Fantasy hockey rankings Week 12 update: How to win your playoff matchup

Elias Pettersson and the Vancouver Canucks will have 17 games remaining on the fantasy schedule. Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire

Let's get down to brass tacks.

Some teams only have a dozen games left in the fantasy season. There are no more excuses for a player, no more wait-and-see approach. If a player isn't putting up points on your fantasy roster, you don't need him.

With the head-to-head playoffs underway and just barely a month left in the rotisserie season, the rankings also give no quarter to a lack of production. The biggest purge from these rankings of the season this week includes 38 players booted from the list for reasons ranging from injury to lineup changes and from lack of scoring to too much of it allowed.

Every little fantasy points has a major swing on how to look at these rankings. And I mean that literally. Using projections to look at the remainder of the season, a single power-play goal is the actual difference between being ranked No. 120 and about No. 175 among skaters. Andrei Vasilevskiy is still projected to get the most fantasy points over the remainder of the season, but all it would take is two extra wins by Connor Hellebuyck to leapfrog his projection. Every boost or brake in production gets magnified under a dwindling number of games to play.

Speaking of the number of games remaining to be played, the new Canucks schedule means at least two NHL games will not count in ESPN.com fantasy leagues this season. The final two games against the Calgary Flames fall outside the (already extended) cut-off for leagues of May 13. It means two fewer games for those players on your team, which is unfortunate but not surprising in this season.

The number of remaining games has a massive impact on the remaining fantasy schedule. The Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets only have 12 games, while the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks have 17 (remember that two of the Canucks 19 remaining don't count here). While four games in hand made a minimal difference at the start of the season, that now represents a third of the remaining schedule for the teams on the low end of games played.

It's yet one more things that makes Taylor Hall's acquisition by the Bruins a polarizing and intriguing prospect for fantasy.

Forwards on the move

Taylor Hall, W, Boston Bruins (ranked No. 39): Boosting Hall into the top 40 off this move is a risk, but it's a calculated one. Forget his MVP season for a moment and just look at the games he played in 2018-19 before his knee troubles: Hall posted 2.48 fantasy points per game (FPPG) during that span, scoring 11 goals in 33 games. Say for a moment he simply approaches that pace and manages 2.3 FPPG as a Bruin -- that would result in 39.1 fantasy points, which is more than current projections hand out to all but 10 skaters in the league. The Bruins are expected to debut Hall with David Krejci on the second line, but shaking things up and exposing him to the top line isn't off the cards. Hall will also get every chance to succeed on the power play. While he's ranked top 40 here, the upside is actually top 10. (And yes, that's the same thing we said before this season started of Hall's chances with the Sabres, but it doesn't make it less true).

Elias Pettersson, F, Vancouver Canucks (ranked No. 35): The Canucks are still slated to return to play on Friday and, by all accounts, a chance to get back on the ice for some team members went well on Monday. Not only do they get a significant fantasy boost across the board by having a stacked remaining schedule of 17 games, but it looks like the club could return with star forward Pettersson back to health. Out since March 2, Pettersson's overall numbers this season are disappointing, but he was heating up just before injury struck. He's been dropped in more than 10 percent of leagues, which is enough to take the time and check the free-agent list in yours.

Anthony Mantha, W, Washington Capitals (ranked No. 97): Before this relatively disastrous season for the Red Wings offense, Mantha had been building toward something special. Starting in 2017-18, his FPPG totals have been building over three years before this season: 1.55, 1.75 and 2.08. But Mantha has posted just 1.3 FPPG this season as the connection with Dylan Larkin failed to take the next step (to the detriment of both of them). This fresh start with the Caps could spark him back to that upward trend, as a scoring winger entering his prime. Let's say a role in the top six and some decent power-play minutes vaults him back to 1.8 FPPG -- that would push him into the top 100 skaters for the remainder of the season. He's a must-add out of the trade deadline, as there's wiggle room for him to not meet that threshold and still have fantasy value.

