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Week 5: 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.

 

MORE FANTASY RANKINGS: Top 50 defensemen | Top 25 goalies

 

TRENDING UP

Nashville Predators and Ottawa Senators: Each team strengthened its forward group via trade in the hope of another Stanley Cup Playoff run. Center Kyle Turris (67 percent owned), who was traded to Nashville, slots into the No. 2 center role behind Ryan Johansen and will have improved linemates in wings Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson, Scott Hartnell and/or Kevin Fiala. Whether forward Matt Duchene (C/RW, 67 percent owned), who was traded to Ottawa, slots in as the top-line center alongside Mark Stone or plays on the second line with Mike Hoffman, he'll bring exposure to defenseman Erik Karlsson and get a big upgrade compared to his secondary role in Colorado. Read more about the fantasy impact of this blockbuster trade.

Winnipeg Jets' top line: The trio of Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor has been off the charts lately. Wheeler leads the NHL with 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in five games since Oct. 29, and Scheifele is second with 10 points (six goals, four assists) in the span. Connor (LW, 7 percent owned in Yahoo) has yet to make an impact on the power play but is averaging 2:27 of power-play time per game and playing on the first unit with Wheeler, Scheifele, Patrik Laine and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. Connor enters the top 100 forwards this week after seven points (three goals, four assists), a plus-5 and 16 shots on goal in nine games.

Colorado Avalanche's top line: The Avalanche may be losing one of their top offensive performers in Duchene, but their top line should continue to produce for fantasy owners. Since Gabriel Landeskog joined Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen on Oct. 28, Landeskog (LW, 55 percent owned) has points in three of four games, totaling four points (two goals, two assists), a plus-2 and seven SOG. He has added value in hits leagues (34 in 14 games) and is worth owning in most formats. MacKinnon has exploded for nine points (three goals, six assists), three power-play points, a plus-3 and 21 SOG in the four-game span. Rantanen (LW/RW, 35 percent owned) leads Colorado with eight PPP and is tied for sixth in the NHL.

Video: COL@NYI: MacKinnon roofs rebound tally from in close

 
TRENDING DOWN

Chicago Blackhawks: The line combinations have not been working in Chicago, as their forward group continues its downward spiral. If it hadn't been for the elite goaltending of Corey Crawford (.945 save percentage in 13 games), the Blackhawks would be in even deeper trouble. They are 18th in the NHL at 2.87 goals per game and have been held to 11 goals in their past six games (second-fewest in NHL). Be patient with the obvious names (Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad), but fantasy owners can begin to seek replacement options for Nick Schmaltz, rookie Alex DeBrincat, Patrick Sharp and the hot-and-cold Richard Panik. Their power play (13.6 percent; 28th) has been the glaring weakness; Kane, Toews, Panik and Artem Anisimov are tied for the Chicago lead with three PPP.

Nicklas Backstrom, C, WSH: The elite center has been held to no goals and one assist over his past eight games, and being on a separate line from Alex Ovechkin has been detrimental to his fantasy value. He's in a prolonged slump, as are his linemates T.J. Oshie and rookie Jakub Vrana, but fantasy owners should expect a rebound at some point in the near future. Backstrom, 29, has a high shooting percentage in his NHL career (12.0) and an extremely high fantasy floor; he has at least 65 points in each of his eight seasons of at least 75 games played.

Alexander Wennberg, C, CBJ: The Columbus Blue Jackets' top line, in the absence of injured right wing Cam Atkinson (lower body), has been Artemi Panarin, Nick Foligno and Josh Anderson (RW, 15 percent owned). And not only is Wennberg off the top line, he's also off the first power-play unit, which now features Foligno, Panarin, Boone Jenner (C/LW, 25 percent owned), Oliver Bjorkstrand (RW, 5 percent) and defenseman Zach Werenski. Wennberg, unlike Backstrom, has a low fantasy floor if he's not playing in these spots and has become droppable in standard leagues.

 

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

 

Dropped out: Alexander Wennberg, C, CBJ; Richard Panik, LW/RW, CHI; Jakub Vrana, LW/RW, WSH; Nick Schmaltz, C/LW, CHI; Jason Spezza, C/RW, DAL; Jason Pominville, RW, BUF

Just missed: Jesper Bratt, LW/RW, NJD; J.T. Miller, LW/RW, NYR; Bo Horvat, C, VAN; Chris Kreider, LW, NYR; Nico Hischier, C, NJD; Paul Stastny, C, STL; Vladimir Sobotka, LW, STL; Sven Baertschi, LW, VAN; Yanni Gourde, C/RW, TBL; Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW, CBJ; David Perron, LW/RW, VGK; Alexander Kerfoot, C/RW, COL; Joe Thornton, C, SJS; Alex Killorn, LW, TBL; Devante Smith-Pelly, RW, WSH

Key injuries: Ryan Getzlaf, C, ANA (dropped out); Cam Atkinson, RW, CBJ (dropped out); Jeff Carter, C, LAK; 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

 

READ: Last week's Top 100 forward rankings

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