Finding quality fantasy defensemen can be tricky once all the big names are off the board. Here’s a break down of what to expect each team’s top four defense group will look like.
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By nature, defensemen score less than forwards and could slide down the rankings as a result. However, you still need to fill out a roster, so don’t make your team too top-heavy by only focusing on forwards. Unless your league only uses skater/flex slots, you’ll need to draft a blue line.
Getting point producers on defense is no easy task — there are very few that are reliable for 50 points on a yearly basis. Once all the top producers are drafted, you’ll need to turn your attention to defenders playing in a No. 2 role, or ones that are utilized on the second pairing.
That is where you can put these defense depth charts to use. There are some important things to note though.
You will often hear that a player is more valuable in real life than he is in the fantasy realm. That is especially true for defensemen, as the ones who play in a stay at home role don’t produce much value in the majority of leagues. A good example of this is the Arizona Coyotes, where two of their top four aren’t fantasy stars.
There are a number of rookies slated to earn a top-four role. Be wary of drafting them, as they are no guarantee to lock down that position long term. Most notably Josh Mahura in Anaheim, as there are a few others in their system with an equal chance of earning the spot.
Biggest Offseason Improvements
New Jersey Devils: Made the biggest acquisition by trading for P.K. Subban.
New York Rangers: Jacob Trouba becomes their No. 1 D-man, and Adam Fox is poised to make the team.
Ottawa Senators: Erik Brannstrom has high upside, and free agent signing Ron Hainsey can be his mentor.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci add more offensive power to a talented lineup.
Vancouver Canucks: Quinn Hughes could challenge for the Calder Trophy, while Tyler Myers solidifies their top four.
Biggest Offseason Regression
Winnipeg Jets: Lost three quality defenders in Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, and Ben Chiarot. They will need to rely on Neal Pionk, Dmitry Kulikov in top four roles, or hope a youngster like Sami Niku is ready for that responsibility.
Nashville Predators: They traded away P.K. Subban, and will look for Dante Fabbro to fill the void. Despite the change, Nashville still boasts one of the strongest top four units in the league.
Top Four Defense Depth Charts
|Team||Left Side #1||Left Side #2||Right Side #1||Right Side #2|
|Anaheim Ducks||Hampus Lindholm||Josh Mahura||Josh Manson||Cam Fowler|
|Arizona Coyotes||Oliver Ekman-Larsson||Jakob Chychrun||Jason Demers||Niklas Hjalmarsson|
|Boston Bruins||Matt Grzelcyk||Torey Krug||Charlie McAvoy||Brandon Carlo|
|Buffalo Sabres||Rasmus Dahlin||Jake McCabe||Rasmus Ristolainen||Brandon Montour|
|Calgary Flames||Mark Giordano||Noah Hanifin||T.J. Brodie||Rasmus Andersson|
|Carolina Hurricanes||Jaccob Slavin||Brett Pesce||Dougie Hamilton||Justin Faulk|
|Chicago Blackhawks||Duncan Keith||Olli Maatta||Erik Gustafsson||Brent Seabrook|
|Colorado Avalanche||Samuel Girard||Nikita Zadorov||Erik Johnson||Cale Makar|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||Zach Werenski||Ryan Murray||Seth Jones||David Savard|
|Dallas Stars||Esa Lindell||Miro Heiskanen||John Klingberg||Roman Polak|
|Detroit Red Wings||Danny DeKeyser||Dennis Cholowski||Filip Hronek||Mike Green|
|Edmonton Oilers||Oscar Klefbom||Darnell Nurse||Adam Larsson||Evan Bouchard|
|Florida Panthers||Keith Yandle||Mike Matheson||Aaron Ekblad||Anton Stralman|
|Los Angeles Kings||Derek Forbort||Alec Martinez||Drew Doughty||Matt Roy|
|Minnesota Wild||Ryan Suter||Jonas Brodin||Jared Spurgeon||Matt Dumba|
|Montreal Canadiens||Victor Mete||Ben Chiarot||Shea Weber||Jeff Petry|
|Nashville Predators||Roman Josi||Mattias Ekholm||Ryan Ellis||Dante Fabbro|
|New Jersey Devils||Will Butcher||Sami Vatanen||P.K. Subban||Damon Severson|
|New York Islanders||Nick Leddy||Adam Pelech||Ryan Pulock||Devon Toews|
|New York Rangers||Brady Skjei||Marc Staal||Jacob Trouba||Adam Fox|
|Ottawa Senators||Thomas Chabot||Erik Brannstrom||Dylan DeMelo||Ron Hainsey|
|Philadelphia Flyers||Ivan Provorov||Shayne Gostisbehere||Travis Sanheim||Matt Niskanen|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||Brian Dumoulin||Marcus Pettersson||Kris Letang||Justin Schultz|
|San Jose Sharks||Marc-Edouard Vlasic||Brenden Dillon||Brent Burns||Erik Karlsson|
|St. Louis Blues||Vince Dunn||Joel Edmundson||Alex Pietrangelo||Colton Parayko|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||Victor Hedman||Ryan McDonagh||Mikhail Sergachev||Erik Cernak|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Morgan Rielly||Jake Muzzin||Tyson Barrie||Cody Ceci|
|Vancouver Canucks||Alex Edler||Quinn Hughes||Tyler Myers||Chris Tanev|
|Vegas Golden Knights||Brayden McNabb||Jon Merrill||Nate Schmidt||Shea Theodore|
|Washington Capitals||Michal Kempny||Dmitry Orlov||John Carlson||Nick Jensen|
|Winnipeg Jets||Josh Morrissey||Dmitry Kulikov||Dustin Byfuglien||Neal Pionk|
For more depth charts: Forwards
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