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Week 17: 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.

Sometimes, all it takes to save a fantasy season is to capitalize on a recent line change. You never know which players could explode in the final months of the season.


With various injuries and returns, coaching changes and performance trends around the League, there have been a number of key line adjustments in the opening week of February. Here's the fantasy scoop on each situation and which players could become commodities down the stretch. 

-- The St. Louis Blues fired coach Ken Hitchcock on Feb. 1, and the news that Robby Fabbri (torn ACL) is done for the season has shaken up their top-six forward group. Fabbri had been moved down to the third line and away from Vladimir Tarasenko in recent weeks prior to his injury, and the Blues are still looking to get their star forward going offensively. Tarasenko has seven points and is minus-9 in his past 13 games, but now has a new set of linemates in Alexander Steen (LW/RW) and Paul Stastny (C, 33 percent owned). Stastny scored a goal against the Flyers on Monday, giving him 15 points (four PPP) in 16 games since the turn of the calendar year. Steen has 17 points in his past 16. 

-- Chris Kunitz (LW, 40 percent owned) had two assists and four SOG playing on a line with Sidney Crosby against the Blues on Saturday in the absence of injured forward Conor Sheary. Kunitz also played 3:29 on the power play. The 37-year-old has points in three of his past four games and has well-documented chemistry with the NHL's points-per-game leader. Kunitz doesn't see nearly as consistent power-play usage as he once did, but his top 10 overall finish in 2013-14 (35 goals, 68 points, 22 PPP, 218 SOG) alongside Crosby should be fresh in your mind. 

-- Tomas Hertl (C/LW, 38 percent owned) of the San Jose Sharks was expected to slot back into the third-line center spot upon his return from a lengthy injury absence, but it's been a surprising development to see him alongside Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski on the first line. Hertl has two points and seven SOG in four games since returning, and has allowed the Sharks to move surging veteran Patrick Marleau to a line with Logan Couture and Mikkel Boedker in an attempt to spark their secondary scoring.

Video: CHI@SJS: Hertl buries rebound for late go-ahead goal

-- We've praised the potential of Sebastian Aho (LW/RW, 33 percent owned) all season, but the Carolina Hurricanes rookie is now finding success for the first time on a line separate from Teuvo Teravainen. He's been with Jordan Staal and Elias Lindholm at even strength lately and with Teravainen on the power play, and has combined for six goals, two assists and five PPP in his past eight games. Keep a close eye on Lindholm (C/RW, 5 percent owned), who has seven assists, three on the power play, in his past six games.




Left wing Zach Parise has had a down year, and the Minnesota Wild's first line of Eric Staal, Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle has recently cooled off and been broken up. But the engine that continues to power the Wild is their second line of Mikael Granlund (C/LW/RW in Yahoo), Mikko Koivu (C) and Jason Zucker (LW/RW). That trio is a combined plus-93 with 124 points. Koivu and Granlund, natives of Finland, have formed a strong connection with Granlund on the wing this season under coach Bruce Boudreau. Granlund (25) ranks second behind Connor McDavid (26) in primary assists, a huge reason Koivu has scored 16 goals on 85 SOG (career-high 18.8 percent). Koivu (48 percent owned) and Zucker (51 percent) are still available in nearly half of Yahoo leagues. Granlund, in the midst of a 12-game point streak (longest in NHL this season), is having a full-fledged breakout.

Video: MIN@CGY: Zucker buries Granlund's slick feed



The Philadelphia Flyers, who had a 10-game winning streak earlier this season, are in danger of surrendering their Stanley Cup Playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Since Jan. 1, the Flyers have scored 30 goals in 16 games, third-fewest in the NHL. No player on the Flyers has been a bigger disappointment than defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, who has now been a healthy scratch in three straight games, but their four best forwards have also been disappointing lately. Brayden Schenn leads the Flyers in scoring (12 points) since the turn of the calendar year, but is minus-10 in the span. Joining him on the decline are Claude Giroux (minus-12 in span), Jakub Voracek (minus-7) and Wayne Simmonds (minus-9). In four games since the 2017 NHL All-Star break, Schenn, Giroux, Voracek and Simmonds have combined for four points. The schedule isn't on their side either; the Flyers have played 54 games, tied for fifth-most in the NHL.



-- The New York Islanders were featured in our waiver wire watch, with Anders Lee (LW, 22 percent owned) and Josh Bailey (LW/RW, 17 percent) holding low ownership figures despite production alongside John Tavares. But another line that's been on the right track since the Islanders replaced Jack Capuano with Doug Weight on Jan. 17 is their trio of Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome and Anthony Beauvillier. Nelson (C/LW, 11 percent owned) is 157th in Yahoo's performance-based rankings after two goals and one assist against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday. He has points in five of his past six games. Strome (C/RW, 2 percent owned) is in the midst of a four-game point streak after underachieving ever since his 50-point season in 2014-15. Keep an eye on these young forwards in deep leagues with the Islanders making a postseason push. 

Video: TOR@NYI: Nelson wins it in OT with his second goal

-- There have been plenty of injury returns in the past week, including Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers, Tyler Toffoli of the Los Angeles Kings, Max Domi of the Arizona Coyotes and Jakob Silfverberg of the Anaheim Ducks. With the exception of Domi, who could be a liability in the short term for the struggling Coyotes, fantasy owners should look to add whichever of these forwards may be available in your league. Barkov and Huberdeau are must-own players. Toffoli (C/RW) finished 40th in Yahoo last season and is in a great spot alongside Jeff Carter on the Kings' top line and first power-play unit. Silfverberg is a top 100 asset thanks to his even-strength spot alongside Ryan Kesler. 


Top 100 Fantasy Forwards

These rankings were last updated Feb. 7 

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

*NR - INJ. - Not ranked last week because of injury 

Dropped out: Sam Gagner (C/RW, CBJ), Vincent Trocheck (C, FLA), Milan Lucic (LW, EDM), Jordan Eberle (RW, EDM), Jaden Schwartz (C/LW, STL), Andre Burakovsky (LW/RW, WSH) 

Just missed: Paul Stastny (C, STL), Viktor Arvidsson (LW/RW, NSH), Henrik Zetterberg (C/LW, DET), Andrew Shaw (C/RW, MTL), Josh Bailey (LW/RW, NYI), Jonathan Marchessault (C/LW, FLA), Michael Grabner (LW/RW, NYR), Michael Frolik (C/RW, CGY), Alex Killorn (C/LW, TBL), David Krejci (C, BOS), Tyler Bozak (C, TOR), Adam Henrique (C, NJD), Zack Smith (C/LW, OTT), Tomas Hertl (C/LW, SJS), Max Domi (LW, ARI) 

Key injuries: Evgeni Malkin (C, PIT), Steven Stamkos (C, TBL), Jason Spezza (C/RW, DAL), Conor Sheary (LW/RW, PIT), Brendan Gallagher (RW, MTL), Robby Fabbri (C/LW, STL)


READ: Last week's Top 100 forward rankings

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