Here we go. We’re done messing around. Three teams have played 14 or more games, which is a quarter of a campaign. We’re giving the players a lot of leeway early in the season to accommodate the slow start, the small sample size and the new dynamics. But we can’t wait any longer.
There were more new faces in the standings this week than usual, with 22 players.
Why you should. After almost a quarter of the season, it’s time for some “spring cleaning” in the rows. There are more than a few dust nests to clean up.
Here are a few of them:
Braden Holtby, G, Vancouver Canucks: Being in goal is nothing for the Canucks this season. Holtby and Thatcher Demko are not yielding points. Holtby has scored essentially negative points this season, while Demko has just over 0.5 fantasy points per outing.
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Tristan Jarry, G, Pittsburgh Penguins: It’s a similar story for the Penguins, except Jarry was even more damaging. He averaged -1.76 fantasy points per 60 minutes (FPP60).
Nikita Gusev, F, New Jersey Devils: COVID delays have limited what we’ve seen of the Devils so far, but it’s clear that Jack Hughes is driving the bus, and Gusev doesn’t seem the most popular choice to spend a few minutes with him. Perhaps for good reason: in the 17 minutes they spent together, they fell victim to two mistakes.
Nate Schmidt, G, Vancouver Canucks: Schmidt, who worked in silence last season with the Vegas Golden Knights, just doesn’t play the same role with the Canucks and doesn’t have the stats he needs.
Ryan Johansen, C, Nashville Predators: I blame Johansen for having too many strings to his bow in these rankings, but he was already in the hot seat based on his previous two seasons. Turning his NHL role into fantasy points wasn’t enough. If Matt Duchene or Mikael Granlund and Philipp Forsberg shine while Johansen is off for a week due to an upper-body injury, he may not be top of the deep end when he returns.
Phillip Danault, C, Montreal Canadiens: A sneaky fantasy producer in recent seasons for his play, his line has been very dominant so far. But he’s playing fewer minutes with flashy new options taking over the team’s offense.
Ryan Getzlaf, C, Anaheim Ducks: The team isn’t scoring, but even if they score, Getzlaf isn’t involved. It’s unlikely that some of the developing centers – Max Comtois, Sam Steele – will do enough to have any fantasy value themselves, but it’s pretty clear that Getzlaf still won’t.
Eric Staal, C, Buffalo Sabres: We may not have enough examples to say that yet – but from what we’ve seen so far, there won’t be more than one major Sabres offensive line.
Jaden Schwartz, B, St. Louis Blues: He’s a key part of one of the best lines in the NHL this season, but it’s Jordan Kyrou and Brayden Schenn who get the fantasy points from Schwartz’s solid play. With his nine NHL points translating into a meager 16.8 fantasy points, Schwartz is one of those players who succeeds on the ice but is not suited for fantasy play. He has not fallen out of the rankings and will remain in the bubble, but his record does not say he is in the top 250.
These are just a few examples, and not all of them were easy to remove from the rankings. But sometimes tough decisions have to be made – and that includes your list. I would have a hard time getting Schwartz off my fantasy team, but the story goes that he is a bubble player for fantasy points. But when you look at his fantasy points and consider that his line is third in the NHL with nine goals against five, it makes you wonder: if there’s no production now, will there ever be?
Forward, in motion
Carter Verhaeg, F, Florida Panthers (71st at No. 178): Alexander Barkov is reaching a new level this season. Barkov, no longer associated with fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Huberdeau, continues to propel his line to the top of the league. With Anthony Duclair and Verhaeg on the flanks, Barkov’s trio has scored five goals in the regular season and is just behind the other five lines in terms of raw shots this season (despite only playing nine games). Verhaeg, for his part, isn’t coming out of nowhere; he already has 34 years of AHL experience. He currently has six goals and three assists.
Josh Anderson, B, Montreal Canadiens (60 throws under 185): It’s unfortunate that the Canadiens‘ offense has been so well-stocked this season. Anderson has played less than 15 minutes, but his minute-to-minute production is absolutely elite. Of the players who have played at least four games, Anderson is only ahead of David Pastnak, Joe Pavelski, Patrick Laine, Alex Ovechkin, Patrice Bergeron and James van Riemsdyk for FPP60. If only he would play five more minutes per game.
Defenders in motion
Jacob Cichrun, D, Arizona Coyotes (+23 spots, 118): Oliver Ekman-Larsson is almost back from injury, and the big question is whether Cichrun can continue to do what he did with the team leader on the blue line when he returns to action. Either way, both have averaged 2.4 points per game this season – Ekman-Larsson in two games and Cichrun in 12.
