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Fantasy top 100 forward rankings for 2016-17

NHL.com lists most valuable standard-league assets during regular season

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

All season long, NHL.com will rank the top 100 forwards for standard Yahoo leagues (goals, assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, power-play points, shots on goal). Players with long-term injuries have been removed from this list. Positions indicate eligibility in Yahoo leagues.

These rankings are based on expectations for the rest of the season. Value is quantified by line combinations, power-play usage, past performance and overall upside in standard leagues. Changes in value each week are based on recent performance and/or lineup trends.

There's no other way to slice it; the Colorado Avalanche have hit rock bottom this season. 

They are last in the NHL standings and 14 points behind the 29th-place Arizona Coyotes, who have won eight of their past 13 games. The Avalanche came into the season with renewed fantasy expectations and a slew of forwards with bounce-back potential, but none have panned out under first-year coach Jared Bednar, who was hired Aug. 25 after Patrick Roy resigned Aug. 11.

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: TOP 50 DEFENSEMEN | PROJ. GOALIES

Some of their top forwards competed in the World Cup of Hockey 2016, leading to a brief training camp under Bednar. Other factors leading to their underachieving season include various injuries and a defense that has allowed the most goals per game (3.32). It hasn't helped that they have the worst 5-on-5 shooting percentage (6.0) and fourth-worst Shot Attempts percentage (47.41). 

The fantasy ramifications have been clear for a while. In Yahoo's performance-based rankings based on standard categories, their highest-ranked player is MacKinnon at 141 - and even he dropped out of our top 100 fantasy forward rankings this week. Though few Colorado forwards have been worth owning at all, it could be worth your while to target some in anticipation of the roster changes ahead. 

With the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline (March 1, 3 p.m. ET) almost a week away, it has become apparent that the Avalanche will rebuild around Nathan MacKinnon and rookie Mikko Rantanen and likely trade some of their other forwards. Three of them in particular, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and Jarome Iginla, present the most hope for a fantasy value spike if they land in the right spot.

Video: WPG@COL: MacKinnon slips a backhander past Pavelec

Duchene (C/RW, 75 percent owned) leads the list of potential trade targets, and would slot into a first or second-line center role with significant power-play usage in a best-case scenario. His points-per-game average (0.69) is down compared to last season (0.78) because he hasn't had good linemates, but he showcased his scoring ability this fall for Team Canada (two goals, four points in six games) and is still a premier scorer in this League. The 26-year-old is ranked 238th in Yahoo at the moment, and could be targeted in a fantasy trade proposal for a decent price. With past seasons of 70 (2013-14) and 67 points (2010-11), Duchene could quickly be rejuvenated by a change in scenery and finish as a top 50-75 overall player.

Landeskog (LW, 67 percent owned) showcased his top-notch category coverage in 2013-14, Roy's first as coach when the Avalanche qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Landeskog had 65 points, was plus-21, and had 71 PIMs, 10 PPP and 222 SOG. Landeskog finished among the top 50 overall fantasy assets again in 2014-15, when he had 59 points, 79 PIMs, 17 PPP and 214 SOG. Even last season, another step back for the Avalanche, he finished 100th in Yahoo leagues.

Video: Jensen on players' trade values, MVPs in last 30 days

Although Landeskog's season has been derailed by injuries (limited to 47 of a possible 57 games), he still hasn't been very productive when healthy. His 0.49 points per game average is a fraction of what it was over the prior three seasons combined (0.74). Landeskog, currently 273rd in Yahoo, should at the very least provide PIMs, SOG and hits (102; four straight seasons of at least 100) with a slight scoring boost if he moves to a contender.

Unlike Duchene and Landeskog, Jarome Iginla (RW, 16 percent owned) is in a contract year. He is the most likely to be traded and could flank an elite center down the stretch for a team in need of a first or second-line right wing. Ranked 297th in Yahoo, Iginla has scored half of his 16 points with the man-advantage (eight PPP). If you don't feel comfortable disrupting your current roster with a multi-player fantasy trade for Duchene or Landeskog, you may be able to conveniently add Iginla off the waiver wire. The 39-year-old provides SOG (111) and PIMs (54), and, in a perfect scenario, could produce close to a point per game for another team the rest of the way.

