What's poppin, Razzpimples? Ya boi JKJ is back for another year of fantasy hockey content here at Razzball! Going a different route this time around, though. I'm gonna be your D daddy! No, no, not that kind of D, ya silly goose! Defenders. All the defenders. I don't exactly know why, but I've taken a real liking to that position. If you're familiar with my baseball work, I handle all the RP business. Taken a liking to relievers in baseball, and in hockey it's the defenders.
We're keeping it moving here at Razzball Hockey HQ today looking at the top 20 defensemen in my 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Rankings. My goaltending rankings and top 20 overall are easily available on the Razzball Hockey home page.  Unlike when I made a list of players that I considered for my Top 20 overall where I had 35 potential candidates, I only wrote down 22 names for Top 20 defenseman candidates.  Defensemen remains an extremely top heavy positions, so differentiating the players in the 11-50 range will go a long way.  Last year, I nailed Ekblad as an elite D ranking him 6th, and also had DeAngelo and McAvoy well above consensus in my Top 20.  Andersson and Seider were my big wins lower down.  For failures, Barrie and Petry lead the way, along with ranking Doughty too low.  Let's hope for better this time around.  Let's get to it!
Who would have thought that a seven point game wouldn't get the opening?  It would take something extravagant and that's what happened, with Jason Robertson scoring back-to-back hat tricks. R0bertson carried the Stars to victory on Friday scoring three on seven shots, including the overtime winner.  He capped it off with an empty netter to seal the game against Minnesota on Sunday, totaling six shots and two PIM with his hat trick.  That brings Robertson to a whopping 29+25 in 47 games and three shots per game.  Robertson seemingly came out of nowhere last season to earn a second place finish in the Calder race.  Now, the sky appears to be the limit.  Robertson is still only 22 years old and has his center of the present and future already with him.  It looks like the Stars have their new Benn and Seguin.  They can only hope Hintz and Robertson reach that level, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.  I don't think Robertson quite cracks the top 20 for the rest of the season and next year, but he's a slam dunk top 50 player.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
What's up, Razzball hockey nerds! I'm filling in for Viz this week, who's doing some traveling. Let's start off by giving some love to Tanner Jeannot. At the time of writing this, the dude is still only 47% rostered on Yahoo despite being the #94 overall player in standard formats. He brings massive value in the hits category, clocking in as the #4 forward (and #5 player) in that regard. But he's not your Clutterbuck or Reaves type who isn't scoring any points. Nay, Jeannot has 17 G and 14 A in 51 GP this year. On Tuesday, Jeannot netted two more goals on 3 SOG, chipping in a +2 rating and 6 H, which is a badass freakin line in a standard format. Oh yeah! And if you're a PIM-leaguer, Jeannot is elite there as well, with 87 on the year. All this from a 24-year-old I'd never heard of and who went undrafted, ultimately being signed by the Preds last year and appearing in 15 games. He's an every day-er now, and I think it's safe to say he's found a very comfortable home in the NHL. Here's what stood out over the last couple days of action:
Since Dougie Hamilton went down with a broken jaw, the Devils have been in a massive tailspin.  It got much worse over the last two nights as Toronto beat them 6-4 and 7-1 going into the All-Star Break.  The hope is that Hamilton will be back after the break, and it's obvious that they need him on the blue line.  Toronto was led by Mitch Marner, who had three goals and four assists with nine shots between the top games.  Marner has multiple points in six of his last seven games, including a goal in all seven games.  I wrote a couple weeks ago that Marner was about to get hot and get past the point per game mark, but he did it much faster than I anticipated.  It helps that he moved to the top line again, as Auston Matthews had four goals and two assists between the two games.  When these two are clicking, it's as dangerous of a combo that there is in the league.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
For players that aren't superstars, Cam Atkinson is among the best for having games that he completely dominates.  He did that on Tuesday night, scoring a hat trick on seven shots and adding an assist in the 6-1 Flyers win over the Devils.  Atkinson is pushing three shots per game with 12+7 in 27 games.  He has eight points in the last seven games and is receiving more ice time since Yeo took over as the coach.  That's enough to make him a hold in all formats.  Let's take a look at what else happened on Tuesday night:
It wasn't hard to figure out who to feature in the opening paragraph tonight.  Andre Burakovsky started off the weekend with two goals on six shots against the Red Wings and finished it off with a hat trick on six shots against the Panthers.  That brings Burakovsky to 12+8 in 24 games on the season, quite the respectable total.  He's still available in 40% of leagues and that needs to change immediately.  With Gabriel Landeskog out for two weeks, Burakovsky is playing on the top line and top power play unit.  That's enough to make him must own in all formats, and he showed why on Sunday, getting a hat trick in a tough matchup.  It should be an excellent December for Burakovsky and hopefully it continues into the New Year.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Jeff Skinner scored 40 goals in 2018-19 playing on the first line with the Sabres.  Then, for no reason at all, Ralph Krueger decided that Skinner shouldn't play on the first line anymore.  Last season, Krueger thought that Skinner, on a team devoid of talent, should play on the fourth line, or even be scratched.  Needless to say, Krueger was one of the worst coaches in the league and quickly lost his job.  Since Don Granato took over, Skinner has been back in the role he should be, and he's been thriving in the early part of this season.  Skinner scored two goals and added an assist on Saturday against the Maple Leafs.  He has 5+4 in 14 games so far with a whopping 47 shots on goal.  The shot volume will go a long way towards Skinner finding his goal scoring touch again.  I don't think he's a slam dunk hold in 12'ers just yet, but he's an elite streamer with clear upside in his role.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
We're keeping it moving here at Razzball with the Top 40 defensemen.  If you didn't see the top 20, you can read that here.  I have some good news as well!  JKJ, who writes on the baseball side of things, is going to be helping me out with hockey this year.  He's going to have a weekly post during the season to focus on streaming.  As of now, the plan is for that to come out on Thursdays to cover the weekend since streaming is prevalent on Friday and Saturday.  Additionally, he's going to do quick team previews for the entire league.  Look out for those starting next week!  Now let's get to the top 40:
The Washington Capitals have received plenty of criticism for their blockbuster trade on Monday.  If things go like they did on Tuesday, I'm sure they'll have no complaints.  Anthony Mantha scored a goal and added an assist with six shots in the 6-1 win over the Capitals.  If it wasn't for a spectacular Elliott save, Mantha would have had a three point game right off the rip.  I wrote in the trade deadline blog that I would have added Mantha right away after the trade for the upside.  If you were slow to pull the trigger, odds are somebody else in your league already grabbed him, but go check.  He's still available in about 25% of leagues and he needs to be owned everywhere, especially with Washington playing the Sabres tonight.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: