Fantasy hockey rankings: Championship week best pickups

Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks scored a goal in his first game back from an elbow injury. Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

The way the standings in the NHL are progressing is quite positive for the fantasy community. Few teams appear to be able to coast into the finish without giving up a chance at some kind of home-ice advantage in the postseason. Even if it's the Colorado Avalanche wanting to make sure they would get the advantage in the Stanley Cup Final if they happen to face the Florida Panthers, that's a tight enough race and plausible enough scenario that the Avs won't want to take their foot off the pedal unless they create some separation over the next week.

If the Toronto Maple Leafs pull away from the Tampa Bay Lightning a little more over the next couple of games, they might be in a position to rest toward the end of the season. The Calgary Flames might be in a position soon where their seeding won't change, but they still might need to push for points as they'll be looking to make the Western Conference final.

But there are reasons for almost every playoff-bound team to squeeze out every possible point between now and April 29 (the May 1 game between the Seattle Kraken and Winnipeg Jets is excluded by use of the term "playoff-bound.")

A couple on injuries could be major factors to some fantasy teams down the stretch.

Frederik Andersen, G, Carolina Hurricanes: Ruled out for at least three of the Canes' five remaining games, you may have to finish your fantasy season without Andersen. Luckily, there's a good chance Antti Raanta is either available or already handcuffed on your roster. He has been passable in Andersen's stead and is poised for at least three solid starts against the listless Jets, Devils and Islanders.

David Pastrnak, W, Boston Bruins: A still-lingering injury has Pastrnak ruled out through the week, still leaving him five possible games if he can return Saturday. That is what was implied by the Bruins on Monday, but we'll have to wait and see. If you are at the point of micromanaging for points, Curtis Lazar is in line to replace Pastrnak in the top six and he does have decent enough fantasy rates to consider in deeper leagues. His 5.77 fantasy points per 60 minutes ranks among the top 200 forwards this season.

Nazem Kadri, C, Colorado Avalanche: It's plausible we'll see Kadri back this week, perhaps as early as Wednesday. He practiced Monday, but didn't lace up. He was injured during a crucial week for fantasy, so some managers maybe had to make the difficult call to drop him in order to survive. It's worth checking your league, as he slipped to almost 20% available.

Patrik Laine and Zach Werenski, W/D, Columbus Blue Jackets: I'm a little worried about Laine and Werenski for the remainder of the campaign. There is little incentive to push them back to action now that the Jackets' near-zero playoff hopes have become full zero. Either way, both are trending below 1.8 fantasy points per game during the past three weeks, so add injury to insufficient production and we can fade the Jackets' stars.

Dylan Larkin, C, Detroit Red Wings: Out for the season after undergoing surgery, the Wings will have to cobble together a new top line to run out the season. If the Wings decide to use Pius Suter between Lucas Raymond and Tyler Bertuzzi, I have some interest. The line generated three goals in only 26 minutes together at five-on-five earlier this season.

Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser, C/W, Vancouver Canucks: Also done for the season, Horvat is out for two weeks with a lower-body injury. But the Canucks got Boeser back just in time to help with the slack. Boeser debuted on a line with Elias Pettersson and Jason Dickinson, plus earned power-play minutes with Pettersson, J.T. Miller and Vasily Podkolzin. The Canucks are making a big push to the finish, so both Boeser and Podkolzin should be on your radar.

Mark Scheifele, C, Winnipeg Jets: Like Laine or Wereknski for the Blue Jackets, the imperative to get Scheifele back on the ice might not exist by the time he misses the next two games. The Jets are only a win each from the Predators and Stars or their own loss away from elimination.

Forwards on the move

Matty Beniers, C, Seattle Kraken (up 149 spots to No. 26): As anticipated, Beniers isn't being given light treatment in his late-season debut for the Kraken. His fantasy points per 60 minutes are at an elite level through three games, on par with the likes of Steven Stamkos, Brad Marchand and Joe Pavelski. Creeping up to more than 19 minutes per game, you can rely on him for the remaining fantasy season.