 

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WORTH NOTING

-- Mitchell Marner (C/RW, 51st in Yahoo) of the Toronto Maple Leafs was placed on injured reserve because of an upper-body injury and will miss his third straight game Tuesday. Connor Brown (RW, 3 percent owned) is skating in Marner's usual spot on the right wing of Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk, and Josh Leivo (LW/RW, 2 percent) has emerged alongside Nazem Kadri on the third line. Kadri has at least a point in 20 of his past 24 games and is quietly ranked 12th in Yahoo based on performance. Be patient with Marner, who's third among rookies in scoring (48 points in 56 games) behind Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews, until we get a clear injury timetable.

Video: NYI@TOR: Leivo buries quick wrister from the circle

-- Ryan Strome (C/RW, 6 percent owned) of the New York Islanders ended a three-game pointless streak with three points (one PPP) against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. That gives him 11 points in his past 11 games with four coming on the power play, where he plays on the first unit with John Tavares and Anders Lee. Strome is well worth a flier in deep leagues, but buyers should beware the Islanders have only won seven of 24 road games ahead of their make-or-break nine-game road trip. 

-- The Tampa Bay Lightning have only played 26 home games as opposed to 32 road games, meaning Ondrej Palat (LW, 27 percent owned) could be a nice addition down the stretch. With nine PPP in 51 games, he's on pace to surpass his career high (11) in that category. He has 18 points in 22 home games and is currently on the first line and top power-play unit with Nikita Kucherov. 

-- Richard Panik (LW/RW, 23 percent owned) is back in the Chicago Blackhawks' top six and is heating up again alongside Jonathan Toews. He started the season with 10 points in his first 10 games, but is ranked 207th overall because he scored eight points in his next 38 games. That said, he's definitely fantasy-relevant again with 11 points in his past 11 games.

Video: CHI@EDM: Panik slams in PPG for second of game

 

