Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.
It's Thanksgiving week, so it's appropriate for fantasy hockey owners to reflect on the players who have been most instrumental to their success.
League championships are traditionally won beyond the early rounds and this season is shaping up to be no exception. Undervalued draftees are running rampant on the fantasy landscape, starting with the heavyweights.
Philadelphia Flyers wing Jakub Voracek (Yahoo average draft position: 93.7) is tied for the NHL scoring lead. Columbus Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen (ADP: 71.9) has averaged more than a point per game despite being passed over in drafts after missing training camp because of a contract impasse. Patric Hornqvist (ADP: 105.1) has excelled regardless of lineup placement and is on pace for 90-plus points, 300-plus shots on goal and 40-plus power-play points. New York Rangers wing Rick Nash (ADP: 51.2) is tied for second League-wide in goals (14) and has the highest shooting percentage (19.2) among players with more than 50 shots on goal this season.
READ: NHL.COM's LATEST FANTASY RANKINGS
Each of these four surprising fantasy anchors has solidified his spot among the top 20 forwards over the first quarter of the season, but the list of steals doesn't stop there.
Yahoo keeps track of the top 500 public league fantasy teams and which players appear most often on those rosters. Narrowing down their list to players with ADPs outside the top 130, here are the 10 forwards who appear most regularly among the head-to-head public league leaders.
Player (% of top 500)
Filip Forsberg (29.8): Tri-eligible; leads NHL with +20; rookie lead in points, PPP, SOG
Tyler Toffoli (19.2): Tied for third with +13; NHL-best four shorthanded goals
Nick Foligno (18): One of seven players with 10+ goals and 10+ assists
Jaden Schwartz (16.4): One of three players with 20+ points, +9 or better, 60+ SOG
Jori Lehtera (15.2): One of 21 with 20+ points; tied for eighth with +12
Brock Nelson (13): Tied for NHL lead with six PPG; 19 points in 21 games
Nikita Kucherov (12.8): Dual-eligible; 18 points in 22 games after 18 in 52 as rookie
Radim Vrbata (11.2): He and Henrik Sedin tied for eighth-best point pair in NHL
Vladimir Tarasenko (11.2): Tied for seventh or better in goals, points, rating, SOG
Johan Franzen (10.2): Dual-eligible; has 13 points (7 PPP) in 15 games