Fantasy Hockey

Fantasy Hockey Rankings: Way Too Early Defensemen Edition

Image for Fantasy Hockey Rankings: Way Too Early Defensemen Edition

The 2019-20 season isn’t technically over, but there still isn’t much to talk about, why not continue way-too-early fantasy hockey rankings! The Overtime Heroics Fantasy Hockey squad is putting together individual top 10 positional rankings for all you beautiful people. For this series, we will be using Daily Faceoff for positions. There are a lot of dual/triple position eligible players. Hopefully, you find this series fun and informative. Be sure to check out my Top 10 Centers,  Top 10 Left Wing and Top 10 Right Wing articles too. 

Way Too Early Fantasy Hockey Rankings

Top 10 Defensemen

1. Roman Josi – Nashville Predators

Photo by John Russell

69 games played: 16G / 49A / 65pts / +22 / 41 PIM / 23 PPP / 260 SOG / 52 Hits / 108 Blocks

He may not have had the highest point goals, but Josi was able to put up elite numbers on a mediocre team. Josi was viewed as the true number one defenseman when Pernell-Karl Subban was traded away this off season. Poised for a break-out with this new role, Josi did not disappoint. If the rest of Nashville can rebound, Josi should be able to find similar success going forward.

2. John Carlson – Washington Capitals

69 games played: 15G / 60A / 75pts / +12 / 26 PIM / 26 PPP / 189 SOG / 55 Hits / 108 Blocks

Leading the league among defensemen with 75 points, Carlson set new career highs in almost every category. Playing on a team that had the second highest goals scored per game (3.42) and a power play that features Alex Ovechkin, production was there for the taking. Success that should continue.

3. Victor Hedman – Tampa Bay Lightning

Image Via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

66 games played: 11G / 44A / 55pts / +27 / 31 PIM / 22 PPP / 155 SOG / 73 Hits / 98 Blocks

A perennial top three fantasy hockey defenseman, Hedman will always be looked upon as a safe option. He is the top defenseman in Tampa Bay, plays on a top five power-play unit, and has an elite goaltender behind him. Hitting 20 goals and 70 points isn’t outside the realm of possibility for the former second overall pick.

4. Dougie Hamilton – Carolina Hurricanes

47 games played: 14G / 26A / 40pts / +30 / 32 PIM / 12 PPP / 170 SOG / 52 Hits / 63 Blocks

You forgot about dear old Dougie, didn’t you? Thats ok, that’s why this list is here. Before suffering a season ending injury, Hamilton was on fire! On pace for a 70 point season, 290+ SOG, and around 100 hits and blocks. He will likely fall in most drafts next season, but cracking the top three wouldn’t be shocking. Keep his name in mind. Interesting note: Hamilton is currently 11th in the league, among defenseman, in shots on goal for the season.

5. Alex Pietrangelo – St. Louis Blues

70 games played: 16G / 36A / 52pts / +11 / 20 PIM / 22 PPP / 225 SOG / 47 Hits / 89 Blocks

This season is what was expected of Pietrangelo last season. He fell short last year, and a lot of people had written him off. Hopefully you were able to snag him late and reap the rewards. The St. Louis Blues have some cap issues, and without making some big moves, re-signing the veteran defenseman is going to be tough. If he doesn’t return to St. Louis, but hopefully he does, his position in these rankings will certainly be affected.

6. Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks

Image Via Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

70 games played: 12G / 33A / 45pts / -22 / 34 PIM / 17 PPP / 225 SOG / 72 Hits / 115 Blocks

The main thing keeping Burns out the top 5 right now is an 11 game pointless stretch from November 25th to December 14th. Even with that drought, he was 10 points behind Hedman and seven behind Pietrangelo. His shot production dipped, but after 4 consecutive seasons of 300+ shots, that number can rebound easily.

7. Shea Theodore – Vegas Golden Knights

Photo by Ethan Miller

71 games played: 13G / 33A / 46pts / +12 / 25 PIM / 16 PPP / 219 SOG / 20 Hits / 69 Blocks

One of the biggest surprises this fantasy season was Shea Theodore. Taking the top power-play spot all for himself, Theodore hit career highs across the board in the shortened season. With a reasonable career shooting percentage of 5.5%, sustaining his production is likely. Building on those numbers is possible as well.

8. Cale Makar – Colorado Avalanche

Photo by Michael Martin

57 games played: 12G / 38A / 50pts / +12 / 12 PIM / 19 PPP / 121 SOG / 45 Hits / 47 Blocks

If you haven’t disagreed with this list yet, then this is your spot. As a rookie, Makar took the top power-play spot in Colorado almost immediately and fit right in. Scoring at a .88 point per game pace, Makar adapted to the NHL level with relative ease. When everyone is healthy, Colorado is one of the best teams in the league and has a deadly power-play. Makar could see an even higher level of production next season.

9. Quinn Hughes – Vancouver Canucks

Image via Vancouver Canucks / Twitter

68 games played: 8G / 45A / 53pts / -10 / 22 PIM / 25 PPP / 126 SOG / 7 Hits / 46 Blocks

Like Makar, Hughes took the top power-play in Vancouver and ran with it. Used in 62.9% of Vancouver’s power-plays, Hughes also had the pleasure of playing with one of the leagues best power-play units. A team that had a 24.1% success rate on the power-play certainly boosted Hughes production, but you can’t overlook the fact that he was top five in scoring among defensemen as a rookie.

10. Erik Karlsson – San Jose Sharks

Image Via NBCSports

56 games played: 6G / 34A / 40pts / -15 / 16 PIM / 13 PPP / 120 SOG / 26 Hits / 74 Blocks

Assuming he can stay healthy, which is a significant assumption, Karlsson is still capable of putting up 60+ point seasons. Injuries have taken a significant amount of playing time away from him the last two seasons. Karlsson has missed a total of 55 games over the last two seasons, but when he is on the ice he is still a worthy fantasy hockey option.

Honorable Mentions

I hope you enjoyed this edition of the Way Too Early Fantasy Hockey Rankings. Keep an eye out for my Goalie Edition coming soon, and check out Tim Lambert’s (@TZLSports) rankings too! His Top 10 Centers and Top 10 Left Wing articles are up now!

Be sure to follow me,@FNTSYHCKYTRADES, on Twitter for all your fantasy hockey needs.

Head over to the Overtime Heroics Forums and discuss this article and many more!

Share this article