Fantasy hockey rankings Week 4 update

That’s it. We are done messing around. Three teams have played 14 or more games, which is the quarter mark of the campaign. We give players a lot of leeway at the start of the season to account for slow starts, small sample sizes and new dynamics. But we can’t wait around anymore.

We have a larger-than-usual batch of new faces to the rankings this week, with 22 players shuffled in and 22 shuffled out.

Why? With close to a quarter of the season on the books, it feels like a good chance to do some “spring cleaning” of the ranks. There are more than a few dust bunnies we can clear out.

Here are a few of them:

Braden Holtby, G, Vancouver Canucks: Scoring goaltending points is just not on for the Canucks this season. Both Holtby and Thatcher Demko have not been putting up points. Holtby, in fact, has scored negative points this season, while Demko has contributed barely more than 0.5 fantasy points per outing.

Tristan Jarry, G, Pittsburgh Penguins: It’s a similar story for the Penguins, except Jarry has been even more damaging. He’s averaged -1.76 fantasy points per 60 minutes (FPP60).

Nikita Gusev, F, New Jersey Devils: COVID postponements have limited what we’ve seen of the Devils so far, but it’s clear Jack Hughes is driving the bus and Gusev doesn’t seem to be a popular choice to spend minutes with him. Perhaps for good reasons: They’ve been scored on twice in the 17 minutes they’ve spent together.

Nate Schmidt, G, Vancouver Canucks: A quiet contributor in his time with the Vegas Golden Knights in previous seasons, Schmidt just doesn’t have the same role with the Canucks and isn’t putting up the stats we need.

Ryan Johansen, C, Nashville Predators: I’m guilty of giving Johansen too much rope for these rankings, but he was already on the hot seat based on his previous two seasons. The translation of his NHL role to fantasy points has not been good enough. If Matt Duchene or Mikael Granlund can find a spark with Filip Forsberg while Johansen is week-to-week with an upper-body injury, Johansen could find himself not at the top of the depth chart when he returns.

Phillip Danault, C, Montreal Canadiens: A sneaky fantasy play in recent seasons for his playmaking, his line has still been very dominant. But it is playing fewer minutes with new, flashy options picking up a lot of the team’s offense.

Ryan Getzlaf, C, Anaheim Ducks: The team isn’t scoring period, but even when they are, Getzlaf isn’t a part of it. It’s questionable whether some of the developing centers — Max Comtois, Sam Steel — will do enough to have fantasy value of their own, but it’s pretty clear Getzlaf won’t regardless.

Eric Staal, C, Buffalo Sabres: Maybe we don’t have enough of a sample to make this call yet — but from what we’ve seen there won’t be more than one line of big offense coming from the Sabres.

Jaden Schwartz, W, St. Louis Blues: He’s terribly important to one of the better lines in the NHL so far this season, but Jordan Kyrou and Brayden Schenn are the ones reaping the fantasy points from Schwartz’s solid play. With his nine NHL points translating to a meager 16.8 fantasy points so far, Schwartz is just one of those players who gets it done on the ice but isn’t built for the fantasy game. He’s not way out of the rankings and will stay on the bubble, but his track record doesn’t say top 250.

These are just a few examples, and not all of them were easy to remove from the rankings. But sometimes you need to make tough decisions — and the same is true for your roster. I’d be hard-pressed to drop Schwartz from a fantasy team, but history says he’s a bubble player for fantasy points. But, if you look at his fantasy points and consider the fact that his line is third in the NHL with nine goals at 5-on-5, you have to ask yourself: If the production isn’t there now, will it ever be?

Forwards on the move

Carter Verhaeghe, F, Florida Panthers (up 71 spots to No. 178): Aleksander Barkov is establishing himself on a new level this season. No longer paired with fellow offensive leader Jonathan Huberdeau, Barkov is still pushing his line to the top of the league. With Anthony Duclair and Verhaeghe on his flanks, the Barkov trio has accounted for five even-strength goals and only trails five other lines for raw shot attempts this season (despite playing only nine games). For his part, Verhaeghe isn’t coming out of nowhere, as he has a 34-goal AHL campaign under his belt. He has six goals and three helpers so far.

