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2017 NFL RANKINGS: WEEK 7
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Freddie Hamilton Headshot

Hamilton was a healthy scratch for Thursday's 2-1 loss to Carolina.

Hamilton has only suited up for one game this season, and while he registered an assist in the contest, he found himself right back in the press box Thursday. The 25-year-old forward projects to remain off the fantasy radar in most settings.
8:07 am (EST)
Mikael Backlund Headshot

Backlund failed to register a point for the third consecutive game during Thursday's 2-1 loss to Carolina.

Following a breakout, 53-point showing in 2016-17, Backlund has struggled to duplicate last season's success with just two goals and three points through the first seven games this year. The center is a key cog for the Flames and is usually matched up against the opponent's best scorers, so his role isn't ideal for fantasy purposes. Still, with an average of 18:47 of ice time per game (including 2:20 on the power play), Backlund is in position to turn the corner sooner than later.
8:05 am (EST)
Johnathan Joseph Headshot

Joseph was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 6 following his performance in a 33-17 win over the Browns.

Joseph intercepted Cleveland quarterback Kevin Hogan twice, one he returned 82 yards for a touchdown. Along with the picks, he had three tackles (two solo), one tackle for a loss and three passes defensed. The 33-year-old Joseph has taken on an expanded role in the secondary this season with the departure of A.J. Bouye in free agency and Kevin Johnson's knee injury.
8:05 am (EST)
Marc Staal Headshot

Staal recorded an assist, on shot, two blocked shots and two hits over 22:42 of ice time during Thursday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Islanders.

The helper improves Staal to a goal and three points through eight games. After registering just three tallies and seven assists over 72 games last season, he's off to a much better start offensively this year. However, he's more of a meat-and-potatoes defenseman, and it's probably still wise to steer clear in most fantasy settings.
7:57 am (EST)
Jimmy Vesey Headshot

Vesey registered two shots and five hits with a plus-2 rating during Thursday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Islanders.

The 24-year-old winger is still searching for his first point of the season and has just 16 shots and 10 hits on the campaign. Clearly, Vesey is looking for answers after collecting 16 goals and 27 points as a rookie in 2016-17. At this stage of the game, it's difficult to advocate for Vesey in most fantasy setups, but he still offers some cross-category potential for deep leagues.
7:53 am (EST)
Mathew Barzal Headshot

Barzal scored a goal and recorded three shots through 18:03 of ice time -- 2:05 with the man advantage -- during Thursday's 4-3 win over the Rangers.

The 2015 first-round pick projects to stick with the big club all season after a two-game cup of coffee last year. Barzal has now collected a goal and an assist through his past two games, and his 18:03 of ice time was a season high. It's not too early to speculatively add the 20-year-old forward in deep settings. He owns tremendous offensive upside.
7:49 am (EST)
Calvin de Haan Headshot

De Haan collected an assist and logged 19:46 of ice time during Thursday's 4-3 shootout win over the Rangers.

While typically not a viable fantasy asset, de Haan now has three assists, a plus-3 rating, four PIM, seven hits and five blocked shots through his past four games. It's probably still not time to grab him off the waiver wire in most settings, but he is coming off a career-best 25 points last season. De Haan is also in the heart of his prime, and his modest cross-category production could potentially be of value in deeper leagues.
7:43 am (EST)
Sergei Bobrovsky Headshot

Bobrovsky saved 19 of 21 shots during Thursday's 2-0 loss to Tampa Bay. It was his first defeat of the season.

The reigning Vezina Trophy winner is now 4-1 with a sterling .946 save percentage and 1.58 GAA. Bobrovsky has picked up where he left off last season, and he should continue to be viewed as a high-end asset in all settings. With Columbus appearing set for another playoff appearance, sustaining an injury is likely the biggest risk to Bobrovsky's fantasy stock.
7:37 am (EST)
Henrik Lundqvist Headshot

Lundqvist stopped 35 of 38 shots but just one of three shootout attempts during Thursday's 4-3 loss to the Islanders.

Lundqvist is 1-3-2 with a .905 save percentage and 3.15 GAA through seven appearances this season, and the Rangers are in the basement of the Metropolitan Division with just four points and a single win. All the blame doesn't fall on the veteran goalie, of course, but it's certainly proving quickly to be a poor fantasy setup. Historically, Lundqvist has been a little bit of a slow starter over the years, and on paper, the Rangers should probably be more competitive. Still, the Blueshirts are allowing the second most high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes (13.8), so there are likely both systematic and personnel shortcomings at work here.
7:30 am (EST)
Jaroslav Halak Headshot

Halak saved 38 of 41 shots and two of three shootout attempts during Thursday's 4-3 win over the Rangers.

The veteran netminder has now allowed three goals in each of his four starts for a 2-2 record, .906 save percentage and 2.96 GAA. At 32, Halak's best years are likely behind him, and he probably shouldn't be viewed as anything other than a matchup-based option in the majority of fantasy settings. Expect Halak and Thomas Greiss to continue splitting starts in a near 50-50 timeshare moving forward.
7:21 am (EST)
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