Defensemen on the move

Brandon Montour, D, Florida Panthers (ranked No. 94): To re-iterate a point from our ESPN.com fantasy trade deadline recap: Keith Yandle is not performing on the power play and Montour has the chops to do it. Montour is not the all-around defender that Aaron Ekblad is and is not going to replace him overall, but the power play is all he needs to drive some fantasy success here.

Goaltenders on the move

Not highlighting a specific players here, but rather pointing out that the minimal number of games left distills goaltender stats even further than skaters. Not that you should be using Elvis Merzlikins in fantasy but, as an example, he has played 53% of the Blue Jackets games over the past month and they have 12 left. So he has, what, at most about six games left to help your team?

Some crease shares from the past month of action that stand out and could perhaps inform your decision-making: Cam Talbot: 75.6%, Juuse Saros: 68.9%, Thatcher Demko: 84.6% (and 17 games left!), Jack Campbell: 65.0%, Martin Jones: 71.0% (and respectable 3.77 FPP60), Ilya Sorokin: 44.6%

New to rankings

Brandon Montour (No. 94), Anthony Mantha (97), Vince Dunn (103), Martin Jones (110), Tanner Pearson (111), Joel Edmundson (142), Travis Hamonic (152), Jesper Bratt (157), Alex Goligoski (168), Travis Zajac (172), Joshua Norris (173), Tyler Myers (175), Connor Brown (183), Mikael Backlund (185), Ryan Hartman (189), Kevin Labanc (191), Corey Perry (192), Pavel Zacha (201), Scott Mayfield (202), Alex Galchenyuk (205), Phillip Danault (215), Craig Smith (216), Nate Schmidt (217), Dmitry Orlov (219), Ryan Suter (224), Brock Nelson (227), Adam Lowry (229), Adin Hill (233), Jaden Schwartz (241), Viktor Arvidsson (242), Gabriel Vilardi (243), Nikita Gusev (244), Anthony Beauvillier (245), Calle Jarnkrok (246), Nikita Zaitsev (247), Josh Manson (248), Luke Kunin (249), Jeff Skinner (250).

Dropped out

Alexander Radulov, Kaapo Kahkonen, Adrian Kempe, Ilya Samsonov, Dominik Kubalik, Cam Atkinson, Kailer Yamamoto, Boone Jenner, Oliver Bjorkstrand. Clayton Keller, Kevin Hayes, Conor Garland, Christian Dvorak, Jordan Binnington, Sean Monahan, Maxime Comtois, Denis Gurianov, Teuvo Teravainen, Scott Laughton, Jack Hughes, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Zach Werenski, Elvis Merzlikins, Brian Elliott, Andre Burakovsky, Calvin de Haan, Jack Roslovic, Mattias Ekholm, Rasmus Dahlin, Alex Killorn, Dylan Larkin, Mikael Granlund, Jakub Vrana, Jordan Greenway, Joonas Korpisalo, Jason Dickinson, Ty Smith, Darcy Kuemper.

