Line Change on the Fly: The Invaluable Daniel Sedin

Updated: December 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm by Alexander Monaghan

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

Good morning, 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 left 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 numbers to each forward. These numbers 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.

$40 Daniel Sedin
$38 Alex Ovechkin
$35 Patrick Sharp
$34 Pavel Datsyuk
$33 Thomas Vanek
$32 Henrik Zetterberg

Daniel Sedin was the top ranked players at draft time and he’s been the most valuable skater this season. He has been light years above Alex Ovechkin, who generously comes in second. Sharp, the Blackhawks sniper has been fantastic with 13 goals and projects to stay within the elite ranks while playing on the Blackhawks. Datsyuk and Zetterberg have both been great but their stats haven’t quite translated. Expect their luck to turn for the remainder of the season. Thomas Vanek is enjoying a return to the elite ranks now that the Sabres are more than a one-line team with a good goalie.

$29 Jamie Benn
$28 James Neal
$28 Joffrey Lupul
$27 Patrick Marleau
$26 Johan Franzen
$25 Loui Eriksson
$24 Max Pacioretty
$24 Ilya Kovalchuk
$23 Taylor Hall
$22 Tomas Fleischmann
$22 Evander Kane

Make no mistake, we love Benn at DailyFaceoff; he’s a stud. His former teammate James Neal continues to score at a higher clip and was enjoying power play time with Sidney Crosby. If he keeps up this pace, he could jump up a rank. Lupul gets the nod this high mainly due to his fantastic chemistry with Phil Kessel. From there we have some staples like Patrick Marleau, Johan Franzen and Loui Eriksson — consistently solid options. Max Pacioretty could score 40 goals within the next two years; he produces without any help from his linemates. Rounding out tier two is the disappointing Ilya Kovalchuk, up-and-comers Evander Kane and Taylor Hall along with the revitalized Tomas Fleischmann.

$21 Logan Couture
$20 Scott Hartnell
$20 Milan Lucic
$20 Ryane Clowe
$20 Dustin Brown
$19 Kris Versteeg

Couture gets the nod at the top of tier three as he looks like a perennial 30-goal threat. Milan Lucic, Ryane Clowe, Dustin Brown and Scott Hartnell are all relatively interchangeable as scoring line forwards who can easily hit 50-60 points with additional PIM. Every team should have at least one of them as they are incredibly useful. We throw Florida Panthers standout Kris Versteeg some love with the last rung of the tier as he reestablishes himself down South.

$17 Dany Heatley
$17 Rick Nash
$16 Alex Burrows
$16 Bobby Ryan
$16 Matt Duchene
$16 Zach Parise

The fourth tier should be named the disappointment tier. None of the above have played up to their expectations as Ryan was a first round pick and Parise, Nash and Heatley were top four round picks. To say we expected more from Duchene, or even Burrows, is an understatement. Regardless, they should carry more value than one-year wonders and players on unsustainable hot streaks.

$13 Brad Marchand
$12 Ryan Smyth
$12 Milan Michalek
$11 Pascal Dupuis
$10 Patrik Elias
$10 Alexander Steen
$ 9 Shane Doan
$ 9 Alexander Semin
$ 8 Brenden Morrow
$ 7 Ray Whitney
$ 6 Chris Kunitz

Ah yes, the last tier, where we find the fallen, overachieving and the pleasant surprises. Marchand established himself nicely in the playoffs but has slowed down on the team’s second line. Ryan Smyth, Milan Michalek and Pascal Dupuis are playing much better than expectations but health and linemates are too big of a concern to bank on them. Elias, Steen and Doan are very valuable in deeper leagues while also helping out with dual-position eligibility. At this point, we can’t predict anything Alexander Semin does, which puts him barely in our top 40. Brendan Morrow, Ray Whitney and Chris Kunitz round out the list due to their proven ability to produce over the years.

DROPABLES: David Booth, Brandon Dubinsky, Kristian Huselius, Rene Bourque, R.J. Umberger

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