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Week 16: Fantasy top 100 forward rankings for 2016-17

NHL.com lists most valuable standard-league assets during regular season

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

All season long, NHL.com 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.

Fantasy owners have come to expect elite category coverage from certain forwards. Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, Jamie Benn, Wayne Simmonds, Corey Perry, Blake Wheeler and Brad Marchand were expected to cover at least five of the six standard fantasy categories this season, and each has delivered to this point.

But there have been additions to the multi-category realm this season, all of which have reaped major fantasy rewards based on average draft position.

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: FANTASY MVP FOR EACH TEAM | TOP 50 DEFENSEMEN

When viewing the most valuable fantasy player for each NHL team at the 2017 NHL All-Star break, you'll see the surprising category cogs well-represented. Ryan Kesler (Yahoo rank: 10th; ADP: 128.1), Cam Atkinson (12th; 157.8), Nazem Kadri (15th; 160.0), Matthew Tkachuk (30th; 160.6) and Kyle Palmieri (89th; 109.4) have been MVPs for their respective teams based on standard-category performance.

The list of major fantasy steals with well-rounded coverage doesn't stop there; bounce-back Nick Foligno (19th; 139.7) and sleepers David Pastrnak (28th; 166.1), Alexander Radulov (41st; 118.7) and Nino Niederreiter (63rd; 163.3) are among those who have paid enormous dividends by touching on at least five categories after being drafted on average in the 10th round or later.

That list extends to the current waiver wire. Here are three other five-category forwards still available in many formats:

Kyle Turris, C, OTT (41 percent owned; Yahoo rank: 91st): Turris is the most valuable fantasy center on the Ottawa Senators and is covering five of the six fantasy categories well. In addition to his 33 points in 47 games, he has nine PPP, 35 PIMs and 100 SOG. He plays on the first power-play unit with Erik Karlsson, Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman, and is an addition to the top 100 fantasy forwards this week.

Michael Frolik, C/RW, CGY (22 percent; 95th): Any hope of a bounce-back for Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan could be tied to their third wheel. Frolik has rounded out that line of late and is chipped in all six categories for the Calgary Flames with 29 points, a plus-3, 36 PIMs, five PPP and 124 SOG. He has been a high-volume shooter in the past, but has never scored 50 points in a single season before. He has an outside chance of reaching that mark this season.

Video: NSH@CGY: Frolik labels the top corner late in 3rd

 

Andrew Shaw, C/RW, MTL (23 percent; 102nd): Shaw sees frequent power-play usage (2:21 per game), and has PPP in back-to-back games for the Montreal Canadiens. He has missed time because of injury, but has 82 PIMs, five PPP, 69 SOG and is plus-10 in 36 games. He has shaken off his label as merely a PIMs specialist and has been a top 100 overall asset when healthy this season.

Alex Killorn, C/LW, TBL (27 percent; 129th): Lost in the underachieving Tampa Bay Lightning season has been steady performance from Killorn, regardless of linemates. Outside of his minus-10, which could improve the rest of the way, he's covering goals (13), assists (12), PIMs (49), PPP (eight) and SOG (111). He's playing alongside Tyler Johnson at even strength and on the first power-play unit with Nikita Kucherov, Johnson, Jonathan Drouin and Victor Hedman. Killorn will be well worth owning if the Lightning turn their season around.

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Trending Up:

Winnipeg Jets forward Bryan Little (C, 36 percent owned) is the hottest scorer in the NHL since Jan. 18, with four multi-point games and a total of nine points in his five-game point streak. Since Patrik Laine's return, Little has centered the rookie goal scorer and Nikolaj Ehlers on the top line and climbed to 267th in Yahoo's performance-based rankings at the All-Star break. He has been limited to 29 games because of an early-season injury but has 26 points (six on power play). He scored 64 points in 82 games in 2013-14, and has a chance to sustain his current performance with such strong linemates and 2:18 per game on the power play.

