At this point, what’s done is done and the rest is up to the players. But that doesn’t mean you can’t prep for your playoff draft or start getting your keeper league squad ready for next season. Let’s get to the letters!
I have been at the bottom of my keeper league for the past two seasons, so I want to make some good off-season decisions to give me a chance to compete next year. We are allowed to keep 6F, 3D, 1G and 4 guys under age 23/164 GP. Guys worth keeping are: Mike Richards, Bryan McCabe, Taylor Hall, Sam Gagner, Paul Martin, Evander Kane, Travis Zajac, Ed Jovanovski, Tomas Tatar, Dustin Brown, Kimmo Timonen, Luca Sbisa, Nathan Horton, Roman Hamrlik, Tyler Ennis, Teddy Purcell, Kris Versteeg, Sergei Bobrovsky, Marc Savard and Tomas Vokoun. Who's on the outside looking in when I select my keepers and what could I do via off-season trade to make things better? (We dress 8F, 4D, 2G each week).
Curtis, Merritt, B.C.
I would not consider keeping Marc Savard, nor would I consider Roman Hamrlik. So that narrows things down a little. Let’s tackle the under-agers first: Ennis, Hall, Tatar and Kane should all be kept. However, since you are only allowed to keep one goaltender, you need to sneak Bobrovsky in under the 23/164 rule (he is 22). Now you get to keep two solid netminders, which is a nice advantage. To me, Tatar is the least proven, so unfortunately he is the odd man out. The six forwards: Richards, Horton, Purcell, Brown, Zajac and Gagner are the only players worth keeping.
Defensemen: McCabe, Timonen and Sbisa are your best bets in terms of trade value. Sbisa is held in high regard in some leagues and I would pursue a trade for him as I don’t think very highly of his upside. So cut Martin, Jovanovski, Tatar, Hamrlik, Savard and Versteeg.
Is it time to give up on Evgeni Malkin? I read a scary article (found via the DobberHockey forums) that suggested Malkin will never be the same. Is it time to bail? I'm in a salary pool and his nearly $9 million is pretty heavy for a 70-point player. Thanks a bunch for (yet more) help.
Dean, Hamilton, Ont.
No. For every article you find speculating one thing, you can find another article with an equal, but opposite reaction. Or am I thinking about physics? Whatever, the answer is still no. Malkin is a “buy low” candidate right now for keeper leaguers.
At the halfway point of the season, Matt Duchene looked like a sure-fire star in the making, but with the Colorado trades it's hard to gauge how good that team will be down the road. At the beginning of the year I would have pegged Duchene as being almost at a Jonathan Toews level fantasy-wise with the potential to be better in the next year or two. Now I'm not sure if he'll even be close to the equal of Toews down the road fantasy-wise. How do you see Duchene going forward?
Jack, London, Ont.
I think Toews will be a consistent 80- to 85-point player. I think Duchene has the potential to be a little better than that. But since Toews is the more proven commodity, he is obviously the better own. But I would think Duchene hits 70 points next year with a shot at 80. He is on the cusp for sure.
I'm in a keeper league that allows you to keep four forwards and one defenseman or three forwards and two defensemen. I currently have Daniel Sedin, Ryan Getzlaf, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Anze Kopitar and Bobby Ryan as well as Ryan Whitney, Drew Doughty, Keith Yandle, Victor Hedman and Kris Letang. Goals count for two points while assists are worth one (GWGs worth three). Who would you keep? I'm thinking Daniel, Ovie, Ryan, Doughty and Yandle.
Sedin, Getzlaf, Ovechkin, Malkin and Yandle would be my picks under that format. The toughest call was Yandle over Doughty, but I would employ the ‘what have you done for me lately’ strategy.
Hey Dobber, I'm looking to pick up a few players in my keeper league not currently playing in the NHL. Which prospects do you think will have the greatest impact next season?
Hey Jerry, as far as drafted players go who are not in the NHL today:
1.Brayden Schenn, Los Angeles
2.Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis
3.Brett MacLean, Phoenix
4.Jeremy Morin, Chicago
5. Zach Boychuk, Carolina
6.Andrei Loktionov, Los Angeles
7. Ryan Johansen, Columbus
8.Mikael Granlund, Minnesota
Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov will be on this list if the Caps can get him out of his Kontinental League contract next season, while current NHLers Mikkel Boedker, Nazem Kadri, Linus Omark, Mattias Tedenby, Jacob Josefson and Nathan Gerbe should all take a step forward.
Where do goalies fit in with your keeper league ratings? I can pick 10 keepers for next year and I think I may keep Miller, Fleury and Quick over players such as Bergeron and Gagner. Thoughts?
Generally you give preference to goaltenders because they are so difficult to acquire, especially proven ones such as Miller, Fleury and Quick. I would keep all three of them over any 70-point player easily. And I would keep Miller and Fleury (because they are the undisputed No. 1 in their city for the long-term) over 85-point players.
Note regarding the Fantasy Mailbag – it is important to indicate whether your league is a keeper league or a one-year league. Also note whether the league is “points only,” “standard roto league,” or if there are any uncommon rules that are important to know. This will help in advising you on the right course of action.
Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag will appear every other Wednesday during the season. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.
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