Skip to main content

Fantasy top 60 'D': Ducks defensemen making impact

by Brian Metzer / NHL.com

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

UPDATED TOP 60 DEFENSEMEN RANKINGS

Most teams in the National Hockey League have at least one defenseman who can be a valuable contributor to a fantasy roster, but there are a few teams out there that boast two or more options that can help owners.

The Calgary Flames have Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie and Dennis Wideman. The Los Angeles Kings have Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez, and the Pittsburgh Penguins have Kris Letang, Christian Ehrhoff and Paul Martin.

Then there is the team that we are going to discuss today, the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks provide owners with a number of fantasy options on the back end, and they come in the form of Cam Fowler, Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm.

All three players are owned in at least 40 percent of Yahoo standard leagues, but it has been Vatanen and Fowler who have rewarded owners with the most production to this point on the season.

Vatanen, owned in 81 percent of leagues, has 24 points (nine goals), which surpasses his point total of 21 from last season in 15 fewer games. He is averaging .72 points per game and is a must-own player, especially in leagues that give credit for power-play points since he has 13 so far. He has 53 shots on goal, 22 penalty minutes and a plus-2 rating.

Fowler, owned in 80 percent of leagues, has 17 points (three goals), 37 shots on goal, five power-play points and skates on the Ducks top pairing. He logs minutes with the second power-play unit and has the potential to collect points on a nightly basis.

It isn't likely Fowler or Vatanen are available in your league, but you can probably take a run at Lindholm.

Lindholm is owned in 40 percent of leagues and has seen that number fluctuate throughout the season as he seemed to be in a bit of a sophomore slump. He picked up two goals, five assists and 30 shots on goal over his first 23 games, which had him on pace for 25 points and 116 shots on goal. Those totals would have been less than he had during his impressive rookie season.

He has since started to find his offensive groove, scoring one goal and six assists in his past 10 games. He has also rolled up 18 shots on goal and registered a plus-3 rating over that span.

Lindholm may not be able to maintain the .70 points per game pace of his past nine games, but it has him in position to surpass his first-year point total. His shots per game have gone up from 1.30 to 1.80 over his past 10 games as well.

One area in which Lindholm thrived last season was plus-minus. He rolled up the 12th highest total in the league with a plus-29 rating. He and defense partner Francois Beauchemin were a combined plus-55.

He has a plus-10 rating this season through 33 games.

The fact that Beauchemin has only appeared in 18 games this season could be a big reason for Lindholm's ups and downs. He has been playing with Mark Fistric on Anaheim's second pairing. It is worth nothing Beauchemin could return this week, which could help Lindholm stay hot.

TRENDING UP

Barret Jackman
Barret Jackman
Defense - STL
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 8 | PTS: 9
SOG: 29 | +/-: 5
Barret Jackman, St. Louis Blues -- Jackman is never going to be a household name in terms of fantasy hockey, but anytime a guy catches a hot streak it is worth giving them a look. He picked up four points over his first 26 games this season, but has been chipping in quite a bit as of late. The 33-year-old has collected five points (one goal) over his past five games. He gains value in leagues that give credit for hits and blocked shots, as he has collected 33 hits and 48 blocks. He is owned in just two percent of leagues.

TRENDING DOWN

Dan Boyle, New York Rangers -- Boyle has played 13 games this season due to injury and illness. He returned to the lineup most recently on Dec. 6 and has not picked up a point over the course of his past five games. He has also stopped shooting the puck. After rolling up 15 shots on goal over his first eight games, he has just four in his past five games. Boyle has picked up points in two games this season. While he still has the ability to contribute, it might be time to start expecting a little less from the veteran.

KEEP AN EYE ON

Jack Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets -- Johnson has been falling down our rankings in recent weeks, but as the Blue Jackets have heated up, so has his offensive productivity. Johnson has picked up one goal and three assists over his past five games. He has 11 shots on goal and has played more than 26 minutes in a game three times over that span. He is owned in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues.


TOP 60 FANTASY DEFENSEMEN

These rankings are based on expectations for the season ahead. Value is quantified by defense pairings, overall upside and past performance in standard Yahoo categories (goals, assists, plus-minus, penalty minutes, power-play points and shots on goal). NOTE: Players with D/RW eligibility in Yahoo leagues (Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Burns) have been ranked as defensemen.

1 Mark Giordano, CGY (SAME) 31 Marek Zidlicky, NJD (+1)
2 Kevin Shattenkirk, STL (SAME) 32 Christian Ehrhoff, PIT (-3)
3 Brent Burns, D/RW, SJS (+1) 33 Lubomir Visnovsky, NYI (-1)
4 P.K. Subban, MTL (+2) 34 Roman Josi, NSH (-3)
5 Kris Letang, PIT (NR - IR) 35 Dennis Wideman, CGY (+2)
6 Erik Karlsson, OTT (-3) 36 Matt Niskanen, WSH (-2)
7 Keith Yandle, ARI (-2) 37 Trevor Daley, DAL (-1)
8 Victor Hedman, TBL (-1) 38 Nick Leddy, NYI (same)
9 Shea Weber, NSH (-1) 39 Jake Muzzin, LAK (+2)
10 Ryan Suter, MIN (+1) 40 Aaron Ekblad, FLA (-5)
11 TJ Brodie, CGY (-1) 41 Justin Schultz, EDM (-4)
12 Duncan Keith, CHI (-3) 42 Dion Phaneuf, TOR (+2)
13 Sami Vatanen, ANA (-1) 43 Hampus Lindholm, ANA (+11)
14 Alex Pietrangelo, STL (same) 44 Anton Stralman, TBL (-5)
15 Dustin Byfuglien, D/RW, WPG (same) 45 Torey Krug, BOS (-5)
16 Niklas Kronwall, DET (same) 46 Andrej Sekera, CAR (-4)
17 Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI (same) 47 Brian Campbell, FLA (-4)
18 Tyson Barrie, COL (-5) 48 Jared Spurgeon, MIN (-1)
19 Drew Doughty, LAK (+1) 49 Jack Johnson, CBJ (+6)
20 Cam Fowler, ANA (-2) 50 Danny DeKeyser, DET (-5)
21 John Carlson, WSH (-2) 51 Dougie Hamilton, BOS (-5)
22 Zdeno Chara, BOS (NR - IR) 52 Justin Faulk, CAR (-2)
23 Andrei Markov, MTL (-1) 53 Mike Green, WSH (-5)
24 Ryan McDonagh, NYR (-3) 54 Damon Severson, NJD (-2)
25 Mark Streit, PHI (+2) 55 Marco Scandella, MIN (-4)
26 Jason Garrison, TBL (-2) 56 Kevin Klein, NYR (-7)
27 James Wisniewski, CBJ (+1) 57 John Klingberg, DAL (-4)
28 Cody Franson, TOR (-2) 58 Alexander Edler, VAN (-2)
29 Alex Goligoski, DAL (-4) 59 Dan Boyle, NYR (-2)
30 Brent Seabrook, CHI (-7) 60 Ryan Ellis, NSH (same)

Dropped out: Sergei Gonchar, Paul Martin

Key injuries: Jacob Trouba, Johnny Boychuk, Olli Maatta, Tobias Enstrom, Zach Bogosian, Ryan Murray, Kimmo Timonen

*DTD: Day-to-day; NR - IR: Not ranked last week because of injury

---

View More