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Updated top-50 overall fantasy hockey rankings

By Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Updated top-50 overall fantasy hockey rankings
With the uncertain status of Sidney Crosby moving forward, find out who takes the top spot in NHL.com's rankings of the best fantasy hockey players.
With the three-quarter mark of the season officially here and the NHL trade deadline just days away, it's time to give fantasy hockey fans our final update of the top 50 overall player rankings. While things can definitely change depending on where certain players might get dealt, these rankings are here to help guide your team to the playoffs and eventually to the fantasy championship.

In early January NHL.com provided fans with the midseason top-50 rankings, and to no surprise for many, Sidney Crosby found himself at the top spot. At that time Sid the Kid had just suffered his concussion and we expected him back fairly soon. However, a month and a half later, Crosby is still on the sidelines and there's no telling when he'll return. Obviously, he has been dethroned -- in fact he's not only out of the No. 1 rank, but he's completely out of the top 50. Even if he does return for, say, two or three weeks, he's still not as valuable as any of these players for a full six weeks. If you do own Sid, it's obviously a tough break, but you should play it safe and prepare as if he's not returning.

With that said, read on to find out who is our new No. 1 player for the remainder of the season and how the rest of the top 50 shakes out.

These modified rankings are based on expectations of the season going forward (including injuries) in standard fantasy leagues (G, A, plus/minus, PIMs, PPP, SOG, W, GAA, SV percentage and shutouts). The plus or minus for each player signifies the increase or decrease from the midseason rankings (NR indicates not ranked in previous rankings).

All-Star break position-by-position rankings

1 Alex Ovechkin, LW
(+1)
Low-down: Left wing status gives him the edge over Stamkos, plus he's heating up with 3 goals and 3 assists in his previous four games -- the floodgates will open soon enough. We simply believe Ovi will be the best player to own for the remainder of the season.

2 Steven Stamkos, C (+1)
Low-down: The 21-year-old phenom has an absurd League-leading 41 goals (eight more than the next highest -- Kesler's 33), but his recent slump of just one tally in his last six games has him behind Ovechkin.

3 Daniel Sedin, LW
(+2)
Low-down: It was a three-man race between Ovi, Stammer and Sedin for the top spot, and while Sedin has the most points in the NHL and definitely could have earned the honor, he falls just short because of fewer penalty minutes (24) and shots (194 -- which is a lot, just not as much as the other two).

4 Corey Perry, RW
(+2)
Low-down: People continue to think Martin St. Louis deserves the top right wing rank, but it's not even close, honestly. Perry has 6 goals and 10 assists in his last nine games and 31 G, 36 A and 90 PIMs overall -- no player comes close to that kind of unique production.

5 Tim Thomas, G
(-1)
Low-down: Thomas leads the League with a 1.99 GAA, .939 save percentage and is tied for the lead with seven shutouts -- he is the catalyst to Boston's success and he can keep it up for six more weeks.

6 Henrik Zetterberg, C, LW
(+4)
Low-down: Z-berg might not finish with 30 goals, but he's still having an unbelievable season -- his 66 points are tied for sixth most in the NHL and his 250 shots are fifth most (plus he has C and LW eligibility).

7 Henrik Sedin, C (+1)
Low-down: Henrik finds himself behind Z-berg because of his lack of shots in comparison -- Sedin only has 130 on the season! Regardless, he's a stud and could finish the season with the most points in the NHL.

8 Martin St. Louis, RW
(-1)
Low-down: St. Louis has points in seven straight contests, including a 2-goal, 3-point performance on Wednesday. With exception to his 8 PIMs, St. Louis is a fantasy beast.

9 Pavel Datsyuk, C, LW
(+11)
Low-down: Datsyuk is slowly climbing his way back to our usual standards since recovering from a broken hand -- he has 5 goals and 5 helpers in nine games since returning.

10 Ryan Kesler, C
(+18)
Low-down: It's time to give Kesler the respect he deserves. He's been arguably the biggest and best surprise of the season with 33 G, 24 A, plus-23, 48 PIMs, 21 PPP and 195 SOG. He is officially a top-10 player.

11 Roberto Luongo, G
(+14)
Low-down: Luongo plays for the League's best team, owns a 28-11-7 record, a 2.27 GAA and a .924 save percentage -- what else could you want? How about this: he hasn't allowed more than three goals in 12 straight starts.

12 Eric Staal, C
(+10)
Low-down: With exception to his minus-14, Staal has been outstanding in every other category, ranking among the top 10 in the NHL in goals (27), points (58), power-play goals (9) and shots (228).

13 Jeff Carter, C, RW
(+21)
Low-down: Talk about production in every category -- Carter has been a multi-positional standout with 28 G, 27 A, a plus-21, 35 PIMs, 15 PPP and a whopping 252 SOG.

