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Week 2: Fantasy top 100 forward rankings for 2016-17 lists most valuable standard-league assets during regular season

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / Fantasy Insider

All season long,'s Pete Jensen 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. Multiple positions indicate dual 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.

The fantasy forward picture is an ever-changing one because of the constant line adjustments and production trends around the NHL, but we have quite a bit of clarity approaching the two-week mark of the 2016-17 season.


There were a number of players who jumped more than 20 spots in the fantasy forward rankings this week (i.e. William Nylander, Alexander Radulov), but new, surprising additions continue to define the landscape and out-produce many more proven players around the League.

The most surprising line so far has been the Detroit Red Wings trio of Thomas Vanek, Darren Helm and Gustav Nyquist. Vanek and Nyquist, each high-end goal scorers in the past, have looked rejuvenated alongside Helm (C, 10 percent owned), who leads Detroit with four goals and a plus-8 to go along with two power-play points and 11 shots on goal. Vanek and Nyquist, who have seven points apiece through six games, joined the top 100 forward rankings this week, with Helm barely on the outside looking in. Vanek is leading Red Wings forwards in power-play ice time per game (3:27) and is tied for the League lead with four PPP. 

The Chicago Blackhawks continue to fill the gaps in their top six and yield ridiculous offensive results, with Artem Anisimov (C, 51 percent owned) and Richard Panik (LW, 65 percent owned) proving their fantasy worth early and often this season. Anisimov is tied for the League scoring lead with nine points in seven games, operating in his usual spot alongside Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin. Panik leads the League in goals (six) and is tied for fifth in points (eight), playing alongside Jonathan Toews and rookie Tyler Motte (C/LW, 3 percent owned). Getting a piece of Chicago's top six as a fantasy owner continues to pay dividends, especially in the cases of Anisimov and Panik, who are seeing significant power-play usage. 

Other additions to the top 100 include Jonathan Marchessault of the Florida Panthers, Victor Rask of the Carolina Hurricanes and Alex Killorn of the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the most intriguing waiver wire commodity of the week has to be Tanner Pearson (LW, 19 percent owned) of the Los Angeles Kings. He and former linemate Tyler Toffoli are playing on separate units, but Pearson has remained alongside experienced center Jeff Carter, with whom he played during the Kings' run to the Stanley Cup in 2014 (12 points, plus-10, 53 SOG in 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games). After serving a two-game suspension, Pearson has four goals, one assist, a plus-4 and 10 SOG in three games. He's seeing second power-play unit action (3:03 per game; one PPP) and is a must-add player in deep leagues.

Video: Pete Jensen on NHL Now


Trending Up 

Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers is no stranger to being among the fantasy elite; he finished fourth overall in standard leagues in 2014-15 with 22 goals, 59 assists, 33 power-play points and 221 SOG. After a down year that saw him score 11 goals on 213 SOG in 73 games on an extremely unlucky 5.2 shooting percentage, Voracek has come out flying and is the top ranked player based on Yahoo performance to this point (eight points, three PPP, 24 penalty minutes, 21 SOG in six games). He's still playing on Philadelphia's first power-play unit but has found his groove on the second line at even strength alongside Sean Couturier (C, 11 percent owned) and rookie Travis Konecny (C, 12 percent owned). Konecny, who has five assists, a plus-3 and 13 SOG in six games, is closing in on a top 100 forward spot and is a high-ceiling waiver wire option at center, especially if you're in a keeper league.


Trending Down 

Forwards Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames and Nikita Kucherov of the Lightning played in the World Cup of Hockey 2016 and signed new contracts before the start of the regular season, but each has gotten off to a slow start. Gaudreau has one goal and two assists (no PPP) in seven games with a minus-7 and 24 SOG, and Kucherov has no goals and three assists (one PPP) with 11 SOG in five games. Patience is key when it comes to these upper-tier forwards, especially considering each has a strong center (Sean Monahan, Tyler Johnson) and a top line, first power-play role. Fantasy owners may look to unload one of them out of frustration, so it's worth proposing a trade to try to capitalize.


Worth Noting 

- Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby skated in full-contact practice Monday for the first time since being diagnosed with a concussion and could make his season debut against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. Crosby has missed all six of Pittsburgh's games because of the injury, and the players tied for the NHL scoring lead (Connor McDavid, Anisimov, Brent Burns, Brad Marchand) have a nine-point lead on him. But Crosby remains so high in's forward rankings (sixth) because he is capable of producing a point per game when healthy and is quite possibly the only player capable of closing such an early-season points gap. Any opportunity to package a few hot starters for Crosby in a trade should be pursued. 

