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Week 4: 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.

 

TRENDING UP

New York Islanders' top line: Center John Tavares is back among the top 20 forward rankings this week after scoring 12 points (nine goals, three assists) over his past five games. He has carried over his chemistry with Anders Lee (LW, 55 percent owned), who scored 34 goals last season and has a six-game point streak totaling 10 points (four goals, six assists). Right wing Jordan Eberle was moved down in the lineup in favor of Josh Bailey (LW/RW, 35 percent owned), who rejoins the top 100 forward rankings this week and is among our top 10 waiver wire pickups. Eberle still has a decent spot on their second line with Brock Nelson and rookie Mathew Barzal, but is droppable in some standard leagues.

Florida Panthers' top line: Another trio heating up has been the Panthers' top line of Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgenii Dadonov. Since 2015-16, Barkov has 125 points (53 goals, 72 assists) in 138 games and Huberdeau has 99 points (35 goals, 64 assists) in 118 games. When healthy, this is one of the best scoring duos in the NHL, and their recent surge has made Dadonov, who signed with the Panthers on July 1 after years in the Kontinental Hockey League, a must-own player in fantasy. Dadonov (RW, 41 percent owned) quietly has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 11 games after his three-point game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

Video: TBL@FLA: Dadonov snaps rebound into wide-open net

Alexander Radulov, RW, DAL: The biggest prize of 2017 free agency got off to a slow start, but is beginning to show why he was one of NHL.com's bargain forwards based on average draft position (87.6) entering his first season with the Dallas Stars. He's 76th in Yahoo after a three-game run of six points (three goals, three assists), four power-play points and 10 shots on goal. He's been a fixture alongside Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin on the Stars' top line and first power-play unit, and each of his linemates has moved higher among the top 10 forward rankings this week.

 
TRENDING DOWN

Chicago Blackhawks: They started the season with a bang, scoring 10 goals on opening night against the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. But after scoring at least three goals in each of their first four games (total of 21), they have scored at least three only twice over their next eight. Over that eight-game span, Chicago is 2-5-1 and has been outscored 27-17. From Patrick Kane to the duo of Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad to fringe top 100 forwards like Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik, all Blackhawks forwards have taken a fantasy hit during this scoring drought. Although Chicago has high upside any given night, fantasy owners need to consider dropping Schmaltz, Panik, Alex DeBrincat, Ryan Hartman or Patrick Sharp if their struggles continue in the coming days and weeks. Forward John Hayden (LW/RW, 3 percent owned) could get a look in the top six and is worth monitoring.

Jason Spezza, C/RW, DAL: Fantasy owners are well aware that the Toronto Maple Leafs have moved Mitchell Marner to a depth-line role, a huge blow to his value in recent weeks. But although Marner, 20, is worth holding onto based on his high ceiling if/when he returns to his usual spot, Spezza, 34, may be droppable based on his secondary role at even strength and on the power play for the Stars. Even after a week where Spezza had two power-play assists in four games, his value continues to dip with Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock stacking his best forwards on Dallas' top line. Spezza has no goals on 27 shots on goal and two even-strength points in 12 games.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Top forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel are each living up to his elite fantasy standing so far, but the Penguins have the worst 5-on-5 shooting percentage (5.0 through 13 games) and worst 5-on-5 save percentage (.882) in the NHL. This should eventually revert to normal for one of the most talented teams in the League, but this has negatively affected the value of secondary scorers like Jake Guentzel, Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Rust. Despite being bumped off Crosby's line recently, Guentzel is worth holding onto in fantasy for at least another week or two and perhaps a buy-low fantasy trade target. But forwards like Conor Sheary, Rust and Hornqvist have been involved in too much turnover to be considered lineup locks at the moment.

Video: PIT@TBL: Guentzel deflects home PPG late in the 3rd

 
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. NEW - INJ. indicates a player who has returned from injury and rejoined the rankings.

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

 

Just missedGabriel Landeskog, LW, COL; Jonathan Marchessault, C/LW, VGK; Adrian Kempe, C/LW, LAK; Ryan Hartman, LW, CHI; Paul Stastny, C, STL; Bo Horvat, C, VAN; Pavel Buchnevich, LW/RW, NYR; Vladimir Sobotka, LW, STL; Jesper Bratt, LW/RW, NJD; Kyle Connor, LW, WPG; Sven Baertschi, LW, VAN; Zach Hyman, C/LW, TOR; Alexander Steen, C/LW, STL; Mathew Barzal, C, NYI; Alex DeBrincat, RW, CHI

Dropped out: Bryan Rust, RW, PIT; Mats Zuccarello, RW, NYR; Bryan Little, C, WPG; Anders Bjork, LW, BOS

Key injuriesJeff Carter, C, LAK; Nino Niederreiter, LW/RW, MIN; Kyle Palmieri, RW, NJD; Andre Burakovsky, LW/RW, WSH; Marcus Johansson, LW, NJD; David Krejci, C, BOS; Zach Parise, LW, MIN; Patrick Eaves, RW, ANA; Charlie Coyle, C/RW, MIN; Bobby Ryan, RW, OTT; Ryan Kesler, C, ANA; Jaromir Jagr, LW/RW, CGY

 

READ: Last week's Top 100 forward rankings

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