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Week 16: Fantasy hockey line top 25 rankings for 2018-19

Jets, Hurricanes biggest risers; Flyers, Blackhawks join list; Panthers, Penguins change combinations after trade

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: 2019 NHL Trade Deadline preview | Tracker

 

LINE CHANGES

-- The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired forwards Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann from the Florida Panthers and inserted them into their lineup against the Ottawa Senators on Friday. Between the trade and an upper-body injury to elite center Evgeni Malkin, Bjugstad (C/LW/RW, 16 percent owned) has centered the second line between left wing Phil Kessel and right wing Bryan Rust in the past two games, a unit that has combined for five points (two goals, three assists) and 16 shots on goal in the span. Bjugstad matched a season high with five SOG against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday and is a flexible waiver-wire option who can play anywhere in Pittsburgh's top nine.

-- Vegas Golden Knights forward Valentin Zykov (LW/RW, 2 percent owned) was elevated to the first line with left wing Jonathan Marchessault and center William Karlsson against the Panthers on Saturday, playing a season-high 17:32 and matching a season-high with three SOG. Zykov has bounced around this season, playing for three teams (Vegas, Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers) but is worth monitoring in deeper leagues if he continues to see ice time with the Golden Knights' top talent. Right wing Reilly Smith is back from injury but is currently playing with Cody Eakin and Brandon Pirri on the third line.

 

PRODUCTION TRENDS

-- The Winnipeg Jets have been without valuable wing Nikolaj Ehlers for the past month but haven't missed a beat with Kyle Connor scoring 14 points (nine goals, five assists) in 12 games since replacing Ehlers on the first line with center Mark Scheifele and right wing Blake Wheeler. The trio has combined for 10 points (five goals, five assists) during the Jets' three-game winning streak and is one of the most stackable lines on a nightly basis in DFS, moving up in the weekly rankings for a third consecutive week.

-- Carolina Hurricanes forward Nino Niederreiter (LW/RW, 44 percent owned) has five goals in his first five games with the Carolina Hurricanes skating mostly on the first line with center Sebastian Aho and right wing Justin Williams. Since the line was put together Jan. 20, it has outshot opponents 40-12 and outscored them 6-2 at even strength. Niederreiter has seen his ice time increase since joining the Hurricanes, averaging 17:01 per game compared to 14:37 in 46 games with the Minnesota Wild. The change of scenery is paying off so far for Niederreiter, who is a must-own asset in season-long formats.

-- The Chicago Blackhawks first line of center Jonathan Toews, right wing Patrick Kane and left wing Drake Caggiula joins the rankings after combining for 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in their four-game winning streak. Kane has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in the past four games and 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) during his 11-game point streak, the longest active streak in the NHL entering Sunday. Caggiula (LW/RW, 1 percent owned) had three points (one goal, two assists) against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday and carries streaming value with an expanded role.

 

FANTASY LINE RANKINGS FOR 2018-19

1. CGY: Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Elias Lindholm (SAME)
2. TBL: Tyler Johnson -- Brayden Point (DTD) -- Nikita Kucherov (SAME)
3. BOS: Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak (+1)
4. COL: Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen (-1)
5. PIT: Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Dominik Simon (+1)
6. WPG: Kyle Connor -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler (+4)
7. TOR: Zach Hyman -- John Tavares -- Mitchell Marner (-2)
8. BUF: Jeff Skinner -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart (-1)
9. CBJ: Artemi Panarin -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Cam Atkinson (-1)
10. NSH: Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson (+2)
11. DAL: Jamie Benn / Mattias Janmark -- Tyler Seguin -- Alexander Radulov (-2)
12. WSH: Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie (-1)
13. TBL: Ondrej Palat -- Steven Stamkos -- Yanni Gourde (+1)
14. VGK: Max Pacioretty -- Paul Stastny -- Alex Tuch (-1)
15. SJS: Evander Kane -- Tomas Hertl -- Joonas Donskoi (SAME)
16. TOR: Patrick Marleau -- Auston Matthews -- Kasperi Kapanen (+2)
17. WSH: Jakub Vrana -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Tom Wilson (SAME)
18. FLA: Frank Vatrano / Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov (-2)
19. CAR: Nino Niederreiter -- Sebastian Aho -- Justin Williams (+4)
20. WPG: Patrik Laine -- Bryan Little -- Jack Roslovic (+2)
21. VGK: Jonathan Marchessault -- William Karlsson -- Reilly Smith / Valentin Zykov (SAME)
22. EDM: Milan Lucic -- Connor McDavid -- Ty Rattie (-3)
23. NYR: Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Mats Zuccarello (+2)
24. CHI: Drake Caggiula -- Jonathan Toews -- Patrick Kane (NEW)
25. PHI: Oskar Lindblom -- Sean Couturier -- Jakub Voracek (NEW)

 

NOTES: Point (lower body) did not play against the New York Rangers on Saturday and is day to day. Kucherov was on a line with Stamkos and Palat in Point's absence. … The Colorado Avalanche broke up their top line against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday; MacKinnon was with Alexander Kerfoot and Colin Wilson, and Carl Soderberg centered the second line with Landeskog and Rantanen. … The Dallas Stars also changed their lines this week, with Benn on the second line with Radek Faksa and Blake Comeau. … Ovechkin returned from a one-game suspension against the Boston Bruins on Sunday and played mostly with Backstrom and Oshie. … Vatrano was moved off the Panthers' top line against the Golden Knights on Saturday, with Huberdeau on Barkov's unit. Derick Brassard, acquired in the trade for Bjugstad, played wing on a line with valuable forwards Vincent Trocheck and Mike Hoffman. ... The Flyers line of Couturier, Voracek and Lindblom joins the list for the first time this season.

 

Read: Week 15 line rankings

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