Fantasy Hockey: Top 50 Defenseman

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A good fantasy defenseman is rare, but they can be extremely useful in grabbing you extra points throughout the week.Taking defenseman too early can leave you without a stud forward, and getting them too late may give you too much fire power in the forward positions, and not enough consistency in the defensive positions?

So when do you take a defenseman in the draft/ I’ve always been a believer in taking the best player available, rather than taking any position at any time. I would say, once you’ve locked up a couple scorers, and have your eyes on a goalie, start looking where you can sneak a pick or two in for a few solid defenseman. Defenseman can account for a lot of powerplay points, and a decent plus/minus if you get the right ones.

So here is the early defensive rankings for fantasy hockey this season. Like the rankings I did for goalies, and for forwards, I’ll go into the top 10 a little bit and then list the remaining players below.

  1. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators: Karlsson’s coming off of a severed Achilles tendon, but is out for another Norris this season. Karlsson is a great defenseman that can add up points as quickly as anyone. Karlsson is well worth an early pick, I just wouldn’t go up too far to get him. The ability to get points and put up a nice plus/minus rating is a great combination for any defenseman.
  2. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins: Letang’s injury problems overshadow his ability to put up a point a game. The points make him worth a good pick, but the injuries make him quite a gamble, because you don’t know if he’ll be able to play down the stretch. Letang has the luck of playing with players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, just to further boost his ability to put up points.
  3. P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens: P.K. Subban is the complete package defenseman, you get points on a regular basis, you get a solid plus/minus rating, and you get a good chunk of penalty minutes to go along with it. Subban is a steal at the right point in the draft, so keep your eyes open. Players with the ability to spread a littl bit across the whole board can be very valuable.
  4. Shea Weber, Nashville Predators: Weber got off to a sluggish start last season, but ended up finishing with some pretty decent numbers. If Weber doesn’t come out of the gates cold as a block of ice again, he’ll be a good player to absorb a few points out of as the season goes on. The additions the Predators made at forward this offseason should help give Nashville a few extra points, and maybe help Weber’s point total and his plus/minus out this season.
  5. Dion Phaneuf, Toronto Maple Leafs: Phaneuf grabs a decent amount of points on the powerplay, and plays a hard physical game while doing so, and he tends to earn himself a few minutes in the penalty box. The Maple Leafs are begining to look like a new team, and if they can start to come together just a bit more this season, then Phaneuf may be able to raise his totals from last year, and hold a plus/minus that’s a little more impressive then last season.
  6. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild: Suter missed Weber just as much as Weber missed Suter it seemed at the beginning of the year, but Suter settled in after a little while and brought his game back to the level we expect to see. I expect he will be able to keep up his play right away this season, and will be a good fantasy asset.
  7. Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins: Chara is another player that is good at putting up a little bit of everything. You get points on the powerplay, a good plus/minus rating, a good amount of penalty minutes, and a decent amount of shots on goal. Chara doesn’t seem to be slowing down, and will be running this Boston team with a large amount of minute on the ice.
  8. Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets: Byfuglien has the offensive skills that the larger amount of the league’s defenseman lack. He has the ability to score night in and night out. The only thing missing is a decent plus/minus rating, and he doesn’t pick up a ton of penalty minutes. He has stayed healthy though, and that’s always a concern. His flexibility on your roster is always nice to have, and he gets a good amount of shots for a defenseman.
  9. Mike Green, Washington Capitals: Mike Green benifits from a large amount of ice time on the powerplay with the likes of Alex Ovechkin. Green is a solid point getter, and the vast majority of them come on the powerplay. Injuries are a large concern, but if he can stay healthy he would be a good player to have with the number of powerplay points he totals.
  10. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings: Doughty’s got skills to put up bigger numbers than he does in every category, and if the Kings can start this season the way that we all know they can, and the way we all know they should, there should be no problem for Doughty to have a good season. His durability makes him nice to have, knowing he’s stayed primarily healthy in the past.
  11. Nicklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings
  12. Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues
  13. Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens
  14. Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
  15. Sergei Gonchar, Dallas Stars
  16. Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia Flyers
  17. Kevin Shettenkirk, St. Louis Blues
  18. Keith Yandle, Phoenix Coyotes
  19. Dan Boyle, San Jose Sharks
  20. Tobias Enstrom, Winnipeg Jets
  21. Alex Goligoski, Dallas Stars
  22. Mark Streit, Philadelphia Flyers
  23. Brian Campbell, Florida Panthers
  24. Oliver Ekman-Larson, Phoenix Coyotes
  25. Jack Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets
  26. Alex Edler, Vancouver Canucks
  27. John Carlson, Washington Capitals
  28. Justin Schultz, Edmonton Oilers
  29. Matt Carle, Tampa Bay Lightning
  30. Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
  31. James Wisniewski, Columbus Blue Jackets
  32. Jason Garrison, Vancouver Canucks
  33. Joni Pitkanen, Carolina Hurricanes
  34. Christian Erhoff, Buffalo Sabres
  35. Dennis Wideman, Calgary Flames
  36. Jay Bouwmeester, St. Louis Blues
  37. Paul Martin, Pittsburgh Penguins
  38. Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks
  39. Michael Del Zotto, New York Rangers
  40. Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes
  41. Cody Franson, Toronto Maple Leafs
  42. Fedor Tyutin, Columbus Blue Jackets
  43. Slava Voynov, Los Angeles Kings
  44. Lubomir Visnovsky, New York Islanders
  45. Ryan Whitney, Edmonton Oilers
  46. Tyson Barrie, Columbus Blue Jackets
  47. Nick Leddy, Chicago Blackhawks
  48. Cam Fowler, Anaheim Ducks
  49. T.J. Brodie, Calgary Flames
  50. Dan Hamuis, Vancouver Canucks
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Tags: Dion Phaneuf Drew Doughty Dustin Byfuglien Erik Karlsson Fantasy Hockey Kris Letang Mike Green P.k. Subban Ryan Suter Shea Weber Zdeno Chara

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