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.
Welcome to December. We're into our third month of the NHL season and some surprising early-season hot starts have carried their way all the way into December. Players like Jamie Benn, Kris Versteeg, Tyler Seguin, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sheldon Souray, Brian Campbell, Brian Elliott and Nikolai Khabibulin have all exceeded fantasy expectations and have provided great value for their fantasy owners to this point. Even at a higher level, players have done more than we could have hoped for -- guys like Phil Kessel, Erik Karlsson and Kari Lehtonen.
But when we discuss true surprises this season, we're specifically looking at you, Joffrey Lupul. No one has been more valuable or more productive in all of fantasy hockey than Lupul. He might not continue at this 39-goal, 98-point pace all season long, but it's time to give the Toronto forward his due.
Lupul was given a fresh opportunity in Toronto to play on the left wing of the Leafs' top line with Phil Kessel on the right side. His season started quite nicely, as we all know, with 4 goals and 3 assists in his first five contests. Kessel got off to an even hotter start, making fantasy owners believe that Lupul could ride the wave and be a fantasy asset going forward. His Yahoo! ownership increased quickly.