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Fantasy defenseman top 50 rankings for 2018-19

Gardiner benefits from Nylander's return; Krug trending up for Bruins; Hamilton has buy-low appeal

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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Jake Gardiner, TOR: The Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman leads the position with seven points (one goal, six assists) in four games since Dec. 4. Gardiner is plus-5 with one power-play point and three shots on goal over the span. Forward William Nylander has two assists in three games since making his season debut Dec. 6. With the increased forward depth Nylander provides, Gardiner gains added value in season-long leagues and is worth streaming in DFS contests.

Torey Krug, BOS: The Boston Bruins defenseman has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past five games. Krug is providing category coverage with 14 SOG and two PPP over the span. Defenseman Charlie McAvoy has no points in four games since returning from an upper-body injury Dec. 6 but is plus-5 over the four-game span. With McAvoy back in the lineup and center David Krejci, who has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past four games, providing a spark to the top line, Krug could continue to trend up in the weeks ahead.

Vegas Golden Knights: Defenseman Nate Schmidt entered the rankings with four points (two goals, two assists) in the past four games. The Golden Knights are 9-3-0 since Schmidt made his season debut Nov. 18. Defenseman Shea Theodore continues to trend up with three assists in the past four games despite not playing on the top power-play unit. Defenseman Colin Miller, who has been on the first power-play unit with exposure to forwards Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, Max Pacioretty and Alex Tuch, is worth rostering in DFS contests. Center Paul Stastny (lower body) could return this week and provide another boost to Vegas' defensemen.



Dougie Hamilton, CAR: The Carolina Hurricanes defenseman has one assist and is minus-7 in his past four games. Hamilton was tied for first at the position with 17 goals last season but has three through the first 29 games this season. The encouraging news for fantasy owners is that Hamilton had three goals through the first 29 games last season and finished with 14 goals in the final 53 games. With even-strength exposure to forward Sebastian Aho and room for improved second-half totals, Hamilton is an intriguing buy-low trade target.



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

Dropped out: Oscar Klefbom, EDM (INJ.); Mike Green, DET (INJ.) Erik Johnson, COL; Samuel Girard, COL

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

Just missed: Matt Niskanen, WSH; Tyler Myers, WPG*; Mike Matheson, FLA; Lawrence Pilut, BUF


READ: Last week's Top 50 defenseman rankings


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