addition to solid point production. Neal, Milan Michalek, Max Pacioretty and Evander Kane all emerged for their first 30-goal seasons, and under-the-radar players like Matt Moulson and Erik Cole also scored at least 30.
The NHL season is winding down and the Stanley Cup Playoffs are right around the corner, which means that most fantasy hockey seasons are in the books or are finishing up this week. If you were among the lucky ones to raise a fantasy championship, it is likely that defensemen played a role in securing that victory. Which proves a point we have been trying to make all season long here at "On the 'D'-Fence" -- defensemen can be just as important as any other player on your fantasy hockey team.
Of the top 50 scorers in the League over the past seven days, 12 percent of them were defensemen. Sure, that doesn't sound like a lot, but even in leagues that have just three or four starting positions for defensemen, those additional 4-7 points per player can be very beneficial, especially when you consider the number of those points that come on the power play.
In closing out the season, we wanted to point out a handful of statistics that show the importance of defensemen to your team and why they should get just as much consideration as the other players that comprise your roster.