Josh Anderson, W, Montreal Canadiens (up 60 spots to No. 185): It’s too bad the Habs offense has been so well-rounded this season. Anderson is stuck playing sub-15 minutes per game, but his per-minute production is absolutely elite. Among players with at least four games played, Anderson only trails David Pastrnak, Joe Pavelski, Patrik Laine, Alex Ovechkin, Patrice Bergeron and James van Riemsdyk for FPP60. If only he was playing another five minutes per game.

Defensemen on the move

Jakob Chychrun, D, Arizona Coyotes (up 23 spots to No. 118): Oliver Ekman-Larsson is almost back from injury, and the big question is whether Chychrun can keep doing what he’s been doing with the team’s leader on the blue line back in action. For what it’s worth: they have both averaged 2.4 fantasy points per game this season — Ekman-Larsson in two games and Chychrun in 12.

Goaltenders on the move

Philipp Grubauer, G, Colorado Avalanche (up 15 spots to No. 34): Based on his workload and performance so far this season, Grubauer is primed to outscore all other goaltenders in fantasy points from this point forward. So why down here in the rankings? At some point, Pavel Francouz will return. The pair split time last season, so Grubauer won’t be playing 86 percent of the team’s minutes after Francouz returns.

Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Vegas Golden Knights (up 38 spots to No. 63): He’s averaging 6.53 FPP60, which is far and away tops among goaltenders, and he’s played 44 percent of the team’s minutes in the crease so far. That’s good. It’s fair to say the Golden Knights have had a softer schedule and Fleury even softer still, with his four starts coming against the Kings, Coyotes and Ducks. That’s bad. But the Kings, Coyotes, Ducks, Sharks and Wild — all teams in the bottom half of the league for goals per game — aren’t leaving the West Division group anytime soon. That’s good. Overall, that’s a couple positives in Fleury’s corner and enough to move him among the top 12 goaltenders — even though his usage will be a timeshare.

Jake Allen, G, Montreal Canadiens (up 36 spots to No. 165): You don’t need to use starters for all your fantasy goalie purposes. Despite his play, I don’t think anyone entertains Allen approaching a split of duties with Carey Price. But still, in his time this season, Allen is posting 5.23 FPP60 (second to Fleury in the league among qualified goalies) and has played a surprising 41 percent of the team’s minutes in the crease so far this season. There’s a place for that on fantasy rosters.

New to rankings

Christian Dvorak (No. 209), Joel Farabee (216), Jordan Staal (221), Alex Tuch (222), Nick Schmaltz (223), Conor Garland (224), Mikael Backlund (225), Adam Larsson (229), Jordan Greenway (232), Adrian Kempe (233), Nino Niederreiter (235), Scott Laughton (236), Tim Stutzle (238), Connor Murphy (239), Dylan Strome (240), Andrew Copp (242), Cody Glass (244), Noah Dobson (245), Chandler Stephenson (246), Miles Wood (247), Linus Ullmark (249), Martin Necas (249).

Just missed

Paul Stastny, Ty Smith, Hampus Lindholm, Thatcher Demko, Casey DeSmith, P.K. Subban, Maxime Comtois, Adam Lowry, David Savard, Jonas Brodin, Ryan Donato, Justin Faulk, Justin Schultz, Nick Foligno.

Dropped out

Braden Holtby (No. 163), Tristan Jarry (165), Filip Hronek (186), Nate Schmidt (190), Nikita Gusev (196), Ryan Johansen (197), Ilya Sorokin (198), Phillip Danault (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), Alexandar Georgiev (239), Jaden Schwartz (241), Nolan Patrick (243), Jesse Puljujarvi (244), Jakob Silfverberg (246).