Fantasy hockey top-250 rankings

1. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, TB (G1)
2. Auston Matthews, C, Tor (C1)
3. Connor McDavid, C, Edm (C2)
4. Philipp Grubauer, G, Col (G2)
5. Brad Marchand, LW, Bos (LW1)
6. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Col (C3)
7. David Pastrnak, RW, Bos (RW1)
8. Aleksander Barkov, C, Fla (C4)
9. Alex Ovechkin, LW, Wsh (LW2)
10. Patrice Bergeron, C, Bos (C5)
11. Connor Hellebuyck, G, Wpg (G3)
12. Leon Draisaitl, LW, Edm (LW3)
13. Max Pacioretty, LW, Vgs (LW4)
14. Adam Fox, D, NYR (D1)
15. Alec Martinez, D, Vgs (D2)
16. Mikko Rantanen, RW, Col (RW2)
17. Victor Hedman, D, TB (D3)
18. Mika Zibanejad, C, NYR (C6)
19. Mitchell Marner, RW, Tor (RW3)
20. Vincent Trocheck, C, Car (C7)
21. Sidney Crosby, C, Pit (C8)
22. Artemi Panarin, LW, NYR (LW5)
23. Jake Guentzel, LW, Pit (LW6)
24. Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Col (LW7)
25. Roope Hintz, C, Dal (C9)
26. Tyler Toffoli, RW, Mon (RW4)
27. Dougie Hamilton, D, Car (D4)
28. John Carlson, D, Wsh (D5)
29. Jeff Petry, D, Mon (D6)
30. Mark Stone, RW, Vgs (RW5)
31. Kris Letang, D, Pit (D7)
32. Kirill Kaprizov, LW, Min (LW8)
33. Thatcher Demko, G, Van (G4)
34. Darnell Nurse, D, Edm (D8)
35. Elias Pettersson, C, Van (C10)
36. Mike Smith, G, Edm (G5)
37. Joe Pavelski, RW, Dal (RW6)
38. Drew Doughty, D, LA (D9)
39. Taylor Hall, LW, Bos (LW9)
40. Jacob Trouba, D, NYR (D10)
41. Ivan Provorov, D, Phi (D11)
42. Juuse Saros, G, Nsh (G6)
43. Shea Weber, D, Mon (D12)
44. Cale Makar, D, Col (D13)
45. Sebastian Aho, C, Car (C11)
46. Mark Scheifele, C, Wpg (C12)
47. Pavel Buchnevich, RW, NYR (RW7)
48. Evander Kane, LW, SJ (LW10)
49. Sean Couturier, C, Phi (C13)
50. Ryan O'Reilly, C, StL (C14)
51. Cam Talbot, G, Min (G7)
52. Bo Horvat, C, Van (C15)
53. Josh Anderson, RW, Mon (RW8)
54. Nicklas Backstrom, C, Wsh (C16)
55. J.T. Miller, C, Van (C17)
56. Ryan Strome, C, NYR (C18)
57. Brayden Point, C, TB (C19)
58. Anze Kopitar, C, LA (C20)
59. Jared Spurgeon, D, Min (D14)
60. Kevin Fiala, C, Min (C21)
61. Shea Theodore, D, Vgs (D15)
62. Brent Burns, D, SJ (D16)
63. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Vgs (G8)
64. Tomas Hertl, C, SJ (C22)
65. Charlie McAvoy, D, Bos (D17)
66. T.J. Oshie, RW, Wsh (RW9)
67. Nick Suzuki, C, Mon (C23)
68. David Perron, RW, StL (RW10)
69. Martin Necas, C, Car (C24)
70. Vitek Vanecek, G, Wsh (G9)
71. Kyle Connor, LW, Wpg (LW11)
72. Semyon Varlamov, G, NYI (G10)
73. Jakob Chychrun, D, Ari (D18)
74. Ondrej Palat, LW, TB (LW12)
75. Alex Pietrangelo, D, Vgs (D19)
76. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, Fla (LW13)
77. Brady Tkachuk, LW, Ott (LW14)
78. Alex DeBrincat, LW, Chi (LW15)
79. Jack Campbell, G, Tor (G11)
80. Blake Wheeler, RW, Wpg (RW11)
81. Tyson Barrie, D, Edm (D20)
82. Brock Boeser, RW, Van (RW12)
83. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Wpg (LW16)
84. Kevin Lankinen, G, Chi (G12)
85. Chris Kreider, LW, NYR (LW17)
