NHL.com's fantasy hockey staff of Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen, Sergei Feldman, Justin Goldman, Brian Metzer and Chris Foster has you covered all season long with essential fantasy hockey knowledge, rankings and advice to get you ready for your fantasy leagues.
The ABC's of Fantasy Hockey: League formats and strategies
Since the last time fantasy owners set their rosters, the landscape has changed considerably, and perhaps no position underwent a larger makeover than the guys flanking the many gifted centers down the left side of the ice.
However difficult it's been in recent years to pick out the best crop of left wingers come draft time or throughout the season, it will pale in comparison to the decisions you'll be making this go-around, as studs like Rick Nash and Zach Parise have changed scenery, snipers like Alex Ovechkin aim to "bounce back," and youngsters like Gabriel Landeskog hope to break out.
This crop will have a different flavor. The Top 5 left wingers were determined based on recent history, ability to contribute in various categories and likelihood of repeat performances, with a few exceptions.
James Neal of the Pittsburgh Penguins occupies the top spot after a career year, which saw him finish fourth in the NHL in goals (40), seventh in points (81), first in power-play goals (18) and second in shots (329). Playing alongside Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby won't hurt his chances of replicating those totals.
Going through the list you might be surprised to find aforementioned Landeskog as high as he is, but his all-around game, coupled with Colorado's improved offensive attack, made him too difficult to ignore. Otherwise, you'll notice familiar names in appropriate places and some potential gems joining the ranks.
Without further ado, here are your top 40 fantasy left wings.
RANKINGS: Top-175 | Center | Right Wing | Defenseman | Goalie
NOTE: Positional ranking based on combination of last season's Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey position assignments and NHL.com's 30 in 30 lineup projections. Ranking reflects each player's fantasy value, taking into account statistical history, performance in default Yahoo! categories (G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SOG) last season, potential future lineup placement, strength of projected linemates and our expectations of how they will perform this coming season.
Just Missed: Alexander Steen, Mason Raymond, Alex Tanguay, Ryan Smyth, Viktor Stalberg, Colin Wilson, Matt Cooke, Tomas Kopecky, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Ryan Malone
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