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Neither Jason Spezza nor Dany Heatley have been able to get the Senators on the right track this season. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Neither Jason Spezza nor Dany Heatley have been able to get the Senators on the right track this season. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Heading into the Christmas break, poolies can finally take a breather. But does the mind of a fantasy hockey owner really ever leave this wonderful world? Let’s get to some letters!
 
Hey Dobber, I'm in a keeper league that uses a salary cap ($10 million more than the NHL's - using NHLPA numbers for player’s salaries). I currently have Jason Spezza and he really hasn't produced this year like I would have thought. I've held on to him in hopes that he would turn it around, but now I'm not sure he will. Should I drop him from my roster and pick up Mats Sundin?
Mark, Hamilton, Ont.

 
I understand your frustration with Spezza, Mark. I would consider doing this in a one-year league, but I cannot justify making a move like this in a keeper. Spezza tantalizes me with an upside that can only be matched by a handful of NHL players.
 
Ok boss. I have a real problem here. Keeper league. Points only. I just acquired Ovechkin in a trade. I am now being offered Kyle Turris, Ales Hemsky, a second round pick in next year’s draft and Erik Johnson (10 total rounds - 10 teams) for Ovechkin, Kyle Okposo and my tenth round pick. What Would Dobber Do? I am inclined to just hang onto Ovechkin and let his skill ride into the fantasy sunset.
2legit2quit

 
I wouldn’t trade Ovechkin for this package - it would take a lot for me to part with him and this package is not even close.
 
Dobber, it seems whenever I have Mike Richards in my pool, Marc Savard gets hot, but when I trade to get Savard, it's Richards who gets hot. I've traded back and forth several times now and it's getting annoying. This is not a keeper league, so simply: Richards or Savard?
Tim, Drayton, Ont.

 
To me it’s an easy call – Marc Savard. Not only does he have a longer history of producing the big numbers, but also his upside is easily 10 points higher than that of Richards.
 
Joe Thornton has been lighting it up for me this year, but would I be better off with Ryan Getzlaf in a non-keeper league?
Jon, the “nomad”

 
I would rather own Thornton, unless goals in your league are weighted heavily. In the end, Big Joe should top Getzlaf by 10 or 15 points and he is a second-half stud.
 
Hey Dobber, I’m in a keeper league and sitting right now in first place. In our league we count G, A, PIM, plus-minus, SHG and for Goalies W, GA, SV, SO and I have been offered Mike Richards and Brent Burns in exchange for my Pavel Datsyuk and Ryan Miller. I love Richards and am intrigued by this deal.
Kay, Vancouver

 
Hi Kay, goaltending accounts for four out of your nine categories, but in all likelihood they only account for two out of 20 spots on the active roster. That means they are at a premium and you should not do this deal under any circumstances. Furthermore, Datsyuk is far better to own than Richards, so you would be giving up the best player in the deal as well.
 
Dobber, I'm in a simple pool, consisting of a number of columns, which you pick one player out of each, that’s your team. I'm faring well, except for two columns... Column 8 I have Brian Rolston (N.J.) and Column 9 I have Mike Fisher (Ott.). In the New Year, I am allowed one trade. I know you don’t have the info on who else is in each column, but I'm more interested in which player you think is going to turn it around in the New Year. Thanks.
Peter, Waterloo, Ont.

 
Hi Peter, at this point I am not willing to stick my neck out about any Ottawa player for the second half. I would drop Fisher like a bad habit. He does have his hot streaks, but barring a coaching change I am far too nervous about this team’s ability to score goals.
 
I’m in a deep keeper Yahoo league (six goalie stat categories) and I have to look to next year (or later this year) for a guy who has a great chance to come up and take the No. 1 job. Who would you target...in order please? Thanks
Steve, St. Louis

 
Using the list you gave me, I would go with the following order:
1.    Simeon Varlamov, WAS
2.    Pekka Rinne, NAS
3.    Tuukka Rask, BOS
4.    Jimmy Howard, DET
 
I think all four of these goalies have bright NHL futures and I believe Rinne will be the No. 1 in Nashville by the end of this year. Varlamov may not be No. 1 next year, but he has a shot (the way Jose Theodore is playing). As for Rask – I’m not so sure he will be a starter next year, but he will probably be the best goaltender in this group eventually.
 
Hey Dobber, I am in a head-to-head keeper league that counts W, GAA, and SP for goaltenders. My current goaltenders are Miikka Kiprusoff, Dan Ellis and Brent Johnson (with Martin Brodeur on my IR). Ilya Bryzgalov is currently available in the FA pool and I was wondering if he is worth picking up in favor of Ellis or Johnson. Ellis has played well lately, but can't seem to pick up wins and Johnson is in a dogfight with Theodore for the No. 1 spot in Washington (he also seems to be only effective when playing at home). Any suggestions?
Ross, Winnipeg, Man.

 
Easy call – swap Johnson for Bryzgalov. Especially after seeing the Phoenix goalie’s performance over the past few contests.
 
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.

Related Links

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Get the edge in your league - check out the latest scoop every Tuesday and Saturday throughout the season. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the 1st of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.

Do you have a question about fantasy hockey? Send it to the Fantasy Mailbag.

Want more fantasy insider information or to contact The Dobber? Check out dobberhockey.com.

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