By this point in the campaign, you have a clear picture of all the players who were complete and utter busts. Some will bounce back next year; some you can just write off for good.
Drop the following players in your keeper league in the off-season or trade them to someone who still has faith:
Kyle Wellwood, Toronto: He is a completely different player now. The talent is there, but it is as if he is scared to get into traffic. He reminds me of Nikolai Borschevsky when he returned from a serious injury. Wellwood is still young, but I doubt the magic will return.
Dainius Zubrus, New Jersey: You should have seen this one coming in the summer – Patrik Elias is no Alex Ovechkin, so a repeat of the Washington numbers was impossible. Now you have proof. Dump him.
Michal Handzus, Los Angeles: He looked great during eight games in Chicago and with added responsibility in L.A., more was expected. His 19 points and minus-20 rating says it all and I don’t see an upside with him anymore.
Slava Kozlov, Atlanta: From 80 points to a projected 40. From a contract year to financial stability. You’ll be lucky to see him bounce back to 60. Let him go.
Bill Guerin, Islanders: His 50-point days are behind him, which makes the 37-year-old a reserve fantasy player at best.
Darcy Tucker, Toronto: He’ll still hold value in leagues that count penalty minutes, but the feisty winger has proven his 61 points in 2005-06 were the exception and not the rule.
Tom Poti, Washington: He had 44 points a year ago and he joined a power play that included Ovechkin this season. Poti will be lucky to reach 30 points. He’s had enough chances – none bigger than this one.
Mike Modano, Dallas: The one-time superstar will likely finish with around 56 points. Like Guerin, he will be relegated to deep reserve lists next season, as I don’t see a bounce back at the age of 38. Too big a name to drop, but trade him for any return possible.
Glen Murray, Boston: Injuries have shortened the length of his career from a fantasy perspective. They won’t allow him to play more than 70 games and thus 50 points will never happen again.
Ales Kotalik, Buffalo: He teased us with 62 points back in 2006, but if he can’t even come close to those numbers in a season in which Buffalo has been hit by loss due to free agency (Daniel Briere, Chris Drury) and injury (Tim Connolly, Maxim Afinogenov), then when will it happen? I’ll tell you when: Never.
Ryan Malone, Pittsburgh: He’s a multi-category stud and he’s having a career season, so this “write-off” only applies to leagues that count strictly points. The 28-year-old is having a career season, but playing with the superstars who he plays with he’s on pace to finish with 50 points? What’s the point of hanging onto him any longer?
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