2012-13 top-10 fantasy left wingers
By Thomas J. Harrigan, Fantasy Sports Writer
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Prior to this year, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Chris Kunitz had never averaged more than 0.74 points per game in a season, but a harmonious partnership with center Sidney Crosby made Kunitz a fantasy star in 2013.
Overall, Kunitz had 22 goals, 52 points and a plus-30, and he ranks first on our end-of-season list of the top-10 fantasy left wingers (many players are eligible at left wing but played mostly center or right wing; this list focuses on players who played mostly left wing this season):
1. Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins - Kunitz' production predictably slipped after Crosby went down with a broken jaw on March 30. He had just two goals, eight points and a plus-3 after the injury. But Crosby helped him to compile 20 goals, 44 points and a plus-27 in his first 36 games, and his final numbers made him the No. 2 overall player in standard-scoring Yahoo! leagues.
2. Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers - Hall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, took another step forward in his third NHL season. The 21-year-old was active for 45 of the team's 48 games and recorded 16 goals and a career-high 34 assists. He added 154 shots on goal (SOG), 14 power-play points (PPP), 33 penalty minutes (PIM) and a plus-5.
3. Rick Nash, New York Rangers - New York's offensive attack never clicked despite boasting stars like Nash, Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards, but Nash still got his numbers for fantasy owners. He had 21 goals, 42 points, a plus-16 and 176 SOG.
4. Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens - Pacioretty didn't score a goal until a month into the season, but he wrapped things up with 15 goals, 39 points, a plus-8, 28 PIM, and 163 SOG in 44 games.
5. Evander Kane, Winnipeg Jets - Kane had another inconsistent offensive season and finished with 17 goals, 33 points and four PPP in 48 games. But he made up for it with 80 PIM and 190 SOG, both of which led all players listed here.
6. Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild - Parise combined for 12 goals, 25 points and a plus-15 over 22 games in January and March, but had just three goals, 13 points and a minus-13 over 26 combined games in February and April. Only Parise's SOG total (182) really lived up to expectations, as he had 18 goals, 38 points, a plus-2, 16 PIM and 13 PPP in 48 games.
7. James Neal, Pittsburgh Penguins - With 40 goals, 81 points, 87 PIM, 30 PPP and 329 SOG in 80 games, Neal was one of the top players in all of fantasy hockey last season. While he maintained his goal-scoring pace with 21 tallies this season, his assists, penalty minutes and SOG dropped off to 0.38, 0.65, and 3.4, respectively, per game.
8. Andrew Ladd, Winnipeg Jets - Ladd's career-high in points prior to this season was 59, and he did that in 81 games in 2010-11. In just 48 games during this shortened campaign, Ladd recorded 18 goals and 46 points. He added a plus-10 differential, 22 PIM and 121 SOG.
9. Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks - Sedin disappointed for the second straight season and finished with just 12 goals, 40 points, 18 PIM, 12 PPP and 138 SOG in 47 games, but that was still good enough to place him ninth on our rankings.
10. Matt Moulson, New York Islanders - John Tavares' wing man had 15 goals, 29 assists, 15 PPP and 154 SOG, but he spent just four minutes in the penalty box all season and was a minus-3.
Biggest bargain: Kunitz - Fantasy owners took Kunitz at an ADP of 140 in Yahoo! leagues, and got back top-two overall value.
Biggest bust: Sedin - Sedin dropped off by 37 points in 2011-12 from his 2010-11 totals, but he still was selected at an ADP of 7.8 in 2012-13 fantasy drafts. He underwhelmed again, offering fourth-round production.
05/16 13:41:14 ET