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Top 100 Fantasy Forwards

These rankings were last updated Feb. 21

1. Sidney Crosby, C, PIT (SAME) 
2. Connor McDavid, C, EDM (+1) 
3. Alex Ovechkin, LW, WSH (-1) 
4. Patrick Kane, RW, CHI (SAME) 
5. Evgeni Malkin, C, PIT (SAME) 
6. Nicklas Backstrom, C, WSH (SAME) 
7. Auston Matthews, C, TOR (+1) 
8. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, STL (+1) 
9. Brad Marchand, LW, BOS (+1) 
10. Jamie Benn, LW, DAL (+3) 
11. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TBL (-4) 
12. Phil Kessel, RW, PIT (-1) 
13. Mark Scheifele, C, WPG (+1) 
14. John Tavares, C, NYI (-2) 
15. Tyler Seguin, C/RW, DAL (+3) 
16. Patrik Laine, LW/RW, WPG (+8) 
17. Joe Pavelski, C/RW, SJS (-2) 
18. Artemi Panarin, LW, CHI (-2) 
19. Wayne Simmonds, RW, PHI (-2) 
20. David Pastrnak, RW, BOS (SAME) 
21. Jakub Voracek, LW/RW, PHI (-2) 
22. Cam Atkinson, RW, CBJ (-1) 
23. Max Pacioretty, LW, MTL (SAME) 
24. Jeff Carter, C, LAK (+1) 
25. Mikael Granlund, C/LW/RW, MIN (+1) 
26. Aleksander Barkov, C, FLA (+13) 
27. Jack Eichel, C, BUF (+4) 
28. Nazem Kadri, C, TOR (+7) 
29. Leon Draisaitl, C/RW, EDM (+9) 
30. Ryan Kesler, C, ANA (-8) 
31. Blake Wheeler, RW, WPG (-4) 
32. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, WSH (-3) 
33. Corey Perry, RW, ANA (-5) 
34. Alexander Radulov, LW/RW, MTL (-4) 
35. James van Riemsdyk, LW, TOR (-2) 
36. Patrice Bergeron, C, BOS (-2) 
37. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, FLA (+20) 
38. Mike Hoffman, LW, OTT (DTD) 
39. Patric Hornqvist, RW, PIT (+1) 
40. Eric Staal, C, MIN (+2) 
41. Nick Foligno, LW/RW, CBJ (+2) 
42. Claude Giroux, C, PHI (-6) 
43. Mikko Koivu, C, MIN (+10) 
44. Ryan Johansen, C, NSH (SAME) 
45. Taylor Hall, LW, NJD (+6) 
46. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, CGY (+12) 
47. Ryan Getzlaf, C, ANA (SAME) 
48. Chris Kreider, LW, NYR (SAME) 
49. Kyle Okposo, RW, BUF (SAME) 
50. T.J. Oshie, RW, WSH (SAME) 
51. Logan Couture, C, SJS (-6) 
52. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW/RW, WPG (-11) 
53. Ryan O'Reilly, C/LW, BUF (+10) 
54. Alex Galchenyuk, C, MTL (-8) 
55. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, CGY (-3) 
56. William Nylander, C/RW, TOR (+5) 
57. Alexander Wennberg, C, CBJ (-3) 
58. Jaromir Jagr, LW/RW, FLA (+6) 
59. Brayden Schenn, C/LW, PHI (-4) 
60. Mark Stone, RW, OTT (DTD) 
61. Evander Kane, LW, BUF (+13) 
62. Nino Niederreiter, LW/RW, MIN (+14) 
63. Jonathan Drouin, LW/RW, TBL (-1) 
64. Joe Thornton, C, SJS (+3) 
65. Anders Lee, LW, NYI (+10) 
66. Jonathan Toews, C, CHI (+6) 
67. Mats Zuccarello, RW, NYR (+2) 
68. Jeff Skinner, LW, CAR (-9) 
69. Filip Forsberg, LW, NSH (-4) 
70. J.T. Miller, C/LW/RW, NYR (-2) 
71. Charlie Coyle, C/RW, MIN (-5) 
72. Artem Anisimov, C, CHI (+8) 
73. Jakob Silfverberg, RW, ANA (-3) 
74. Tyler Toffoli, C/RW, LAK (-14) 
75. Marian Hossa, RW, CHI (+2) 
76. Anze Kopitar, C, LAK (-3) 
77. Derek Stepan, C, NYR (DTD) 
78. Brandon Saad, LW/RW, CBJ (SAME) 
79. Kevin Hayes, C/RW, NYR (-3) 
80. James Neal, RW, NSH (+4) 
81. Tyler Johnson, C, TBL (+4) 
82. Jason Zucker, LW/RW, MIN (+4) 
83. Sean Monahan, C, CGY (-4) 
84. Justin Williams, RW, WSH (-3) 
85. Rick Nash, LW/RW, NYR (-2) 
86. Patrick Marleau, C/LW, SJS (+1) 
87. Vincent Trocheck, C, FLA (NEW
88. Henrik Zetterberg, C/LW, DET (NEW
89. Matt Duchene, C/RW, COL (+2) 
90. Patrick Maroon, LW, EDM (NEW
91. Viktor Arvidsson, LW/RW, NSH (-1) 
92. Zach Parise, LW, MIN (-3) 
93. Patrick Eaves, RW, DAL (+6) 
94. Kyle Turris, C, OTT (NEW
95. Alexander Steen, LW/RW, STL (-1) 
96. Marcus Johansson, LW/RW, WSH (-2) 
97. Jason Spezza, C/RW, DAL (NR - INJ.
98. Jason Pominville, RW, MIN (+2) 
99. Sam Reinhart, C/RW, BUF (DTD) 
100. Michael Grabner, LW/RW, NYR (-2) 

Dropped out: Nathan MacKinnon (C/RW, COL), Rickard Rakell (C/LW, ANA), Chris Kunitz (LW, PIT), Bryan Little (C, WPG) 

Just missed: Radim Vrbata (RW, ARI), Kyle Palmieri (RW, NJD), Mikael Backlund (C, CGY), Daniel Sedin (LW, VAN), Brandon Dubinsky (C, CBJ), Josh Bailey (LW/RW, NYI), Ondrej Palat (LW, TBL), Paul Stastny (C, STL), Bo Horvat (C, VAN), Tomas Hertl (C/LW, SJS) 

Key injures: Steven Stamkos (C, TBL), Mitchell Marner (C/RW, TOR), Conor Sheary (LW/RW, PIT), Andre Burakovsky (LW/RW, WSH), Robby Fabbri (C/LW, STL)

 

READ: Last week's Top 100 forward rankings

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