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Week 2: Fantasy top 100 forward rankings for 2017-18

NHL.com lists most valuable standard-league assets for rest of season

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

Each week during the regular season, NHL.com has you covered with an overview of the fantasy forward landscape. With production trends, injury news and top 100 rankings based on performance and upside in standard Yahoo leagues, fantasy owners should use this information as a basis for roster decision-making.

 

MORE FANTASY RANKINGS: Top 50 defensemen | Top 25 goalies

 

TRENDING UP

Anze Kopitar, C, LAK: The Los Angeles Kings center has been a huge bargain based on Yahoo average draft position (98.7) with eight points (four goals, four assists), a plus-6 rating and 12 shots on goal in his first five games under coach John Stevens. Kopitar has shaken off preseason linemate concerns, helping veteran Dustin Brown (LW/RW, 52 percent owned) exceed fantasy expectations with complete category coverage. The scary part is that the Kings power play (18.2 percent; 17th in NHL) still has room for improvement.

Philadelphia Flyers' top line: Thanks largely to Sean Couturier's strong play at center and the Flyers' 8-2 win against the Washington Capitals on Saturday, Giroux (76th in Yahoo) and Voracek (15th) are becoming top-flight fantasy options again. Voracek is tied with four players for second in the NHL in power-play points (five) behind Nicklas Backstrom (six). Couturier (28 percent owned; 46th in Yahoo) has six points, 15 SOG and is plus-8. Look for this line to pad its offensive totals as Philadelphia's favorable homestand continues.

Derick Brassard, C, OTT: The Ottawa Senators have looked just fine without elite defenseman Erik Karlsson (foot), who will make his season debut against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. Brassard entered the season with injury concerns himself after offseason shoulder surgery, but he has been fantasy-relevant from the start with six points (three goals, three assists), a plus-7 rating, one PPP and 13 SOG in five games. He has found chemistry on a line with Bobby Ryan and Mark Stone, and rejoins the top 100 forwards this week.

 

TRENDING DOWN

Montreal Canadiens: The Canadiens are last in the NHL in goals per game (1.40) and fourth-worst in power-play conversion percent (6.3). Max Pacioretty (Yahoo ADP: 31.0), usually a reliable fantasy contributor, has one goal, no assists and 18 SOG through five games. Jonathan Drouin, tri-eligible (C/LW/RW) in Yahoo, has three points (one goal, two assists) and 18 SOG. Stay patient with Drouin and Pacioretty hoping each has a shooting percent improvement, but the only other players with multiple points are linemate Brendan Gallagher and defenseman Karl Alzner (two each). Montreal's secondary scoring has been nonexistent, and that's why Alex Galchenyuk has dropped out of NHL.com's top 100 forward rankings.

San Jose Sharks: Left wing Kevin Labanc has been a nice story with four points (three goals, one assist) in four games, but it's shocking to see him equal the combined point total (four) of defenseman Brent Burns and forwards Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture and Joe Thornton through four games (one each). Thornton is 38 years old and coming off a major knee injury, and Couture and Pavelski have dropped considerably in NHL.com's rankings as a result. Thornton's coverage is thin enough to warrant a drop, but hold on to Pavelski and Couture hoping each can find a way to carry his linemates at even strength.

New York Rangers: Outside of a hot start by center Mika Zibanejad (five goals, four on power play, in six games), the Rangers offense also has been a huge disappointment. They are 1-5-0 with six of their 13 goals coming at 5-on-5. Mats Zuccarello (five points, minus-6 rating, three PPP in six games) has earned fantasy owners' trust over the years, but Chris Kreider and Rick Nash each may be worth dropping in the near future if his performance doesn't improve. The Rangers' lack of a second-line center has negatively affected the fantasy value of their forward group.

 

POSITION ELIGIBILITY UPDATES

Jamie Benn, DAL -- gains C; now C/LW

Claude Giroux, PHI -- gains LW; now C/LW

Nick Foligno, CBJ -- gains C; now C/LW/RW

 

WORTH NOTING

-- Leon Draisaitl, a preseason top 20 overall asset, has been placed on injured reserve with an eye injury and concussion. Rookie Kailer Yamamoto (RW, 5 percent owned) had one assist and six SOG on the Edmonton Oilers' top line with Connor McDavid in Draisaitl's absence in a 6-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday and is worth monitoring in all formats.

