Line Change on the Fly: More Claude Giroux Love

Updated: December 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm by Alexander Monaghan

‘Line Change on the Fly’ is the feature where we re-rank our current player rankings. This edition ranks right wings and their counterparts for the first time since the preseason. Feel free to go nuts in the comments.

Good evening, fantasy hockey gamers. For the last couple of weeks we’ve heard clamoring over our current rankings. Well, chirp no longer as this list of right wings will be shortly amended to reflect this season’s progression. Keep in mind that these rankings are a mix of actual game play and how their counting stats stack up as we try to find the perfect blend.

Instead of ranking players in numbers, we will be assigning arbitrary dollar values to each forward. These values have nothing to do with auction drafts, they are simply to notate comparative value. Knowledgeable debate is more than encouraged; you may even be able to sway my vote in the future.

$35 Claude Giroux
$35 Evgeni Malkin
$34 Corey Perry
$34 Patrick Sharp
$34 Patrick Kane
$33 Phil Kessel
$32 Marian Hossa

Injured or not, Giroux is quickly emerging as the premiere NHL talent. Considering he may return to the lineup tomorrow, he gets the slight edge against the perennially day-to-day Evgeni Malkin. Reigning MVP Corey Perry was likely drafted as the top RW and only moves down two notches despite a down season. The Blackhawks troika of Hossa, Kane and Sharp have simply dominated offensively and should be universally owned. Sandwiched between them is lauded sniper Phil Kessel, who remains in the elite ranks for the time being.

$28 James Neal
$28 Joffrey Lupul
$26 Teemu Selanne
$26 Johan Franzen
$25 Marian Gaborik
$25 Loui Erikssson
$25 Jarome Iginla
$25 Jaromir Jagr
$25 Joe Pavelski
$24 Tyler Seguin
$24 Ilya Kovalchuk
$23 Daniel Briere
$22 Jason Pominville

Neal is currently on a five-game point streak and could very well become elite in our next installment. Considering he only scored one goal over his last 20 games of the season we remain reluctant in granting him that status this soon. Kessel-inspired winger Lupul continues filling the net and should be considered for comeback player of the year. Steady veterans like Teemu Selanne, Jaromir Jagr, Loui Eriksson, Jarome Iginla, Marian Gaborik and Johan Franzen are relatively safe bets for 30 goals every season barring any drastic injuries. Joe Pavelski gets a look in tier two as he should improve on a career-high 66 points. Tyler Seguin and Ilya Kovalchuk have too much talent to be ranked any lower while former teammates Daniel Briere and Jason Pominville are as steady as they come.

$20 Martin St. Louis
$20 Ryane Clowe
$19 Kris Versteeg
$18 Jeff Skinner
$17 Dany Heatley
$17 David Backes
$16 Dustin Byfuglien
$16 Rick Nash
$16 Jeff Carter
$16 Alex Burrows

Our third tier features injured stars and otherwise inconsistent wingers. If St. Louis and Skinner were not hurt, they would definitely be ranked higher. Meanwhile, Ryane Clowe and David Backes find value with their fists and ability to pot over 20 goals. Versteeg might have a good case for a higher ranking but the Florida Panthers need to stay consistent for that to happen. Heatley is having a somewhat down year in Minnesota despite his team’s overall success. Byfuglien, Nash and Carter all get lower grades due to their lesser teams while Burrows is just starting to show why he scored 26+ goals over the last three seasons.

$15 Milan Michalek
$15 Jordan Eberle
$15 Dustin Brown
$15 Ryan Callahan
$14 Shane Doan
$12 Erik Cole
$12 Nathan Horton
$10 Radim Vrbata
$ 9 Martin Havlat
$ 8 Alexander Semin

Uncertainty over his health puts Michalek in the fourth tier for now. He’s followed by the surging Jordan Eberle and three gritty captains in Ryan Callahan, Dustin Brown and Shane Doan. In all fairness, their value in real life supersedes their worth in fantasy hockey as they are essentially bench plays on winning rosters. Erik Cole, Nathan Horton and Radim Vrbata are somewhat consistent scorers and figure help out teams in a pinch but should not be primary sources for tallies. Alexander Semin and the always-injured Martin Havlat take the caboose in our first re-ranking.

DROPABLES: Patric Hornqvist, Nikolai Kulemin, Michael Frolik, Teddy Purcell, Mikael Samuelsson

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