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The moving goalie
Phillip Grubauer, J, Colorado Avalanche (under 15 at 34): Based on his workload and performance this season, Grubauer is ahead of all other goalies in fantasy points as of now. So why is he at the bottom of the rankings? At some point, Paul Fransuz will return. The two parted ways last season, so Grubauer will not play 86 percent of the team’s minutes when Fransuz returns.
Marc-André Fleury, G, Vegas Golden Knights (up 38 spots to 63rd): He has a 6.53 FPP60 average, is the best goalie and has played 44% of the team’s minutes in the scrum. That’s good. To be fair, the Golden Knights had a softer list and Fleury had an even softer list with four starts against the Kings, Coyotes and Ducks. That’s not good. But the Kings, the Coyotes, the Ducks, the Sharks and the Wild – all teams in the last half of the championship in terms of goals per game – won’t be leaving the Western Division group anytime soon. That’s a good thing. Overall, these are positives in Fleury’s corner and enough to put him among the top 12 goalies – even if his efforts will be a bust.
Jake Allen, G, Montreal Canadiens (36 spots out of 165): You don’t have to use entrances for all your fantasy goals. Despite his play, I don’t think anyone would consider Allen’s work to be shared with Carey Price. That said, Allen has put up a 5.23 FPP60 rating this season (second highest rating in the league among qualified goalies) and has played an amazing 41% of the minutes in team scrums this season. There’s still room for this one on the fantasy lists.
Ranked for the first time
Christian Dvorak (non. 209), Joel Farabee (216), Jordan Staal (221), Alex Tuch (222), Nick Schmalz (223), Conor Garland (224), Mikael Backlund (225), Adam Larsson (229), Jordan Greenway (232), Adrian Kempe (233), Nino Niederreiter (235), Scott Laughton (236), Tim Stuttlesl (238), Connor Murphy (239), Dylan Strom (240), Andrew Kopp (242), Cody Glass (244), Noah Dobson (245), Chandler Stephenson (246), Miles Wood (247), Linus Ulmark (249), Martin Necas (249).
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Paul Stastny, Ty Smith, Hampus Lindholm, Thatcher Demko, Casey DeSmith, P.K. Subban, Maxime Comtois, Adam Lowry, David Savard, Jonas Brodin, Ryan Donato, Justin Falk, Justin Schultz, Nick Foligno.
Braden Holtby (no. 163), Tristan Jarry (165), Philip Hronek (186), Nate Schmidt (190), Nikita Gusev (196), Ryan Johansen (197), Ilya Sorokin (198), Philip Dano (200), Eric Staal (204), Tyler Bertuzzi (208), Ryan Getzlaf (213), Pius Suter (217), Mattias Ekholm (219), Jeff Skinner (227), Kaapo Kahkonen (230), Jonathan Drouin (231), Charlie Coyle (232), Alexander Georgiev (239), Jaden Schwartz (241), Nolan Patrick (243), Jesse Puljujarvi (244), Jakob Silfverberg (246).
Fantasy Hockey Top 250 rankings
1. DavidPastrnak, RW,Bos(RW1)
3.AndreiVasilevski, G, TB (G1)
5AstonMathews, C, Tor (C2)
6.AlexOvechkin, LW,Wsh (LW2)
7.StevenStamkos, C, TB (C3)
8.MitchellMarner, RW, Tor (RW2)
10.John Carlson, D,Wsh(D1)
11.BradMarchand, LW,Bos (LW3)
12Patrick Kane, RW, Chi (RW3)
13.Nathan McKinnon, C, Oberst (C5)
15.ArtemyPanarin, LU, NY (LW5)
16.VictorHedman, D, TB (D2)
18.Patrice Bergeron, C,Bos(C6)
20.SebastianAho, C, Maschine (C8)
21.John Tavares, C, Tor (C9)
22.MikkoRantanen, RV, Oberst (RW4)
23Mark Stone, RV,Vgs(RW5)
24Blake Wheeler, RV,Vgs (RW6)
27Brent Burns, D, SJ (D4).