Matty Beniers nets goal vs. Senators

Matty Beniers nets goal vs. Senators

Sean Kuraly, C, Columbus Blue Jackets (enters ranks at No. 162): Need some late-season grit that is putting up some fantasy points? Kuraly has posted 18 hits and five points in his past five games -- with a COVID protocol break in the middle. As noted already, Laine might miss some games, opening up some additional ice time for the bottom-six lines.

Nick Paul, W, Tampa Bay Lightning (enters ranks at No. 192): Settling onto a line with Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point, Paul has been putting up points at the end of the campaign. They've only played a couple games together, but in 23 minutes of action they have three goals as a trio.

Defensemen on the move

Gustav Forsling, D, Florida Panthers (up 89 spots to No. 72): Only Morgan Reilly, John Carlson, Justin Faulk, Cale Makar and Jared Spurgeon have more fantasy points from the blue line in the past three weeks. Forsling has become the go-to option for the Panthers to drive offense from the blue line with Aaron Ekblad absent.

Torey Krug, D, St. Louis Blues (up 123 spots to No. 70): The Blues have been an offensive force of late, and while Faulk has done a lot of the heavy lifting, he's given way to Krug now that the latter is back from injury. Through four games post-injury, Krug has managed 3.2 fantasy points per game. Only Carlson has been better than that rate over the past three weeks.


Torey Krug scores power-play goal vs. Bruins

Torey Krug scores power-play goal vs. Bruins

Goaltenders on the move

Mike Smith, G, Edmonton Oilers (up 154 spots to No. 50): It's such a Mike Smith thing to do to come in at the end of the season and finally put a run of healthy, productive outings together. But we don't discriminate in fantasy and his previous burns this season can be forgiven if he can keep this up. The Oilers don't have too tough a schedule ahead, including only one back-to-back set to end the season and one super-dangerous matchup with the Avalanche. Smith might be able to carry some head-to-head fantasy managers to a championship, especially those that had leaned on the injured Frederik Andersen or Tristan Jarry to date.

New to rankings

Brock Boeser, Adam Larsson, Quinn Hughes, Nazem Kadri, Antti Raanta, Vince Dunn, Troy Terry, Sean Kuraly, Alex Chiasson, Paul Stastny, T.J. Oshie, Travis Hamonic, Andrew Peeke, Nick Paul, Neal Pionk, Yanni Gourde, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Haydn Fleury, Kevin Shattenkirk, Conor Garland, Erik Cernak, Alexander Wennberg, William Borgen, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Brandon Carlo, Charlie Coyle, Craig Smith, Cam Fowler, Brandon Montour, Carter Verhaeghe, Alex Goligoski, Alexander Edler, Garnet Hathaway, Justin Schultz, Gustav Nyquist, Brandon Saad.

Dropped out

Rickard Rakell, Miro Heiskanen, Travis Konecny, Tony DeAngelo, Ryan Suter, Jani Hakanpaa, Josh Anderson, Erik Karlsson (lingering injury), Artem Zub, Zach Whitecloud, Rasmus Dahlin, Connor Hellebuyck, Bo Horvat (done for season), Michael Stone, Jaycob Megna (lingering injury), Dylan Larkin (done for season), Marcus Foligno (COVID protocol), Linus Ullmark (lingering injury), Ryan Graves, Erik Johnson, Frederik Andersen (out a week), Mathieu Joseph, Cam York, Teuvo Teravainen, Alexander Barabanov, Chandler Stephenson, Vincent Trocheck, Jaccob Slavin, Jeff Skinner, Alex Tuch, Danny DeKeyser, Evgenii Dadonov, Jack Campbell (looks like he's getting preserved for playoffs), James Reimer, Owen Power, Robin Lehner.

