Todd Bertuzzi has seven goals and 16 points, but is a minus-11 with the Flames this season. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
We’re just past the first quarter of the NHL season and fantasy owners are changing strategy. Let’s get to some letters!
Brenden Morrow just became available in my keeper league; is he worth a look? I'm currently sixth out of eight teams. Also, is this Jiri Hudler's breakout year? After the regular season our teams will go into playoffs.
Joel, Carstairs, Alta.
Hi Joel, regarding Morrow – it would depend on the price. I think he could help you in the playoffs and if you are in sixth place it would also help your team next season, while giving you a good draft position for this coming summer. As for Hudler – I think this is his breakout year, but I think he still has more to give.
Should I drop Todd Bertuzzi? His plus/minus rating is hurting me and he recently got demoted to the second line and second PP unit. There are a few decent options available in my league on waivers: Loui Eriksson, Patrick O'Sullivan, Bill Guerin, David Perron, and Lee Stempniak.
Mike, Hamilton, Ont.
Mike, I would switch Bertuzzi for Eriksson even if Bert’s plus/minus wasn’t dreadful. That’s a no-brainer. See my Saturday article for more on Eriksson.
Hey Dobber, I've got two guys holding me in the middle of my pool: Gaborik and Nylander. Any word on Gaborik's return?
Paul, Olds, Alta.
First of all, I don’t think you will get any help from Michael Nylander until he is traded, unless Nicklas Backstrom gets injured. A Nylander trade probably won’t happen for a couple of months yet, if it goes down at all. Regarding Marian Gaborik, he is no longer even skating because his lower body injury is not healing. The team is very hush-hush about his injury, but rumors range from a back problem to a return to his sore groin days. I don’t think you’ll see him in game action until the New Year, at best.
I'm in a points-only league. Is Joe Sakic worth keeping on my roster for the year?
Keith, Kenora, Ont.
I’m not sure who your options are to replace Sakic, Keith. Assuming there’s some decent waiver picks available I would say no. I don’t know if Sakic can give you even 40 good games this season. His back does not seem to be improving at all.
Hey Dobber, should I trade my Fleury and Cheechoo (I also have Price and Ellis) for Kovalchuk and Vokoun?
Wyatt, Oakville, Ont.
Hi Wyatt, looking at your other wingers (not shown) I see that you are set in that position. Given that Dan Ellis has a losing record and Pekka Rinne is undefeated (and Tomas Vokoun and backup Craig Anderson have similar results), I would be worried about going with a Carey Price/Vokoun/Ellis combination. As such, I would stick with Price and Marc-Andre Fleury. It would be nice to add Ilya Kovalchuk, but goaltending is too important in most leagues.
I'm in a standard Yahoo! fantasy head-to-head league. I drafted Cam Ward and Mathieu Garon as my goalies. Garon is not working out. There are limited choices on the free agent market: Gerber, Leclaire, Mason, and MacDonald. Should I switch goalies?
Jeremy, New York
I would swap Garon out for MacDonald, unless by “Mason” you mean Steve, as opposed to Chris, then I would go with Steve Mason. Pascal Leclaire is too injury-prone and with Martin Gerber you are stepping backwards. Joey MacDonald may play for a weak team, but his numbers are surprisingly decent.
Hey Dobber, I’m in a one-year pool and Jovanovski is killing me. Lead of the pool is within sight, but I can't seem to break in. I have one trade per season, but I think if I want to breakout I need a better point getter. Can you think of anyone out there who would be better? Maybe Blake, Weber, Souray, McCabe?
Hey James, if you only have one trade I am not sure I would use it now to replace Ed Jovanovski. The Coyotes have yet to hit a solid hot streak – and all teams have at least one. When that happens, he’ll get his points. I know Shea Weber is tempting, but his point-per-game pace won’t last. He’ll have a breakout 60- or 65-point season, which means another 40 points for the rest of the season. Jovo-cop will probably get 35 points going forward, so a swap like that would only gain you about five points. Save your deal!
Note regarding the Fantasy Mailbag – it is important to indicate whether or not 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 Wednesday throughout the season. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.
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