-- Rookie Kyle Connor (LW, 3 percent owned) was recalled Monday to replace injured Mathieu Perreault (lower body). Connor will make his season debut against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday and could find fantasy relevance quickly if he sticks alongside Patrik Laine and Bryan Little and/or is used on the first power-play unit.

-- Forward Mitchell Marner was dropped to the Toronto Maple Leafs' fourth line at practice Monday, with right wing Connor Brown (4 percent owned) taking his spot with James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak on the second line. This definitely is a concern to fantasy owners who drafted Marner on average with the 33rd pick in Yahoo, but don't expect him to stay buried in the lineup for long.

 

TOP 100 FORWARD RANKINGS

Standard Yahoo categories include goals, assists, plus/minus, PIMs, PPP and SOG for skaters. ... Value has been quantified based on factors including but not limited to past production, line combinations, power-play usage, injury history, age, sleeper, bounce-back or breakout potential, anticipated regression, contract status, Yahoo ADP and overall upside for the rest of the season. ... Any players with day-to-day injury concerns (DTD) are noted.

1. Connor McDavid, C, EDM (SAME)
2. Sidney Crosby, C, PIT (SAME)
3. Auston Matthews, C, TOR (SAME)
4. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TBL (SAME)
5. Alex Ovechkin, LW, WSH (SAME)
6. Patrick Kane, RW, CHI (SAME)
7. Jamie Benn, C/LW, DAL (SAME)
8. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, STL (+1)
9. Evgeni Malkin, C, PIT (-1)
10. Tyler Seguin, C/RW, DAL (+3)
11. Brad Marchand, LW, BOS (-1)
12. Patrik Laine, RW, WPG (-1)
13. Nicklas Backstrom, C, WSH (+2)
14. Steven Stamkos, C, TBL (+4)
15. Jack Eichel, C, BUF (-3)
16. Mark Scheifele, C, WPG (-2)
17. Phil Kessel, RW, PIT (+2)
18. Wayne Simmonds, RW, PHI (+2)
19. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, WSH (+2)
20. Artemi Panarin, C/LW, CBJ (+2)
21. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, CGY (+3)
22. Blake Wheeler, RW, WPG (+3)
23. John Tavares, C, NYI (-7)
24. William Nylander, C/RW, TOR (+3)
25. Brandon Saad, LW, CHI (+3)
26. Filip Forsberg, LW, NSH (+4)
27. David Pastrnak, RW, BOS (-1)
28. Mitchell Marner, C/RW, TOR (-5)
29. Claude Giroux, C/LW, PHI (+6)
30. Anze Kopitar, C, LAK (+17)
31. Joe Pavelski, C/RW, SJS (-2)
32. Max Pacioretty, LW, MTL (-1)
33. Evander Kane, LW, BUF (+3)
34. Sean Monahan, C, CGY (+4)
35. Rickard Rakell, C/LW, ANA (+5)
36. Alexander Radulov, RW, DAL (-2)
37. Ryan Johansen, C, NSH (SAME)
38. Mike Hoffman, LW/RW, OTT (+3)
39. Jake Guentzel, C/LW, PIT (+3)
40. Jonathan Toews, C, CHI (+10)
41. Brayden Schenn, C/LW, STL (+10)
42. Jakub Voracek, RW, PHI (+10)
43. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, WPG (+14)
44. James Neal, LW/RW, VGK (+27)
45. T.J. Oshie, RW, WSH (+13)
46. James van Riemsdyk, LW, TOR (+9)
47. Cam Atkinson, RW, CBJ (-3)
48. Jeff Skinner, LW, CAR (-3)
49. Corey Perry, RW, ANA (-3)
50. Taylor Hall, LW, NJD (+3)
51. Jonathan Drouin, C/LW/RW, MTL (-2)
52. Aleksander Barkov, C, FLA (-13)
53. Mark Stone, RW, OTT (+6)
54. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, FLA (SAME)
55. Sebastian Aho, LW/RW, CAR (-7)
56. Alexander Wennberg, C, CBJ (+7)
57. Tyler Toffoli, C/RW, LAK (+7)
58. Nazem Kadri, C, TOR (+9)
59. Mika Zibanejad, C, NYR (+9)
60. Jeff Carter, C, LAK (-4)
61. Viktor Arvidsson, LW/RW, NSH (+4)
62. Patrick Marleau, C/LW, TOR (+8)
63. Jaden Schwartz, LW, STL (+11)
64. Eric Staal, C, MIN (+2)
65. Kyle Turris, C, OTT (+15)
66. Anthony Mantha, LW/RW, DET (+15)
67. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, CGY (+16)
68. Henrik Zetterberg, C/LW, DET (+16)
69. Vladislav Namestnikov, C/LW, TBL (+19)
70. Nathan MacKinnon, C, COL (-1)
71. Nick Foligno, C/LW/RW, CBJ (+16)
72. Jason Spezza, C/RW, DAL (-10)
73. Jordan Eberle, C/RW, NYI (-13)
74. Nick Schmaltz, C/LW, CHI (DTD)
75. Logan Couture, C, SJS (-14)
76. Jakub Vrana, LW/RW, WSH (+13)
77. Brayden Point, C/RW, TBL (+12)
78. Patric Hornqvist, RW, PIT (NR - INJ.)
79. Richard Panik, LW/RW, CHI (NEW)
80. Max Domi, LW, ARI (-8)
81. Matt Duchene, C/RW, COL (+17)
82. Dylan Larkin, C/RW, DET (NEW)
83. Andre Burakovsky, LW/RW, WSH (-4)
84. Sean Couturier, C, PHI (NEW)
85. Mats Zuccarello, RW, NYR (-12)
86. Anders Lee, LW, NYI (-8)
87. Ryan O'Reilly, C, BUF (-11)
88. Jakob Silfverberg, RW, ANA (-11)
89. Marcus Johansson, LW, NJD (-4)
90. Milan Lucic, LW, EDM (-4)
91. Evgenii Dadonov, RW, FLA (+2)
92. Patrick Maroon, LW, EDM (-1)
93. Bryan Little, C, WPG (+3)
94. Kyle Palmieri, RW, NJD (+3)
95. Clayton Keller, C/LW, ARI (+4)
96. Bryan Rust, RW, PIT (NEW)
97. Conor Sheary, LW/RW, PIT (NEW)
98. Vadim Shipachyov, C/LW, VGK (NEW)
99. Dustin Brown, LW/RW, LAK (NEW)
100. Derick Brassard, C, OTT (NEW)