Fantasy hockey top-250 rankings

1. David Pastrnak, RW, Bos (RW1)
2. Connor McDavid, C, Edm (C1)
3. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, TB (G1)
4. Leon Draisaitl, LW, Edm (LW1)
5. Auston Matthews, C, Tor (C2)
6. Alex Ovechkin, LW, Wsh (LW2)
7. Steven Stamkos, C, TB (C3)
8. Mitchell Marner, RW, Tor (RW2)
9. Jack Eichel, C, Buf (C4)
10. John Carlson, D, Wsh (D1)
11. Brad Marchand, LW, Bos (LW3)
12. Patrick Kane, RW, Chi (RW3)
13. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Col (C5)
14. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, Fla (LW4)
15. Artemi Panarin, LW, NYR (LW5)
16. Victor Hedman, D, TB (D2)
17. Connor Hellebuyck, G, Wpg (G2)
18. Patrice Bergeron, C, Bos (C6)
19. Mark Scheifele, C, Wpg (C7)
20. Sebastian Aho, C, Car (C8)
21. John Tavares, C, Tor (C9)
22. Mikko Rantanen, RW, Col (RW4)
23. Mark Stone, RW, Vgs (RW5)
24. Blake Wheeler, RW, Wpg (RW6)
25. Alex Pietrangelo, D, Vgs (D3)
26. Aleksander Barkov, C, Fla (C10)
27. Brent Burns, D, SJ (D4)
28. Roman Josi, D, Nsh (D5)
29. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Edm (C11)
30. Sidney Crosby, C, Pit (C12)
31. Taylor Hall, LW, Buf (LW6)
32. Kyle Connor, LW, Wpg (LW7)
33. Patrik Laine, RW, Cls (RW7)
34. Philipp Grubauer, G, Col (G3)
35. Brayden Point, C, TB (C13)
36. Mika Zibanejad, C, NYR (C14)
37. Ivan Provorov, D, Phi (D6)
38. Jeff Petry, D, Mon (D7)
39. Max Pacioretty, LW, Vgs (LW8)
40. Cale Makar, D, Col (D8)
41. Andrei Svechnikov, LW, Car (LW9)
42. Jake Guentzel, LW, Pit (LW10)
43. Elias Pettersson, C, Van (C15)
44. Jordan Binnington, G, StL (G4)
45. Charlie McAvoy, D, Bos (D9)
46. Anze Kopitar, C, LA (C16)
47. Jacob Markstrom, G, Cgy (G5)
48. Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Col (LW11)
49. Frederik Andersen, G, Tor (G6)
50. Dougie Hamilton, D, Car (D10)
51. Semyon Varlamov, G, NYI (G7)
52. Sean Couturier, C, Phi (C17)
53. Travis Konecny, RW, Phi (RW8)
54. J.T. Miller, C, Van (C18)
55. Anton Khudobin, G, Dal (G8)
56. Tuukka Rask, G, Bos (G9)
57. Darnell Nurse, D, Edm (D11)
58. Jamie Benn, LW, Dal (LW12)
59. Nicklas Backstrom, C, Wsh (C19)
60. Carey Price, G, Mon (G10)
61. Igor Shesterkin, G, NYR (G11)
62. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Cgy (LW13)
63. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Vgs (G12)
64. Evgeni Malkin, C, Pit (C20)
65. Elias Lindholm, RW, Cgy (RW9)
66. Morgan Rielly, D, Tor (D12)
67. Logan Couture, C, SJ (C21)
68. Thomas Chabot, D, Ott (D13)
69. Alex DeBrincat, LW, Chi (LW14)
70. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, Cgy (LW15)
71. Joe Pavelski, RW, Dal (RW10)
72. Seth Jones, D, Cls (D14)
73. Mathew Barzal, C, NYI (C22)
74. John Klingberg, D, Dal (D15)
75. Brayden Schenn, C, StL (C23)
76. Carter Hart, G, Phi (G13)
77. Kris Letang, D, Pit (D16)
78. T.J. Oshie, RW, Wsh (RW11)
79. Erik Karlsson, D, SJ (D17)
80. Tyson Barrie, D, Edm (D18)
