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Week 12: Fantasy top 100 forward rankings for 2016-17 lists most valuable standard-league assets during regular season

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / Senior Fantasy Editor

All season long, will rank the top 100 forwards for standard Yahoo leagues (goals, assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, power-play points, shots on goal). Players with long-term injuries have been removed from this list. Positions indicate eligibility in Yahoo leagues.

These rankings are based on expectations for the rest of the season. Value is quantified by line combinations, power-play usage, past performance and overall upside in standard leagues. Changes in value each week are based on recent performance and/or lineup trends.

It's no surprise to see duos like Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin (Chicago Blackhawks), Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars), and Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins) tied for the most productive point pairs in the NHL (20 team goals with each getting a point). These are universally owned fantasy assets who are meeting preseason expectations. 


Some of the biggest fantasy steals and breakout players around the League, from the various Columbus Blue Jackets (e.g. Alexander Wennberg, Nick Foligno, Brandon Saad) to Nikolaj Ehlers (Winnipeg Jets) to Charlie Coyle (Minnesota Wild), have found chemistry with top-notch linemates. Top rookies Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine are accounted for among the top 25 point pairs, as are mainstays such as Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton (San Jose Sharks), Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin (Vancouver Canucks), and Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek (Philadelphia Flyers). 

But the League leaderboard also sheds light on surprising duos, some components of which are available in plenty of Yahoo leagues. 

Sebastian Aho (LW/RW, 19 percent owned) & Teuvo Teravainen (C/LW/RW, 17 percent): The Finnish duo has combined for 14 team goals to lead the Carolina Hurricanes. Aho is one of seven rookies with 20 or more points (21) and Teravainen, who won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015, is taking advantage of his expanded role with Carolina. Aho and Teravainen each have multi-position eligibility in Yahoo and play together at even strength and on the power play. Teravainen is riding a five-game point streak and Aho has points in four straight, with much of that damage coming together with Lee Stempniak (LW/RW, 12 percent). 

Josh Bailey (LW/RW, 8 percent owned) with John Tavares : Anders Lee has a goal-scoring track record and is catching onto fantasy teams during his recent stretch of strong play, but Bailey has been more consistent this season and has remained on a line with John Tavares for more than a month. He and Tavares have combined on 14 team goals with each recording a point, tied for 22nd in the NHL. Bailey has points in five of his past six games (seven assists, three PPP) and is poised to shatter his previous career highs in three major fantasy categories (41 points, 140 SOG in 2014-15; 11 PPP in 2008-09).

Video: DET@NYI: Bailey cleans up rebound, ties game in 3rd

Tyler Bozak (C, 10 percent owned) with James van Riemsdyk and Mitchell Marner : Bozak has been overshadowed by fellow Toronto Maple Leafs centers in Matthews (tied for third in NHL with 20 goals) and multiple-category category beast Nazem Kadri. That said, Bozak has been productive all season and has two points in four games since returning from injury. He's represented twice among the top 25 point pairs with Bozak and van Riemsdyk separately. Deep-league fantasy owners can look to Bozak as an injury replacement.



Trending Up

The Blue Jackets' winning streak is now 16 games, one away from tying the NHL record set by the 1992-93 Penguins. At this point, these ridiculously productive fantasy assets have to be viewed as more than just sell-high trade bait. With some more upward movement in the rankings, the Blue Jackets now have four forwards among the top 40, with Cam Atkinson entering the top 20. Foligno, arguably the biggest fantasy steal in 2014-15 (he finished 15th overall), is proving that season was no fluke with strong coverage of all six standard fantasy categories, as well as hits (50 in 34 games). The majority of Saad's points have come at even strength, but members of the first power-play unit (Foligno, Atkinson, Wennberg, Sam Gagner) have the Blue Jackets easily leading the NHL in power-play efficiency (28.3 percent; the Anaheim Ducks are next at 24.0).

