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Week 20: Fantasy top 50 defenseman rankings 2016-17 lists most valuable standard-league assets during regular season

by Brian Metzer / Correspondent

All season long, will rank the top 50 fantasy defensemen 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.

These rankings are based on expectations for the rest of the season. Value is quantified by defense pairs, 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 2017 NHL Trade Deadline definitely didn't live up to the hype. Seeing several big names, namely Kevin Shattenkirk among defensemen, moved ahead of March 1 took some drama out of the day.


But just because there weren't a ton of moves doesn't mean the transactions that did occur won't bring some wide-ranging fantasy impact. New zip codes bring new responsibilities for traded players, and also changes the roles of players on each of the affected teams.

Here are some developments involving fantasy defensemen who were traded, teammates involved and others who stayed put:


Trending Up

-- Kevin Shattenkirk joined the Washington Capitals with more goals (11), assists (31), points (42) and PPP (20) than any of their defenseman. He has a chance to improve on those elite totals because he's now playing for the third highest-scoring team in the League (3.32 goals per game). He also gets to quarterback the fifth-ranked power play (22.1 percent). Although Shattenkirk knocked John Carlson down to the second power-play unit in his debut Tuesday, they were also on the ice together at times. Shattenkirk logged the most power play minutes of any Capitals defenseman (2:07) on Tuesday, but ranked fourth in total time on ice (17:57) with four SOG. His presence didn't seem to hurt the value of Carlson or Matt Niskanen (74 percent owned), and it might even bolster their value. Carlson had an assist and five SOG, and Niskanen had two assists, four SOG and was plus-3. Each should help in all formats the rest of the way.

Video: STL@WPG: Shattenkirk makes nifty move to notch goal

-- Colton Parayko (70 percent owned) might be the biggest beneficiary of the Shattenkirk trade. The 23-year-old will now either take No. 1 power-play responsibilities or share them with Alex Pietrangelo. In the St. Louis Blues' first game following the trade, Pietrangelo and Parayko logged 2:25 and 0:31, respectively, on the power play, but fantasy owners can expect Parayko to see more of those minutes over time. Parayko is slated to play with Joel Edmundson on the Blues' second pairing, which makes for a solid puck-moving tandem that can also contribute at 5-on-5. Parayko ranks 13th among defensemen in SOG (147) and could further reward fantasy owners if his low shooting percentage (2.7) evens out.

-- Mark Streit has seen his ownership slip to 15 percent in Yahoo, but could be the elixir that the Penguins need to get their power play back on track. They still rank ninth overall (21.6 percent), but have converted at 12.1 percent over their past 12 games. Even at 39, there is no denying Streit is capable of running a quality power play and he'll get that opportunity minus Kris Letang and Trevor Daley. He has an excellent shot and has scored 47 percent of his career points with the extra man. The Penguins also play 15 more games in March. It's not yet clear who Streit will play with, but he'll be on the ice often with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel, which will help him add to his point total (21 in 49 games). He'll be asked to shoot more by coach Mike Sullivan and his staff, and is a very sneaky fantasy add down the stretch.

Video: EDM@PHI: Streit hammers one-timer off the pipe and in


Trending Down

-- Justin Schultz returned to the Penguins lineup for the 2017 NHL Stadium Series game on Saturday, but injuries to his teammates have taken a toll on his production. Playing without Daley, Olli Maatta and, most importantly, Letang has forced Sullivan to juggle his pairings. That's taken Schultz away from Ian Cole on a semi-regular basis, and he's starting to struggle. He has no points in his past six games and is a combined minus-4 in his past two. He's also not been able to get the team's power play going even though he's averaging 3:46 per game in Letang's absence. That opens the door wide for Streit to get a look with the No. 1 unit when he makes his debut against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday. Schultz's owners can do nothing more than hold out hope Letang gets back in the lineup soon.

-- Tyson Barrie (60 percent owned), like Colorado Avalanche teammates Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene, would have seen a boost in production from being moved to a contender. That didn't happen, and he's going to have to play out the rest of the schedule on the team with the League's worst goal differential by far (minus-82). He has two goals and one assist in his past 11 games and no points on the power play. He does have 32 SOG in the span, but it's looking like his best won't be seen until next year.

Video: COL@CAR: Barrie fakes, fires home a wrister


Top 50 Fantasy Defensemen

These rankings were last updated March 2

1. Brent Burns, SJS (SAME) 
2. Victor Hedman, TBL (+1) 
3. Erik Karlsson, OTT (-1) 
4. Kevin Shattenkirk, WSH (+2) 
5. Dustin Byfuglien, WPG (-1) 
6. Shea Weber, MTL (+1) 
7. Duncan Keith, CHI (+1) 
8. Roman Josi, NSH (+3) 
9. Drew Doughty, LAK (SAME) 
10. Torey Krug, BOS (SAME) 
11. P.K. Subban, NSH (+2) 
12. Dougie Hamilton, CGY (SAME) 
13. Justin Schultz, PIT (NR - INJ.
14. Ryan Suter, MIN (SAME) 
15. Rasmus Ristolainen, BUF (SAME) 
16. Zach Werenski, CBJ (SAME) 
17. John Carlson, WSH (+3) 
18. Colton Parayko, STL (+5) 
19. Ryan McDonagh, NYR (-2) 
20. Seth Jones, CBJ (-2) 
21. Keith Yandle, FLA (-2) 
22. John Klingberg, DAL (+2) 
23. Matt Niskanen, WSH (+3) 
24. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI (-3) 
25. Dion Phaneuf, OTT (-3) 
26. Jake Gardiner, TOR (+1) 
27. Mark Giordano, CGY (+1) 
28. Alex Pietrangelo, STL (+3) 
29. Justin Faulk, CAR (-4) 
30. Cam Fowler, ANA (-1) 
31. Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI (+2) 
32. Nick Leddy, NYI (-2) 
33. Andrei Markov, MTL (-1) 
34. Brent Seabrook, CHI (+1) 
35. Jared Spurgeon, MIN (+3) 
36. Oscar Klefbom, EDM (+9) 
37. Matt Dumba, MIN (SAME) 
38. Tyson Barrie, COL (-4) 
39. Brady Skjei, NYR (+5) 
40. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, SJS (-4) 
41. Mark Streit, PIT (NEW
42. Aaron Ekblad, FLA (-2) 
43. Ivan Provorov, PHI (-1) 
44. Morgan Rielly, TOR (-5) 
45. Mike Green, DET (-4) 
46. Nikita Zaitsev, TOR (-3) 
47. Jacob Trouba, WPG (SAME) 
48. Jeff Petry, MTL (-2) 
49. Zdeno Chara, BOS (+1) 
50. David Savard, CBJ (NEW

Key injuries: Kris Letang (PIT), Trevor Daley (PIT), Tyler Myers (WPG)


READ: Last week's Top 50 defenseman rankings

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