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Fantasy defenseman top 50 rankings for 2019-20 on May 21

Rookie Makar can flourish with additional ice time for Avalanche; Byfuglien remains valuable despite injury concerns

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

NOTE: Trends below reflect performance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and/or IIHF World Championship, potential impact after coaching changes and other factors. Prospects for the 2019 NHL Draft have been excluded for now.


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Cale Makar, COL -- The Colorado Avalanche defenseman made an immediate impact with six points (one goal, five assists) in 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games. Makar finished second among Avalanche defensemen in points (six) behind Tyson Barrie (eight) and skated on the third pair at even strength with defenseman Samuel Girard and second power play with Girard, forwards JT Compher, Tyson Jost and Alexander Kerfoot. If Makar sees increased ice time next season, he could cut into top defenseman Barrie's point totals.

Dustin Byfuglien, WPG -- The Winnipeg Jets defenseman missed 40 games with multiple injuries during the regular season but regained fantasy value with eight points (two goals, six assists) in six playoff games. Despite injury concerns, Byfuglien's category coverage of hits (2.2 per game) and power-play points (202 in NHL career) makes him a top five defenseman option and candidate to be selected in the first four rounds of fantasy drafts, especially after Jacob Trouba was traded to the New York Rangers.

Colton Parayko, STL -- The St. Louis Blues defenseman has gained value with 10 points (one goal, nine assists) through 18 playoff games. He's skating mostly on the second pair at even strength, and his 24:19 per game is second among Blues defensemen behind Alex Pietrangelo (25:39). Despite not playing a large role on the power play, Parayko is worth a late-round flier with exposure to high-end forwards Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz and Ryan O'Reilly at even strength. Defenseman Vince Dunn (upper body) has seven points (two goals, five assists) in 16 playoff games and is also worthy of a late-round selection giving St. Louis' three relevant options at the position.



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 upside, anticipated regression or bounce-back candidacy for next season, age and contract status (potential 2019 UFA: *; RFA: **). INJ. indicates player with injury concern for next season.

1. Brent Burns, SJS (SAME)
2. Victor Hedman, TBL (INJ.)
3. Morgan Rielly, TOR (SAME)
4. John Carlson, WSH (SAME)
5. Dustin Byfuglien, WPG (+5)
6. Erik Karlsson, SJS (INJ.)
7. Kris Letang, PIT (-1)
8. Seth Jones, CBJ (SAME)
9. Mark Giordano, CGY (-2)
10. John Klingberg, DAL (+1)
11. Roman Josi, NSH (-2)
12. Tyson Barrie, COL (SAME)
13. Torey Krug, BOS (SAME)
14. Keith Yandle, FLA (+1)
15. Erik Gustafsson, CHI (-1)
16. P.K. Subban, NSH (SAME)
17. Shea Weber, MTL (SAME)
18. Alex Pietrangelo, STL (SAME)
19. Thomas Chabot, OTT (SAME)
20. Drew Doughty, LAK (SAME)
21. Matt Dumba, MIN (INJ.)
22. Dougie Hamilton, CAR (SAME)
23. Rasmus Dahlin, BUF (SAME)
24. Miro Heiskanen, DAL (SAME)
25. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI (SAME)
26. Quinn Hughes, VAN (SAME)
27. Charlie McAvoy, BOS** (SAME)
28. Aaron Ekblad, FLA (SAME)
29. Ryan Suter, MIN (SAME)
30. Shea Theodore, VGK (+3)
31. Rasmus Ristolainen, BUF (SAME)
32. Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI (+7)
33. Zach Werenski, CBJ** (+3)
34. Alexander Edler, VAN (+1)
35. Ryan Ellis, NSH (-3)
36. Ivan Provorov, PHI** (+1)
37. Mikhail Sergachev, TBL (+1)
38. Jacob Trouba, NYR** (+2)
39. Cale Makar, COL (+11)
40. Oscar Klefbom, EDM (+1)
41. Ryan Pulock, NYI (+2)
42. Colton Parayko, STL (+7)
43. Mattias Ekholm, NSH (-1)
44. Jake Muzzin, TOR (-10)
45. Josh Morrissey, WPG (+2)
46. Mike Green, DET (INJ.)
47. Vince Dunn, STL (INJ.)
48. Justin Faulk, CAR (-18)
49. Filip Hronek, DET (NEW)
50. Ryan McDonagh, TBL (-2)

Dropped out: Justin Schultz, PIT
Just missed: Jake Gardiner, TOR*; Esa Lindell, DAL; Samuel Girard, COL; Noah Hanifin, CGY; Travis Sanheim, PHI; Jeff Petry, MTL; Devon Toews, NYI; Erik Brannstrom, OTT; Jaccob Slavin, CAR; Nate Schmidt, VGK


Read: Top 50 defenseman rankings for 2019-20 on April 3


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