Video: CBJ@WPG: Foligno deflects Werenski's shot for PPG


Trending Down 

Aho and Teravainen may be on the upswing, but the previously strong point pair of Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask has cooled off considerably. Skinner, 55th overall in Yahoo, and Rask, who's 133rd, have no points and are a combined minus-6 in their past five games. Skinner still has a strong shot volume in the span (15 SOG), but fantasy owners in shallow leagues should not hesitate to switch gears if their season is slipping away. There are a ton of trending left wings on the market, from scorers Mikael Granlund (53 percent) and Robby Fabbri (41 percent) to category cogs Chris Kreider (81 percent) and Evander Kane (30 percent).


Worth Noting

-- In case you missed it with the two NHL outdoor games, ring in the New Year with's list of fantasy sleepers for 2017. Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha has seen his Yahoo ownership rise from 6 to 31 percent in the past five days, and there are plenty more emerging forwards with low ownership to capitalize on.

Video: DET@TOR: Mantha lights lamp twice in Red Wings' loss

-- A disappointing season for the Florida Panthers got worse last week when center Aleksander Barkov (lower body) was placed on injured reserve. Vincent Trocheck (C, 48 percent owned) was a fantasy stud when healthy last season and has taken Barkov's place on the top line alongside Jaromir Jagr, scoring five points in his past three games. Trocheck has PPP in each of the two games Barkov has missed since the injury, making him a valuable short-term fantasy addition.