Video: WPG@CHI: Little picks the corner with wicked wrister

 

Trending Down:

The fact that forwards Leon Draisaitl (C/RW, 33rd) and Patrick Maroon (LW, 49th in Yahoo) have stuck with Connor McDavid for the past month is bad news for left wing Milan Lucic and right wing Jordan Eberle. Their Yahoo current ranks have slipped to 90th and 106th, respectively, and each has been inconsistent away from the NHL's leading scorer. Eberle has nine points in his past 21 games, four coming in one game against the Calgary Flames on Jan. 21. Lucic has one goal and five points in his past 16 games playing in a depth role. He's staying afloat with 12 PIMs in the span but is barely averaging more than one SOG per game (21). Cutting the cord on either wing is understandable if there's an option on the waiver wire with a solidified top-six role and power-play usage.

Worth Noting:

-- Andre Burakovsky (LW/RW, 33 percent) of the Washington Capitals has 12 points and is plus-8 in his past eight games. The big development is his recent power-play production spike; he has three PPP in 1:26 per game with the man-advantage in the span, playing alongside surging Evgeny Kuznetsov in those situations. Burakovsky remains on the third line with Lars Eller and Brett Connolly at even strength, meaning significant power-play usage and/or a promotion to the top six is necessary for him to have staying power among the top 100 forwards. For now, the soon-to-be 22-year-old is too hot to ignore.

Video: WSH@NJD: Burakovsky roofs puck over Kinkaid for PPG

 

-- Dynasty-league owners should keep an eye on New Jersey Devils forward Miles Wood (LW, less than 1 percent owned), who has been playing in a top-six role lately alongside Mike Cammalleri and Adam Henrique. The speedy forward has two goals, one assist, one PPP and 11 SOG in his past three games, and 11 points in 31 games overall. Wood, 21, has a chance to boost one of the lowest-scoring offenses in the League over time and solidify a roster spot for next season in the process. In the short-term, he also brings PIMs coverage (33).

-- Tomas Hertl (C/LW, 38 percent owned) returned to the San Jose Sharks lineup prior to the All-Star break after missing 32 games with a knee injury. Expect him to regain fantasy relevance and boost their secondary scoring over time.