- Forwards Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin came into the season with injury concerns, but they are just about the only members of the Dallas Stars top nine group who are healthy at the moment. Patrick Sharp (concussion), Jiri Hudler (illness), Ales Hemsky (groin), Cody Eakin (knee) and Mattias Janmark (knee) are on injured reserve, and Jason Spezza (undisclosed) and Patrick Eaves (lower body) are day to day. Dallas' lack of depth has had a negative impact on Benn and Seguin, who were each a minus-3 with no points in a 3-0 loss Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sharp is expected to miss more time than Spezza, but fantasy owners should keep an eye on injury updates out of Dallas and replace and/or shelve players accordingly. 

- The Colorado Avalanche have recalled rookie forward Mikko Rantanen (RW, 4 percent owned) from San Antonio of the American Hockey League. Rantanen, who missed the preseason because of an ankle injury, is expected to compete for top six minutes alongside either Matt Duchene, who broke out with back-to-back multipoint games last week, or Nathan MacKinnon. Rantanen was not productive in his nine-game NHL trial last season, but he's a darkhorse pickup in fantasy. The 19-year-old had 60 points in 52 AHL games last season. 

- Two other young players are getting trials on top lines for their respective teams: Nick Ritchie (LW, 6 percent owned) of the Anaheim Ducks and Pavel Zacha (C, 2 percent owned) of the New Jersey Devils. The Devils have lacked a scoring center so far, so they are giving Zacha a look on a line with Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle has placed Ritchie alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in the absence of Rickard Rakell, and Ritchie responded with a goal on three SOG against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. In deep leagues, scoop up these rookies before they potentially burst onto the scene; standard league owners should monitor their progress using your watch list.

Video: VAN@ANA: Ritchie swats puck out of the air, scores



Top 100 Fantasy Forwards 

These rankings were last updated Oct. 25. 

