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Fantasy top 100 forward rankings for 2016-17 lists most valuable standard-league assets during regular season

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / Senior Fantasy Editor

All season long, 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. Multiple positions indicate dual 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.

Coach Bruce Boudreau was hired by the Minnesota Wild at perhaps the most exhausting point of his career. He and the Anaheim Ducks had just lost their fourth consecutive Game 7 with each defeat coming on home ice.


The verdict is still out on Boudreau's Stanley Cup Playoff reputation, but no one can ever question his success as a regular-season coach; he has eight division titles in nine seasons. Boudreau came into Minnesota with a pedigree of working with talented forwards such as Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf with the Ducks and Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom with the Washington Capitals, but his latest chapter may be his most impressive work yet. The Wild, despite Zach Parise being limited to 14 of their 21 games thus far, have reaped the benefits of having Boudreau on board, improving from 2.60 goals per game last season (T-18th) to 2.76 (11th) this season.

Video: NHL Now: Quarter-Season Fantasy Awards

The Wild's back end is also as stable as ever, with Devan Dubnyk solidifying his place among the League's best goalies; he's tied for first in save percentage (.946), tied for second in goals-against average (1.66), and leads the NHL in shutouts (four) among goalies with at least 10 games played. But flying under the radar is how Boudreau has maximized the Wild's young forward talent, which had previously failed to pan out.

Charlie Coyle (C/RW, 42 percent owned) has been thriving alongside offseason addition Eric Staal for most of the season, taking the next step in his career as a full-time top line player. He has 15 points (three power-play points) and 51 shots on goal in 21 games, and has four points during his current three-game point streak. With Parise back, the Parise-Staal-Coyle trio has been together at even strength and on the Wild's first power-play unit, giving them the perfect blend of youth and experience in all situations. Coyle had a career-high 42 points last season, but is on pace for nearly 60 this season in an expanded role.

Two other young forwards who have especially been on the upswing under Boudreau are Nino Niederreiter (LW/RW, 16 percent owned) and Mikael Granlund (C/LW, 17 percent owned). Niederreiter has become one of the most underrated even-strength possession players in the NHL, ranking fourth in Shot Attempts relative percentage (9.2) among players with at least 20 games played behind Brad Marchand (12.2), Blake Wheeler (11.9) and Artemi Panarin (9.3). Niederreiter has translated those attempts into strong category coverage: 13 points, a plus-7, three PPP and 38 SOG.

Boudreau has moved Granlund, a center in the past, to left wing on a line with Wild captain Mikko Koivu, and the results have been encouraging. Granlund has 14 points in 21 games and a respectable rating (plus-5). He had back-to-back multipoint outings against the Winnipeg Jets and Pittsburgh Penguins last week, and has made the most of his power-play role with five PPP in 2:10 per game in such situations. Video: PIT@MIN: Coyle scores off turnover for second of game




The New Jersey Devils, still without Taylor Hall (recovering from knee surgery), welcomed back Michael Cammalleri (LW, 53 percent owned) last week, who had missed time for personal reasons. The Devils, who scored 40 goals in their first 18 games (tied for fourth fewest in NHL), have exploded for 11 goals in three games since Cammalleri returned; he has eight points in the span. The common denominator has been Travis Zajac, who was productive when centering Hall earlier in the season and has five points and nine SOG since Cammalleri's return. Hall remains universally owned and Cammalleri's ownership continues to skyrocket, but it's worth reminding fantasy owners that Zajac is leading the Devils in scoring (15 points) and sitting pretty at 13 percent owned. 



Since I've been covering fantasy for, I can't remember a time Henrik Sedin was outside the top 100 forward rankings -- but that's where we stand. The 36-year-old, even in recent years where his coverage has waned, has been an elite assist and PPP producer, but his performance in those areas has been lacking (seven assists, four PPP in 22 games). He has barely more than a SOG per game (26), and has been held without a point in three straight games. Henrik, 281st in Yahoo's performance-based rankings entering Tuesday, appears bound for a negative rating (minus-5) for the first time since his rookie season in 2000-01 (minus-2 in 82 games). Be patient with Daniel Sedin, the high-volume shooter in the family (six goals on 61 SOG), if you can afford to, but chances are there are more productive centers than Henrik from better teams on your waiver wire



-My colleague Ben Zweiman featured Buffalo Sabres forward Sam Reinhart in his fantasy waiver wire piece and news has since broken that his linemate Jack Eichel (ankle) will make his season debut Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators. Reinhart and slow-starting category cog Evander Kane (LW, 20 percent owned) skated with Eichel at practice Monday and are worth considering in all formats ahead of the center's return. 

-With Sean Couturier (lower body) out 4-6 weeks, the Philadelphia Flyers have restructured their top nine forward group. Brayden Schenn has moved down to center the third line, and Wayne Simmonds is skating on the opposite wing of rookie Travis Konecny on the second line. That means Claude Giroux and bounce-back star Jakub Voracek have reunited on the top line alongside Michael Raffl. The Flyers vaunted first power-play unit remains intact (Giroux, Simmonds, Voracek, Schenn, Shayne Gostisbehere), but Konecny (C/LW, 18 percent owned) and Raffl (LW, 1 percent owned) are potential beneficiaries of these new line combinations and are there for the taking in most formats.

-The St. Louis Blues are getting their lines sorted out in the absence of injured Alexander Steen (undisclosed; day to day). Robby Fabbri (C/LW, 33 percent owned) is still playing alongside Vladimir Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera, but the second line of Jaden Schwartz (C/LW, 67 percent owned), Paul Stastny (C, 44 percent owned) and David Perron (LW/RW, 29 percent owned) has been especially dominant in recent games. Perron extended his point streak to eight games by scoring a goal Monday against the Dallas Stars, and Schwartz's streak reached seven games (plus-6 in span). If you're looking for category coverage, Perron can help your cause with points (16), penalty minutes (16), SOG (47), PPP (five) and/or hits (20).

Video: DAL@STL: Fabbri avoids offsides, nets Bortuzzo's pass



Top 100 Fantasy Forwards

These rankings were last updated Nov. 29 

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

Dropped out: Jimmy Vesey (LW, NYR), Dylan Larkin (C/RW, DET), Henrik Sedin (C, VAN) 

Just missed: Mikael Granlund (C/LW, MIN), Travis Zajac (C, NJD), Sam Reinhart (C/RW, BUF), Henrik Zetterberg (C/LW, DET), Paul Stastny (C, STL), Kyle Turris (C, OTT), Radim Vrbata (RW, ARI), Mark Stone (RW, OTT), Mikko Koivu (C, MIN), Bo Horvat (C, VAN) 

Key injuries: Steven Stamkos (C, TBL), Johnny Gaudreau (LW, CGY), Taylor Hall (LW, NJD), Mika Zibanejad (C/RW, NYR), Jonathan Huberdeau (LW, FLA), Alexander Steen (LW/RW, STL), T.J. Oshie (RW, WSH), Tomas Hertl (C/LW, SJS), Bryan Little (C, WPG), Jiri Hudler (C/RW, DAL), Chris Kunitz (LW, PIT)


READ: Last week's Top 100 forward rankings

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