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Fantasy top 100 forward rankings for 2018-19

Tarasenko, Marner, Monahan among biggest potential beneficiaries from offseason moves

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

NHL.com updates the top 100 fantasy forward landscape based on past production and expectations for next season in standard Yahoo leagues. Fantasy owners should use these updated rankings as a basis for team evaluation, keeper decisions and offseason draft research. These rankings will be updated throughout the offseason after other signings, trades, injury and prospect news, training camp, NHL Preseason games, fantasy mock drafts and any other developments.

 

After the 2018 NHL Draft and free agency, here are some notable forwards that have gained value as beneficiaries from offseason movement around the League.

 

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Top 250 | 50 'D' | 25 'G' | Team power ranks

Mock draft for 2018-19 | Injury report | Free agency roundup | Cheat sheet

 

Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, STL -- The St. Louis Blues right wing may not have his linemates directly affected by their offseason improvements, but the trade for center Ryan O'Reilly and signings of wings David Perron, Robby Fabbri (re-signed to one-year contract after two ACL surgeries) and center Tyler Bozak strengthen the depth of a top-heavy forward group. Tarasenko is expected to be ready for training camp after a shoulder injury and could be a great value if he falls to the late-second or early-third round. He also stands to benefit from the presence of O'Reilly (at least 22 power-play points in each of past four full seasons) on the first man-advantage unit.

 

Jeff Carter, C, and Tyler Toffoli, C/RW, LAK -- Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar scored 92 points (35 goals, 57 assists) in 82 games on a line with mostly Dustin Brown and Alex Iafallo in a season where Carter was limited to 27 games because of a leg injury. Given the signing of Russian wing Ilya Kovalchuk and good health of the second-line center, the Kings offense should be more spread out and much stronger than last season. In addition to Kovalchuk making Kopitar even more appealing in fantasy, it helps the bounce-back potential of Carter and his likely linemate Tyler Toffoli, who has had a low shooting percentage (9.7) over the past two seasons combined. Carter, who finished 25th overall in Yahoo two seasons ago, and Toffoli are expected to play together again at even strength and each gains potential exposure to Kovalchuk on the first power play.

 

Johnny Gaudreau, LW, and Sean Monahan, C, CGY -- A fresh, possession-based system under new coach Bill Peters, the trade for Elias Lindholm and signing of veteran goal-scorer James Neal boost the value of the Flames' top-line duo for 2018-19. Gaudreau and Monahan have gradually moved up over the course of the offseason and remain undervalued based on their elite production together over the past four seasons. Their frequent linemate, Micheal Ferland, is off to the Carolina Hurricanes, but the addition of Neal and Lindholm and possibility that Matthew Tkachuk could play on the top line gives them plenty of possibilities. Monahan is progressing following four surgeries and is expected to be healthy for training camp. It's a feasible strategy to draft Gaudreau in the third round of a 12-team draft and then target Monahan soon after for what could be their best season yet.

 

Mitchell Marner, C/RW, and Zach Hyman, LW, TOR -- The potential fantasy impact of John Tavares' decision to join the Toronto Maple Leafs is well-documented, and the elevated upside of his potential linemates are reflected in the below rankings. After coach Mike Babcock's early lineup projection, Marner moved up five spots among forwards, and Hyman cracked the top 100 at the position with anticipated exposure to Tavares at even strength. Hyman, Auston Matthews' most-frequent linemate over their first two NHL seasons, now has the safety net of playing with either Matthews or Tavares, each a potential top 10 fantasy finisher. Wings Patrick Marleau and William Nylander are likely to skate with Matthews to start the season and could benefit by association to Toronto's elite center duo.

 

Mathew Barzal, C, NYI -- On the flip side of the Tavares' fallout, Barzal's value is intriguing in the short and long term. The Calder Trophy winner outscored Tavares (85 points to 84) last season but will face the opponent's top two-way forwards and defense pairs moving forward. That said, the offense will revolve around Barzal and he'll be relied upon heavily for zone entries and power-play production. It's unclear whether Barzal will regress or build on his stellar rookie season, but he's likely to dip in fantasy drafts because of all the concerns surrounding the New York Islanders. Barzal, the first player since Evgeni Malkin in 2006-07 to exceed a point per game in a rookie season of at least 75 games, should be attainable in the fifth round or later with an array of strong wings at his disposal (Jordan Eberle, either Anders Lee or Anthony Beauvillier).

 

Worth noting: Philadelphia Flyers center Nolan Patrick, who's ranked just outside the top 100 fantasy forwards, is a late-round sleeper for his second NHL season after the signing of left wing James van Riemsdyk to a five-year contract. Patrick will likely play with van Riemsdyk and either right wing Jakub Voracek or Wayne Simmonds on the second line at even strength and on the second power-play unit with defenseman Ivan Provorov.

 

TOP 100 FANTASY FORWARDS

Standard Yahoo skater categories include goals, assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, power-play points and shots on goal. Positions indicate eligibility in Yahoo leagues during 2017-18 season (subject to change at Yahoo's discretion in offseason). ... Value has been quantified based on factors including but not limited to past production, projected line combinations, power-play usage, injury history, sleeper upside, anticipated regression or bounce-back candidacy, age and contract status (pending unrestricted or restricted free agent). ... Any potential 2019 UFAs (*) and RFAs (**) are also noted below. ... INJ. indicates players with injury concerns.

1. Connor McDavid, C, EDM
2. Alex Ovechkin, LW, WSH
3. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TBL
4. Sidney Crosby, C, PIT
5. Evgeni Malkin, C, PIT
6. Patrik Laine, RW, WPG**
7. Auston Matthews, C, TOR**
8. John Tavares, C, TOR
9. Brad Marchand, LW, BOS
10. David Pastrnak, RW, BOS
11. Steven Stamkos, C, TBL
12. Nathan MacKinnon, C, COL
13. Tyler Seguin, C/RW, DAL*
14. Jamie Benn, C/LW, DAL
15. Blake Wheeler, C/RW, WPG*
16. Claude Giroux, C/LW, PHI
17. Patrick Kane, RW, CHI
18. Taylor Hall, LW, NJD (INJ.)
19. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, WSH
20. Anze Kopitar, C, LAK
21. Mark Scheifele, C, WPG
22. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, STL (INJ.)
23. Patrice Bergeron, C, BOS
24. Artemi Panarin, C/LW, CBJ*
25. Phil Kessel, RW, PIT
26. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, CGY
27. Mitchell Marner, C/RW, TOR**
28. Jack Eichel, C, BUF
29. Aleksander Barkov, C, FLA
30. Filip Forsberg, LW, NSH
31. Leon Draisaitl, C/RW, EDM
32. Joe Pavelski, C/RW, SJS*
33. Ryan Getzlaf, C, ANA
34. Jakub Voracek, RW, PHI
35. Evander Kane, LW, SJS
36. William Karlsson, C/LW, VGK (RFA)
37. Ilya Kovalchuk, LW/RW, LAK
38. Alexander Radulov, RW, DAL
39. Sean Monahan, C, CGY (INJ.)
40. Mathew Barzal, C, NYI
41. Nicklas Backstrom, C, WSH
42. Sebastian Aho, LW/RW, CAR**
43. Brock Boeser, RW, VAN (INJ.)**
44. Mikko Rantanen, LW/RW, COL**
45. Patric Hornqvist, RW, PIT
46. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, CGY (INJ.)**
47. Sean Couturier, C, PHI (INJ.)
48. Jonathan Marchessault, C/LW, VGK
49. Rickard Rakell, C/LW/RW, ANA
50. William Nylander, C/RW, TOR (RFA)
51. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW/RW, WPG
52. Viktor Arvidsson, LW/RW, NSH
53. Logan Couture, C/LW, SJS
54. Brayden Schenn, C/LW, STL
55. Clayton Keller, C/LW/RW, ARI
56. Brayden Point, C/RW, TBL**
57. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, FLA
58. Wayne Simmonds, RW, PHI (INJ.)*
59. Teuvo Teravainen, C/LW/RW, CAR**
60. Mikael Granlund, C/RW, MIN
61. Max Pacioretty, LW, MTL (INJ.)*
62. Ryan Johansen, C, NSH
63. Mike Hoffman, LW/RW, FLA
64. James van Riemsdyk, LW, PHI
65. Cam Atkinson, RW, CBJ
66. Vincent Trocheck, C, FLA
67. Jeff Carter, C, LAK
68. Gabriel Landeskog, LW, COL
69. Kyle Connor, LW, WPG**
70. Eric Staal, C, MIN*
71. Dylan Larkin, C/RW, DET (RFA)
72. T.J. Oshie, RW, WSH
73. Reilly Smith, LW/RW, VGK
74. Jake Guentzel, C/LW, PIT**
75. Jaden Schwartz, LW, STL (INJ.)
76. Nazem Kadri, C, TOR
77. Jonathan Toews, C, CHI (INJ.)
78. Mark Stone, RW, OTT (RFA - INJ.)
79. Pierre-Luc Dubois, C/LW, CBJ
80. Alex DeBrincat, LW/RW, CHI
81. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, EDM (NEW)
82. Anders Lee, LW, NYI*
83. Andrei Svechnikov, RW, CAR
84. Chris Kreider, LW, NYR
85. Mika Zibanejad, C, NYR
86. Sam Reinhart, C/LW/RW, BUF (RFA)
87. Tom Wilson, LW/RW, WSH (RFA)
88. Evgenii Dadonov, LW/RW, FLA
89. Jordan Eberle, C/RW, NYI*
90. J.T. Miller, C/LW/RW, TBL
91. Alex Galchenyuk, C/LW, ARI
92. Pavel Buchnevich, LW/RW, NYR**
93. Corey Perry, RW, ANA
94. Nico Hischier, C, NJD (INJ.)
95. Matt Duchene, C/RW, OTT*
96. Dustin Brown, LW/RW, LAK
97. Tomas Hertl, C/LW/RW, SJS
98. Jason Zucker, LW/RW, MIN (RFA)
99. Tyler Toffoli, C/RW, LAK (NEW)
100. Zach Hyman, C/LW, TOR (NEW)

 

Dropped out of top 100 forwards: Yanni Gourde, C/RW, TBL*; Travis Konecny, C/LW/RW, PHI**; Brendan Gallagher, RW, MTL

Just missed: Nino Niederreiter, LW/RW, MIN; Filip Zadina, LW, DET; Bo Horvat, C, VAN; James Neal, LW/RW, CGY; Jeff Skinner, LW, CAR*; Ryan O'Reilly, C, STL; Anthony Mantha, LW/RW, DET (RFA); Nolan Patrick, C, PHI; Patrick Marleau, C/LW, TOR; Derek Stepan, C, ARI (INJ.); Alex Tuch, RW, VGK**; Anthony Beauvillier, C/LW, NYI**; Kyle Palmieri, RW, NJD; Valeri Nichushkin, RW, DAL; Elias Pettersson, C, VAN

 

READ: Top 100 forward rankings for June 2018

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