NHL.com ranks the top fantasy hockey forward lines and tracks notable changes and production trends each week during the 2018-19 season. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy.
— Last week, the Montreal Canadiens moved right wing Andrew Shaw to a line with left wing Jonathan Drouin and center Max Domi, and the group has combined for eleven points (five goals six assists) in the past three games. Shaw has seven points (five goals, two assists) during a five-game point streak since joining Domi and Drouin. Prior to the line change, Shaw had one goal and one assist through his first 11 games of the season. Montreal’s trio moves up in this week’s rankings and would keep doing so with continued production and stability. Shaw (C/RW, 4 percent owned in Yahoo) is still available in most leagues and brings value in hits leagues (32 in 16 games), in addition to his prime lineup placement.
— The New York Rangers entered the season with high hopes for rookie forward Filip Chytil, and the 19-year-old is starting to show his potential. Since being moved to the top six by coach David Quinn on Nov. 12, Chytil (C, 2 percent owned) has become the first Rangers player under 20 years old (19) to have a three-game goal streak. Chytil’s shot volume has improved since he was elevated (11 shots on goal in three games), and he’s worth monitoring in fantasy with new exposure to left wing Chris Kreider.
— The Nashville Predators have dealt with injuries to defenseman P.K. Subban (lower body) and right wing Viktor Arvidsson (broken thumb) this past week. Arvidsson is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, opening a spot on the right side of the top line with left wing Filip Forsberg and center Ryan Johansen. Colton Sissons and Kevin Fiala have each taken turns on that line through the first three games of Arvidsson’s absence, but it was Craig Smith (RW, 18 percent owned) filling the void in a 5-3 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Smith didn’t have a point Saturday but played 18:47 and had his fifth straight game (and seventh in past eight games) with at least three SOG. Nashville’s top line out shot the Kings 14-4 at 5-on-5 and won the scoring-chance battle (8-3). With Arvidsson sidelined long-term, whichever forward coach Peter Laviolette chooses to use on the right side of his first line could become fantasy relevant with exposure to Forsberg and Johansen.
— Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (49 percent owned) rejoined the lineup earlier this week after having his suspension reduced. Wilson made an immediate impact, scoring in his season debut against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, when he also took seven penalty minutes. An injury to elite center Evgeny Kuznetsov hasn’t slowed down Wilson, who had two assists in a 3-2 overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday. Wilson also saw a career-high 4:19 on the power play Friday, filling in for right wing T.J. Oshie on the first unit. Last season was a big step offensively for Wilson, and he seems to be picking up from where he left off in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs (15 points in 21 games). Wilson is a must-stream player on the top line, especially with an expanded power-play role.
FANTASY LINE RANKINGS FOR 2018-19
These rankings have taken into account NHL.com fantasy top 200 rank (listed next to applicable players), recent production in standard Yahoo categories (goals, assists, plus/minus, power-play points, shots on goal, hits), line stability or fluctuation from previous season(s), team scoring distribution and injury risk or contract status of any individual player(s).
1. BOS: Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron (DTD) — David Pastrnak (SAME)
2. COL: Gabriel Landeskog — Nathan MacKinnon — Mikko Rantanen (SAME)
3. CGY: Johnny Gaudreau — Sean Monahan — Elias Lindholm (+2)
4. DAL: Jamie Benn — Tyler Seguin — Alexander Radulov (SAME)
5. NSH: Filip Forsberg — Ryan Johansen — Kevin Fiala / Craig Smith (-2)
6. WSH: Alex Ovechkin — Nicklas Backstrom / Lars Eller — Tom Wilson (-2)
7. BUF: Jeff Skinner — Jack Eichel — Sam Reinhart / Jason Pominville (-1)
8. CAR: Micheal Ferland. Sebastian Aho — Teuvo Teravainen (SAME)
9. TOR: Zach Hyman — John Tavares — Mitchell Marner (SAME)
10. PIT: Tanner Pearson — Evgeni Malkin — Phil Kessel / Patric Hornqvist (-3)
11. TBL: J.T. Miller — Steven Stamkos — Nikita Kucherov (-1)
12. FLA: Evgenii Dadonov — Aleksander Barkov — Mike Hoffman (+1)
13. SJS: Timo Meier — Logan Couture — Joe Pavelski / Tomas Hertl (DTD) (-2)
14. TBL: Yanni Gourde — Brayden Point — Tyler Johnson (-2)
15. WPG: Nikolaj Ehlers — Mark Scheifele — Blake Wheeler (-2)
16. CBJ: Artemi Panarin — Pierre-Luc Dubois — Cam Atkinson (+1)
17. STL: Jaden Schwartz — Ryan O’Reilly — Vladimir Tarasenko (-2)
18. EDM: Drake Caggiula / Milan Lucic — Connor McDavid — Leon Draisaitl (+4)
19. NJD: Taylor Hall — Nico Hischier (DTD) / Travis Zajac — Kyle Palmieri (-3)
20. MTL: Jonathan Drouin — Max Domi — Andrew Shaw (+1)
21. PHI: Claude Giroux — Sean Couturier — Travis Konecny (-2)
22. CHI: Brandon Saad / Nick Schmaltz — Jonathan Toews — Patrick Kane (NEW)
23. OTT: Brady Tkachuk — Colin White — Mark Stone (NEW)
24. MIN: Jason Zucker — Eric Staal — Mikael Granlund (NEW)
25. VGK: Max Pacioretty — Cody Eakin — Alex Tuch (NEW)
NOTES: Bergeron (upper body) did not play Saturday, and the Bruins had center David Krejci on the top line with Pastrnak and Anders Bjork, with Marchand on a separate unit with Joakim Nordstrom and Jake DeBrusk … The Edmonton Oilers have moved forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins down to second-line center and stacked their top two forwards McDavid and Draisaitl on the same unit. … Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton has played Kane and Toews on the same line in recent games with a rotating left wing. … Sidney Crosby (upper body) is out of the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup, and his line has been removed from these rankings for now. … Auston Matthews (shoulder) has been skating but remains out for the Toronto Maple Leafs. … Backstrom and Eller have each seen time on the top line in Kuznetsov’s absence.