28. RomanJosi, D,Nsh(D5)
29.Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C,Edm(C11)
30.Sidney Crosby, C, Pete (C12)
31Taylor Hall, LW,Buf(LW6)
32Kyle Connor, LW,Wpg(LW7)
34.PhilipGrubauer, G, Col (G3)
35.BraydenPoint, C, TB (C13)
36MikaZibanejad, C, New York (C14)
37IvanProvorov, D, Phi (D6)
38JeffPetrie, D, Mon (D7)
40CaleMakar, D, Oberst (D8)
41AndreySvechnikov, LW, Auto (LW9)
42JakeGuentzel, LW, Pit (LW10)
43EliasPettersson, C, Van (C15)
46.AnzeKopitar, C, LA (C16)
48.GabrielLandeskog, L.V., Col (L.V.11)
49.FrederikAndersen, G., Thor (G6)
50DougieHamilton, D, Auto (D10)
51SemyonVarlamov, G, New York (G7)
52Sean Couturier, C, Phi (C17)
53TravisKonecny, RW, Phi (RW8)
54.J.T. Miller, C, Van (C18)
55AntonKhudobin, G, Dal (G8)
57Darnell Nurse, D,Edmar(D11)
58Jamie Benn, L.W., Dahl (L.W.12)
60.Cary Price, G, Mo (G10)
61.IgorShesterkin, G, New York (G11)
64.EvgenyMalkin, K, Pete (C20)
66.MorganRilley, D, Thor (D12)
67Logan Couture, C, SJ (C21)
68Thomas Chabot, D,Ott(D13)
69AlexDeBrincat, LW, Chi (LW14)
71JoePavelski, RW, Dal (RW10)
72Seth Jones, D,Cls(D14)
73MatthewBarzal, C, New York (C22).
74. JohnKlingberg, D, Dal (D15)
76Carter Hart, G, Fee (G13)
77.ChrisLetang, D, Pete (D16)
79ErikKarlsson, D, SJ (D17)
80Tyson Barry, D,Edmar(D18)
81.Quinn Hughes, D, Wang (D19)
85Shea Weber, D, Mon (D21)
87Ryan Ellis, D,Nh(D22)
88RyanPulock, D, New York (D23)
89.Adam Fox, D, New York (D24)
90.Dylan Larkin, C,Det(C24)
91.WilliamNylander, RW, Tor (RW13)
93.ThomasHurtle, C, SJ (C25)
94BoHorvath, C., Wang (C26)
95.TeuvoTeravainen, RW, Auto (RW14)
96JacobTrouba, D, New York (D25)
97BrockBeser, RW, Van (RW15)
98Drew Doughty, D, LA (D26)
100.Ryan O’Reilly, C,StL(C27)
101.Evander Kane, LW, SJ (LW18)
102.DarcyKemper, G, Ari (G16)
103.ChrisKreider, LW, NYR (LW19)
104.Pierre-Luc Dubois, C,Wpg(C28)
105.Tom Wilson, RW,Ush(RW16)
106Shea Theodore, D,Wgs(D27)
107Nick Suzuki, K, Mo (L29)
109KirillKaprizov, LW, Min (LW20)
114Jared Spurgeon, D, Min (D30)
115Claude Giroux, LW, Phi (LW21)
117ZakRai, LW, Min (LW22)
118JakobCichrun, D, Ari (D32)
119John Gibson, G, Ana (G17).
120. JoonasKorpisalo, G,Cls(G18)
122RyanSuter, D, Min (D33)
125TimoMayer, RV, SJ (D21)
126Mackenzie Blackwood, G, NJ (G20)
127AlexanderEdler, D, Van (D35)
129OndrejPalat, LW, TB (LW24)
131Brian Rast, RW, Pit (RW22)
133Sam Reinhart, RV,Boothe(RW23)
134.MikhailSergachev, D, TB (D37)
135James vanRiemsdyk, LV, Phi (LV25)
136JakeMuzzin, D, Tor (D38)
137Sean Monahan, C,Cgy(C30)
138TylerToffoli, RW, Mo (RW24)
141Jack Hughes, C, NJ (C31)
142Cam Talbot, G, Min (G22)
143Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Ari (D40)
144AlexanderRadulov, RW, Dal (RW26)
145.Thomas Tatar, LV, Mon (LW26)
146ColtonParayko, D,St. L(D41)
147VincentTrocheck, C, Automobile (C32)
148Anders Lee, LW, NYI (LW27)
149.Mike Hoffman, LW,StL (LW28)
150.Alec Martinez, D,Vgs(D42)
151MiroHeiskanen, D, Dal (D43)
152.MattDumba, D, Min (D44)
153KevinFiala, C, Min (C33)
154SeilHinz, C, Dahl (C34)
155Josh Morrissey, D,Wpg(D45)
156Mark Giordano, D,Cgy(D46)
157Brendan Gallagher, RW, Mon (RW27)
161Cam Atkinson, RW,Cls(RW28)
163RyanStrom, C, New York (L39)
164RyanMcDonagh, D, TB (D47)
165Jake Allen, G, Mon (G23).
