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Fantasy defenseman top 50 rankings for 2018-19

Green among most valuable at position since season debut; Trouba, Morrissey worth streaming with Byfuglien injured

by Rob Reese @NHLReese / Fantasy Editor's fantasy hockey defenseman top 50 rankings are based on past production and expectations for the rest of the season in standard Yahoo leagues. For more fantasy hockey coverage, visit


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Mike Green, DET: The Detroit Red Wings defenseman has five points (one goal, four assists), 11 shots on goal and is plus-6 in the past five games. Since making his season debut Oct. 26, Green is tied for 10th among NHL defensemen with 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) in 18 games and is plus-9 on the season. It's worth noting only two of Green's points have come on the power play this season, so he would have an even higher rest-of-season ceiling if he starts to produce on special teams.

Shea Weber, MTL: The Montreal Canadiens defenseman has three points (two goals, one assist), 11 SOG and is plus-2 in three games this season. Weber has 11 hits over the same span and, with continued category coverage, he could soon enter the top 15 of's rankings. Defenseman Jeff Petry, who was expected to lose significant fantasy value with Weber's return, has one goal and 12 SOG in the past three games and is worth holding onto as a No. 4 or bench option.



Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI: The Philadelphia Flyers defenseman continues to drop in the rankings with no points and a minus-7 in his past five games. He led all NHL defensemen with 33 power-play points last season, but is tied for 14th at the position this season with seven in 25 games. It's possible that Gostisbehere could experience a resurgence if the Flyers improve their 28th ranked power play (15.1 percent). But, until then, he's worth benching in all formats.



Charlie McAvoy, BOS: The Boston Bruins defenseman could return to the lineup this week after practicing in full Monday for the first time since sustaining a concussion Oct. 18. McAvoy was off to a promising start with six points (one goal, five assists) in seven games and could remain a top 25 defenseman for the rest of the season. Despite McAvoy's injury concerns (missed 19 games last season), he's an intriguing fantasy trade target with exposure to elite wings Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak at even strength. McAvoy would also gain significant value once center Patrice Bergeron (rib) eventually returns to the lineup.

Dustin Byfuglien, WPG: The Winnipeg Jets defenseman has missed the past three games with a concussion. In Byfuglien's absence, defensemen Josh Morrissey (two points in three games) and Jacob Trouba (four points in three games) have emerged as quality streaming options. Morrissey leads NHL defensemen with 28:44 per game since Nov. 29, and Trouba is tied with Josh Manson of the Anaheim Ducks for sixth (26:24). Expect both to remain fantasy relevant until Byfuglien returns to the lineup.



Standard Yahoo categories include goals, assists, plus/minus, power-play points, shots on goal and now hits for skaters. ... Value has been quantified based on factors including but not limited to past production, defense pairs, power-play usage, injury history, sleeper, bounce-back or breakout potential, anticipated regression, age and contract status (potential 2019 UFA: *; RFA: **). DTD indicates players with day-to-day injury concerns.

1. Brent Burns, SJS (SAME)
2. John Carlson, WSH (SAME)
3. Victor Hedman, TBL (SAME)
4. Morgan Rielly, TOR (SAME)
5. Dustin Byfuglien, WPG (+1)
6. Seth Jones, CBJ (+3)   
7. Roman Josi, NSH (SAME)
8. Kris Letang, PIT (SAME)
9. Thomas Chabot, OTT (+2)
10. Matt Dumba, MIN (SAME)
11. Tyson Barrie, COL (+1)
12. Mark Giordano, CGY (+1)
13. Erik Karlsson, SJS* (-8)
14. Torey Krug, BOS (SAME)
15. Keith Yandle, FLA (+1)
16. P.K. Subban, NSH (DTD)
17. Shea Weber, MTL (+4)
18. Drew Doughty, LAK (-1)
19. Rasmus Ristolainen, BUF (-1)
20. Ryan Suter, MIN (SAME)
21. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI (+3)
22. Zach Werenski, CBJ** (SAME)
23. Ryan Ellis, NSH (-4)
24. Charlie McAvoy, BOS** (DTD)
25. Rasmus Dahlin, BUF (SAME)
26. Oscar Klefbom, EDM (+6)
27. Neal Pionk, NYR** (SAME)
28. Miro Heiskanen, DAL (SAME)
29. Aaron Ekblad, FLA (+4)
30. Mike Green, DET (+5)
31. Shea Theodore, VGK (+6)
32. Mattias Ekholm, NSH (+1)
33. Jake Gardiner, TOR* (-2)
34. Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI (-11)
35. Dougie Hamilton, CAR (-8)
36. Ivan Provorov, PHI** (SAME)
37. Ryan McDonagh, TBL (+1)
38. Alexander Edler, VAN* (+5)
39. Colin Miller, VGK (SAME)
40. Jared Spurgeon, MIN (+5)
41. Brandon Montour, ANA (-1)
42. Erik Johnson, COL (-1)
43. Mikhail Sergachev, TBL (NEW)
44. Jacob Trouba, WPG** (NEW)
45. Josh Morrissey, WPG (NEW; DTD)
46. Samuel Girard, COL (SAME)
47. Jeff Petry, MTL (SAME)
48. Esa Lindell, DAL** (SAME)
49. Noah Hanifin, CGY (SAME)
50. Josh Manson, ANA (NEW)

Dropped out: Alex Pietrangelo, STL (INJ.); Justin Faulk, CAR; Will Butcher, NJD**; Sami Vatanen, NJD

Just missed: Scott Mayfield, NYI; Alex Goligoski, ARI; Gavin Bayreuther, DAL; Vince Dunn, STL; Alec Martinez, LAK; Hampus Lindholm, ANA

Key injuries: John Klingberg, DAL; Justin Schultz, PIT; Cam Fowler, ANA


READ: Last week's Top 50 defenseman rankings


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