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Pick and choose

Bobby Ryan has entered the Calder Trophy debate with 29 points in 30 games this season. (Getty Images)

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Bobby Ryan has entered the Calder Trophy debate with 29 points in 30 games this season. (Getty Images)

The mid-season drafts are ending in many fantasy leagues and the trade deadline is on the horizon. Whether you’re righting the ship or completely re-tooling, this month is key for your squad. Let’s get to some letters!

Hi, I am in one-year roto league that has (most major stat) categories (except shots). Our skaters are two centers, a left wing, a right wing and one utility player. Nathan Horton was dumped by an impatient manager and he is eligible for the center and right wing positions in our league. My centers are Joe Thornton and Mats Sundin, my right wingers are Jarome Iginla and Corey Perry. I have no centers on the bench, but plenty of bench right wingers such as Zherdev, Boyes and Backes. Out of them I use Zherdev often as starting utility. Other members in my "bench club" are Coburn, Tanguay and Lucic. Would Horton be worth the waiver? If so, who should I drop from the bench in favor of him?
Tim, Copenhagen, Denmark


Hi Tim, I would add Horton and remove Brad Boyes. The latter is killing your plus/minus whereas Horton is really heating up. His multiple position eligibility is the icing on the cake.

Bobby Ryan - can he keep it up? I have him on my farm team and I want to call him up, but it would mean trading someone like Mueller to get a roster spot and cap space. Can Ryan keep this up for the rest of the year, even when Selanne comes back? Or would I be better off holding onto Mueller in the hopes that he heats up in the second half like he did last year? Or should I consider trading Ryan now while his stock seems incredibly high and try to land a legitimate star like Backstrom on Washington? (Ryan and Mueller for Backstrom). This is a keeper league with NHL salary cap - 14 teams, 18 players per team.
Logan, Calgary


When Selanne returns it will have an effect on Ryan. How much of one? I would say a 10 to 20 percent reduction in his output. There is, however, a small chance Ryan will simply play the other wing on Selanne’s line, which might actually increase things. That being said, I am a believer in Peter Mueller for the second half, so the safe answer is to keep him with your big club. Since that would mean Ryan languishes on your farm, your trade idea sounds like a good one. 

From this point on, who do you think will get more points by the end of the regular season...David Booth or Jordan Staal?
William, Montreal


I predict Staal will beat Booth by two points in the second half. Is that worth making an Earth-shattering transaction in your league? I doubt it.

Dobber, I'm in a lifetime keeper pool where a point is a point. Every week we have to start nine forwards and six D-men. I have a bunch of good young forwards who are a year or two away from being primetime players. However, after my top three D, the rest are very weak. I was just offered John-Michael Liles for Michael Frolik. I'm torn. What do I do?
Dustin, Rumsey, Alta
.

Ask for a draft pick. You can do better than Liles straight up for Frolik. The kid has 18 points in his past 23 games. He’s going to be a good one.

Who is traditionally a top second-half performer? Also, is Tomas Holmstrom a good pickup for the second half? Thanks!
Shawn, Neustadt, Ont.


Actually, it has been my experience that Holmstrom slows down a bit – often getting hurt for a few games in the process. Players I would be looking at include: Derek Roy (who is already heating up), the aforementioned Mueller, Petr Sykora, J-P Dumont, as well as the Big 3 in Ottawa (who are bound to get going) and Jonathan Cheechoo, who always has a much stronger second half. 

Hi Dobber, will Angelo Esposito make it to the Thrashers roster next year?
Stevo, Toronto


No, I seriously doubt it, Stevo. Angelo Esposito owners should be happy if he makes an impact in the American League next season and then makes the jump in 2010-11.

From now to the end of the season in a points-only pool, who do you take? Getzlaf vs. Savard; Sykora vs. Sharp; Ray Whitney vs. Dustin Brown. Thanks!
Thomas, Sherbrooke, Que.


I would take Marc Savard, Petr Sykora and Dustin Brown. But these calls are so close I would not be shocked in the slightest if I went 0-3 here.

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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