If you haven’t hopped aboard the Wayne Train, don’t worry. There’s still plenty of time to join in.
Wayne Simmonds is one of my favorite players in the NHL. He isn’t flashy, doesn’t provide anyone with highlight reel plays, but he is so dynamic, so solid, so good. Of course, I’m a Flyers fan, so I watch him religiously, but more NHL fans need to understand how versatile and talented this guy truly is. And those who have owned him in their fantasy hockey leagues over the course of the 2013 season are well aware of what he can do when out on the ice.
Versatility is the main reason Simmonds is a top-30 fantasy right winger. After a very weak start to the season, along with the rest of the Flyers roster, Simmonds has been red hot as of late. Over his last 10 games, the right winger has tallied 10 goals and 14 points, making for one of the hottest players in fantasy hockey. He’s now on pace for a solid 27 goals, 27 assists, 54 points on the season, but it’s what he’s doing in other categories that is making him so fantasy relevant. For those who play in leagues that reward penalty minutes (I still don’t understand that), Simmonds has been a thing of beauty. He has 19 games this season with at least one penalty, which is good for the third-most in the NHL. And according to Pete Jensen of NHL.com, Simmonds is one of only three players in the league that have recorded at least 25 points, 65 penalty minutes and 100 shots, joining the likes of fantasy elite, Alexander Ovechkin in that regard.
Simmond’s recent play has been a huge reason behind the rejuvenation of the Flyers offense as of late. Kudos to the Flyers organization for realizing his untapped power play potential, as he’s been huge for Philadelphia’s man advantage. He’s got a solid 10 power play points on the year, and should continue to see opportunity on the man advantage. Despite not being as efficient as they’d probably like, the Flyers are still third in the league in power play opportunities (165) on the year. And when you get to play on the man advantage that often with an elite playmaker like Claude Giroux, good things will happen. On the year, the two have accounted for eight power play goals when both have recorded a point, which is tied for the most among all Flyers players.
The fact that Simmonds is only owned in 69 percent of Yahoo! leagues is a bit puzzling to me. Whether they are dead leagues or not, this guy needs to be seemingly universally owned, especially if your league rewards PIMs.
Hop aboard the Wayne Train, folks.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.