14 Dustin Byfuglien, D
(-5)
Low-down: Byfuglien remains our top-ranked blueliner despite a recent 13-game goal-scoring drought -- he does have 2 goals and 2 assists in his previous six games and still has 18 goals and 45 points on the campaign.

15 Anze Kopitar, C
(+6)
Low-down: Kopitar appears headed to come extremely close to matching his 81 points from last year. He might not top the 34 goals, but his plus-21 and 198 shots make up for that.

16 Alexander Semin, RW
(+1)
Low-down: In seven contests since returning from an injury, Semin has 3 goals (all in one game) and 2 assists. Either way, he'll still fire plenty of shots on goal and help in the plus/minus category.

17 Jonathan Quick, G
(-2)
Low-down: Quick is second in the NHL with a 2.11 GAA, fourth in wins with 27 and third in shutouts with six and is showing no signs of slowing down -- he's 8-1-1 in his last 10 games.

18 Dany Heatley, LW, RW
(-2)
Low-down: Despite a recent cold streak (1 goal in his last 10 games), Heater still has 20 goals and 49 points as well as 44 PIMs, 24 PPP and 174 SOG.

19 Nicklas Backstrom, C
(-6)
Low-down: The playmaking center is having a down season in comparison to his previous two campaigns, but he's still on pace for 71 points and a plus-21 rating -- and if Ovi heats up, so does Backstrom.

20 Jonathan Toews, C
(+15)
Low-down: With 56 points in 59 contests this season, there aren't really any flaws in Toews' game. The one thing he lacks from a fantasy viewpoint is his penalty minutes (18), but we're just fine with the way he is.

21 Jarome Iginla, RW
(+18)
Low-down: Back in November it seemed like Jarome's outstanding career was finally starting to slow down. However, he has clearly proved us wrong and is playing tremendously in leading the Flames into a potential playoff berth (25 G, 33 A, minus-4, 30 PIMs, 19 PPP and 223 SOG).

22 Rick Nash, LW, RW
(+18)
Low-down: Nash is quietly putting together yet another solid fantasy season for his owners with 29 goals and 55 points -- he has 6 goals and 5 assists in his last seven games.

23 Henrik Lundqvist, G
(-12)
Low-down: The King has allowed exactly three goals against in seven of his last eight starts, but he still has a solid 2.38 GAA and .920 save percentage, as well as being tied for the League lead with seven shutouts.

24 Ilya Kovalchuk, LW, RW
(NR)
Low-down: We're buying his new style of play and think he could retain his top-15 player status by season's end -- Kovy has 7 goals and 6 assists during his current 11-game point-scoring streak.

25 Ryan Getzlaf, C
(+2)
Low-down: Since returning from his injury, Getzlaf has 2 goals and 8 assists in six games and 15 goals and 47 points in 46 games overall. He's a top-15 player when healthy and should be looked at as a No. 1 center on any fantasy squad for the rest of the year.

26 Brad Richards, C
(-14)
Low-down: We're banking on Richards returning relatively soon after the trade deadline and performing the way he's capable of. That may be a stretch, but he could still be a point-per game player when he returns.

27 Danny Briere, RW
(+16)
Low-down: Briere continues to put up monster points (28 goals and 51 points in 58 games) while consistently recording PIMs (58 of his 73 penalty minutes are minor penalties -- one five-minute major and 10-minute game misconduct).

28 Pekka Rinne, G
(+19)
Low-down: One of many players that have really turned into superstars this season, Rinne ranks fourth in GAA (2.14) and second behind Tim Thomas in save percentage (.928).

29 Zdeno Chara, D
(+21)
Low-down: Big-Z only has 31 points on the season, but the addition of Tomas Kaberle should help his numbers -- his other stats are what set him apart from many d-men: plus-20, 67 PIMs, 12 PPP and 205 SOG.

30 Carey Price, G
(-11)
Low-down: It's quite possible Price's numbers continue to slide a bit as he leads the NHL in games played (55) and minutes (3,261). He's still ranked fifth among our goalies, but be cautious.

31 Kris Letang, D
(-11)
Low-down: Letang is currently the top-ranked blueliner in Yahoo! leagues, but with all the Pittsburgh injuries, it's hard to believe he can perform like he was earlier this season. Regardless, he has 45 points, a plus-15, 78 PIMs 21 PPP and 182 SOG in 62 games and is still our third d-man off the board.

32 Nicklas Lidstrom, D
(-6)
Low-down: After posting 49 points in 82 games last season, Lidstrom already has 48 in 61 contests in 2010-11. He has four points in his last five games and is as reliable as ever.

33 Patrick Sharp, C, LW
(-3)
Low-down: Sharpie is four goals away from his career-high of 36 back in '08 and 10 points from matching his career-high of 66 points last season. With seven points in his last four games, it appears Sharp is determined to have a career year.

