Fantasy top 50 defenseman rankings for 2017-18 Each week during the regular season, NHL.com has you covered with an overview of the fantasy defenseman landscape. With production trends, injury news and top 50 rankings based on performance and upside in standard Yahoo leagues, fantasy owners should use this information as a basis for roster decision-making. TRENDING UP. Justin Faulk, CAR: The Carolina Hurricanes defenseman has bounced back in a big way this past week, scoring points in three straight games totaling four points (two goals, two assists) and 11 shots on goal. Faulk (67 percent owned; 230th in Yahoo) still has so much more room for improvement and still qualifies as a buy-low fantasy target. His heavy usage (22:23 per game; 3:10 on power play) and Carolinas offensive potential give him a clear path to the top 20 defenseman realm if he sustains his strong play. Seth Jones, CBJ: The Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman has at least one point in six of his past seven games, totaling seven points (four goals, three assists), four power-play points and 25 SOG. The spike in power-play production is coming with Zach Werenski (undisclosed) sidelined and is significant because Columbus has been one of the Leagues most-underachieving teams in that regard (11.8 percent; tied for worst in NHL). Jones is a high-end No. 2 defenseman who can clearly step into an offensive role when needed. Jeff Petry, MTL: Defenseman Shea Weber (foot) has missed the past four games for the Montreal Canadiens, and Petry (13 percent owned) has three points (one goal, two assists) and 14 SOG in the span. He had 10 SOG in one game against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, tying John Carlson of the Washington Capitals and Werenski for the most in a single game by a defenseman this season. Hes playing huge minutes (24:51 per game; 2:01 on power play) in Webers absence and has emerged as a valuable fantasy streaming option. TRENDING DOWN. Injured defensemen: In addition to Werenski and Weber, Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche are dealing with injuries. Letang (lower body; day to day) did not play against the Blue Jackets on Wednesday and has been ruled out for Pittsburghs game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. Barrie fractured his hand and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Letang and Barrie are tied for third among defensemen in assists (23), and each is among the leaders at the position in PPP and a fringe top 100 overall player in Yahoo (Letang: 81st; Barrie: 110th). Justin Schultz (60 percent owned) of the Penguins is making significant progress in his recovery from a lower-body injury and will be worth owning in most formats upon his eventual return. Erik Johnson (27 percent owned; 172nd in Yahoo) of the Avalanche had an assist against the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday and cracks the top 50 rankings this week with strong category coverage. Ryan McDonagh, NYR: The New York Rangers defenseman is still without a goal on 51 SOG through 33 games and has gone four straight games without a point. He has taken a step back on the power play (four power-play points) this season with Kevin Shattenkirk running the first unit, and is only covering assists (18) and plus/minus (plus-11) well for fantasy owners. His Shot Attempts ratio is minus-94, and he leads the Rangers in average ice time by more than 3:00 per game (23:47; Shattenkirk is second at 20:21). Hes a decent middle-tier fantasy option, but could be droppable in standard formats for any first power-play defenseman whos producing. A prime example is Shea Theodore (20 percent owned) of the Vegas Golden Knights.