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Top 40 Defensemen - Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings for 2019-2020

We're back with fantasy hockey coverage at RotoBaller. Just like last year, over the course of the 2019-2020 NHL season, we'll be providing weekly updates to our fantasy hockey rankings - listing each player in terms of his rest-of-season value. Today we'll look at defensemen.

Below you can find the inaugural version of our fantasy hockey defensemen draft rankings - our preseason top 40 defensemen. The rankings are the result of a collective effort from RotoBaller staff writers Chase DavisScott Cullen and Chris Wassel.

Note: Rankings are determined considering a standard Yahoo league format (goals, assists, plus-minus, power play points, shots on goal, and hits for skaters; wins, goals against average, save percentage, and shutouts for goalies). Value is based on factors such as past production, future NHL potential, age, stat projections, line/defensive pair combinations, quality of a player's team and contract status.


Top 40 Defensemen - Preseason Draft Rankings

Rank Player Name Position Team Chase Scott Chris Consensus
1 Brent Burns D SJ 11 9 11 10.3
2 Erik Karlsson D SJ 26 51 27 34.7
3 John Carlson D WSH 31 49 31 37.0
4 Victor Hedman D TB 32 47 32 37.0
5 Roman Josi D NSH 48 57 48 51.0
6 Mark Giordano D CGY 70 40 63 57.7
7 John Klingberg D DAL 50 80 54 61.3
8 Kristopher Letang D PIT 63 70 55 62.7
9 Morgan Rielly D TOR 60 77 60 65.7
10 Seth Jones D CBJ 57 107 57 73.7
11 P.K. Subban D NJ 55 145 70 90.0
12 Shea Weber D MTL 88 102 88 92.7
13 Torey Krug D BOS 72 144 72 96.0
14 Dustin Byfuglien D WPG 82 99 108 96.3
15 Rasmus Dahlin D BUF 108 81 102 97.0
16 Dougie Hamilton D CAR 92 111 92 98.3
17 Mathew Dumba D MIN 90 120 90 100.0
18 Tyson Barrie D TOR 80 142 80 100.7
19 Keith Yandle D FLA 84 148 84 105.3
20 Cale Makar D COL 112 117 112 113.7
21 Drew Doughty D LA 115 134 115 121.3
22 Thomas Chabot D OTT 86 201 86 124.3
23 Alex Pietrangelo D STL 117 140 117 124.7
24 Erik Gustafsson D CHI 121 169 121 137.0
25 Zachary Werenski D CBJ 125 164 125 138.0
26 Oliver Ekman-Larsson D ARI 114 197 114 141.7
27 Rasmus Ristolainen D BUF 133 170 127 143.3
28 Charlie McAvoy D BOS 129 181 129 146.3
29 Jacob Trouba D NYR 148 173 148 156.3
30 Ivan Provorov D PHI 151 194 151 165.3
31 Ryan Suter D MIN 172 152 172 165.3
32 Jared Spurgeon D MIN 160 191 160 170.3
33 Justin Faulk D CAR 167 182 167 172.0
34 Shayne Gostisbehere D PHI 166 185 166 172.3
35 Jake Muzzin D TOR 186 147 186 173.0
36 Alexander Edler D VAN 156 219 156 177.0
37 Miro Heiskanen D DAL 127 272 133 177.3
38 Ryan Ellis D NSH 174 192 174 180.0
39 Ryan Pulock D NYI 192 157 192 180.3
40 Shea Theodore D VGK 155 236 155 182.0


Fantasy Hockey Defensemen - Rankings Analysis 

Sitting at the top of our defensemen rankings are a pair of San Jose Sharks, Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson. It's simply an embarrassment of riches out on the blueline in Northern California. Even at 34-years-old, Burns has showed little to no signs of slowing down, having registered 83 points (16 goals, 67 assists) to go along with a plus-13 rating, 28 power-play points and 300 shots on goal last season. He's now checked off at least 65 points, 25 PPP and 300 shots in four consecutive seasons and looks poised to do the same in 2019-2020. His defensive partner on the man advantage, Karlsson, only skated in 53 games in his debut season in San Jose after fighting nagging injuries but appears 100 percent healthy and transitioned to hockey in the Shark Tank. He should duel with Burns for the NHL defensemen scoring lead.

Roman Josi, lauded for having one of the best contracts in hockey ($4 million AAV), is going to get paid next summer. Entering the final year of his seven-year, team-friendly deal, Josi will use the 2019-2020 campaign to earn significant raise and rightfully become one of the league's highest-earning blueliners. Following the departure of P.K. Subban via trade, the 29-year-old is now a lock to quarterback a likely much-improved top power-play unit in Nashville, something that should organically improve his production. In addition to the points, Josi adds value in peripheral categories (274 shots, plus-nine rating, 144 blocks) and should be targeted as a top-five rearguard in nearly all fantasy formats.

An unfortunately pectoral injury ruined what looked to be a career-season for Matthew Dumba in 2018-2019. Before sustaining the injury in a fight, the 25-year-old was leading all blueliners with 12 goals and had also registered 10 assists, 93 shots, 12 power-play points and 60 hits in just 32 games played. He's fresh off a long summer of training and will immediately jump back into seeing top-pair usage while running the Wild's PP1. With five seasons of NHL hockey under his belt, look for Dumba to take another step forward and potentially earn consideration as one of the league's most valuable fantasy defenseman in 2019-2020.

There's not a defenseman that will benefit more from a change of scenery than Jacob Trouba following his trade from Winnipeg to the Big Apple this summer. Hindered by his presence in one of the league's deepest defensive cores over the past few seasons, Trouba will look to prove to live up to the massive ticket he signed in July (seven years, $56 million) and become an undisputed number-one defenseman for the first time in his career. The Michigan native should see his ice time increase by at least two minutes (22:52 last season) and will inherit quarterbacking duties on the Ranger's top PP unit. Coming off a career-best 50-point season in 2018-2019, Trouba should post excellent peripheral production as well - described by the 162 shots, 112 hits and 171 blocks he showcased last year.


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