Top-250 rankings

1. Auston Matthews, F, TOR (F1)
2. Jonathan Huberdeau, F, FLA (F2)
3. Aleksander Barkov, F, FLA (F3)
4. Nathan MacKinnon, F, COL (F4)
5. Darcy Kuemper, G, COL (G1)
6. Mitch Marner, F, TOR (F5)
7. Ilya Sorokin, G, NYI (G2)
8. Timo Meier, F, SJ (F6)
9. Kirill Kaprizov, F, MIN (F7)
10. Connor McDavid, F, EDM (F8)
11. Igor Shesterkin, G, NYR (G3)
12. Leon Draisaitl, F, EDM (F9)
13. Cale Makar, D, COL (D1)
14. Nikita Kucherov, F, TB (F10)
15. Victor Hedman, D, TB (D2)
16. Alex Ovechkin, F, WSH (F11)
17. John Carlson, D, WSH (D3)
18. Roman Josi, D, NSH (D4)
19. Juuse Saros, G, NSH (G4)
20. J.T. Miller, F, VAN (F12)
21. Elias Pettersson, F, VAN (F13)
22. Sam Reinhart, F, FLA (F14)
23. Vladimir Tarasenko, F, STL (F15)
24. Steven Stamkos, F, TB (F16)
25. Thatcher Demko, G, VAN (G5)
26. Matthew Beniers, F, SEA (F17)
27. Filip Forsberg, F, NSH (F18)
28. Mikko Rantanen, F, COL (F19)
29. Matthew Tkachuk, F, CGY (F20)
30. Charlie McAvoy, D, BOS (D5)
31. Johnny Gaudreau, F, CGY (F21)
32. Chris Kreider, F, NYR (F22)
33. Patrice Bergeron, F, BOS (F23)
34. Brent Burns, D, SJ (D6)
35. Kevin Fiala, F, MIN (F24)
36. Nikolaj Ehlers, F, WPG (F25)
37. Jacob Markstrom, G, CGY (G6)
38. Brad Marchand, F, BOS (F26)
39. Patrick Kane, F, CHI (F27)
40. Josh Norris, F, OTT (F28)
41. Sebastian Aho, F, CAR (F29)
42. Ryan Pulock, D, NYI (D7)
43. MacKenzie Weegar, D, FLA (D8)
44. Kyle Connor, F, WPG (F30)
45. William Nylander, F, TOR (F31)
46. Noah Dobson, D, NYI (D9)
47. Jared Spurgeon, D, MIN (D10)
48. Brady Tkachuk, F, OTT (F32)
49. Matt Duchene, F, NSH (F33)
50. Mike Smith, G, EDM (G7)
51. Tim Stutzle, F, OTT (F34)
52. Elias Lindholm, F, CGY (F35)
53. Tomas Hertl, F, SJ (F36)
54. John Tavares, F, TOR (F37)
55. Brock Nelson, F, NYI (F38)
56. Robert Thomas, F, STL (F39)
57. Brayden Point, F, TB (F40)
58. David Pastrnak, F, BOS (F41)
59. Artemi Panarin, F, NYR (F42)
60. Moritz Seider, D, DET (D11)
61. Brock Boeser, F, VAN (F43)
62. Brayden Schenn, F, STL (F44)
63. Sidney Crosby, F, PIT (F45)
64. Alex DeBrincat, F, CHI (F46)
65. Ryan Hartman, F, MIN (F47)
66. Justin Faulk, D, STL (D12)
67. Morgan Rielly, D, TOR (D13)
68. Seth Jones, D, CHI (D14)
69. Roope Hintz, F, DAL (F48)
70. Torey Krug, D, STL (D15)
71. Pavel Buchnevich, F, STL (F49)
72. Gustav Forsling, D, FLA (D16)
73. Matthew Boldy, F, MIN (F50)
74. Darnell Nurse, D, EDM (D17)
75. Ville Husso, G, STL (G8)
76. Radko Gudas, D, FLA (D18)
77. David Perron, F, STL (F51)
78. Joe Pavelski, F, DAL (F52)
79. Mats Zuccarello, F, MIN (F53)
80. Ben Chiarot, D, FLA (D19)
81. Valeri Nichushkin, F, COL (F54)
82. Mikhail Sergachev, D, TB (D20)
83. Claude Giroux, F, FLA (F55)
84. Mathew Dumba, D, MIN (D21)
85. Jason Robertson, F, DAL (F56)
86. Tom Wilson, F, WSH (F57)
87. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, F, NYI (F58)
