Rob Blake has only three points and is a minus-6 in 12 games this season. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
Poolies are struggling with some bad luck early on – let’s get to some letters!
Hey Dobber, Keeper league, points only. Who do you like more: Patrick Kane or Steven Stamkos?
Elias, London, Ont.
While I think Stamkos’ upside may be about five points higher than Kane’s, I don’t think that gap is wide enough to discount the proven history Kane boasts, nor does it make up for the stronger team Kane plays on. Kane would be my choice.
I am deep at center, but relatively weak in net with Cam Ward/Ray Emery/Semyon Varlamov/Antti Niemi/Jonas Gustavsson. This is the second year of a three-year keeper league. Next year we keep two goalies, but can only keep one of the top two (according to end-of-year rank). I've been offered Huet for Spezza...do I make the trade? Is Spezza ever going to get going? Is Huet going to tank?
Jeremy, Brooklyn, Ont.
Your goalies don’t look weak at all – Ward will come around and I think by January both Varlamov and Niemi will start more often than not. Emery is doing just fine and Gustavsson is back. Granted, there is room for improvement, but I don’t think the answer lies with Huet. As I said, I think Niemi will eventually steal the job. If a cold streak doesn’t take the inconsistent Huet out, an injury will.
Hey Dobber, I'm in a standard Yahoo roto league and my goaltending leaves a whole lot to be desired at this point. I have Niklas Backstrom, Jonas Hiller and Pekka Rinne. Would you suggest dropping either Hiller or Rinne to bring in Antti Niemi or Scott Clemmensen (the best options in the FA pool)?
Jim, Los Angeles
I would consider dropping Rinne and grabbing Niemi, although it may be six of one/half dozen of the other. Neither is currently the starter, but both have a fairly decent shot at becoming No. 1. However, since Chicago will win more games than Nashville, Niemi would be the way to go here.
I got offered a trade and needed to know if it sounds good or not. I desperately need a goalie since Tomas Vokoun is horrible. I was offered Marc-Andre Fleury and Vincent Lecavalier for Joe Thornton. My offense is pretty solid with Alex Ovechkin in there, but taking Thornton out is a huge loss and I’m not sure if Vinny can pull similar numbers as Joe.
Joe from New Hampshire
Do the deal. He can pull similar numbers as Joe. He won’t, but he certainly can. I think Thornton will beat Lecavalier by about 25-30 points this season. However, Fleury will solve all your goaltending problems. If healthy, you’d be looking at 45 wins or even more.
I am in a non-keeper league that lets you make one roster change a month. Last place gets to go first. I'm in last. Simple points-for-points system except defenseman goals count for two. I can either drop the complete bust James Sheppard for Dustin Penner or Chris Campoli for Michael Del Zotto. Your expert advice would be much appreciated.
Ah, the subjects of two recent columns of mine – Del Zotto and Penner. I really think Del Zotto is the real deal here. I’m not saying Penner isn’t, but I’m just more comfortable with M.D.Z. and I would make that swap. Next month you can switch out Sheppard. As an aside, I don’t think Sheppard is a bust at all. I just think that to expect anything beyond 40 points this year or next from him is asking too much.
Dobber, I'm in a points-only 6-4-1 league and although it's early I'm just wondering whether my impatience with my defensemen is warranted. Is age catching up with my vets Nicklas Lidstrom and Rob Blake or will they bounce back? My other two are Cam Barker and Marek Zidlicky. I'm OK with Barker, but the lack of scoring with Minnesota doesn't bode well for Zidlicky. Would you suggest moving any of these four? Some available players I'm considering are Jason Demers (SJ), Brent Seabrook (CHI) and Denis Grebeshkov (EDM).
Jim, Barrie, Ont.
Age could be catching up with them, but I can’t be too sure given how early in the season it is. I think Lidstrom will be fine, but that is just a hunch. I would pull the trigger on swapping Zidlicky and Blake for Grebeshkov and the rookie Demers.
Would you trade David Krejci (I own) for Bobby Ryan? I am in a one-year league.
Jim, New York
No. I think Krejci will beat Ryan this year by 10 points.
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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