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Week 3: Fantasy top 50 defenseman rankings for 2017-18

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

by Brian Metzer / NHL.com Fantasy Correspondent

Each week during the regular season, NHL.com has you covered with an overview of the fantasy defenseman landscape. With production trends, injury news and top 50 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 100 forwards | Top 25 goalies

 

TRENDING UP 

Mikhail Sergachev, TBL (64 percent owned): The rookie defenseman is reaping the benefits of playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning, the League's second highest-scoring offense (4.10 goals per game). The 19-year-old has seven points (four goals, three assists) during his four-game point streak to go along with 11 shots on goal and a plus-5. This offensive explosion has Sergachev tied for fourth among defensemen in points (nine in 10 games). He's averaging 12:46 per game, but played a season-high 16:56 in a 7-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. He is skating alongside Anton Stralman on the Lightning's second pair and averaging 1:18 per game on the power play. He has made it past his nine-game trial and is worth making room for in all fantasy formats.

Video: TBL@CAR: Sergachev deposits Stamkos' feed by Darling

Brandon Montour, ANA (20 percent owned): Montour's offensive skill was a big reason the Anaheim Ducks took him with the No. 55 pick (second round) in the 2014 NHL Draft. He has earned a spot on Anaheim's first power-play unit with forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Rickard Rakell with Cam Fowler (knee) sidelined. He's averaging 2:55 per game on the power play, and could be a significant fantasy addition if he sees greater usage with the man-advantage. It's worth noting defenseman Hampus Lindholm (20 percent owned) had a power-play assist in his season debut Tuesday and Sami Vatanen (shoulder) could also return soon. But Montour scored a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, giving him three goals, two assists and 20 SOG in eight games this season.

Oscar Fantenberg, LAK (2 percent owned): Fantenberg has emerged as a sneaky fantasy option in deeper leagues on the Los Angeles Kings defense. The Kings signed the 26-year-old as an undrafted free agent May 3, and he has made an immediate impact with four assists (three PPP) in and 10 SOG with 2:04 per game on the power play. He is skating on the Kings' third pair with Christian Folin and has thrived alongside Jake Muzzin on their second power-play unit. 

Video: VAN@LAK: Fantenberg nets one-timer to put Kings ahead

 

TRENDING DOWN

Shea Weber, MTL: The Montreal Canadiens are 2-6-1 and have been outscored 34-17 through nine games. That has made it tough to stick with Canadiens players taken in the early or middle rounds of most fantasy drafts, such as Weber, goaltender Carey Price and forwards Max Pacioretty and Jonathan Drouin. Even after Weber's two-goal outburst in a 5-1 win against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, he's performing well below his Yahoo average draft position (45.1; current rank: 225). He has been a strong source of SOG (28; T-7th among 'D') and is playing major minutes (26:22 per game; 4:36 on power play), so fantasy owners should hope Weber continues to bounce back during Montreal's homestand.

Justin Schultz, PIT: Schultz became a valuable fantasy asset last season with Kris Letang limited to 41 games because of injury. After an NHL career-high 51 points (12 goals, 39 assists) and plus-27, he was drafted on average with the 87th pick in Yahoo. Unfortunately, Schultz sustained a concussion against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday and hasn't been nearly as productive this season. Schultz has three points (one goal, two assists), 16 SOG and is minus-2. He is playing on the Penguins' second pairing with Olli Maatta and is getting time on the second power-play unit, but the points have yet to come. He's still worth owning in season-long leagues with the Penguins ranked 10th in goals per game (3.20), but fantasy owners need to monitor his injury situation in the coming days. 

Jan Rutta, CHI (28 percent owned): Rutta was a fantasy darling after scoring four points (two goals, two assists) with five SOG over his first three games of the season. He was even more attractive because he was plus-7 over that span. But for those who quickly grabbed him off the waiver wire, he has no goals, one assist, nine SOG and is minus-2 over his past seven games. Based on those numbers and the fact that he's averaging 0:33 per game on the power play, it may be time to cut the cord in fantasy.

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TOP 50 DEFENSEMAN 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, defense pairs, power-play usage, team's offseason changes, 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. Erik Karlsson, OTT (SAME)
2. Brent Burns, SJS (+1)
3. Victor Hedman, TBL (-1)
4. Dustin Byfuglien, WPG (SAME)
5. Roman Josi, NSH (+1)
6. Duncan Keith, CHI (+1)
7. Alex Pietrangelo, STL (+7)
8. P.K. Subban, NSH (-3)
9. Kevin Shattenkirk, NYR (SAME)
10. Zach Werenski, CBJ (+1)
11. John Klingberg, DAL (+1)
12. Drew Doughty, LAK (+1)
13. Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI (+2)
14. Dougie Hamilton, CGY (-4)
15. Kris Letang, PIT (-1)
16. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI (SAME)
17. Rasmus Ristolainen, BUF (SAME)
18. John Carlson, WSH (+1)
19. Mark Giordano, CGY (+1)
20. Mike Green, DET (+5)
21. Ryan Suter, MIN (+2)
22. Shea Weber, MTL (-4)
23. Aaron Ekblad, FLA (-2)
24. Tyson Barrie, COL (+2)
25. Torey Krug, BOS (-3)
26. Will Butcher, NJD (+1)
27. Jake Gardiner, TOR (+2)
28. Justin Schultz, PIT (DTD)
29. Seth Jones, CBJ (-1)
30. Justin Faulk, CAR (SAME)
31. Charlie McAvoy, BOS (+5)
32. Colton Parayko, STL (-1)
33. Brent Seabrook, CHI (SAME)
34. Jake Muzzin, LAK (+6)
35. Mikhail Sergachev, TBL (NEW)
36. Keith Yandle, FLA (-4)
37. Ivan Provorov, PHI (-2)
38. Morgan Rielly, TOR (+11)
39. Olli Maatta, PIT (SAME)
40. Ryan McDonagh, NYR (-3)
41. Oscar Klefbom, EDM (-3)
42. TJ Brodie, CGY (+1)
43. Brandon Montour, ANA (NEW)
44. Jared Spurgeon, MIN (+2)
45. Nikita Zaitsev, TOR (-3)
46. Jaccob Slavin, CAR (-2)
47. Jacob Trouba, WPG (-2)
48. Jan Rutta, CHI (-7)
49. Josh Manson, ANA (-1)
50. Michael Del Zotto, VAN (NEW)

Dropped out: Matt Dumba, MIN; Nate Schmidt, VGK

Key injuries: Cam Fowler, ANA - dropped out; Matt Niskanen, WSH; Ryan Ellis, NSH; Sami Vatanen, ANA; Alexander Edler, VAN; Andrej Sekera, EDM

 

READ: Last week's Top 50 defenseman rankings

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