81. Quinn Hughes, D, Van (D19)
82. Aaron Ekblad, D, Fla (D20)
83. Ilya Samsonov, G, Wsh (G14)
84. Kailer Yamamoto, RW, Edm (RW12)
85. Shea Weber, D, Mon (D21)
86. Filip Forsberg, LW, Nsh (LW16)
87. Ryan Ellis, D, Nsh (D22)
88. Ryan Pulock, D, NYI (D23)
89. Adam Fox, D, NYR (D24)
90. Dylan Larkin, C, Det (C24)
91. William Nylander, RW, Tor (RW13)
92. Robin Lehner, G, Vgs (G15)
93. Tomas Hertl, C, SJ (C25)
94. Bo Horvat, C, Van (C26)
95. Teuvo Teravainen, RW, Car (RW14)
96. Jacob Trouba, D, NYR (D25)
97. Brock Boeser, RW, Van (RW15)
98. Drew Doughty, D, LA (D26)
99. Brady Tkachuk, LW, Ott (LW17)
100. Ryan O’Reilly, C, StL (C27)
101. Evander Kane, LW, SJ (LW18)
102. Darcy Kuemper, G, Ari (G16)
103. Chris Kreider, LW, NYR (LW19)
104. Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, Wpg (C28)
105. Tom Wilson, RW, Wsh (RW16)
106. Shea Theodore, D, Vgs (D27)
107. Nick Suzuki, C, Mon (C29)
108. Victor Olofsson, RW, Buf (RW17)
109. Kirill Kaprizov, LW, Min (LW20)
110. Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW, Cls (RW18)
111. Rasmus Ristolainen, D, Buf (D28)
112. Keith Yandle, D, Fla (D29)
113. Patric Hornqvist, RW, Fla (RW19)
114. Jared Spurgeon, D, Min (D30)
115. Claude Giroux, LW, Phi (LW21)
116. Rasmus Andersson, D, Cgy (D31)
117. Zach Parise, LW, Min (LW22)
118. Jakob Chychrun, D, Ari (D32)
119. John Gibson, G, Ana (G17)
120. Joonas Korpisalo, G, Cls (G18)
121. David Perron, RW, StL (RW20)
122. Ryan Suter, D, Min (D33)
123. Rasmus Dahlin, D, Buf (D34)
124. Juuse Saros, G, Nsh (G19)
125. Timo Meier, RW, SJ (RW21)
126. Mackenzie Blackwood, G, NJ (G20)
127. Alexander Edler, D, Van (D35)
128. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Wpg (LW23)
129. Ondrej Palat, LW, TB (LW24)
130. Zach Werenski, D, Cls (D36)
131. Bryan Rust, RW, Pit (RW22)
132. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Fla (G21)
133. Sam Reinhart, RW, Buf (RW23)
134. Mikhail Sergachev, D, TB (D37)
135. James van Riemsdyk, LW, Phi (LW25)
136. Jake Muzzin, D, Tor (D38)
137. Sean Monahan, C, Cgy (C30)
138. Tyler Toffoli, RW, Mon (RW24)
139. Anthony Mantha, RW, Det (RW25)
140. Torey Krug, D, StL (D39)
141. Jack Hughes, C, NJ (C31)
142. Cam Talbot, G, Min (G22)
143. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Ari (D40)
144. Alexander Radulov, RW, Dal (RW26)
145. Tomas Tatar, LW, Mon (LW26)
146. Colton Parayko, D, StL (D41)
147. Vincent Trocheck, C, Car (C32)
148. Anders Lee, LW, NYI (LW27)
149. Mike Hoffman, LW, StL (LW28)
150. Alec Martinez, D, Vgs (D42)
151. Miro Heiskanen, D, Dal (D43)
152. Matt Dumba, D, Min (D44)
153. Kevin Fiala, C, Min (C33)
154. Roope Hintz, C, Dal (C34)
155. Josh Morrissey, D, Wpg (D45)
156. Mark Giordano, D, Cgy (D46)
157. Brendan Gallagher, RW, Mon (RW27)
158. Jakub Vrana, C, Wsh (C35)
159. William Karlsson, C, Vgs (C36)
160. Max Domi, C, Cls (C37)
161. Cam Atkinson, RW, Cls (RW28)
162. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Wsh (C38)
163. Ryan Strome, C, NYR (C39)
164. Ryan McDonagh, D, TB (D47)
165. Jake Allen, G, Mon (G23)
166. Nazem Kadri, C, Col (C40)
167. Viktor Arvidsson, RW, Nsh (RW29)
168. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, StL (RW30)
169. Blake Coleman, LW, TB (LW29)
170. Elvis Merzlikins, G, Cls (G24)
171. Andre Burakovsky, LW, Col (LW30)
172. Jaccob Slavin, D, Car (D48)
173. Denis Gurianov, LW, Dal (LW31)
174. Mikael Granlund, LW, Nsh (LW32)
175. Jaroslav Halak, G, Bos (G25)
176. Mikko Koskinen, G, Edm (G26)
177. Pavel Buchnevich, RW, NYR (RW31)
178. Carter Verhaeghe, C, Fla (C41)
179. Tanner Pearson, LW, Van (LW33)
180. Kyle Palmieri, RW, NJ (RW32)
181. Kevin Lankinen, G, Chi (G27)
182. Samuel Girard, D, Col (D49)
183. Jordan Kyrou, C, StL (C42)
184. Josh Norris, C, Ott (C43)
185. Josh Anderson, RW, Mon (RW33)
186. Jakub Voracek, RW, Phi (RW34)
187. Duncan Keith, D, Chi (D50)
188. Phil Kessel, RW, Ari (RW35)
189. Alexis Lafreniere, LW, NYR (LW34)
190. Brock Nelson, C, NYI (C44)
191. Jordan Eberle, RW, NYI (RW36)
192. Esa Lindell, D, Dal (D51)
193. Damon Severson, D, NJ (D52)
194. Neal Pionk, D, Wpg (D53)
195. Anthony Cirelli, C, TB (C45)
196. Matt Grzelcyk, D, Bos (D54)
197. Petr Mrazek, G, Car (G28)
198. Evgenii Dadonov, RW, Ott (RW37)
199. Jason Zucker, LW, Pit (LW35)
200. Kevin Hayes, C, Phi (C46)
201. Matt Duchene, C, Nsh (C47)
202. Dominik Kubalik, LW, Chi (LW36)
203. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C, NYI (C48)
204. Nick Ritchie, LW, Bos (LW37)
205. Chris Driedger, G, Fla (G29)
206. Pavel Francouz, G, Col (G30)
207. Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Min (C49)
208. Ryan Graves, D, Col (D55)
209. Christian Dvorak, LW, Ari (LW38)
210. Antti Raanta, G, Ari (G31)
211. Clayton Keller, C, Ari (C50)
212. Erik Gustafsson, D, Phi (D56)
213. Anthony Duclair, LW, Fla (LW39)
214. Dustin Brown, RW, LA (RW38)
215. Brian Elliott, G, Phi (G32)
216. Joel Farabee, LW, Phi (LW40)
217. Adam Henrique, C, Ana (C51)
218. Alex Killorn, LW, TB (LW41)
219. Jonathan Marchessault, LW, Vgs (LW42)
220. Boone Jenner, C, Cls (C52)
221. Jordan Staal, C, Car (C53)
222. Alex Tuch, RW, Vgs (RW39)
223. Nick Schmaltz, C, Ari (C54)
224. Conor Garland, RW, Ari (RW40)
225. Mikael Backlund, C, Cgy (C55)
226. Tyler Myers, D, Van (D57)
227. Adam Boqvist, D, Chi (D58)
228. Devon Toews, D, Col (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, Car (RW41)
236. Scott Laughton, LW, PHI (LW45)
237. Kasperi Kapanen, RW, Pit (RW42)
238. Tim Stutzle, LW, Ott (LW46)
239. Connor Murphy, D, Chi (D62)
240. Dylan Strome, C, Chi (C57)
241. Rickard Rakell, C, Ana (C58)
242. Andrew Copp, 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, Buf (G35)
249. Martin Necas, C, Car (C62)
250. Tyler Motte, LW, Van (LW48)

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