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Fantasy hockey line top 25 rankings for 2018-19

Johnsson, Burakovsky emerge on first lines; Red Wings unit joins list; Sprong has upside with Ducks

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: Top 200 rankings | Tracker | Top 10 waiver wire

 

LINE CHANGES

-- The Washington Capitals are dealing with injuries to wings Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie, creating openings on the top two lines. Andre Burakovsky (LW/RW, 2 percent owned) has skated on the top line with left wing Alex Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom in place of Wilson, who sustained an upper-body injury Dec. 4. Burakovsky scored the game-winning goal in a 4-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday and is a streaming option until Wilson returns. UPDATE: Oshie (concussion) could return Tuesday.

Brett Connolly (LW/RW, 2 percent owned) has thrived on the second line with center Evgeny Kuznetsov and wing Jakub Vrana. Connolly has five points (one goal, four assists) during a four-game point streak and already has more assists this season (13 in 29 games) than in all of last season (12 assists in 70 games). Connolly is also being used on the top power-play unit, making him a strong short-term option in DFS and season-long formats.

-- The Detroit Red Wings lost forward Anthony Mantha to a hand injury this past week, forcing coach Jeff Blashill to shuffle his lines. Mantha had been skating on a line with center Dylan Larkin and right wing Justin Abdelkader, but has had his spot filled by Gustav Nyquist. Larkin, who joined NHL.com's top 100 overall rankings this week, has taken off with his new linemates, scoring multiple points in all three games since this trio started skating together for a total of six points (one goal, five assists). Nyquist (LW/RW, 39 percent owned) has also benefited from a bump to Detroit's first line with six points (three goals, three assists) since the move. With Mantha expected to miss significant time, Nyquist is becoming a must-own player in standard leagues with exposure to the dynamic Larkin.

Video: DET@TOR: Nyquist fakes, nets shot from the circle

 

PRODUCTION TRENDS

-- The Tampa Bay Lightning enter Sunday with the NHL's best record thanks to their incredible depth, highlighted by the line of left wing Mathieu Joseph, center Cedric Paquette and right wing Ryan Callahan. The line has combined for 10 points (seven goals, three assists) in the past six games, with five of those points (four goals, one assist) coming from Joseph. Joseph led Syracuse of American Hockey League with 53 points last season and is one even-strength goal behind Elias Pettersson for the NHL lead among rookies. Joseph is making a case to play bigger minutes in the future and possesses great DFS value on a nightly basis.

-- The Anaheim Ducks acquired forward Daniel Sprong from the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenseman Marcus Pettersson last week and are hoping the talented prospect can earn a top-six role. Sprong has gotten off to a fast start with the Ducks, scoring a goal in his first game and having four shots on goal in each of his first two games. After playing on the second line with forwards Nick Ritchie and Adam Henrique in his Anaheim debut, Sprong skated with center Ryan Getzlaf and wing Pontus Aberg in place of the injured Rickard Rakell (ankle) against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. Sprong also saw a career-high 3:04 of power-play time Friday. Between his prime lineup placement and high ceiling, Sprong carries fantasy upside moving forward for a team that needs more line stability.

Video: CHI@ANA: Sprong scores in first game with Ducks

 

FANTASY LINE RANKINGS FOR 2018-19

1. COL: Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen (SAME)
2. CGY: Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Elias Lindholm (SAME)
3. BUF: Jeff Skinner -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart (SAME)
4. TBL: Tyler Johnson -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov (+1)
5. WSH: Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Tom Wilson (DTD) / Andre Burakovsky (-1)
6. DAL: Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Alexander Radulov (+1)
7. TOR: Andreas Johnsson -- Auston Matthews -- Kasperi Kapanen / William Nylander (-1)
8. FLA: Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Mike Hoffman / Evgenii Dadonov (+2)
9. TOR: Zach Hyman (SUSP.) -- John Tavares -- Mitchell Marner (-1)
10. CBJ: Artemi Panarin -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Cam Atkinson (+1)
11. BOS: Brad Marchand -- David Krejci -- David Pastrnak (-2)
12. PIT: Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Phil Kessel (+11)
13. VGK: Max Pacioretty -- Cody Eakin -- Alex Tuch (+1)
14. WPG: Nikolaj Ehlers / Kyle Connor -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler (+1)
15. TBL: Ondrej Palat -- Steven Stamkos -- Yanni Gourde (+2)
16. CAR: Jordan Martinook / Micheal Ferland (DTD) -- Sebastian Aho -- Teuvo Teravainen (SAME)
17. EDM: Alex Chiasson -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl (+2)
18. WPG: Kyle Connor / Nikolaj Ehlers -- Bryan Little -- Patrik Laine (-3)
19. PIT: Tanner Pearson -- Evgeni Malkin -- Riley Sheahan (-6)
20. PHI: James van Riemsdyk -- Claude Giroux / Sean Couturier (DTD) -- Travis Konecny (+1)
21. OTT: Brady Tkachuk -- Colin White -- Mark Stone (+1)
22. SJS: Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Joe Pavelski (NEW)
23. ARI: Alex Galchenyuk -- Clayton Keller -- Nick Schmaltz (+1)
24. DET: Gustav Nyquist -- Dylan Larkin -- Justin Abdelkader (NEW)
25. VGK: Jonathan Marchessault -- William Karlsson -- Reilly Smith (NEW)

NOTES: Johnsson has emerged as the left wing on Matthews' line and has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past seven games. Veteran Patrick Marleau has also seen time on Matthews' line since Nylander's season debut but has been more frequently on the third line with Nylander and center Nazem Kadri. Nylander will likely continue to see time on Matthews' right wing. Hyman has been suspended two games. … Krejci replaced center Colby Cave on the Boston Bruins' top line Saturday and had two points (one goal, one assist), a plus-3 and four SOG. … Matt Duchene's injury caused his line with wings Drake Batherson and Ryan Dzingel to drop out of these rankings for now. … With Couturier injured, Giroux moved back to center, with van Riemsdyk being elevated to the top line. … Pavelski has been mostly with Hertl and Couture but played on a line with left wing Evander Kane and right wing Joonas Donskoi on Saturday.

 

Read: Week 8 line rankings

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