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Top 100 Fantasy Forwards 

These rankings were last updated Jan. 30

1. Sidney Crosby, C, PIT (SAME)
2. Connor McDavid, C, EDM (SAME)
3. Alex Ovechkin, LW, WSH (SAME)
4. Evgeni Malkin, C, PIT (DTD)
5. Patrick Kane, RW, CHI (SAME)
6. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TBL (+2)
7. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, STL (-1)
8. Auston Matthews, C, TOR (-1)
9. Wayne Simmonds, RW, PHI (+1)
10. Joe Pavelski, C/RW, SJS (-1)
11. Mark Scheifele, C, WPG (+1)
12. Jakub Voracek, LW/RW, PHI (+1)
13. Phil Kessel, RW, PIT (+1)
14. Artemi Panarin, LW, CHI (-3)
15. John Tavares, C, NYI (+3)
16. Tyler Seguin, C/RW, DAL (+1)
17. Patrik Laine, LW/RW, WPG (+2)
18. Cam Atkinson, RW, CBJ (-3)
19. Nicklas Backstrom, C, WSH (-3)
20. Brad Marchand, LW, BOS (+4)
21. Blake Wheeler, RW, WPG (SAME)
22. Jamie Benn, LW, DAL (+3)
23. Ryan Kesler, C, ANA (SAME)
24. Max Pacioretty, LW, MTL (-4)
25. Claude Giroux, C, PHI (-3)
26. Corey Perry, RW, ANA (SAME)
27. Leon Draisaitl, C/RW, EDM (+2)
28. Jack Eichel, C, BUF (-1)
29. David Pastrnak, RW, BOS (+8)
30. Jeff Carter, C, LAK (SAME)
31. Eric Staal, C, MIN (-3)
32. Alex Galchenyuk, C, MTL (DTD)
33. Mike Hoffman, LW, OTT (+1)
34. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW/RW, WPG (+2)
35. Alexander Radulov, LW/RW, MTL (-3)
36. James van Riemsdyk, LW, TOR (-1)
37. Nick Foligno, LW/RW, CBJ (+1)
38. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, WSH (+1)
39. Mitchell Marner, C/RW, TOR (-6)
40. Brayden Schenn, C/LW, PHI (SAME)
41. Mikael Granlund, C/LW/RW, MIN (SAME)
42. Nazem Kadri, C, TOR (+2)
43. Ryan Johansen, C, NSH (SAME)
44. Ryan Getzlaf, C, ANA (-2)
45. Alexander Wennberg, C, CBJ (SAME)
46. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, CGY (+1)
47. Patric Hornqvist, RW, PIT (+3)
48. Logan Couture, C, SJS (+7)
49. Jonathan Drouin, LW/RW, TBL (-3)
50. Kyle Okposo, RW, BUF (+1)
51. Jeff Skinner, LW, CAR (-3)
52. Chris Kreider, LW, NYR (-3)
53. Mark Stone, RW, OTT (-1)
54. Taylor Hall, LW, NJD (SAME)
55. Patrice Bergeron, C, BOS (+2)
56. Filip Forsberg, LW, NSH (+2)
57. Ryan O'Reilly, C/LW, BUF (-4)
58. T.J. Oshie, RW, WSH (DTD)
59. James Neal, RW, NSH (SAME)
60. Mats Zuccarello, RW, NYR (+1)
61. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, CGY (+4)
62. Charlie Coyle, C/RW, MIN (SAME)
63. Joe Thornton, C, SJS (-3)
64. Jaromir Jagr, RW, FLA (-1)
65. Derek Stepan, C, NYR (-1)
66. William Nylander, C/RW, TOR (SAME)
67. Marian Hossa, RW, CHI (SAME)
68. Brandon Saad, LW/RW, CBJ (SAME)
69. Anze Kopitar, C, LAK (+1)
70. Sean Monahan, C, CGY (-1)
71. Jonathan Toews, C, CHI (+6)
72. Rick Nash, LW/RW, NYR (SAME)
73. Nathan MacKinnon, C/RW, COL (SAME)
74. Rickard Rakell, C/LW, ANA (SAME)
75. Justin Williams, RW, WSH (+1)
76. Jason Spezza, C/RW, DAL (+3)
77. Artem Anisimov, C, CHI (-6)
78. Sam Gagner, C/RW, CBJ (SAME)
79. Patrick Maroon, LW, EDM (+2)
80. Sam Reinhart, C/RW, BUF (+4)
81. Tyler Johnson, C, TBL (+4)
82. J.T. Miller, C/LW/RW, NYR (+5)
83. Mikko Koivu, C, MIN (+13)
84. Bryan Little, C, WPG (+13)
85. Vincent Trocheck, C, FLA (+13)
86. Conor Sheary, LW/RW, PIT (SAME)
87. Matt Duchene, C/RW, COL (+3)
88. Evander Kane, LW, BUF (+3)
89. Kevin Hayes, C/RW, NYR (DTD)
90. Jason Zucker, LW/RW, MIN (+9)
91. Nino Niederreiter, LW/RW, MIN (+9)
92. Milan Lucic, LW, EDM (-10)
93. Daniel Sedin, LW, VAN (-10)
94. Jordan Eberle, RW, EDM (-6)
95. Alexander Steen, LW/RW, STL (-6)
96. Zach Parise, LW, MIN (-2)
97. Kyle Turris, C, OTT (NEW)
98. Jaden Schwartz, C/LW, STL (NEW)
99. Mika Zibanejad, C/RW, NYR (-4)
100. Andre Burakovsky, LW/RW, WSH (NEW)

Dropped out: Victor Rask (C, CAR), Anthony Mantha (LW/RW, DET)

Just missed: Mikael Backlund (C, CGY), Andrew Shaw (C/RW, MTL), Viktor Arvidsson (LW/RW, NSH), Anders Lee (LW, NYI), Thomas Vanek (LW/RW, DET), Patrick Eaves (RW, DAL), Josh Bailey (LW/RW, NYI), Tyler Bozak (C, TOR), Patrick Marleau (C/LW, SJS), Alex Killorn (C/LW, TBL), Michael Frolik (C/RW, CGY)

Key injuries: Steven Stamkos (C, TBL), Aleksander Barkov (C, FLA), Tyler Toffoli (C/RW, LAK), Jakob Silfverberg (RW, ANA), Brendan Gallagher (RW, MTL), Max Domi (LW, ARI), Jonathan Huberdeau (LW, FLA)

READ: Last week's Top 100 forward rankings

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