2022-23 Fantasy Hockey: Defenseman tiers begin with Cale Makar, Victor Hedman, Roman Josi and Adam Fox

September 16, 2022

Defensemen are the unheralded a part of a Fantasy Hockey workforce. It is a scoring-driven sport, and there is solely so many blueliners that may put up large numbers. Nonetheless, there’s worth to be added to your roster if you happen to do not punt on the place on draft day. That is how the NHL’s finest defensemen break down into tiers for the 2022-23 Fantasy season. 

Tier 1

Norris candidates

Cale Makar, Victor Hedman, Roman Josi, Adam Fox

These 4 defensemen are the most effective of the most effective. If you wish to prioritize level manufacturing out of your blueliners throughout your draft, you might want to be able to spend a decide on considered one of these 4 within the first two rounds. All of those gamers have the flexibility to attain like a ahead, which is a big enhance if you happen to can uncover some gems at ahead within the later rounds. They will be definitely worth the early-round worth, particularly Makar and Fox, who take pleasure in youth — and maybe one other stage but undiscovered of their video games. That stated, Hedman and Josi are regular veterans who command huge minutes in all conditions. 

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Tier 2

Energy-play quarterbacks in good conditions

John Carlson, Kris Letang, Aaron Ekblad, Quinn Hughes, Morgan Rielly, Brent Burns, Shea Theodore, Drew Doughty, Moritz Seider

This second tier most likely will not do sufficient to earn themselves {hardware} on the finish of the 12 months, however they’re all kind of No. 1 defensemen in their very own proper. Most significantly, they’re on groups which are both aggressive or set to take a step ahead in 2022-23, which ought to assist maintain their plus-minus score on the optimistic facet of the ledger. With good workforce conditions, these gamers characterize high-floor choices. For those who can snag two from this tier, you are sitting fairly heading into the center rounds. There’s potential for 60 factors all through this group, and a few (Ekblad, Doughty, Seider) have sufficient snarl to offer a lift in PIM. 

Tier 3

Excessive-end defensemen with restricted draw back

Devon Toews, Justin Faulk, Miro Heiskanen, Rasmus Dahlin, Tony DeAngelo, Alex Pietrangelo, Torey Krug, Rasmus Andersson, Noah Dobson, MacKenzie Weegar, Darnell Nurse, Evan Bouchard, Zach Werenski, Tyson Barrie, Dougie Hamilton, Thomas Chabot

Whereas these blueliners are a noticeable step down from the top-two tiers, they nonetheless challenge as stable No. 2-3 Fantasy defensemen. The large query: how a lot power-play time will they get? All these gamers have 40-point potential at a minimal, however getting that enhance with the person benefit will make them safer picks. Heiskanen, Dahlin, DeAngelo, Krug, Dobson, Werenski, Chabot, Hamilton and Barrie are all anticipated to start the 12 months on their respective workforce’s first power-play items. Whichever of the 2 Flames on this tier (Andersson and Weegar) will get that job will get an analogous enhance. The others are nonetheless regular choices that might push for the No. 1 power-play position in the course of the season, they usually could come at a reduction on draft day. 

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Tier 4

Circumstances increase concern

Jacob Trouba, Jaccob Slavin, Jared Spurgeon, Charlie McAvoy, Noah Hanifin, Gustav Forsling, Shayne Gostisbehere, Mikhail Sergachev, Damon Severson

Whether or not it is regression, the workforce scenario or a mixture of each, these defensemen most likely will not repeat their performances from 2021-22. Guys like Trouba, Slavin, Hanifin, Sergachev and Severson are all stable, however aren’t the highest defender on their groups. Forsling, Gostisbehere, and Spurgeon ought to have important roles this season, however their groups could take a step again. McAvoy is the outlier right here — he ought to be additional up the checklist, however he’ll miss the beginning of the season after present process offseason shoulder surgical procedure. The mixture of missed time and an adjustment interval ought to make Fantasy managers bearish on McAvoy. 

Tier 5

Stable depth selections

John Klingberg, Mattias Ekholm, Dmitry Orlov, Neal Pionk, Josh Morrissey, Brandon Montour, Cam Fowler, Bowen Byram, Hampus Lindholm

These gamers may all see some power-play time — Klingberg, Morrissey and Lindholm being the almost definitely candidates for man-advantage minutes. They’re regular, however there’s not quite a lot of upside on this group outdoors of the hope for a full and wholesome season from Byram. Montour, Fowler and Orlov are all regression dangers after spectacular 2021-22 campaigns. Ideally, you will have already got picked sufficient gamers from the upper tiers to keep away from needing multiple from this group. They need to, at finest, be the No. 4 defenseman in your roster, and one that may assist deal with a necessity in a single class moderately than throughout the board. 

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Tier 6

Rounding out the lineup

Ryan Suter, Colton Parayko, Alexandre Service, Jonas Brodin, Vince Dunn, Ryan Pulock, Sean Durzi, Jakob Chychrun, Jamie Drysdale, Owen Energy, Calen Addison

This group accommodates a mixture of veterans who can rating and kids value a speculative flier towards the tip of your draft. Within the latter group, Addison’s most likely you are finest guess over Durzi, Energy and Drysdale. For veterans, Suter, Dunn and Brodin most likely take advantage of sense, whereas Chychrun and Parayko characterize the most effective of the fallback choices. These guys can all ship some offense, although they might want a number of issues to interrupt their method with the intention to attain their full potential. 

Tier 7

Important dangers and purple flags

Jeff Petry, Seth Jones, Brady Skjei, Mark Giordano, Ivan Provorov, Matt Dumba, Alex Goligoski, Oliver Kylington, Erik Karlsson, Travis Sanheim, Adam Pelech, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Timothy Liljegren, T.J. Brodie, Alexander Edler, Vladislav Gavrikov, Samuel Girard, Ryan Ellis, Carson Soucy, Kevin Shattenkirk, Filip Hronek

Between potential position reductions and shaky utilization conditions, these gamers are all important gambles. Skjei, Provorov, Kylington, Liljegren, Girard and Hronek are all method down from final 12 months because of new arrivals that might bump them out of the power-play dialog completely, or at the least right down to the second unit. Petry, Goligoski, Giordano, Edler, Shattenkirk, Dumba and Ellis are harm and age-related decline dangers, with a few of them doubtlessly not even assured an on a regular basis position. Ekman-Larsson, Karlsson, Jones and Brodie may all get crushed from a plus-minus standpoint. Lastly, Pelech, Gavrikov, Girard and Soucy are all buried on their respective groups’ depth charts and can seemingly regress after taking part in above expectations in 2021-22. 

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