86. Tomas Tatar, LW, Mon (LW18)
87. Steven Stamkos, C, TB (C25)
88. Devon Toews, D, Col (D21)
89. Bryan Rust, RW, Pit (RW13)
90. Miro Heiskanen, D, Dal (D22)
91. John Klingberg, D, Dal (D23)
92. Justin Faulk, D, StL (D24)
93. Patrick Kane, RW, Chi (RW14)
94. Brandon Montour, D, Fla (D25)
95. Kyle Palmieri, RW, NYI (RW15)
96. Roman Josi, D, Nsh (D26)
97. Anthony Mantha, RW, Wsh (RW16)
98. Jason Robertson, LW, Dal (LW19)
99. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C, NYI (C26)
100. Petr Mrazek, G, Car (G13)
101. Jordan Staal, C, Car (C27)
102. Seth Jones, D, Cls (D27)
103. Vince Dunn, D, StL (D28)
104. Yanni Gourde, LW, TB (LW20)
105. Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Phi (D29)
106. Ilya Sorokin, G, NYI (G14)
107. Colton Parayko, D, StL (D30)
108. Jonas Brodin, D, Min (D31)
109. Neal Pionk, D, Wpg (D32)
110. Martin Jones, G, SJ (G15)
111. Tanner Pearson, LW, Van (LW21)
112. Evgeni Malkin, C, Pit (C28)
113. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, StL (RW17)
114. Igor Shesterkin, G, NYR (G16)
115. Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Min (C29)
116. Mark Giordano, D, Cgy (D33)
117. Matt Grzelcyk, D, Bos (D34)
118. Jamie Benn, LW, Dal (LW22)
119. Tyler Motte, LW, Van (LW23)
120. Tristan Jarry, G, Pit (G17)
121. Quinn Hughes, D, Van (D35)
122. John Tavares, C, Tor (C30)
123. Rasmus Ristolainen, D, Buf (D36)
124. Adam Larsson, D, Edm (D37)
125. Chris Driedger, G, Fla (G18)
126. Thomas Chabot, D, Ott (D38)
127. Connor Murphy, D, Chi (D39)
128. Travis Konecny, RW, Phi (RW18)
129. David Krejci, C, Bos (C31)
130. Jake Muzzin, D, Tor (D40)
131. Casey DeSmith, G, Pit (G19)
132. Alexander Edler, D, Van (D41)
133. Alex Iafallo, LW, LA (LW24)
134. Carter Verhaeghe, C, Fla (C32)
135. Josh Morrissey, D, Wpg (D42)
136. Tom Wilson, RW, Wsh (RW19)
137. Robin Lehner, G, Vgs (G20)
138. Mathew Barzal, C, NYI (C33)
139. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Fla (G21)
140. Patric Hornqvist, RW, Fla (RW20)
141. Mathew Dumba, D, Min (D43)
142. Joel Edmundson, D, Mon (D44)
143. Jonathan Marchessault, LW, Vgs (LW25)
144. Zach Hyman, LW, Tor (LW26)
145. Jack Eichel, C, Buf (C34)
146. Ryan Graves, D, Col (D45)
147. Elias Lindholm, RW, Cgy (RW21)
148. Logan Couture, C, SJ (C35)
149. Jakub Voracek, RW, Phi (RW22)
150. Ryan Pulock, D, NYI (D46)
151. Esa Lindell, D, Dal (D47)
152. Travis Hamonic, D, Van (D48)
153. Joonas Donskoi, RW, Col (RW23)
154. Filip Forsberg, LW, Nsh (LW27)
155. Jaroslav Halak, G, Bos (G22)
156. William Karlsson, C, Vgs (C36)
157. Jesper Bratt, RW, NJ (RW24)
158. Anton Khudobin, G, Dal (G23)
159. Dustin Brown, RW, LA (RW25)
160. Patrik Laine, RW, Cls (RW26)
161. Morgan Rielly, D, Tor (D49)
162. Mats Zuccarello, RW, Min (RW27)
163. Claude Giroux, LW, Phi (LW28)
164. Alex Nedeljkovic, G, Car (G24)
165. Mikhail Sergachev, D, TB (D50)
166. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, Cgy (LW29)
167. Timo Meier, RW, SJ (RW28)
