Skip to main content

Fantasy Hockey


Fantasy defenseman top 50 rankings for 2018-19

Karlsson breaks out of goal drought; Dahlin gets elevated power-play role; Subban, Weber, Edler injury updates

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


MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Top 200 | 100 'F'25 'G' | Lines | Tracker



Erik Karlsson, SJS: The San Jose Sharks defenseman has five points (one goal, four assists) in his past three games. He scored his first goal of the season against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, breaking a 20-game drought. Karlsson has averaged more time on ice (23:24) than defenseman Brent Burns (22:30) over the three-game span, a trend that fantasy owners should pay attention to moving forward. Karlsson also played more on the power play (11:53) than Burns (7:07), a sign the 28-year-old could emerge as the more valuable fantasy option over the full season.

Rasmus Dahlin, BUF: The Buffalo Sabres defenseman has five points (one goal, four assists) in his past five games. With increased production, Dahlin has seen an elevated role on the power play, where he's played more (7:09) than defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (5:21) over the past three games. It's unlikely Dahlin will match Ristolainen's category coverage over the rest of the season, but fantasy owners could expect Dahlin approach or even surpass his early season rank among the top 25 defensemen.

Mike Green, DET: The Detroit Red Wings defenseman is tied for second at the position with five points (one goal, four assists) in three games since Nov. 13. Green (33 percent owned in Yahoo) is a must-own skater in all formats, and the Red Wings could continue their recent success (12 points this month; T-6th in NHL) with recent injuries to premier players in the Atlantic Division (Patrice Bergeron; Vincent Trocheck; Andrei Vasilevskiy).



Shea Weber, MTL: The Montreal Canadiens defenseman is expected to remain out this week but is nearing a return from a knee injury after practicing with the team for the first time this season. Weber will likely be among the best 25 when he returns. Defenseman Jeff Petry (17 points in 21 games) had a goal and an assist in 33:51 against the Washington Capitals on Monday, but fantasy owners have a window to sell high on Petry before Weber's return.

P.K. Subban, NSH: The Nashville Predators defenseman has missed the past three games with an undisclosed injury but could return against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday. Defenseman Roman Josi has four assists in the past three games and has overtaken Subban as the No. 1 fantasy defenseman on the Predators. Expect the two elite defensemen to flip-flop the rest of the way like they did last season.

Alexander Edler, VAN: The Vancouver Canucks defenseman is expected to travel on their three-game road trip in California. Edler (21 percent owned) has been out since Oct. 24 with a knee injury and is worth rostering in season-long formats. The Canucks are tied for ninth in the NHL with 30 goals since Nov. 1 and have the 12th ranked power play over the span (21.1 percent). Edler has a chance to do some damage on the first unit with forwards Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat, especially once Brock Boeser (groin; day to day) returns.



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

Just missed: Dmitry Orlov, WSH; Jake Muzzin, LAK; Esa Lindell, DAL**; Jake McCabe, BUF; Robert Hagg, PHI

Dropped out: Mikhail Sergachev, TBL; Cam Fowler, ANA (INJ.); Erik Gudbranson, VAN; Vince Dunn, STL

Key injuries: John Klingberg, DAL; Shea Weber, MTL; Alexander Edler, VAN*; Justin Schultz, PIT


READ: Last week's Top 50 defenseman rankings


Subscribe now to NHL Fantasy on Ice, a twice-per-week fantasy hockey podcast with Pete Jensen and Rob Reese.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.