NHL Fantasy Strategy: Left Wing Lock
In Hockey, the Left Wing Lock is a defensive strategy designed to prevent 3 on 2 rushes against your team. The left winger drops back acting as a 3rd defenseman playing in a zone formation. In fantasy hockey, it means what it says, lock up your left wings….and do it early.
LW is the shallowest position in hockey pools right now. The longer you wait to fill in those positions, the worse chance you have of still getting a quality player in the later rounds…or on the FA list later. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.
Yahoo pre ranks players before the season starts for draft day. Here are the 25th ranked players for each skating position and their rank #.
C – Sidney Crosby 75th
RW – Patric Hornqvist 104th
D – Jack Johnson 114th
LW – Eric Cole 127th
That’s a huge difference, especially between C and LW. What does it mean? It means that if you don’t get a few LW’s, early you’ll be fighting over scraps later.
My strategy is usually to nab the best wingers early, and goalies if they are important in your pool. Then I pick up my centers and my defence last. Of course I make exceptions depending on how the draft is going. Sometimes there are players left way too late that you just can’t pass up.
Centers are easy to come by. Unless your pool incorporates face-off wins and face-off percentage it is strategically beneficial to put them on the back burner. Here are some centers you can expect to draft in the later rounds.
Plekanec – 31st C ranked 100th
Krejci – 32nd C ranked 109th
Couture – 33rd C ranked 118th
And right behind them in ranks Roy, M. Koivu, Dubinsky…..the list goes on.
The reason I leave defence to last is simple. There usually isn’t too big of a difference between the 20th and 40th ranked guys (Tyler Myers, Dennis Wideman respectively) and D is great for picking up more miscellaneous stats like PIM, plus-minus, hits etc..
One thing is for certain, the teams in your league who chase those top big name Centers early will be weak on their wings. If you can get a hold of those wingers, you will have a strong well balanced team, with options to pick up good D-men and Centers off the FA list.