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Week 22: 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.

Injuries and production dips happen. Fantasy owners are forced to roll with the punches and move on from any disappointing players they drafted.

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: TOP 50 'D' | TOP 25 'G' | SCHEDULE GUIDE | PROJ. GOALIES

That said, some underachieving players have impressive production trends from the past that could resurface at any given moment. Just look at how Brian Elliott of the Calgary Flames has reverted to his prior elite form at the most important time of year after so many fantasy owners cut ties after a miserable start.

Here are some potential bounce-back forwards who have been droppable at points this season but could be valuable additions down the stretch. Depending on your league format, some of these recognizable names could be floating around on your waiver wire. Their number of games remaining, strength of schedule and/or home/road splits are favorable and have been included for reference.

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NOTE: Non-contending teams include the bottom five teams in each conference (BUF, CAR, DET, FLA, NJD in Eastern Conference; ARI, COL, DAL, WPG, VAN in Western Conference).

 

James Neal, RW, NSH
Yahoo rank: 148; 83 percent owned
Games remaining: 13 (4 vs. non-contenders; 6H/7R)

Neal has a respectable 20 goals on 181 SOG (11 percent) and 10 PPP, but has severely underachieved based on the elite category coverage he provided last season. Neal finished 14th in Yahoo last season with 31 goals, 27 assists, a plus-27, 65 PIMs, 14 PPP and 268 SOG, but is minus-10 with 33 PIMs through 60 games this season. Neal has been playing on a different line than Ryan Johansen, who is centering Filip Forsberg and fantasy breakout Viktor Arvidsson, but has a chance to do some damage on the first power-play unit (2:44 per game) and cover categories if the Nashville Predators, finally healthy, can find some consistency.

Video: WPG@NSH: Neal fires a laser in off iron for OT winner

 

Tyler Toffoli, C/RW, LAK
Yahoo rank: 275; 59 percent owned
Games remaining: 14 (5 vs. non-contenders; 8H/6R)

Toffoli has been limited to 49 of a possible 68 games for the Los Angeles Kings because of injury, and his shooting percentage has dipped from 14.6 (when he scored 31 goals last season) to 9.3. He plays alongside Jeff Carter at even strength and on the first power-play unit as well, but has only managed four PPP despite 2:17 per game with the man-advantage. Toffoli has assists in back-to-back games, one coming on the power play, and has sneaky upside if available in a 10- or 12-team league.

 

Jaden Schwartz, C/LW, STL
Yahoo rank: 170; 54 percent owned
Games remaining: 14 (10 vs. non-contenders; 6H/8R)

The St. Louis Blues have dealt with plenty of injuries, player movement and consequent lineup changes since their deep Stanley Cup Playoff run last season. As a result, Schwartz has failed to live up to expectations as a top 100 fantasy asset. That said, coach Mike Yeo has put Schwartz back on the first line with Vladimir Tarasenko in recent games, and the left wing has responded with six assists (three PPP) in his past seven games. Schwartz, who had 63 points two seasons ago, has a chance to cover everything outside of PIMs in the final weeks of the season with the Blues having the League's most-favorable schedule the rest of the way.

Video: WSH@STL: Schwartz uses Steen's screen to find twine

 

Max Domi, LW, ARI
Yahoo rank: 354; 46 percent owned
Games remaining: 14 (4 vs. non-contenders; 6H/8R)

Domi has been productive since returning from injury Feb. 2, scoring 13 points in 19 games for the Arizona Coyotes. The 22-year-old's rating has been a liability (minus-12) and his power-play production has been lacking (five PPP), but he has 89 SOG in 45 games and could feasibly put together a lengthy point streak playing on the first line and power-play unit with Radim Vrbata and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Domi's shooting percentage (7.9) is also bound for an eventual uptick, which could make him a fantasy difference-maker if he sees some improved power-play fortunes. He had 52 points as a rookie and is quietly on an 82-game pace of 53 as a sophomore.

 

Andrew Ladd, LW, NYI
Yahoo rank: 331; 41 percent owned
Games remaining: 14 (6 vs. non-contenders; 6H/8R)

Ladd, drafted on average with the 86th pick in Yahoo, was a colossal fantasy disappointment over his first 32 games, with seven points (four goals, three assists, no PPP) and a minus-11. But his production spike over his next 32 has resulted from the New York Islanders' coaching change and more-frequent top-six usage; he has 20 points (15 goals, five assists), three PPP and 67 SOG in the span. Ladd extended his point streak to four games in the Islanders' loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday. He's also averaging more than one hit per game (82 in 64).

Video: NYI@VAN: Ladd taps in de Haan's setup for OT win

 

Gustav Nyquist, LW/RW, DET
Yahoo rank: 264; 28 percent owned
Games remaining: 15 (7 vs. non-contenders; 8H/7R)

The turning point of Nyquist's season appears to be his six-game suspension Feb. 15 after a high-sticking incident. Since returning, he is better than a point per game (six points in five games) alongside mostly Henrik Zetterberg on the Detroit Red Wings first line and power-play unit. Nyquist has put together a strong stretch of 17 points, three PPP, a plus-4 and 46 SOG in 20 games since Jan. 12. Nyquist underachieved last season but fantasy owners should not ignore the stretch (2013-14 to 2014-15) where he was an elite goal scorer (0.40 goals per game in span; T-13th in NHL).

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Top 100 Fantasy Forwards

These rankings were last updated March 14

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

Dropped out: Patrick Maroon (LW, EDM), Bo Horvat (C, VAN)

Just missed: Josh Bailey (LW/RW, NYI), Bryan Little (C, WPG), Jaden Schwartz (C/LW, STL), Sam Reinhart (C/RW, BUF), Paul Stastny (C, STL), Rickard Rakell (C/LW, ANA), David Backes (RW, BOS), Michael Grabner (LW/RW, NYR), Nathan MacKinnon (C/RW, COL), Alexander Steen (LW/RW, STL), Gustav Nyquist (LW/RW, DET), Alexandre Burrows (LW/RW, OTT), Elias Lindholm (C/RW, CAR), Ondrej Palat (LW, TBL), Drew Stafford (RW, BOS)

Key injuries: Steven Stamkos (C, TBL), Mark Stone (RW, OTT), Patric Hornqvist (RW, PIT), Kyle Okposo (RW, BUF), Andre Burakovsky (LW/RW, WSH), Robby Fabbri (C/LW, STL)

 

READ: Last week's top 100 forward rankings

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