DEFENCE

 

This is a preview of the content available in the 2016-17 Fantasy Projections spreadsheet, which you can purchase here for a reasonably small sum. By content, I mean the projections themselves. The spreadsheet contains no words or analysis about any specific player. If analysis is what you are interested in, you can tweet me a player’s name with #domplshelp and I will send you an appropriate response composed entirely of emojis.

Here are the projected top 10 defencemen for next season, sorted by points scored (read: not fantasy rankings as those depend on your scoring settings, something you can change yourself in the fancy spreadsheet).

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The best defenceman on the planet, full stop. No one else is really close. Erik Karlsson scores more points than most forwards at a position where that’s rare. It may sound silly, but he should seriously be considered with a top five pick. The value over the rest of the field is too good to pass up. If he’s there from 6-10, don’t even look back just click draft.

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Kris Letang is Erik Karlsson light. He doesn’t get as many points, but he’s the next closest and is one of the few d-men that can flirt with 70 points. Injuries are a concern making him a tough sell with an early pick, but he’s absolutely worth a mid-round one. When he’s playing he’s a top three d-man.

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Brent Burns had the second most shots in the league last year behind only Alex Ovechkin. Coming from a d-man, that’s insane. He likely won’t get 70+ points again, but he’s still got potential for another monstrous fantasy season, especially if he can keep those shot totals up.

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As someone who just went through a painful separation from this beautiful boy in his own hockey league, I will provide no comment on his ability.

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P.K. Subban is literally a perfect human being. He has no flaws in my mind. On a team with better personnel and coaching this could be his biggest year yet and that leaves me incredibly giddy about the season to come.

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Just like Artemi Panarin, the projection for Gostisbehere is the product of a single year sample and him absolutely crushing it in that year. On one of the league’s better powerplay units, Ghost could provide some very big numbers for a d-man.

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Roman Josi has quietly become one of the league’s premier puck-moving and point-scoring d-men. With Subban on the team now that offence has potential to increase even further. That makes him one of the best d-men available at the draft.

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Victor Hedman would be much higher if he had more minutes, especially on the powerplay. For some reason he isn’t the team’s primary PP QB and that puts a dent in his totals. Still, 50 points is nothing to scoff at here.

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Getting older now and seemingly never fully healthy, but Mark Giordano is still among one of the league’s best d-men. Calgary is stacked with great offensive d-men so it’s possible that some of the PP minutes are shared between them. That makes Giordano a bit riskier, but he’s still the top dog there and the best bet to get the most time with the man advantage.

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I feel like I’m repeating myself here with all the Colorado players, but expect better things now that Patrick Roy is gone. More time in the offensive zone and more importantly for Tyson Barrie, less time in the coach’s doghouse. For whatever reason, Roy wasn’t the biggest fan of Barrie. New coach with more trust might mean an even better season for Barrie.

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