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Dealing with hype

Peter Forsberg is on the verge of returning, so he might be good to pick up now and trade later.

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Peter Forsberg is on the verge of returning, so he might be good to pick up now and trade later.

The NHL deadline is just under three weeks away and many fantasy leagues use the same date for their own deadline – it’s crunch time! Let’s get to some letters…

Tim Connolly is just too soft to be an NHL player...he has all the skill in the world but should play in a non-hitting league. Should I expect 50 games tops out of him?
KC, Vancouver, B.C.


Not bad…with Connolly I have been using 58 as a benchmark – greater than 55 and not quite 60. I use this not just for this season, but every season until Connolly shows me he can stay healthy.

I am waaaaaay over my maximum games in my pool, like +46 for centers and similar numbers for virtually every other position except goaltending. My question is, how does one avoid being over the maximum games and then facing not being able to play players at the end of the year? Also, what is the point of having such a system? I mean, they're your players, and there's a rule on how many times you can play them? It is ludicrous in my opinion. So is the answer just to bench my guys or should I continue to play them? I'm in third out of 11, in a somewhat high stakes pool. So what is the point of maximum games and what should I do in your opinion? Thank you,
John, Toronto, Ont.


The maximum games system is in place for fairness. Without it, you could own six centermen for four positions and whenever a pivot has the night off just activate one that is on the bench. By the end of the season, you could end up getting 450 games from your centers, while everyone else has 350, or 400, or even 500 games! Without limits, and with a lot of dedicated time, you could almost ice an entire team each and every day of the season. The maximum games system ensures each team in your league cannot exceed 328 games for your four centermen, or 164 games for your two right wingers, etc. Everyone is on an equal playing field. You should never let your maximum games get too far over the limit or by the end of the season your best players may be automatically benched. For your particular situation, John, you are probably third because you played more games than anyone else and by April you will see a few teams leapfrog over you. Here is how you fix it – bench your worst players at your overplayed positions. Bench just one per position for now, but you may have to bench a second one if your numbers don’t go down fast enough. Do this immediately. If you don’t, your top player could get five points in one April game and it won’t count for you.

Hey Dobber. Here's my problem. I have ended up with four right wingers. They are Patrick Kane, Teemu Selanne, Shane Doan and Milan Hejduk. I hope I can make a two-for-one deal; either two right wingers for one, or a right winger and goalie and pick up a goalie. My goalies now are Ilya Bryzgalov, Cam Ward and Kari Lehtonen. Who would you try to part with?
Roger, Vita, Man.


I would capitalize on the Selanne hype and the inconsistency of Ward and combine them to upgrade a goaltender. Selanne will be great, but not as good as the hype. Ward will also get you more return than Lehtonen.

Should I pick up Peter Forsberg before news breaks on him to ensure I don't get beat to the punch, or should I wait it out a little longer?
Drew, Buffalo, N.Y.


I would. If only so I could trade him. Another example of taking advantage of the hype. Forsberg’s legend precedes him.

Hi Dobber, Who in this year’s rookie class would make the best keeper picks?
David, Orangeville, Ont.


Nicklas Backstrom in Washington is tops, followed by Peter Mueller in Phoenix and Patrick Kane in Chicago (who are neck and neck). Jonathan Toews already has a couple of injuries, which is why he is down to fourth as far as keeper leagues are concerned. Tobias Enstrom will be a top-scoring rearguard for years to come and I like him fifth. Erik Johnson will also put up big points and is a close sixth – other stat categories would push him above Enstrom and even Toews. Now we get into the nitty-gritty, so here they are in order: Kris Letang manning future potent Penguin power plays, Sam Gagner will be a special player in Edmonton, followed by Andrew Cogliano. Sergei Kostitsyn’s stock has risen this year and I like him next, followed by Minnesota’s James Sheppard and Phoenix’s Martin Hanzal. Jack Johnson will be a great defenseman, but I can’t help but think you will be waiting five or six years for him to break out.

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

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