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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 COVERAGE: Top 50 defensemen | Top 25 goalies | Daily projected lineups

 

TRENDING UP

Vincent Trocheck, C, FLA: Trocheck is tied for 10th in the NHL in shots on goal (153). He has 22 SOG his past three games, including 10 against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 7 and nine against the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 9. He's nearly a point-per-game player (41 in 43 games) and is tied with Jonathan Huberdeau for the Panthers lead in power-play points (12). Despite losing frequent linemates Reilly Smith, Jonathan Marchessault and Jussi Jokinen in the offseason, Trocheck is Florida's highest-ranked fantasy player at 26th overall in Yahoo after an average draft position of 168.9.

Calgary Flames: They have won seven straight games and warrant much more fantasy attention. The point pair of left wing Johnny Gaudreau and center Sean Monahan is tied for third in the NHL with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek (Philadelphia Flyers) in goals when each player has a point (28) behind Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning; 37) and Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins; 32). Micheal Ferland (LW/RW, 36 percent owned) has been the third wheel on that line for most of the season and enters the top 100 forward rankings after nine points (four goals, five assists) over his past six games. Calgary's second-line duo of Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund also has been making waves. Tkachuk has been an elite fantasy left wing each of his first two seasons (64th in Yahoo; 56th last season), and Backlund (21 percent, 107th in Yahoo) remains one of the most underrated center-only players.

Alexander Kerfoot, C/RW, COL: The Colorado Avalanche also have won seven straight games, and the rookie forward is making a case for increased fantasy ownership (9 percent) with five points (one goal, four assists), three on the power play, over his past three games. He's averaging 3:05 per game with the man-advantage and is tied for third among rookies in PPP with New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal (14) behind New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher and Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser (15 each). He has a low shot volume (40 in 40 games) but is producing on Colorado's second line and power-play unit, especially at home (17 points in 22 games).

Video: COL@DAL: Kerfoot shows off speed, scores short side

 

TRENDING DOWN

Auston Matthews, C, TOR: The Toronto Maple Leafs center has been outstanding when healthy despite little help from his linemates in his second NHL season; he is nearly a point-per-game player (33 in 35 games) but barely stands among the top 100 in Yahoo (99th) because he's missed 10 games. Linemate William Nylander is heating up with 11 points (four goals, seven assists) over his past 11 games, but Matthews' ceiling is limited until he improves on the power play. His PPP-per-game average has dipped from 0.26 last season to 0.17. With some of the individual scoring totals around the League, it's difficult to rank Matthews higher than 20th among forwards right now.

Mika Zibanejad, C, NYR: With left wing Chris Kreider (rib resection surgery) out long term and right wing Pavel Buchnevich struggling in an inconsistent role, Zibanejad's fantasy stock has plummeted. He missed time because of a concussion and has three goals, no assists, a minus-6 rating and one PPP in 11 games since returning. Zibanejad had arguably his worst game of the season matched up against Barzal in a 7-2 loss to the Islanders on Saturday. Since Zibanejad returned Dec. 19, the Rangers are tied with the Los Angeles Kings for the fewest goals in the League (22) and have the third-worst power play (9.7 percent).

Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets have the second-worst power play in the League (13.5 percent) and rank 28th in goals per game (2.59) past the midway point (46 games). This is extremely shocking considering the forward talent on their roster. Left wing Artemi Panarin and center Pierre-Luc Dubois have been a reliable duo and are worth owning in most formats, but right wings Josh Anderson and Oliver Bjorkstrand have cooled off lately and don't have the power-play production to stack up among the top 100 forwards. Center Alexander Wennberg has no points and no SOG in two games since returning from a back injury; the Blue Jackets have been outscored 8-3 in losses to the Buffalo Sabres and Canucks in the span. Right wing Cam Atkinson (foot) remains sidelined.

 

WORTH NOTING

Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler has gained center eligibility in Yahoo leagues (now C/RW-eligible).

With Mark Scheifele (upper body) sidelined for the past eight games, Wheeler has shifted to center on a line with Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine. Wheeler has 11 points (five goals, six assists) and 27 shots on goal over the past eight games. He ranks eighth overall in Yahoo based on standard-category production.

 

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. NEW - INJ. indicates a player who has returned from injury and rejoined the rankings.

1. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TBL (SAME)
2. Steven Stamkos, C, TBL (SAME)
3. Alex Ovechkin, LW, WSH (SAME)
4. Sidney Crosby, C, PIT (SAME)
5. Connor McDavid, C, EDM (SAME)
6. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, STL (SAME)
7. Tyler Seguin, C/RW, DAL (SAME)
8. Blake Wheeler, C/RW, WPG (SAME)
9. Brad Marchand, LW, BOS (SAME)
10. John Tavares, C, NYI (SAME)
11. Phil Kessel, RW, PIT (+1)
12. Nathan MacKinnon, C, COL (+3)
13. Evgeni Malkin, C, PIT (SAME)
14. Jamie Benn, C/LW, DAL (SAME)
15. Jakub Voracek, RW, PHI (+3)
16. Patrik Laine, RW, WPG (+3)
17. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, CGY (+4)
18. Claude Giroux, C/LW, PHI (+2)
19. Patrick Kane, RW, CHI (-3)
20. Auston Matthews, C, TOR (-9)
21. David Pastrnak, RW, BOS (-4)
22. Ryan Getzlaf, C, ANA (SAME)
23. Patrice Bergeron, C, BOS (+1)
24. Nicklas Backstrom, C, WSH (+1)
25. Anze Kopitar, C, LAK (+1)
26. Taylor Hall, LW, NJD (+1)
27. Alexander Radulov, RW, DAL (+2)
28. Brayden Schenn, C/LW, STL (-5)
29. Brock Boeser, RW, VAN (-1)
30. Jonathan Marchessault, C/LW, VGK (+2)
31. Sean Monahan, C, CGY (DTD)
32. Artemi Panarin, C/LW, CBJ (+2)
33. Aleksander Barkov, C, FLA (+2)
34. Jack Eichel, C, BUF (+1)
35. Leon Draisaitl, C/RW, EDM (+1)
36. Mathew Barzal, C, NYI (+5)
37. Anders Lee, LW, NYI (-7)
38. Josh Bailey, LW/RW, NYI (DTD)
39. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, WSH (-3)
40. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, FLA (+3)
41. Sean Couturier, C, PHI (+3)
42. Vincent Trocheck, C, FLA (+6)
43. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, WPG (-1)
44. Mikko Rantanen, LW/RW, COL (+1)
45. Brayden Point, C/RW, TBL (+1)
46. Tyler Toffoli, C/RW, LAK (+1)
47. William Nylander, C/RW, TOR (+2)
48. Tyler Johnson, C/RW, TBL (+2)
49. Joe Pavelski, C/RW, SJS (+2)
50. William Karlsson, C/LW, VGK (+6)
51. Wayne Simmonds, RW, PHI (+6)
52. Evander Kane, LW, BUF (-12)
53. Mark Stone, RW, OTT (+6)
54. Vladislav Namestnikov, C/LW, TBL (-15)
55. Eric Staal, C, MIN (-2)
56. Jonathan Toews, C, CHI (-2)
57. Dustin Brown, LW/RW, LAK (-2)
58. Gabriel Landeskog, LW, COL (SAME)
59. Logan Couture, C/LW, SJS (+1)
60. Mikael Granlund, C/RW, MIN (+6)
61. Reilly Smith, LW/RW, VGK (+6)
62. Patric Hornqvist, RW, PIT (+7)
63. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, CGY (+9)
64. Rickard Rakell, C/LW, ANA (-12)
65. Ryan Johansen, C, NSH (-4)
66. Kyle Turris, C, NSH (-4)
67. Max Pacioretty, LW, MTL (+6)
68. Corey Perry, RW, ANA (SAME)
69. Anthony Mantha, LW/RW, DET (+6)
70. Viktor Arvidsson, LW/RW, NSH (DTD)
71. James Neal, LW/RW, VGK (DTD)
72. Mitchell Marner, C/RW, TOR (-2)
73. James van Riemsdyk, LW, TOR (-2)
74. Mike Hoffman, LW/RW, OTT (+3)
75. Dylan Larkin, C/RW, DET (+1)
76. David Perron, LW/RW, VGK (+2)
77. Joe Thornton, C, SJS (+8)
78. T.J. Oshie, RW, WSH (+1)
79. Danton Heinen, C/LW/RW, BOS (+1)
80. Nick Schmaltz, C/LW, CHI (+10)
81. Jordan Eberle, C/RW, NYI (NEW)
82. Mika Zibanejad, C, NYR (-18)
83. Pierre-Luc Dubois, C/LW, CBJ (+4)
84. Kyle Palmieri, RW, NJD (+9)
85. Evgenii Dadonov, RW, FLA (NEW)
86. Jake Guentzel, C/LW, PIT (-4)
87. Kevin Fiala, LW/RW, NSH (-6)
88. Milan Lucic, LW, EDM (-5)
89. Mats Zuccarello, RW, NYR (-5)
90. Jeff Skinner, LW, CAR (-4)
91. Teuvo Teravainen, C/LW/RW, CAR (-2)
92. Clayton Keller, C/LW/RW, ARI (SAME)
93. Kyle Connor, LW, WPG (+4)
94. Jason Zucker, LW/RW, MIN (NEW)
95. David Backes, RW, BOS (SAME)
96. Micheal Ferland, LW/RW, CGY (NEW)
97. Ryan Kesler, C, ANA (+3)
98. Patrick Maroon, LW, EDM (NEW)
99. Alexander Kerfoot, C/RW, COL (NEW)
100. Yanni Gourde, C/RW, TBL (NEW)

 

Just missed: Tanner Pearson, LW, LAK; Brandon Saad, LW, CHI; Bryan Little, C, WPG; Nico Hischier, C, NJD; Henrik Zetterberg, C/LW, DET; Mathieu Perreault, C/LW, WPG; Jake DeBrusk, LW, BOS; Brendan Gallagher, RW, MTL; Jakob Silfverberg, LW/RW, ANA; David Krejci, C, BOS; Mikael Backlund, C, CGY; Mikko Koivu, C, MIN; Thomas Vanek, LW/RW, VAN; Gustav Nyquist, C/LW/RW, DET; Alex Galchenyuk, C/LW, MTL; Nick Foligno, C/LW/RW, CBJ; Matt Duchene, C/RW, OTT; Jordan Staal, C, CAR; Anthony Duclair, LW/RW, CHI; Andreas Athanasiou, C/LW, DET; Anthony Beauvillier, C/LW, NYI

Dropped out: Nazem Kadri, C, TOR; Josh Anderson, RW, CBJ; Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW, CBJ; Alexander Steen, C/LW/RW, STL; Ondrej Palat, LW, TBL

Key injuries: Filip Forsberg, LW, NSH; Mark Scheifele, C, WPG; Jaden Schwartz, LW, STL; Sebastian Aho, LW/RW, CAR (dropped out); Nino Niederreiter, LW/RW, MIN (dropped out); Chris Kreider, LW, NYR; Bo Horvat, C, VAN; Cam Atkinson, RW, CBJ; Jeff Carter, C, LAK

 

READ: Last week's Top 100 forward rankings

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