1. Patrick Kane, RW, CHI (SAME) 
2. Alex Ovechkin, LW, WSH (SAME) 
3. Jamie Benn, LW, DAL (SAME) 
4. Connor McDavid, C, EDM (+2) 
5. Joe Pavelski, C/RW, SJS (SAME) 
6. Sidney Crosby, C, PIT (DTD) 
7. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, STL (+1) 
8. Tyler Seguin, C, DAL (-1) 
9. Claude Giroux, C, PHI (+2) 
10. John Tavares, C, NYI (SAME) 
11. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, CGY (-2) 
12. Blake Wheeler, RW, WPG (SAME) 
13. Steven Stamkos, C, TBL (SAME) 
14. Evgeni Malkin, C, PIT (SAME) 
15. Corey Perry, RW, ANA (+2) 
16. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, WSH (SAME) 
17. Brad Marchand, LW, BOS (+8) 
18. Anze Kopitar, C, LAK (SAME) 
19. Ryan Getzlaf, C, ANA (+5) 
20. Wayne Simmonds, RW, PHI (+6) 
21. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TBL (-6) 
22. Logan Couture, C, SJS (-2) 
23. Taylor Hall, LW, NJD (-2) 
24. Artemi Panarin, LW, CHI (-2) 
25. Auston Matthews, C, TOR (+14) 
26. Joe Thornton, C, SJS (-7) 
27. Patrice Bergeron, C, BOS (SAME) 
28. Aleksander Barkov, C, FLA (SAME) 
29. Mark Scheifele, C, WPG (+4) 
30. Nathan MacKinnon, C/RW, COL (SAME) 
31. Patrik Laine, RW, WPG (+18) 
32. Jakub Voracek, LW/RW, PHI (+22) 
33. Nicklas Backstrom, C, WSH (-10) 
34. Phil Kessel, RW, PIT (-5) 
35. Filip Forsberg, LW, NSH (-4) 
36. Ryan O'Reilly, C/LW, BUF (-1) 
37. Alexander Steen, LW, STL (+1) 
38. David Pastrnak, RW, BOS (+27) 
39. Max Pacioretty, LW, MTL (+1) 
40. Ryan Johansen, C, NSH (-6) 
41. Tyler Toffoli, C/RW, LAK (-4) 
42. James Neal, RW, NSH (-10) 
43. Jonathan Toews, C, CHI (-2) 
44. Sean Monahan, C, CGY (-8) 
45. Milan Lucic, LW, EDM (-2) 
46. Jordan Eberle, RW, EDM (-1) 
47. Zach Parise, LW, MIN (-1) 
48. Matt Duchene, C, COL (SAME) 
49. Jonathan Drouin, LW, TBL (-5) 
50. Chris Kreider, LW, NYR (DTD) 
51. Daniel Sedin, LW, VAN (-4) 
52. Kyle Okposo, RW, BUF (-1) 
53. Patric Hornqvist, RW, PIT (+5) 
54. Mika Zibanejad, C/RW, NYR (+6) 
55. William Nylander, C/RW, TOR (+26) 
56. Jason Spezza, C, DAL (DTD) 
57. Alex Galchenyuk, C, MTL (+9) 
58. Gabriel Landeskog, LW, COL (-8) 
59. Brendan Gallagher, RW, MTL (+14) 
60. Mike Hoffman, LW, OTT (+5) 
61. Jeff Skinner, LW, CAR (DTD) 
62. Jaromir Jagr, RW, FLA (SAME) 
63. Alexander Radulov, RW, MTL (+23) 
64. Max Domi, LW, ARI (-12) 
65. Brayden Schenn, C/LW, PHI (-12) 
66. Robby Fabbri, C/LW, STL (-7) 
67. Jeff Carter, C, LAK (+2) 
68. Gustav Nyquist, LW/RW, DET (NEW) 
69. Artem Anisimov, C, CHI (NEW) 
70. Rick Nash, LW, NYR (-2) 
71. Ryan Kesler, C, ANA (SAME) 
72. Richard Panik, LW, CHI (NEW) 
73. T.J. Oshie, RW, WSH (-3) 
74. Leon Draisaitl, C/RW, EDM (SAME) 
75. Dylan Larkin, C/RW, DET (-11) 
76. Brandon Saad, LW/RW, CBJ (-21) 
77. Tyler Johnson, C, TBL (-20) 
78. Vincent Trocheck, C, FLA (-6) 
79. David Backes, RW, BOS (-4) 
80. Marian Hossa, RW, CHI (SAME) 
81. Thomas Vanek, LW/RW, DET (NEW) 
82. Mats Zuccarello, RW, NYR (SAME) 
83. Kyle Palmieri, RW, NJD (SAME) 
84. Henrik Sedin, C, VAN (SAME) 
85. James van Riemsdyk, LW, TOR (-9) 
86. Mark Stone, RW, OTT (-8) 
87. Jonathan Marchessault, C, FLA (NEW) 
88. Victor Rask, C, CAR (NEW) 
89. Sam Reinhart, C/RW, BUF (-12) 
90. Paul Stastny, C, STL (-5) 
91. Loui Eriksson, LW/RW, VAN (-3) 
92. Tomas Hertl, C, SJS (-3) 
93. Teuvo Teravainen, LW/RW, CAR (-3) 
94. Tanner Pearson, LW, LAK (NEW) 
95. Andrew Ladd, LW, NYI (-28) 
96. Derick Brassard, C, OTT (-17) 
97. David Krejci, C, BOS (-10) 
98. Henrik Zetterberg, C/LW, DET (-6) 
99. Jaden Schwartz, LW, STL (-1) 
100. Alex Killorn, C/LW, TBL (NEW) 

Dropped out: Anthony Duclair (LW/RW, ARI), Boone Jenner, C/LW, CBJ), Andre Burakovsky (LW, WSH), Jussi Jokinen (LW, FLA), Bobby Ryan (RW, OTT), Mikkel Boedker (LW, SJS), Joonas Donskoi (RW, SJS) 

Just missed: Charlie Coyle (C/RW, MIN), Lee Stempniak (LW/RW, CAR), Brandon Sutter (C, VAN), Sebastian Aho (RW, CAR), Travis Konecny (C, PHI), Ondrej Palat (LW, TBL), Marcus Johansson (LW/RW, WSH), Mike Fisher (C, NSH), Cam Atkinson (RW, CBJ), Troy Brouwer (RW, CGY), Eric Staal (C, MIN), Mitchell Marner (C/RW, TOR), Alexander Wennberg (C, CBJ), Darren Helm (C, DET), Radim Vrbata (RW, ARI) 

Key injuries: Jack Eichel (C, BUF), Jonathan Huberdeau (LW, FLA), Patrick Sharp (LW/RW, DAL), Bryan Little (C, WPG), Evander Kane (LW, BUF), Jiri Hudler (C/RW, DAL)


READ: Last week's Top 100 forward rankings

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