Just missed: Scott Hartnell, LW, NSH; Mikko Rantanen, LW/RW, COL; Patrick Sharp, LW/RW, CHI; Sven Andrighetto, LW/RW, COL; Gabriel Landeskog, LW, COL; Brock Boeser, RW, VAN; Alex Killorn, LW, TBL; Paul Stastny, C, STL; Jason Pominville, RW, BUF; Bobby Ryan, RW, OTT; Tyler Bozak, C, TOR; Leo Komarov, C/LW, TOR; Jason Zucker, LW/RW, MIN; Andrew Cogliano, LW, ANA; Kailer Yamamoto, RW, EDM

Dropped out: Alex Galchenyuk, C/LW, MTL; Chris Kreider, LW, NYR; Ondrej Palat, LW, TBL

Key injuries: Leon Draisaitl, C/RW, EDM (dropped out); Ryan Getzlaf, C, ANA (dropped out); Patrice Bergeron, C, BOS (dropped out); Mikael Granlund, C/RW, MIN (dropped out); Nino Niederreiter, LW/RW, MIN (dropped out); Kyle Okposo, RW, BUF (dropped out); Alexander Steen, C/LW, STL; Zach Parise, LW, MIN; Patrick Eaves, RW, ANA; Charlie Coyle, C/RW, MIN; Ryan Kesler, C, ANA; Boone Jenner, C/LW, CBJ; Mathieu Perreault, C/LW, WPG

 

READ: Last week's Top 100 forward rankings

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