I will get into a position that seems to be lacking in comparison to others in the league. Here you will get your Top 5 Left Wingers for fantasy purposes in 2013-14.
To keep it in context, these are the scoring categories I will base my rankings on:
Blocked Shots: 0.25
This should help summarize how I look at some of the players I will be looking into:
Here is a look on who you should be focusing on to fill your LW slots this year, in reverse order.
5) Chris Kunitz
Too many people use the word “Crosby” when referring to Kunitz, the fact of the matter is, he is a fantasy owners dream. I’m not negating the “Crosby Factor” either as obviously when you play with the world’s best, it’s bound to have its benefits! For a pure fantasy standpoint, Kunitz offers much more than Goals and Assists! Kunitz should give you a steady games played as he is usually good for the 75-80 games a year and I wold say anywhere from 30-35 goals a season. Kunitz should always hover around the 60-70 point range, but in this format it’s not only that that makes him lethal. Fantasy intangibles that go overlooked with Kunitz are the amount of hits he lays (157 last year) his +/- (+25) and a pretty stellar Power Play Points number (22). You throw those numbers in with his Goal and Assist production and you have a bona fide star in the fantasy world! I see Kunitz slotting in approx. 2.05-2.10 FPG this year.
4) Gabriel Landeskog
Landeskog, in his young NHL career, has become a Fantasy stud. Playing on a young and dynamic Avs team he is ever present the main scoring categories. The great thing about Gabe is that he is a hitting machine, he plays that great wall game that you need in a winger and he lays the body. I see him putting upwards of 200 hits this season! Hits aren’t all he offers as I see him, this season, grabbing somewhere around 28-30 Goals, 40-45 Assists and likely a solid +/- in the 20-25 range. At this rate the young Avalanche captain should grab you an upward trend in points for a long time to come! Expect Gabe to grab you a nice 2.05-2.10 FPG this year
3) Taylor Hall
Hall really broke out on a sub-par Oilers team last year. With 80 Points last year he was an absolute joy to watch. I see him building on last year and surpassing it in 2014-15. Although hall plays with “reckless abandonment” he doesn’t quite grab you the hit and block totals one would expect, and in the last few years it’s been hard to be a + player in Oil Country (-15 last season). Where hall lacks in those categories he more than makes up in what I see as certainly 30+ goals with another 55-60 assists. I think Edmonton will be a much better team this year and can see Hall pushing the 100 point plateau with 90-92 points this year. I expect 2.15-2.20 FPG from Hallsy this season.
2) Zach Parise
Parise, unfortunately last year, missed a bit of time playing in only 67 contests. Although his game totals weren’t there he still managed 29 Goals and 27 Assists. If projecting him to play 75-82 games this year I see Parise having an explosive season with some talented line mates. Parise loves to shoot the puck, that’s money in the bank for Fantasy owners. Last season in his 67 games he had a staggering 245 Shots on Goal, add in a good 25 Power Play Points and a nice +/- and Parise is your #2 LW on the year. I expect you’ll see 2.25-2.30 FPG.
1) Jamie Benn
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
What else is there to say about Jamie Benn, he’s just downright filthy in the fantasy world. After a season with Seguin as his pivot he grabbed a cool 79 points with 34 of them goals. After a full season on chemistry behind them I see Benn capable of the 40 goals and 100 point mark this year. Not only does he fill the stat sheet with Goals and Assists he’s a full stat sheet monster with numbers like: 279 Shots on Goal, 118 hits, 60 Blocked Shots, +21, 3 Short Handed Points and 19 Power Play Points. Those numbers speak for themselves and this year I expect growth in every category! Benn will likely grab you a whopping 2.4-2.5 FPG this year, grab him early!