It’s that slow time of year when keeper league owners are champing at the bit for fantasy hockey talk. Let’s get to some letters.
Just a quick question here, I wanted to know your feelings on what kind of season we can expect from Ville Leino in Detroit. Some see him as a top-six guy who could out-score Fabian Brunnstrom - who got all the hype while Leino went under the radar to a strong Red Wings team. How many points could I expect from him?
Hi Sabin, the Red Wings bring all of their European gems along slowly. I’m not saying Leino will be a gem – he could be, but that’s not certain. However, regardless if he is a gem or not, he will not have fantasy value next season. Pavel Datsyuk (35 points his first year), Henrik Zetterberg (44 points) and Johan Franzen (16 points) were all brought in slowly and only began to shine after a couple of seasons. This year, Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler are better bets. Give Leino at least a season to see what he’s got, but I would guess he will post somewhere in the 30-point range.
I'm reading a lot about these keeper leagues. Where is the best place to get a keeper league started up online?
Chris, Dartmouth, N.S.
Please help me learn the rules/guidelines of fantasy hockey. I would like to learn. Also, how would I join a fantasy hockey pool? I appreciate any help you can give me. I am very grateful my grandfather took me to hockey games to see the Pittsburgh Hornets and then the Penguins. I was hooked right away. Thanks Canada for the greatest game in the world.
Bill, Franklin, Va.
Hi Chris and Bill, you can start these up with your friends, or you can start one online with other fanatics. If you visit my site http://www.dobberhockey.com, there’s a link on the left hand side titled "Starting a pool." In there are a few different sets of keeper league rules to start with a group of friends. There are also many online forums (DobberHockey included) where you can find a bunch of people who will go in on one with you. Trust me – you’ll love being in a genuine fantasy hockey keeper league!
I got Pavel Datsyuk for Henrik Sedin and a first and second round pick last year in a top-eight keeper league. After the playoff run, people are beating down my door with offers – do you think Datsyuk will suffer from playoff burnout next season and should I deal him while his value is high? I also have Henrik Zetterberg.
Shakey, Edmonton, Alta.
Always listen to offers, Shakey. Datsyuk has a price; just make sure you are comfortable with what you are getting in return.
Hey Darryl, I have a fantasy league team and won a 10-team league. After finishing first, I broke the team up; I do have eight of the first 20 picks in the draft. Can you put a list together of players under 22 years old who may be impact players in the next year or two? A 20-player list would be great if you could, please.
Ed, Hamilton, Ont.
Sure Ed, I will rule out any player who has already had 60 points and only look at those who could step up within the next two seasons.
Here is my top 16 forwards under 21 years old (in order):
Jonathan Toews, Peter Mueller, Steven Stamkos, Sam Gagner, Nikita Filatov, Kyle Turris, Andrew Cogliano, Jordan Staal, Phil Kessel, Claude Giroux, Mikael Backlund, Sergei Kostitsyn, T.J. Oshie, Kyle Okposo, Derick Brassard, Patrik Berglund.
Here are my top seven defensemen under 21 years old (in order):
Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson, Kris Letang, Anton Stralman, Kris Russell, Drew Doughty, Brian Lee.
Mike Richards vs. Daymond Langkow? I’m in a fantasy hockey pool with an 18-man roster where we keep one player per position. For centre I have the option to go either with the Flyers' Mike Richards or the Flames' Daymond Langkow. Richards had a great year and is a great all-around player, but I'm not convinced he will steadily produce the same type of numbers. On the other hand, Langkow has steadily put up decent numbers in the past few years, but has been mainly on a line with Jarome Iginla. With Mike Cammalleri coming to Calgary could Langkow end up being the No.2 centre? Who would you keep? Any advice?
Travis, Montreal, Que.
Even if Richards does not repeat last season’s numbers, you have to go with him because his upside trounces Lankow’s and his downside doesn’t go very low.
Who do I keep, Jeff Carter or Nikolai Zherdev? Carter’s linemates, ice time and second unit PP time concern me, but I like him more as a real player, just maybe not fantasy. Zherdev, I love his skill and his hands. He put up decent numbers in a bad situation last year, but can disappear sometimes. Who would you keep in a straight points league?
Craig, Milton, Ont.
Very tough call and all of your points are valid. If it were me I would keep Carter, but it could come back to bite you. Flip a coin!
I've been offered Turris for Toews? Should I bite?
Joe, Vancouver, B.C.
In a points-only keeper league, yes you should because Turris’ upside is higher. In a one-year league, no you should not.
Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag will appear on the last Wednesday of every month throughout the playoffs and off-season. The weekly edition will begin again in September. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.
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