Top 100 Fantasy Forwards 

These rankings were last updated Jan. 4 

1. Sidney Crosby, C, PIT (+1) 
2. Connor McDavid, C, EDM (-1) 
3. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, STL (+1) 
4. Patrick Kane, RW, CHI (-1) 
5. Alex Ovechkin, LW, WSH (SAME) 
6. Evgeni Malkin, C, PIT (SAME) 
7. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TBL (+2) 
8. Auston Matthews, C, TOR (+13) 
9. Joe Pavelski, C/RW, SJS (-2) 
10. Wayne Simmonds, RW, PHI (SAME) 
11. Tyler Seguin, C/RW, DAL (SAME) 
12. Jakub Voracek, LW/RW, PHI (-4) 
13. Patrik Laine, LW/RW, WPG (+1) 
14. Artemi Panarin, LW, CHI (+1) 
15. Claude Giroux, C, PHI (-3) 
16. Mark Scheifele, C, WPG (SAME) 
17. Phil Kessel, RW, PIT (SAME) 
18. Jamie Benn, LW, DAL (DTD) 
19. Cam Atkinson, RW, CBJ (+7) 
20. John Tavares, C, NYI (+2) 
21. Corey Perry, RW, ANA (-2) 
22. Blake Wheeler, RW, WPG (+2) 
23. Nicklas Backstrom, C, WSH (-5) 
24. Jack Eichel, C, BUF (+1) 
25. Max Pacioretty, LW, MTL (+2) 
26. Ryan Kesler, C, ANA (+5) 
27. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, CGY (-7) 
28. Brad Marchand, LW, BOS (SAME) 
29. Alexander Radulov, LW/RW, MTL (+1) 
30. David Pastrnak, RW, BOS (-7) 
31. Leon Draisaitl, C/RW, EDM (+1) 
32. Eric Staal, C, MIN (+6) 
33. Jeff Carter, C, LAK (+8) 
34. Alexander Wennberg, C, CBJ (+11) 
35. Nick Foligno, LW/RW, CBJ (+14) 
36. Ryan Johansen, C, NSH (+1) 
37. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW/RW, WPG (+16) 
38. Mike Hoffman, LW, OTT (+1) 
39. Patric Hornqvist, RW, PIT (+1) 
40. Brandon Saad, LW/RW, CBJ (+14) 
41. James Neal, RW, NSH (-8) 
42. Taylor Hall, LW, NJD (-6) 
43. Ryan Getzlaf, C, ANA (DTD) 
44. Milan Lucic, LW, EDM (-1) 
45. Joe Thornton, C, SJS (-1) 
46. Mitchell Marner, C/RW, TOR (+1) 
47. Logan Couture, C, SJS (-5) 
48. Jonathan Drouin, LW/RW, TBL (+2) 
49. Chris Kreider, LW, NYR (+17) 
50. Jeff Skinner, LW, CAR (-15) 
51. Kyle Okposo, RW, BUF (-3) 
52. Mark Stone, RW, OTT (SAME) 
53. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, WSH (+2) 
54. Brayden Schenn, C/LW, PHI (+2) 
55. William Nylander, C/RW, TOR (+2) 
56. Jaromir Jagr, RW, FLA (+2) 
57. James van Riemsdyk, LW, TOR (+3) 
58. Patrice Bergeron, C, BOS (+3) 
59. Filip Forsberg, LW, NSH (+3) 
60. Tyler Johnson, C, TBL (+8) 
61. Anze Kopitar, C, LAK (-10) 
62. Matt Duchene, C/RW, COL (-3) 
63. Rickard Rakell, C/LW, ANA (+10) 
64. Artem Anisimov, C, CHI (+10) 
65. Nathan MacKinnon, C/RW, COL (-2) 
66. Jason Spezza, C/RW, DAL (+9) 
67. Robby Fabbri, C/LW, STL (+9) 
68. Jordan Eberle, RW, EDM (+1) 
69. Daniel Sedin, LW, VAN (-5) 
70. Zach Parise, LW, MIN (SAME) 
71. Jonathan Toews, C, CHI (SAME) 
72. Sean Monahan, C, CGY (-7) 
73. Mats Zuccarello, RW, NYR (+4) 
74. Charlie Coyle, C/RW, MIN (+4) 
75. T.J. Oshie, RW, WSH (+7) 
76. Derek Stepan, C, NYR (+7) 
77. Anthony Mantha, LW/RW, DET (NEW
78. Mikael Granlund, C/LW, MIN (NEW
79. Nazem Kadri, C, TOR (SAME) 
80. Brendan Gallagher, RW, MTL (-8) 
81. Evander Kane, LW, BUF (+7) 
82. Jakob Silfverberg, RW, ANA (+9) 
83. Sam Reinhart, C/RW, BUF (NEW
84. Bryan Little, C, WPG (SAME) 
85. Victor Rask, C, CAR (-5) 
86. Sam Gagner, C/RW, CBJ (SAME) 
87. Viktor Arvidsson, LW/RW, NSH (SAME) 
88. Jaden Schwartz, C/LW, STL (-4) 
89. Alexander Steen, LW/RW, STL (SAME) 
90. Marcus Johansson, LW/RW, WSH (SAME) 
91. J.T. Miller, C/LW/RW, NYR (+1) 
92. Conor Sheary, LW/RW, PIT (+1) 
93. Kevin Hayes, C/RW, NYR (+1) 
94. Teuvo Teravainen, C/LW/RW, CAR (NEW
95. Sebastian Aho, LW/RW, CAR (NEW
96. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, CGY (NEW
97. Henrik Zetterberg, C/LW, DET (+1) 
98. Mikko Koivu, C, MIN (+1) 
99. Patrick Sharp, LW/RW, DAL (NR - INJ.
100. Kyle Turris, C, OTT (SAME) 

Dropped out: Michael Cammalleri (LW, NJD), Tomas Plekanec (C, MTL), Valtteri Filppula (C/LW, TBL) 

Just missed: Jonathan Marchessault (C/LW, FLA), Nino Niederreiter (LW/RW, MIN), Anders Lee (LW, NYI), Tanner Pearson (LW, LAK), Thomas Vanek (LW/RW, DET), Josh Bailey (LW/RW, NYI), Jason Zucker (LW/RW, MIN), Kyle Palmieri (RW, NJD), Bo Horvat (C, VAN), Ryan Spooner (C/LW, BOS) 

Key injuries: Steven Stamkos (C, TBL), Alex Galchenyuk (C, MTL), Aleksander Barkov (C, FLA), Tyler Toffoli (C/RW, LAK), Rick Nash (LW/RW, NYR), Marian Hossa (RW, CHI), Ryan O'Reilly (C/LW, BUF), Mika Zibanejad (C/RW, NYR), David Backes (RW, BOS), Jonathan Huberdeau (LW, FLA), Max Domi (LW, ARI), Andrew Shaw (C/RW, MTL), Tomas Hertl (C/LW, SJS)


READ: Last week's Top 100 forward rankings

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