Eastern Edge: Forward Fantasy Tiers, From Matthews to Suter

Brennan Des

2022-09-27

This week, Grant Campbell and I organized the league's forwards into tiers based on projected fantasy value this season. Grant covers the Western Conference here at DobberHockey, and you can check out his forward tiers in the West over here. Below, you'll find my tiered ranking of forwards in the East. There's some subjectivity baked into these rankings, so think of them as a guide for your own thinking rather than a concrete list you need to follow. Tiers were created with multicategory leagues (goals, assists, power-play points, shots, hits, blocks) in mind. I couldn't provide a write-up for players in all tiers, so if you're wondering why a certain player is in one of the lower tiers, feel free to leave a comment below!

Tier 1

Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs) – Led the league in goal scoring last season, lighting the lamp 60 times over 73 games. Goals are rarer than assists, so the league's top goal scorer is understandably one of the most valuable assets in fantasy hockey. He's a high-volume shooter who benefits from playing with a star-studded supporting cast in Toronto. With Matthews, you can expect elite production in all situations.

Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning) – Has scored at or above a 100-point pace in each of the last four seasons. In that span, his 1.43 points per game is second to only Connor McDavid (1.59 points per game). He's a key part of an elite power play in Tampa Bay and emphasized his value when he racked up 30 points with the man advantage through 47 outings last year – leading the league in power play points per game.

Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) – Last season, at the age of 36, Ovi put together one of his best campaigns in recent years, scoring at a 96-point pace. I've been projecting an age-related decline for years now and he just keeps getting better, so I refuse to bet against him anymore. He may be 37 years old, but he remains a top asset in multicategory leagues because of his consistently elite contributions in categories like goals, shots, hits, and power-play points.

Tier 2

Artemi Panarin (New York Rangers) – Having flirted with a 110-point pace in each of the last three seasons, there's an argument th