168. Alex Goligoski, D, Ari (D51)
169. Joel Farabee, LW, Phi (LW30)
170. Eeli Tolvanen, LW, Nsh (LW31)
171. Kirby Dach, C, Chi (C37)
172. Travis Zajac, C, NYI (C38)
173. Joshua Norris, C, Ott (C39)
174. Andrew Copp, C, Wpg (C40)
175. Tyler Myers, D, Van (D52)
176. Samuel Girard, D, Col (D53)
177. Jeff Carter, C, Pit (C41)
178. Tyler Seguin, C, Dal (C42)
179. Calvin Petersen, G, LA (G25)
180. Erik Karlsson, D, SJ (D54)
181. Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, Wpg (C43)
182. Brett Pesce, D, Car (D55)
183. Connor Brown, RW, Ott (RW29)
184. Nick Ritchie, LW, Bos (LW32)
185. Mikael Backlund, C, Cgy (C44)
186. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Cgy (LW33)
187. Sam Reinhart, RW, Buf (RW30)
188. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Edm (C45)
189. Ryan Hartman, RW, Min (RW31)
190. Andrei Svechnikov, LW, Car (LW34)
191. Kevin Labanc, RW, SJ (RW32)
192. Corey Perry, RW, Mon (RW33)
193. Nino Niederreiter, RW, Car (RW34)
194. Oliver Wahlstrom, RW, NYI (RW35)
195. Jared McCann, LW, Pit (LW35)
196. Victor Olofsson, RW, Buf (RW36)
197. Tuukka Rask, G, Bos (G26)
198. Torey Krug, D, StL (D56)
199. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Wsh (C46)
200. Miles Wood, LW, NJ (LW36)
201. Pavel Zacha, C, NJ (C47)
202. Scott Mayfield, D, NYI (D57)
203. Phil Kessel, RW, Ari (RW37)
204. Duncan Keith, D, Chi (D58)
205. Alex Galchenyuk, LW, Tor (LW37)
206. Nick Foligno, LW, Tor (LW38)
207. Jacob Markstrom, G, Cgy (G27)
208. William Nylander, RW, Tor (RW38)
209. Justin Schultz, D, Wsh (D59)
210. Jordan Eberle, RW, NYI (RW39)
211. Jaccob Slavin, D, Car (D60)
212. Carey Price, G, Mon (G28)
213. Brayden Schenn, C, StL (C48)
214. Ryan McDonagh, D, TB (D61)
215. Phillip Danault, C, Mon (C49)
216. Craig Smith, RW, Bos (RW40)
217. Nate Schmidt, D, Van (D62)
218. Rickard Rakell, C, Ana (C50)
219. Dmitry Orlov, D, Wsh (D63)
220. Wayne Simmonds, RW, Tor (RW41)
221. Chandler Stephenson, C, Vgs (C51)
222. James van Riemsdyk, LW, Phi (LW39)
223. Adam Boqvist, D, Chi (D64)
224. Ryan Suter, D, Min (D65)
225. Eric Staal, C, Mon (C52)
226. Keith Yandle, D, Fla (D66)
227. Brock Nelson, C, NYI (C53)
228. Brandon Tanev, LW, Pit (LW40)
229. Adam Lowry, C, Wpg (C54)
230. Robby Fabbri, C, Det (C55)
231. Jonathan Bernier, G, Det (G29)
232. David Savard, D, TB (D67)
233. Adin Hill, G, Ari (G30)
234. Nazem Kadri, C, Col (C56)
235. P.K. Subban, D, NJ (D68)
236. Frederik Andersen, G, Tor (G31)
237. Drake Batherson, C, Ott (C57)
238. Alex Tuch, RW, Vgs (RW42)
239. Anthony Cirelli, C, TB (C58)
240. Frank Vatrano, LW, Fla (LW41)
241. Jaden Schwartz, LW, StL (LW42)
242. Viktor Arvidsson, RW, Nsh (RW43)
243. Gabriel Vilardi, C, LA (C59)
244. Nikita Gusev, LW, Fla (LW43)
245. Anthony Beauvillier, LW, NYI (LW44)
246. Calle Jarnkrok, C, Nsh (C60)
247. Nikita Zaitsev, D, Ott (D69)
248. Josh Manson, D, Ana (D70)
249. Luke Kunin, C, Nsh (C61)
250. Jeff Skinner, LW, Buf (LW45)