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Week 24: 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.

If you're still alive in your head-to-head playoffs or within striking distance of first place in your rotisserie league standings, there's very little room for error.

MORE FANTASY HOCKEY COVERAGE: TOP 50 DEFENSEMEN | TOP 25 GOALIES

It's important to be aware of which line combinations are hitting their stride at the right time. Some lines have been together for a while and are willing teams down the stretch (e.g. Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Patrick Maroon of the Edmonton Oilers), but others have come alive in the past month or even recent weeks and are flying under the radar.

Some of the below names are well-known from years past or even from different points this season, but each trio has high upside with readily available components that can help you put the finishing touches on your league title:

 

Rickard Rakell - Ryan Getzlaf - Patrick Eaves, Anaheim Ducks
Games remaining: 7 (4 this week)

Although Eaves (RW, 29 percent owned) has seen his power-play production dip (as expected) after being traded from the Dallas Stars to the Ducks on Feb. 24, he has eight points in 13 games with Anaheim alongside mostly Getzlaf and Rakell. Getzlaf ranks third in the League in scoring (20 points in 13 games) behind Nikita Kucherov (26 in 15) and Jack Eichel (22 in 16) since Feb. 25 (Eaves' debut). Rakell, who has broken out for 32 goals on 163 SOG, is still only 55 percent owned in Yahoo.

Video: Pete Jensen on some must add fantasy players

 

Jaden Schwartz - Alexander Steen - Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
Games remaining: 7 (3 this week)

Schwartz (C/LW, 57 percent owned) was identified as a potential late-season bounce-back candidate weeks ago and is delivering lately on the top line with Tarasenko and Steen. Schwartz has put together a strong stretch of 13 points, a plus-8 and 43 SOG in his past 14 games, highlighted by his three points and plus-4 against the Arizona Coyotes on Monday. Steen (LW/RW, 74 percent owned), who's playing center lately with Paul Stastny injured, had four assists Monday. The Blues have three more games this week, including one at the Coyotes and one at the last-place Colorado Avalanche.

 

Sebastian Aho - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm, Carolina Hurricanes
Games remaining: 8 (4 this week)

Aho is nearing the top 100 overall fantasy realm (111th in Yahoo), and has a balanced stat line for a rookie with 23 goals and 23 assists. He's still not even owned in half of Yahoo leagues (49 percent), and his most frequent linemate at even strength and on the power play over the past month has been Elias Lindholm (C/RW, 30 percent owned), whose 10-game point streak ended Monday against the Detroit Red Wings. Victor Rask (15 percent owned; 43 points, 167 SOG), who started the season strong on a line with Jeff Skinner, was recently moved to a line with Lindholm and Aho, the duo that has shockingly put the Hurricanes back in Stanley Cup Playoff contention.

Video: CAR@NJD: Aho battles to pot gritty second goal

 

Gustav Nyquist - Henrik Zetterberg - Tomas Tatar, Detroit Red Wings
Games remaining: 7 (3 this week)

The Red Wings are on the verge of being eliminated from postseason contention, but their top line has been dynamite of late. Zetterberg has played frequently alongside Nyquist and/or Tatar in years past, and the band is back together for the stretch run. Zetterberg has bounced back to borderline top 50 fantasy status (55th in Yahoo), and Tatar (LW/RW, 32 percent owned) or Nyquist (LW/RW, 29 percent) could still be available in your league. Tatar is tied for fifth in the League in goals this month (nine in 14 games; four PPP), and Nyquist has back-to-back multipoint games with one PPP in each. Detroit will play four of its final five games at Joe Louis Arena.

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Worth Noting

-- It's been a rough week for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who added top-line forwards Conor Sheary (lower body) and Jake Guentzel (concussion) to their injury list, which already included elite forward Evgeni Malkin (shoulder) and defenseman Kris Letang (upper body). Luckily, they got Bryan Rust (RW, 2 percent owned) back into the lineup Friday. Rust did not score a point in his first two games back alongside mostly Crosby, but combined for six SOG in the span. Sheary practiced Tuesday on a line with Crosby and Rust but is uncertain for the game Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. 

-- Fantasy owners should monitor the status of Boston Bruins center David Krejci, who left practice Monday with an upper-body injury. Krejci could play against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, but Ryan Spooner (C/LW, 8 percent owned) could emerge as a valuable streaming option alongside David Pastrnak if Krejci is sidelined. Spooner has four assists in his past six games with three coming on the power play. 

-- Joshua Ho-Sang (C/RW, 5 percent owned) of the New York Islanders is a sneaky add in deep leagues with dual eligibility and first-unit power-play exposure to John Tavares. The Islanders power play has struggled lately and for the season (15.2 percent, 26th), but this explosive rookie has a chance to help them improve in that area down the stretch. Ho-Sang has seen time on the first unit in each of the past two games, and has totaled eight points (two PPP) in 14 NHL games.

Video: NYI@CAR: Ho-Sang collects blocked shot, buries PPG

-- If your fantasy league counts the final two weeks of the regular season, the teams with the most games remaining including games Tuesday are the Washington Capitals, Columbus Blue Jackets, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings (eight apiece). The Maple Leafs and Senators each have a League-high five games in the final week of the season (April 3-9). 


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Top 100 Fantasy Forwards

These rankings were last updated March 28. Remaining games played have been taken into account.

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

Dropped out: Jason Zucker (LW/RW, MIN), Radim Vrbata (RW, ARI), Mikael Backlund (C, CGY), Bryan Little (C, WPG), Michael Frolik (C/RW, CGY) 

Just missed: Tomas Tatar (LW/RW, DET), Patrick Eaves (RW, ANA), Jonathan Marchessault (C/LW, FLA), Nathan MacKinnon (C/RW, COL), Rick Nash (LW/RW, NYR), David Backes (RW, BOS), Josh Bailey (LW/RW, NYI), Bo Horvat (C, VAN), Gustav Nyquist (LW/RW, DET), Mika Zibanejad (C/RW, NYR) 

Key injuries: Evgeni Malkin (C, PIT), Steven Stamkos (C, TBL), Logan Couture (C, SJS), Conor Sheary (LW/RW, PIT), Tyler Johnson (C, TBL), Artem Anisimov (C, CHI), Paul Stastny (C, STL), Jake Guentzel (C/LW, PIT), Robby Fabbri (C/LW, STL)

 

READ: Last week's top 100 forward rankings

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