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So many players, so little time

Marian Hossa is on pace for 28 goals and 75 points this season.

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Marian Hossa is on pace for 28 goals and 75 points this season.

With the holiday season ending, it’s time to get back to the business of hockey pools, so let’s dive right in.

Dobber, I'm in a 12-team roto keeper league with every stat counting. It's the first year for the pool, but it's also my first year in a keeper pool. Our roster currently consists of 23 players, but we only keep 17 at the end of the year. My problem is I have more than 17 guys I really want to keep. What is your plan in this situation at this time of the year?
Dustin, Halifax, N.S.


I am in this situation quite a bit, Dustin. I try to swing two-for-one deals, even for marginal gains. If I can get the tiniest of upgrades to my roster, I will pull the trigger. For example, if I have two wingers who I think will get 65 points next season, I would try and package them both for a winger whom I feel will get 70. A small boost, to be sure, but I am pushing my keeper total downward and the quality of the keepers upward. You have to tailor this to your needs, of course, but don’t give up until you have pared your roster down to 17 guys you want to hang on to.

In fact, sometimes it is easier to have the other party throw in a ‘bum.’ In my example above, if you deal two 65-point players for a 70-point player and say, Sergei Samsonov, the other owner would tend to jump at the deal even more than they would if they didn’t have to throw in Samsonov. This is because they feel they are getting some sort of return for Samsonov, so they feel better about the trade. It doesn’t hurt you any, because you can turn around and leave the ‘bum’ unprotected. Psychology at work!

Simple as this, Marian Hossa or Jaromir Jagr?
Chris, Lower Mainland, B.C.


Chris, I think Jagr will really step up his game going forward and reach the 80-point mark in the end. However, Hossa is still the better route to go – both in keeper, as well as one-year leagues.

Hey Dobber. Big fan of your site/articles as they have saved my season. I am currently in second in a points-only pool. For goalies, we give two for a win and three for a shutout. I currently have Tim Thomas, but Ilya Bryzgalov, Nikolai Khabibulin and Olaf Kolzig are all available. Thomas is on the better team, but the others are workhorses who will hopefully get more wins due to starts. What do you think?
Arvind, Vancouver, B.C.


I would make the switch to Bryzgalov. He will get 90 percent of the starts going forward and is playing extremely well as the No. 1 for Phoenix. Snap him up immediately.

Hi Dobber, I have Cory Murphy in a league that executes an Equalization Draft on Jan. 8. By Jan. 7, I have to decide to keep Brian Pothier or Murphy. I like Murphy's upside, but there are ongoing questions related to his injured shoulder. Your insight into Murphy's potential return date would be helpful.
Mike, Campbell River


The most recent update I have on Murphy is from last week. He had his shoulder X-rayed again, but doctors still are not finding any structural damage. Nobody knows why his shoulder is still bothering him and what was initially an injury that was only supposed to keep him out of two games is now up to 20 and counting. While he could very well return in as little as a week, I wouldn’t count on it, nor would I take the chance in my league. Choose Pothier.

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag appears Wednesdays only on The Hockey News.com. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.

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