88. Evgeny Kuznetsov, F, WSH (F59)
89. Mark Giordano, D, TOR (D22)
90. Jeff Petry, D, MON (D23)
91. Jake Guentzel, F, PIT (F60)
92. Evander Kane, F, EDM (F61)
93. Adam Fox, D, NYR (D24)
94. Jacob Trouba, D, NYR (D25)
95. Logan Couture, F, SJ (F62)
96. Sam Bennett, F, FLA (F63)
97. Andrew Copp, F, NYR (F64)
98. Spencer Knight, G, FLA (G9)
99. Ivan Provorov, D, PHI (D26)
100. Nico Hischier, F, NJ (F65)
101. Anthony Duclair, F, FLA (F66)
102. Anton Lundell, F, FLA (F67)
103. Mika Zibanejad, F, NYR (F68)
104. Nick Suzuki, F, MON (F69)
105. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, FLA (G10)
106. Adam Larsson, D, SEA (D27)
107. Cody Ceci, D, EDM (D28)
108. Jack Eichel, F, VGS (F70)
109. Joshua Morrissey, D, WPG (D29)
110. Blake Wheeler, F, WPG (F71)
111. Joel Eriksson Ek, F, MIN (F72)
112. Jake DeBrusk, F, BOS (F73)
113. Nick Schmaltz, F, ARI (F74)
114. Calvin de Haan, D, CHI (D30)
115. Ryan Johansen, F, NSH (F75)
116. Colton Parayko, D, STL (D31)
117. Travis Sanheim, D, PHI (D32)
118. Quinn Hughes, D, VAN (D33)
119. Drake Batherson, F, OTT (F76)
120. Mario Ferraro, D, SJ (D34)
121. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, F, EDM (F77)
122. Jared McCann, F, SEA (F78)
123. Erik Haula, F, BOS (F79)
124. Nazem Kadri, F, COL (F80)
125. Brayden McNabb, D, VGS (D35)
126. Jesper Bratt, F, NJ (F81)
127. Kris Letang, D, PIT (D36)
128. Anthony Cirelli, F, TB (F82)
129. Michael Bunting, F, TOR (F83)
130. Nick Bonino, F, SJ (F84)
131. Adam Pelech, D, NYI (D37)
132. Anders Lee, F, NYI (F85)
133. Jakub Vrana, F, DET (F86)
134. Zach Parise, F, NYI (F87)
135. Pierre-Luc Dubois, F, WPG (F88)
136. Jake McCabe, D, CHI (D38)
137. Vladislav Gavrikov, D, CLS (D39)
138. Antti Raanta, G, CAR (G11)
139. Noah Hanifin, D, CGY (D40)
140. Dmitry Orlov, D, WSH (D41)
141. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, MIN (G12)
142. Jordan Kyrou, F, STL (F89)
143. Taylor Hall, F, BOS (F90)
144. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, TB (G13)
145. Jake Muzzin, D, TOR (D42)
146. Jacob Middleton, D, MIN (D43)
147. Vince Dunn, D, SEA (D44)
148. Evgeni Malkin, F, PIT (F91)
149. Troy Terry, F, ANA (F92)
150. Mattias Ekholm, D, NSH (D45)
151. Esa Lindell, D, DAL (D46)
152. Alex Killorn, F, TB (F93)
153. Jonathan Marchessault, F, VGS (F94)
154. Ivan Barbashev, F, STL (F95)
155. David Savard, D, MON (D47)
156. Mason Marchment, F, FLA (F96)
157. Jamie Benn, F, DAL (F97)
158. Andre Burakovsky, F, COL (F98)
159. Rasmus Andersson, D, CGY (D48)
160. Tanner Jeannot, F, NSH (F99)
161. Damon Severson, D, NJ (D49)
162. Sean Kuraly, F, CLS (F100)
163. Anthony Mantha, F, WSH (F101)
164. Alex Pietrangelo, D, VGS (D50)
165. Tyler Seguin, F, DAL (F102)
166. Jonas Brodin, D, MIN (D51)
167. Adrian Kempe, F, LA (F103)
168. Sean Durzi, D, LA (D52)
