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Week 1: Fantasy top 100 forward rankings for 2017-18

NHL.com lists most valuable standard-league assets for rest of season

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

Each week during the regular season, NHL.com has you covered with an overview of the fantasy forward landscape. With production trends, injury news and top 100 rankings based on performance and upside in standard Yahoo leagues, fantasy owners should use this information as a basis for roster decision-making.

 

MORE FANTASY RANKINGS: Top 50 defensemen | Top 25 goalies

 

TRENDING UP

Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, WSH: Considering Kuznetsov finished 58th in Yahoo last season despite a big step back production-wise, his ceiling is extremely high on a line with Alex Ovechkin. Kuznetsov has assisted on all seven of Ovechkin's goals through three games, with one coming on the power play. Kuznetsov is also playing on the first unit with Ovechkin, forwards Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie and defenseman John Carlson. The third wheel of Ovechkin and Kuznetsov's line, rookie Jakub Vrana (LW/RW, 45 percent owned), has become a must-add player off the waiver wire.

Brandon Saad, LW, CHI: With constant exposure to center Jonathan Toews since returning to the Chicago Blackhawks, Saad has translated his strong even-strength scoring success to a first power-play role alongside Toews and Patrick Kane. Saad, who will turn 25 on Oct. 27, has four goals, two assists, and is plus-6 with one power-play point and 13 shots on goal through three games. Saad's breakout season has finally arrived, and you can still get a piece of his production with his even-strength linemate Richard Panik (LW/RW, 41 percent owned) or power-play running mate Patrick Sharp (LW/RW, 33 percent).

Video: CBJ@CHI: Saad slides in puck for power-play goal

Evander Kane, LW, BUF: Hopefully you prioritized Kane in drafts after he was moved to a line with Jack Eichel at even strength, because the forward has taken full advantage of an expanded role over his first three games under new coach Phil Housley. He has six points (four goals, two assists) with one PPP, and leads the NHL with 26 SOG. He's in a contract year, has a history of strong category coverage in leagues that count hits and/or penalty minutes, and is taking his offensive game to a new level early.

 

TRENDING DOWN

Vadim Shipachyov, C/LW, VGK: The Vegas Golden Knights have assigned Shipachyov to Chicago of the American Hockey League, but he has not reported to the team. Shipachyov has the potential to be the Golden Knights' top-line center if he's eventually recalled and, thus, is worth stashing in a deep fantasy league if you have room. That said, it's fair game to drop Shipachyov in a standard format because of this roster dilemma. Cody Eakin (1 percent owned) is currently centering James Neal (three goals in two games) and David Perron (LW/RW, 19 percent owned).

Sam Reinhart, C/RW, BUF: As much as Kane has been a bright spot for the Sabres, they are reeling after a 6-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils at home Monday; they have started 0-2-1. Reinhart has skated as Buffalo's third-line center and has been non-existent from a fantasy standpoint (no points, one SOG, minus-6 in three games), and the second line of Ryan O'Reilly and Kyle Okposo hasn't been much better. Buffalo's power play should at least bounce back eventually, but fantasy owners' dreams of him playing with Eichel over a full season may not come true.

Conor Sheary, LW/RW, PIT: A rough two-game start for the Pittsburgh Penguins led to Sheary being moved off Sidney Crosby's line in favor of Bryan Rust (RW, 6 percent owned). Rust already has four assists, and Sheary was minus-5 against the Blackhawks on Thursday and has been held without a point in his past two games. Sheary doesn't play on the first power-play unit, so his floor could be low considering he was not productive without Crosby in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. If Rust sticks with Crosby for another game or two, fantasy owners may want to switch gears.

 

TOP 100 FORWARD RANKINGS

Standard Yahoo categories include goals, assists, plus/minus, PIMs, PPP and SOG for skaters. ... Value has been quantified based on factors including but not limited to past production, line combinations, power-play usage, injury history, age, sleeper, bounce-back or breakout potential, anticipated regression, contract status, Yahoo ADP and overall upside for the rest of the season. ... Any players with day-to-day injury concerns (DTD) are noted.