166. NazemKadri, K, Oberst (C40)
168VladimirTarasenko, RW,St. Petersburg(RW30)
169Blake Coleman, LV, TB (LW29)
171AndreiBurakovsky, LW, Col (LW30)
172JakobSlavin, D, Auto (D48)
173DenisGuryanov, LW, Dal (LW31)
177PavelBuchnevich, RW, New York (RW31)
179Tanner Pearson, LW, Wang (LW33)
180KylePalmieri, RW, NJ (RW32)
181.Kevin Lankinen, G, Chi (G27)
182. Samuel Girard, D, Oberst (D49)
183. Jordan Kiru, C, StL (C42)
184. Josh Norris, K, Ott (C43)
185. Josh Anderson, RW, Mo (RW33)
186. Jakub Voracek, RW, Phi (RW34)
187. Duncan Keith, D, Chi (D50)
188. Phil Kessel, RV, Ari (RW35)
189. Alexis Lafreniere, LA, NY (LW34)
190. Brock Nelson, C, New York (C44)
191. Jordan Eberle, WA, NY (RW36)
192. Esa Lindell, D, Dal (D51)
193. Damon Severson, D, NJ (D52)
194. Neil Pionk, D, Upg (D53)
195. Anthony Cirelli, C, TB (C45)
196. Matt Gjelcyk, D, Bos (D54)
197. Petr Mrazek, G, Automobile (G28)
198. Evgeny Dadonov, RW, Ott (RW37)
199. Jason Zucker, LW, Pit (LW35)
200. Kevin Hayes, C, Phi (C46)
201. Matt Duchene, C, Nsh (C47)
202. Dominic Kubalik, LW, Chi (LW36)
203. Jean-Gabriel Pago, C, New York (C48)
204. Nick Ritchie, LW, Bos (LW37)
205. Chris Dreiger, G, Fla (G29)
206. Paul Francuse, G, Oberst (G30)
207. Joel Eriksson Eck, C, Min (C49)
208. Ryan Graves, D, Oberst (D55)
209. Christian Dvorak, LW, Ari (LW38)
210. Antti Raanta, G, Ari (G31)
211. Clayton Keller, K, Ari (C50).
212. erik Gustafsson, D, Fi (D56)
213. Anthony Duclair, LW, Fla (LW39)
214. Dustin Brown, RW, LA (RW38)
215. Brian Elliott, G, Phi (G32)
216. Joel Farabee, LV, Phi (LW40)
217. Adam Enrique, C, Ana (C51)
218. Alex Killorn, LV, TB (LW41)
219. Jonathan Marchessault, LW, Vgs (LW42)
220. Boone Jenner, C, Cls (C52)
221. Jordan Staal, C, Auto (C53)
222. Alex Tuch, RW, Vgs (RW39)
223. Nick Schmalz, C, Ari (C54)
224. Conor Garland, RW, Ari (RW40)
225. Mikael Backlund, C, Cgy (C55)
226. Tyler Myers, D, Wang (D57)
227. Adam Boquist, D, Cgy (D58)
228. Devon Toews, D, Oberst (D59)
229. Adam Larsson, D, Edm (D60)
230. Pekka Rinne, G, Nsh (G33)
231. Zach Hyman, LW, Tor (LW43)
232. Jordan Greenway, LW, Min (LW44)
233. Adrian Kempe, C, LA (C56)
234. Vince Dunn, D, StL (D61)
235. Nino Niederreiter, RW, Auto (RW41)
236. Scott Laughton, LW, PHI (LW45)
237. Kasperi Kapanin, RW, Pete (RW42)
238. Tim Statzl, LW, Ott (LW46)
239. Connor Murphy, D, Chi (D62)
240. Dylan Strom, C, Chi (C57)
241. Rickard Rakell, C, Ana (C58)
242. Andrew Kopp, C, Wpg (C59)
243. Calvin Petersen, G, LA (G34)
244. Cody Glass, C, Vgs (C60)
245. Noah Dobson, D, NYI (D63)
246. Chandler Stephenson, C, Vgs (C61)
247. Miles Wood, LW, NJ (LW47)
248. Linus Ullmark, G, Stand (G35)
249. Martin Necas, C, Automobile (C62)
250. Tyler Motte, LW, van (LW48).
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