34 Mike Richards, C
(-5)
Low-down: Richards isn't likely to record his third consecutive 30-goal season, but he does look poised to top his 62 points from last season. With 52 points, a plus-12, 47 PIMs, 16 PPP and 140 SOG, Richards has again proven to be one of the true all-around fantasy contributors.

35 Marc-Andre Fleury, G
(-11)
Low-down: Wins won't be easy to find for Fleury with all of the Pens' injuries, but if anyone is capable of putting a team on their back, it's Fleury -- after all, he still owns a 27-15-4 record to go along with a 2.27 GAA and .921 save percentage.

36 Bobby Ryan, C, LW
(-3)
Low-down: With 5 goals and 3 assists in seven games since the return of playmaker Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby's already impressive stat line is quickly improving (28 G, 21 A, plus-3, 51 PIMs, 7 PPP and 203 SOG overall).

37 Keith Yandle, D
(NR)
Low-down: Yandle leads all defensemen with 52 points in 62 games while also posting solid peripherals: plus-1, 56 PIMs, 24 PPP and 143 SOG. Yandle is going to be a top-5 d-man for years to come and we love it.

38 Alexandre Burrows, LW
(NR)
Low-down: People tend to forget about Burrows, but make no mistake; he's performing exactly like he did last season when he finished with 35 goals and 67 points -- Burrows has 17 G, 38 points, a plus-22, 46 PIMs and 114 SOG in 52 contests this year.

39 Patrick Kane, RW
(-16)
Low-down: Kane isn't drawing his usual hype around the NHL, but he still has 51 points in 52 games this season. With the Hawks on the cusp of a playoff berth, Kane will have to step up his play to defend the title.

40 Shea Weber, D
(NR)
Low-down: Weber's season got off to a slow start with just 1 goal in his first 14 contests, but since then he's been the usual Weber and now has 12 G, 25 A, a plus-5, 42 PIMs, 12 PPP and 194 SOG in 61 games.

41 Niklas Backstrom, G
(NR)
Low-down: Backstrom has battled injuries this season but has still put together another solid campaign, including a current hot streak in which he's allowed a total of just 15 goals in his last ten starts.

42 David Backes, RW
(NR)
Low-down: Backes is likely the closest player you'll find that compares with Corey Perry (Scott Hartnell is a notch below Backes) -- he has 23 G, 23 A, a plus-18, 83 PIMs, 12 PPP and 160 SOG.

43 Teemu Selanne, RW
(NR)
Low-down: With 5 goals and 11 points in the past eight games, Selanne continues to prove he belongs among the top 50. The Finnish Flash has 56 points in 52 games overall and a whopping 24 power-play points.

44 Dan Boyle, D
(-8)
Low-down: With just 37 points in 62 contests, Boyle isn't having his best season, but trust us, he is an elite blueliner and could go on a hot streak at any moment while playing with plenty of talent in San Jose.

45 Claude Giroux, RW
(NR)
Low-down: Prior to scoring goals in consecutive games recently, Giroux had gone eight games without a tally, but regardless he was still producing assists and has a solid overall stat line: 21 G, 36 A, a plus-13, 31 PIMs, 15 PPP and 128 SOG in 61 games for one of the most talented teams in the NHL.

46 Joe Thornton, C
(-1)
Low-down: Thornton is on pace for just 69 points this year, which would be his lowest in a full season since he had 60 points back in 1999-2000. There is still hope for the playmaker, who has 6 points in his last five games, but remember, he's not the Thornton we've been used to.

47 Johan Franzen, RW (NR)
Low-down: Take away his 5-goal performance on Feb. 2 and Franzen only has 21 goals and 40 points on the season. Regardless, we still like the Mule because of his tendency to step it up when things count the most, like at the stretch run of the regular season.

48 Loui Eriksson, RW
(-17)
Low-down: Eriksson is a big question mark for the remainder of the season because of his teammate Brad Richards. If Richards remains injured or gets traded, Eriksson's fantasy value clearly takes a hit -- for now, he remains in the top 50 with 56 points in 60 games.

49 Christian Ehrhoff, D
(NR)
Low-down: Ehrhoff is the No. 1 d-man on the NHL's best team as well as the League's best power-play team -- 24 of his 37 points have come with the man advantage. With 10 goals and outstanding peripherals (plus-12, 38 PIMs and 146 SOG), Ehrhoff is a back-line beauty.

50 Jonas Hiller, G
(-18)
Low-down: The Ducks keeper takes a dive in the ranks because of his current injury status -- he is reportedly suffering from vertigo and there is no timetable for his return, although Hiller has said he is progressing. For now we can only sit and wait for the Swiss goalie to return to his all-star form -- here's hoping.

Players that dropped out from our mid-season rankings: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jimmy Howard, Ryan Miller, Mike Green, Marian Gaborik, Matt Duchene, Chris Stewart, Marian Hossa, Brandon Dubinsky


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