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Fantasy hockey line top 25 rankings for 2018-19

Athanasiou thriving with Nyquist, Nielsen since return; Stars rejoin list with Radulov's return; Flames among first five

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

 

PRODUCTION TRENDS

-- The Calgary Flames' top line of left wing Johnny Gaudreau, center Sean Monahan and right wing Elias Lindholm has been a staple in the top 10 in recent weeks and has now cracked the top five. All three forwards are averaging better than a point per game, combining for 23 goals and 32 assists. The 23 goals from these players make up 42 percent of the Flames' total offense this season. This group has established itself as one of the most consistent lines in the NHL, and each of the three members is a safe nightly play in DFS.

-- After losing nine of the first 10 games, the Detroit Red Wings have won six of their past seven thanks to big contributions from their forward group. The second line of left wing Gustav Nyquist, center Frans Nielsen and right wing Andreas Athanasiou has specifically driven Detroit's offense since Nielsen and Athanasiou returned from injury this week. Nyquist has eight points (one goal, seven assists) during a seven-game point streak, and Nielsen is averaging a point per game in his past six games. Athanasiou (C/LW, 6 percent owned in Yahoo) has been especially effective with two straight multi-point games since returning and a total of nine points (six goals, three assists) in his past eight games. Nyquist and Athanasiou are worth adding in deep fantasy leagues, with Athanasiou potentially on the verge of a breakout season and this line on the cusp of the top 25.

 

LINE CHANGES

-- Two of the Montreal Canadiens' biggest acquisitions of the past two offseasons, Jonathan Drouin and Max Domi, have combined to help make the Canadiens one of the biggest surprises in the NHL to this point. Domi has already matched his goal total from last season with nine in 17 games, while Drouin has five points (two goals, three assists) in the past five games. Coach Claude Julien recently moved forward Andrew Shaw (C/RW, 1 percent owned) to the line, and he's responded with three goals in two games. Shaw has covered hits and penalty minutes through the years and could be an even more valuable fantasy asset with added offense from his new linemates.

-- The Anaheim Ducks line of left wing Rickard Rakell, center Ryan Getzlaf and right wing Patrick Eaves from two seasons ago has been reunited by coach Randy Carlyle, and this could make Eaves a fantasy sleeper for the rest of the season. After Eaves (LW/RW, 1 percent owned) joined the Ducks prior to the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline, the three players combined for a plus-26 shot attempts differential, while outscoring opponents 13-3 at 5-on-5. Eaves missed more than a year because of an illness and shoulder injury but is immediately fantasy-relevant again with exposure to Rakell and Getzlaf. UPDATE: Eaves (upper body) did not play Monday and is day to day.

-- With the return of left wing Brady Tkachuk, the Ottawa Senators have stacked two rookies, including center Colin White, on the top line with right wing Mark Stone. White ranks second among rookies in scoring (11 points in 17 games). UPDATE: White (undisclosed) left the game Sunday and did not return.

 

FANTASY LINE RANKINGS FOR 2018-19

These rankings have taken into account NHL.com fantasy top 200 rank (listed next to applicable players), recent production in standard Yahoo categories (goals, assists, plus/minus, power-play points, shots on goal, hits), line stability or fluctuation from previous season(s), team scoring distribution and injury risk or contract status of any individual player(s).

1. BOS: Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak (SAME)
2. COL: Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen (SAME)
3. NSH: Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson (DTD)
4. DAL: Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Alexander Radulov (NEW - INJ.)
5. CGY: Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Elias Lindholm (+1)
6. WSH: Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Tom Wilson (-2)
7. BUF: Jeff Skinner -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart / Jason Pominville (+1)
8. PIT: Carl Hagelin -- Evgeni Malkin -- Patric Hornqvist / Phil Kessel (-3)
9. CAR: Micheal Ferland -- Sebastian Aho -- Teuvo Teravainen (-2)
10. TOR: Zach Hyman -- John Tavares -- Mitchell Marner (-1)
11. TBL: J.T. Miller -- Steven Stamkos -- Nikita Kucherov (+1)
12. SJS: Timo Meier -- Logan Couture (DTD) -- Kevin Labanc / Tomas Hertl (-2)
13. TBL: Yanni Gourde -- Brayden Point -- Tyler Johnson (SAME)
14. WPG: Nikolaj Ehlers -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler (SAME)
15. FLA: Evgenii Dadonov -- Aleksander Barkov -- Mike Hoffman (SAME)
16. STL: Jaden Schwartz -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Vladimir Tarasenko (+6)
17. NJD: Taylor Hall -- Nico Hischier (DTD) -- Kyle Palmieri (-6)
18. CBJ: Artemi Panarin -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Cam Atkinson (SAME)
19. PHI: Claude Giroux -- Sean Couturier -- Travis Konecny (NEW)
20. NYI: Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Josh Bailey (-1)
21. MTL: Jonathan Drouin -- Max Domi -- Andrew Shaw (-1)
22. VGK: Jonathan Marchessault -- William Karlsson -- Reilly Smith (-1)
23. EDM: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Connor McDavid -- Ty Rattie (-7)
24. PIT: Dominik Simon -- Sidney Crosby -- Bryan Rust (-7)
25. ANA: Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Patrick Eaves (SAME)

NOTES: With elite center Auston Matthews (shoulder) injured, his line for the Toronto Maple Leafs remains off the list. … Radulov is returning Monday and will be reunited with elite linemates Benn and Seguin. ... The Pittsburgh Penguins have been switching up their lines lately, hurting the rank of Malkin and Crosby's units. … The New York Islanders moved Barzal to Brock Nelson's spot with Lee and Bailey on Saturday, making Nelson droppable in fantasy. … The biggest jump of the week was the St. Louis Blues' top line, which now includes O'Reilly after the injury to Brayden Schenn (upper body). ... ... Reinhart replaced Pominville on Buffalo's top line Saturday and practiced in the same spot Monday. ... Wilson is expected to make his season debut Tuesday after his suspension was reduced.

 

Read: November 4 line rankings

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