1. Connor McDavid, C, EDM (SAME)
2. Sidney Crosby, C, PIT (SAME)
3. Auston Matthews, C, TOR (SAME)
4. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TBL (SAME)
5. Alex Ovechkin, LW, WSH (+2)
6. Patrick Kane, RW, CHI (SAME)
7. Jamie Benn, LW, DAL (-2)
8. Evgeni Malkin, C, PIT (SAME)
9. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, STL (+1)
10. Brad Marchand, LW, BOS (-1)
11. Patrik Laine, RW, WPG (SAME)
12. Jack Eichel, C, BUF (SAME)
13. Tyler Seguin, C/RW, DAL (SAME)
14. Mark Scheifele, C, WPG (SAME)
15. Nicklas Backstrom, C, WSH (SAME)
16. John Tavares, C, NYI (SAME)
17. Leon Draisaitl, C/RW, EDM (SAME)
18. Steven Stamkos, C, TBL (SAME)
19. Phil Kessel, RW, PIT (+1)
20. Wayne Simmonds, RW, PHI (+7)
21. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, WSH (+11)
22. Artemi Panarin, C/LW, CBJ (-3)
23. Blake Wheeler, RW, WPG (-1)
24. Mitchell Marner, C/RW, TOR (-1)
25. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, CGY (SAME)
26. David Pastrnak, RW, BOS (-2)
27. William Nylander, C/RW, TOR (+1)
28. Joe Pavelski, C/RW, SJS (-7)
29. Ryan Getzlaf, C, ANA (SAME)
30. Brandon Saad, LW, CHI (+23)
31. Filip Forsberg, LW, NSH (-5)
32. Max Pacioretty, LW, MTL (-2)
33. Patrice Bergeron, C, BOS (DTD)
34. Alexander Radulov, RW, DAL (-1)
35. Sean Monahan, C, CGY (SAME)
36. Claude Giroux, C, PHI (+1)
37. Ryan Johansen, C, NSH (-3)
38. Aleksander Barkov, C, FLA (-2)
39. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, WPG (+1)
40. Evander Kane, LW, BUF (+19)
41. Mike Hoffman, LW/RW, OTT (-2)
42. Rickard Rakell, C/LW, ANA (+3)
43. Jake Guentzel, C/LW, PIT (+3)
44. Cam Atkinson, RW, CBJ (-3)
45. Jeff Skinner, LW, CAR (-2)
46. Corey Perry, RW, ANA (+3)
47. Anze Kopitar, C, LAK (+3)
48. Sebastian Aho, LW/RW, CAR (SAME)
49. Jonathan Toews, C, CHI (+2)
50. Brayden Schenn, C/LW, STL (+2)
51. Jonathan Drouin, C/LW/RW, MTL (-7)
52. Jeff Carter, C, LAK (-10)
53. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, FLA (-6)
54. Taylor Hall, LW, NJD (SAME)
55. Jakub Voracek, RW, PHI (SAME)
56. James van Riemsdyk, LW, TOR (SAME)
57. T.J. Oshie, RW, WSH (SAME)
58. Mikael Granlund, C/RW, MIN (DTD)
59. Mark Stone, RW, OTT (+2)
60. Jordan Eberle, C/RW, NYI (-2)
61. Logan Couture, C, SJS (-1)
62. Jason Spezza, C/RW, DAL (SAME)
63. Alexander Wennberg, C, CBJ (SAME)
64. Tyler Toffoli, C/RW, LAK (SAME)
65. Viktor Arvidsson, LW/RW, NSH (SAME)
66. Eric Staal, C, MIN (SAME)
67. Nazem Kadri, C, TOR (+3)
68. Mika Zibanejad, C, NYR (+17)
69. Nathan MacKinnon, C, COL (-2)
70. Patrick Marleau, C/LW, TOR (+6)
71. James Neal, LW/RW, VGK (+12)
72. Max Domi, LW, ARI (SAME)
73. Mats Zuccarello, RW, NYR (+4)
74. Jaden Schwartz, LW, STL (+4)
75. Andre Burakovsky, LW/RW, WSH (-6)
76. Nick Schmaltz, C/LW, CHI (DTD)
77. Ryan O'Reilly, C, BUF (-9)
78. Jakob Silfverberg, RW, ANA (-5)
79. Anders Lee, LW, NYI (-5)
80. Kyle Turris, C, OTT (-9)
81. Anthony Mantha, LW/RW, DET (+12)
82. Vladislav Namestnikov, C/LW, TBL (NEW)
83. Alex Galchenyuk, C/LW, MTL (-8)
84. Henrik Zetterberg, C/LW, DET (-2)
85. Marcus Johansson, LW, NJD (+1)
86. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, CGY (-6)
87. Milan Lucic, LW, EDM (+2)
88. Nick Foligno, LW/RW, CBJ (+3)
89. Brayden Point, C/RW, TBL (NEW)
90. Nino Niederreiter, LW/RW, MIN (SAME)
91. Kyle Okposo, RW, BUF (-12)
92. Chris Kreider, LW, NYR (+5)
93. Patrick Maroon, LW, EDM (+5)
94. Jakub Vrana, LW/RW, WSH (NEW)
95. Evgenii Dadonov, RW, FLA (-1)
96. Bryan Little, C, WPG (-4)
97. Matt Duchene, C/RW, COL (NEW)
98. Kyle Palmieri, RW, NJD (DTD)
99. Clayton Keller, C/LW, ARI (NEW)
100. Ondrej Palat, LW, TBL (NEW)

Just missed: Bryan Rust, RW, PIT; J.T. Miller, LW/RW, NYR; David Krejci, C, BOS; Brendan Gallagher, RW, MTL; Patrick Sharp, LW/RW, CHI; Elias Lindholm, C/RW, CAR; Bo Horvat, C, VAN; Tyler Bozak, C, TOR; Richard Panik, LW/RW, CHI; Sean Couturier, C, PHI; Leo Komarov, C/LW, TOR; Dylan Larkin, C/RW, DET; Paul Stastny, C, STL; Scott Hartnell, LW, NSH; Derick Brassard, C, OTT

Dropped out: Conor Sheary, LW/RW, PIT; Sam Reinhart, C/RW, BUF; Tyler Johnson, C, TBL; Joe Thornton, C, SJS

Key injuries: Patric Hornqvist, RW, PIT -- dropped out; Zach Parise, LW, MIN -- dropped out; Alexander Steen, C/LW, STL; Patrick Eaves, RW, ANA; Kevin Fiala, LW/RW, NSH; Ryan Kesler, C, ANA; Boone Jenner, C/LW, CBJ; David Backes, RW, BOS

 

READ: Last week's Top 100 forward rankings

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