169. Mathew Barzal, F, NYI (F104)
170. Ryan McDonagh, D, TB (D53)
171. Mark Stone, F, VGS (F105)
172. Andrei Svechnikov, F, CAR (F106)
173. Tyler Toffoli, F, CGY (F107)
174. Shayne Gostisbehere, D, ARI (D54)
175. Dougie Hamilton, D, NJ (D55)
176. Alex Chiasson, F, VAN (F108)
177. Tyson Barrie, D, EDM (D56)
178. Dylan Strome, F, CHI (F109)
179. Dmitry Kulikov, D, MIN (D57)
180. Paul Stastny, F, WPG (F110)
181. Jake Oettinger, G, DAL (G14)
182. Cam Talbot, G, MIN (G15)
183. T.J. Oshie, F, WSH (F111)
184. Alexander Romanov, D, MON (D58)
185. Kyle Palmieri, F, NYI (F112)
186. Rasmus Ristolainen, D, PHI (D59)
187. Devon Toews, D, COL (D60)
188. Frank Vatrano, F, NYR (F113)
189. Travis Hamonic, D, OTT (D61)
190. Shea Theodore, D, VGS (D62)
191. Andrew Peeke, D, CLS (D63)
192. Nick Paul, F, TB (F114)
193. Phillip Danault, F, LA (F115)
194. Adam Henrique, F, ANA (F116)
195. Evan Bouchard, D, EDM (D64)
196. Alec Martinez, D, VGS (D65)
197. John Klingberg, D, DAL (D66)
198. Luke Schenn, D, TB (D67)
199. Ryan O'Reilly, F, STL (F117)
200. Zach Hyman, F, EDM (F118)
201. Neal Pionk, D, WPG (D68)
202. Carson Soucy, D, SEA (D69)
203. Yanni Gourde, F, SEA (F119)
204. Nicolas Aube-Kubel, F, COL (F120)
205. Dante Fabbro, D, NSH (D70)
206. Mark Scheifele, F, WPG (F121)
207. Haydn Fleury, D, SEA (D71)
208. Lucas Raymond, F, DET (F122)
209. Trevor Zegras, F, ANA (F123)
210. Kevin Shattenkirk, D, ANA (D72)
211. Conor Garland, F, VAN (F124)
212. Erik Cernak, D, TB (D73)
213. Anton Forsberg, G, OTT (G16)
214. Alexander Wennberg, F, SEA (F125)
215. Kevin Hayes, F, PHI (F126)
216. Anze Kopitar, F, LA (F127)
217. William Borgen, D, SEA (D74)
218. Yegor Sharangovich, F, NJ (F128)
219. Dysin Mayo, D, ARI (D75)
220. Max Pacioretty, F, VGS (F129)
221. Cole Caufield, F, MON (F130)
222. Andrew Mangiapane, F, CGY (F131)
223. Ilya Mikheyev, F, TOR (F132)
224. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, VAN (D76)
225. Justin Holl, D, TOR (D77)
226. Zach Werenski, D, CLS (D78)
227. Alexander Kerfoot, F, TOR (F133)
228. Brandon Carlo, D, BOS (D79)
229. Charlie Coyle, F, BOS (F134)
230. Craig Smith, F, BOS (F135)
231. Bryan Rust, F, PIT (F136)
232. Conor Sheary, F, WSH (F137)
233. Joel Edmundson, D, MON (D80)
234. Cam Fowler, D, ANA (D81)
235. Brandon Montour, D, FLA (D82)
236. Joel Farabee, F, PHI (F138)
237. Patrik Laine, F, CLS (F139)
238. Carter Verhaeghe, F, FLA (F140)
239. Tage Thompson, F, BUF (F141)
240. Alex Goligoski, D, MIN (D83)
241. Trevor van Riemsdyk, D, WSH (D84)
242. Viktor Arvidsson, F, LA (F142)
243. Tyler Bertuzzi, F, DET (F143)
244. Alexander Edler, D, LA (D85)
245. Garnet Hathaway, F, WSH (F144)
246. Justin Schultz, D, WSH (D86)
247. Christopher Tanev, D, CGY (D87)
248. Mikael Granlund, F, NSH (F145)
249. Gustav Nyquist, F, CLS (F146)
250. Brandon Saad, F, STL (F147)