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Here are the top 10 defensemen you should target for your fantasy hockey draft, and why:

1. Mike Green
Worthy of the #1 overall pick, if your league places any significant value on defensemen. He's a lock in for the top blueliner in 2009, as he has been for the past 2 seasons.

2. Sergei Gonchar
Say what you must about about Crosby and Malkin, but the truth is, the Penguins weren't even in the playoff hunt while Gonchar was missing. He's the best power play skater in the league, and with the talent around him in Pittsburgh, he'll be back in the top 5 scoring d-men for sure.

3. Shea Weber
Weber was slowed down by injury in 2007-08, but got back on his upward track last season. He could push the 30 goal marker this season. Put him in your top tier of defense.

4. Zdeno Chara
If your league values penalty minutes, you should plan on snagging Chara as early as possible. If not, you should still rank him pretty high. He's been scoring goals consistently for years and was finally rewarded with his first Norris Trophy in 2008-09. Chara should match his performance this season.

5. Jay Bouwmeester
Bouwmeester has arrived as a top notch defenseman. Now that he's set to be released from Southern Florida, expect him to flourish and score even more. Bouwmeester could challenge for the Norris this season in Calgary.

6. Dion Phaneuf
Phaneuf was a bit of a disappointment in 2008, only because he had set the bar so high for himself in his first 3 seasons. He still managed to score 47 points, even if it was the lowest total he's posted yet. Phaneuf will bounce back and finish in the top 10 again this season.

7. Dan Boyle
After receiving the blessing of being banished from Tampa Bay, Boyle hit the jackpot by landing in San Jose. He quickly re-established himself as one of the league's best defensemen, particularly from a fantasy hockey perspective. He'll keep the pace up next season, so rank him as high as you wish.

8. Nicklas Lidstrom
No doubt he's still one of the best in the business; however, he's no longer the #1 choice, as he had been for the last decade. Expect a small dip in production this season, down to the 40-50 point range.

9. Brian Campbell
Campbell slid slightly in production last season, but he should remain a valuable defensive pick this time around. However, there is some reason for concern, based on his reduced playing time in the playoffs.

10. Sheldon Souray
After being limited in 2007 due to injury, Souray came right back and racked up another 23 goals in 08. Assuming he stays healthy, he's the best the Oilers have to offer and will get all the power play time he can handle. Expect him to top 20 goals once again.

For a complete list of fantasy player rankings, visit http://landsharkhockey.ne.../tools/DraftRankings.aspx and customize your own fantasy hockey draft list.
August 28, 2009 9:46 AM ET | Delete
Sheldon Souray - is one dimesional - a 4 yr old could deke him out. He has a big shot and he picks up women about all he can do well.
August 28, 2009 11:06 AM ET | Delete
I agree...Souray can score but that's it...Where is Markov on this list?
August 28, 2009 11:06 AM ET | Delete
You have the vets in there but no break out year for any young and up and coming D that will challenge the top 10. Plus leaving Rafalski off over Souray...interesting he probably is a better bet then Lidstrom this year.
August 28, 2009 11:06 AM ET | Delete
You have the vets in there but no break out year for any young and up and coming D that will challenge the top 10. Plus leaving Rafalski off over Souray...interesting he probably is a better bet then Lidstrom this year.
August 28, 2009 11:08 AM ET | Delete
August 28, 2009 11:29 AM ET | Delete
Redden???...LOL...How about a Duncan Keith, Andrei Markov or Eric Johnson to break out this year?
August 28, 2009 12:10 PM ET | Delete
Your list is severely lacking Neidermayer/Pronger/Markov/Kaberle goodness.
August 28, 2009 1:10 PM ET | Delete
Markov ranked 2nd in the league in points last year, just to clear things up, they also brought him snipers and a shot from the point in Spacek. He will still be 2nd in points behind Mike Green this season. the others are good picks though, alktrhough io think Campbell and J-Bo should be replaced by pronger and kaberle
August 28, 2009 2:58 PM ET | Delete
You obviously do not play in a league that counts Peanalty minutes. Otherwise Pronger would top this list out. Pronger is one of the few players who puts up serious numbers in every skater catagory. He's a one stop shop. Chara too, although Chara had a horrible beginning to last year.Pronger, Phaneuf, Chara, Green, Boyle,Weber, Lidstrom, Niedermeyer, Souray.
August 28, 2009 3:25 PM ET | Delete
you have a list without Rafalski, Kaberle, Markov and Pronger? but you include Souray and Campbell? Methinks thou art mistaken.
August 28, 2009 9:36 PM ET | Delete
didn't you guys know that Pronger will suck this year because he plays for the Flyers? and Markov should be on there.. Over Souray. and Kaberle should be there over Campbell.. with all the pressure off Kabs this ea rabout being traded now that we know it isnt happening.. he should play ALOT better
August 29, 2009 12:56 PM ET | Delete
Kaberle should be on the list, he will play better because he has better defensive partners and should be healthy this year. Souray really? And I dont think Bouwmeester is top 10 in terms of fantasy, he wont put up as many points as you think vs. guys like Markov and Rafalski etc.
August 30, 2009 4:06 AM ET | Delete
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Streit. He's been a top tier point producer for the last couple of years. With no other PP quarterback options on Long Island, and an extra year of development for his young PP line mates, he's virtually guaranteed a top 10 points total again this year. Of course this is assuming that points are the key fantasy factor.
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