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Fantasy: Top 50 defenseman rankings for 2018-19 previews most valuable standard-league assets for next season

by Rob Reese @NHLReese / Fantasy Editor

The 2017-18 fantasy hockey season is nearing an end, which means it's a good time to preview 2018-19.

The top five defensemen in standard leagues should not surprise anyone. Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning), Brent Burns (San Jose Sharks), Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg Jets), P.K. Subban (Nashville Predators) and Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings) all have strong category production compared to the rest of the pack when healthy. Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators; ranked 150th in Yahoo) remains an intriguing first-round pick even though he fell shy of his preseason rank of 17. Karlsson ranks second in the League behind Burns in points by a defenseman since Jan. 1 with 37 points in 39 games.

These proven fantasy assets have a number of young players in their rearview mirror. Rookies Charlie McAvoy (Boston Bruins), Will Butcher (New Jersey Devils) and Mikhail Sergachev (Tampa Bay Lightning) made an immediate impact for fantasy owners. Each warrants mid-round pick consideration next year. Both Sergachev and Butcher well exceeded their preseason rankings.

Seth Jones (Columbus Blue Jackets), John Carlson (Washington Capitals), John Klingberg (Dallas Stars) and Shayne Gostisbehere (Philadelphia Flyers) were among defensemen that set career highs in points and are worth selecting in the top 50.

With all the trends fresh from the 2017-18 regular season let's take an early look at the top 50 defenseman rankings for 2018-19.


MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Top 250 playersTop 100 forwards | Projected lineups


Worth noting: Rankings are based on the assumption that all UFA's and RFA's will stay with their current team. Prospects eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft have been excluded.


1. Victor Hedman, TBL

2. Brent Burns, SJS

3. Dustin Byfuglien, WPG

4. P.K. Subban, NSH

5. Drew Doughty, LAK

6. Erik Karlsson, OTT

7. Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI

8. John Carlson, WSH

9. John Klingberg, DAL

10. Seth Jones, CBJ

11. Roman Josi, NSH

12. Torey Krug, BOS

13. Tyson Barrie, COL

14. Dougie Hamilton, CGY

15. Kris Letang, PIT

16. Alex Pietrangelo, STL

17. Shea Weber, MTL

18. Ryan Ellis, NSH

19. Matt Dumba, MIN

20. Morgan Rielly, TOR

21. Charlie McAvoy, BOS

22. Keith Yandle, FLA

23. Aaron Ekblad, FLA

24. Jake Gardiner, TOR

25. Mark Giordano, CGY

26. Ryan Suter, MIN

27. Jake Muzzin, LAK

28. Will Butcher, NJD

29. Zach Werenski, CBJ

30. Mattias Ekholm, NSH

31. Mikhail Sergachev, TBL

32. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI

33. Ivan Provorov, PHI

34. Colton Parayko, STL

35. Rasmus Ristolainen, BUF

36. Tyler Myers, WPG

37. Jared Spurgeon, MIN

38. Colin Miller, VGK

39. Brandon Montour, ANA

40. Erik Johnson, COL

41. Ryan Pulock, NYI

42. Shea Theodore, VGK

43. Kevin Shattenkirk, NYR

44. Alexander Edler, D, VAN

45. Justin Faulk, CAR

46. Sami Vatanen, NJD

47. Josh Manson, ANA

48. Cam Fowler, ANA

49. Darnell Nurse, EDM

50. Jacob Trouba, WPG


Just missed: Ryan McDonagh, TBL; Matt Niskanen, WSH; Mike Matheson, FLA; Thomas Chabot, OTT; Hampus Lindholm, ANA; Vince Dunn, STL


READ: Last week's Top 50 defenseman rankings

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