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Fantasy hockey line top 25 rankings for 2018-19

Guentzel, Crosby have Penguins rising among first 10; Blues find stability with Perron-O'Reilly duo

by Jonathan Baron / NHL.com Fantasy Correspondent

NHL.com ranks the top fantasy hockey forward lines and tracks notable changes and production trends each week during the 2018-19 season. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy.

 

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Tracker | Team power ranks | Midseason awards

 

LINE CHANGES

-- Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Tanner Pearson (4 percent owned) has rejoined elite center Evgeni Malkin on the second line with right wing Dominik Simon after Patric Hornqvist sustained a concussion Jan. 8. Pearson has two goals with a plus-1 and four shots on goal in two games since joining Malkin's line and three goals in his past three games overall. The Penguins now have two lines in the top 25 rankings this week, and Pearson is worth streaming until Hornqvist returns.

-- The Calgary Flames have received elite production from their first line all season, but the second line of left wing Matthew Tkachuk, center Mikael Backlund and right wing Michael Frolik has eight points (five goals, three assists) in the past two games since Frolik was moved back there. The line has outscored opponents 4-0 at 5-on-5 over the past two games. Frolik (3 percent owned) has four even-strength points (two goals, two assists) in the past two games and is a streaming option in deeper leagues if he continues to play with Tkachuk and Backlund. Tkachuk is tied with Elias Lindholm for third on the Flames in scoring (52 points).

 

PRODUCTION TRENDS

-- The Penguins' top line of left wing Jake Guentzel, center Sidney Crosby and right wing Bryan Rust continues its climb the rankings after combining for 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in the past three games. Guentzel, ranked 47th in Yahoo, has five goals on 13 SOG in the past two games and an NHL career-high 23 goals in 45 games this season. Rust (LW/RW, 35 percent owned) has two goals and 12 SOG in the past three games, averaging 18:40 in the span. With exposure to two top-50 players (Crosby is 13th in Yahoo), Rust has become a must-own fantasy forward.

-- The St. Louis Blues have found stability in their top six, giving them a presence in the top 25 rankings this week. Forward David Perron (LW/RW, 40 percent owned) is on a 10-game point streak playing with valuable center Ryan O'Reilly, and right wing Vladimir Tarasenko has five points (three goals, two assists) and 18 SOG in the past five games after a slow start. Tarasenko has spent the past four games on a line with left wing Jaden Schwartz and center Brayden Schenn, a unit that has combined for seven points (four goals, three assists) being formed. Tarasenko is a buy-low target leading up to fantasy trade deadlines; his shooting percentage (9.0) is well below his NHL career rate (12.7).

-- Arizona Coyotes right wing Conor Garland (5 percent owned) has six goals, 15 SOG and a plus-5 during a four-game goal streak after having four points (two goals, two assists) in his first 13 NHL games. Garland has sustained his production since moving to a line with forwards Alex Galchenyuk and Nick Cousins, a unit that combined for four points (two goals, two assists) against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Garland's offensive emergence has also earned him time on the power play, where he's scored three of his six goals during the goal streak. Garland has a high shooting percentage (17.0), but his shot volume (47 in 17 games) suggests he could continue to produce and maintain fantasy relevance.

 

FANTASY LINE RANKINGS FOR 2018-19

1. CGY: Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Elias Lindholm (SAME)
2. TBL: Tyler Johnson -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov (SAME)
3. COL: Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen (SAME)
4. BOS: Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak (SAME)
5. TOR: Zach Hyman -- John Tavares -- Mitchell Marner (SAME)
6. BUF: Jeff Skinner -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart / Tage Thompson (+2)
7. PIT: Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Bryan Rust (+3)
8. CBJ: Artemi Panarin -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Cam Atkinson (-1)
9. WSH: Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Tom Wilson (-3)
10. DAL: Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Alexander Radulov (+1)
11. WPG: Kyle Connor -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler (+1)
12. FLA: Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov / Denis Malgin (-3)
13. VGK: Max Pacioretty -- Paul Stastny -- Alex Tuch (SAME)
14. NSH: Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson (+2)
15. WSH: Jakub Vrana -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie (+3)
16. TOR: Andreas Johnsson -- Auston Matthews -- Kasperi Kapanen (-2)
17. TBL: Ondrej Palat -- Steven Stamkos -- Alex Killorn / Yanni Gourde (SAME)
18. EDM: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins / Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Ty Rattie (-3)
19. SJS: Evander Kane -- Tomas Hertl -- Joonas Donskoi (DTD) (+5)
20. NYI: Anthony Beauvillier -- Mathew Barzal -- Josh Bailey (+1)
21. CAR: Micheal Ferland -- Sebastian Aho -- Teuvo Teravainen (+1)
22. VGK: Jonathan Marchessault -- William Karlsson -- Reilly Smith (INJ.) / Brandon Pirri (-3)
23. WPG: Jack Roslovic -- Bryan Little -- Patrik Laine (-3)
24. PIT: Tanner Pearson -- Evgeni Malkin -- Dominik Simon (NEW)
25. STL: Zach Sanford -- Ryan O'Reilly -- David Perron (NEW)

 

NOTES: Eichel returned from injury against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday and had eight SOG against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Thompson got a trial with Eichel and Skinner on Friday, but Reinhart was back in his usual spot Saturday. … Malgin scored a goal after being moved to a line with Barkov and Huberdeau against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, but the Florida Panthers put Dadonov back on the first unit against the Calgary Flames on Friday. … Forsberg returned against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 7 and has two goals on 14 SOG in three games. … The Sharks line of Kane, Hertl and Donskoi made the biggest jump in this week's rankings, but fantasy owners should monitor Donskoi, who sustained an upper-body injury against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. … Ferland had a three-point game back with Aho and Teravainen against the Sabres on Friday.

 

Read: Week 13 line rankings

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