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Vinny's value

Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning is playing far below his potential this season. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning is playing far below his potential this season. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Olympic hockey is in full swing. But the standings in our fantasy leagues have remained the same for more than a week now. That doesn’t stop fantasy owners from talking trade or thinking about roster changes. Lots of head-scratching over who to keep for next year, so let’s see if I can help out. Let’s get to some letters!

Hey Dobber, I'm in an 11-team, six-keeper (plus one rookie keeper) roto league. I'm having a hard time narrowing my six down. The guys I'm considering are Paul Stastny, Steven Stamkos, Daniel Sedin, Martin Havlat, Dion Phaneuf, Marc Savard, Jarome Iginla, Ryan Miller and Semyon Varlamov. We start 2 C's, 2 LW's, 2 RW's, 4 D and 2 G. Also, which rookie would you keep...Matt Duchene or Tyler Myers?
Anthony, Houston


Hi Anthony, if you can keep a rookie as one of your six, I would keep both of those players. In that case I would go with Duchene, Myers, Miller, Varlamov, Stamkos, Sedin and Phaneuf. If you are not allowed to keep more than one rookie, I guess you are forced to release Duchene and protect Iginla.

Will Vincent Lecavalier ever be an elite fantasy center again? I see him as the second line center in Tampa and I don't a have a good feeling about his fantasy future. How do you see his production? His trade value?
John, Vancouver


While it is certainly possible shoulder surgeries have limited Lecavalier’s effectiveness, I, for one, still believe he’ll get back to 100 points again.

In the ‘what have you done for me lately’ world of fantasy hockey, his trade value is as low as ever – perhaps that of an 80-point player. Which is precisely why he is a ‘buy’ and not a ‘sell.’

Putting numbers on elite players such as ‘first-line’ this or ‘second-line’ that is not the way to go about it. When a player is this good, it doesn’t matter where he sits on the depth chart because the ice time will still be there.

It was just 18 months ago when poolies backed off of Jeff Carter because he was a ‘third-line center’ and we all know how that strategy turned out, even though it was true.

I went out and scooped Lecavalier in one of my keeper leagues a couple of weeks ago. Got a great deal.

Hi Dobber, I'm in an eight-team keeper league with a 23-man roster. We are allowed seven keepers, 1 C, 1 RW, 1 LW, 2 D, 1 Util and 1 G. Who do I keep? I was thinking the Sedin twins, Malkin, Phaneuf and Zidlicky, but who out of Perry and Hossa. Which goalie; Miller or Brodeur? I plan on trading Hossa or Perry and Miller or Brodeur (depending on who I should keep) for a franchise blueliner (Green, Boyle or Doughty is in the works). So which one of my ‘D’ should I keep if that goes through?
Matthieu, Lancaster, Ont.


I think you have to keep Malkin and Henrik Sedin, as you say. But on the left wing I would keep Zach Parise over Daniel Sedin – even considering the great year. If your league counts penalty minutes, then I would keep Perry, otherwise I would go with Hossa. In net it is Miller for sure. Dion Phaneuf would be my choice on the back end, as I think he will bounce back with a big year next campaign.

First off, thanks for the advice last year at this time. I had to choose between Nicklas Backstrom and Corey Perry as my fourth keeper. The combination of Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green has been very good as keeper skaters. They'll be my keepers going forward. My note this year is about my keeper goalie. Last year I kept Steve Mason and suffered through his sophomore slump. I am carrying a number of goalies trying to make up the shortfall in wins, SP and shutouts. Here is the current stable: Semyon Varlamov, Jose Theodore, Antti Niemi, Ray Emery, Michael Leighton and I still have Mason. Which one of these is my keeper for next year?
Kevin, Montreal


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Stick with Mason. We’re already seeing him bounce back under new coach Claude Noel. Varlamov would be my second choice.

Hey Dobber, I'm in a points-only keeper league with seven carried over. We can keep three forwards, two defensemen and a goalie, then one other player. Forwards: Tomas Plekanec, Brad Richards, Matt Duchene, Loui Eriksson, Rick Nash, Simon Gagne, James Neal, Patric Hornqvist, Nik Antropov, Jamie Benn and Chris Stewart. Defensemen: Andy Greene, Keith Yandle, Ryan Whitney, Stephane Robidas, Sami Salo, Mark Giordano. Goaltenders: Martin Brodeur and Craig Anderson. I'm baffled.
Eric, Scarborough, Ont.


I would keep Duchene, Richards and Nash up front. On defense, after Yandle, it becomes a tough call. I would probably go with Whitney over Greene and Giordano (the only other two I would consider). Another tough call between the pipes – Brodeur will give you another two good seasons, but how much better than Anderson will he be? Anderson is an underrated netminder. I think I would go with Brodeur for that very reason – because Anderson is underrated, his trade value is lower than it should be. For my extra roster spot, I would make that Brodeur decision even easier and protect Anderson. Now you have one less position to worry about next season.

Hey Dobber, I'm in an eight-team keeper league. We keep four players and I'm stuck deciding on who to keep between Eric Staal, Vincent Lecavalier, Olli Jokinen, Zach Parise, Patrick Kane, Loui Eriksson, James Neal, Ryan Miller and Evgeni Nabokov. I think Eriksson could reach 85-90 points next year as he gets closer to his prime. I'm satisfied to gamble on Staal and Kane and Parise seem like no-brainers. That leaves Vinny, Miller and maybe Eriksson for the last spot. What's your take?
Marc-Vincent, Montreal


Always keep a goalie, especially if you have a reliable one, so Miller is a must. After that I would keep Parise, Staal and Lecavalier. Taking the latter over Patrick Kane is sure to raise some eyebrows, but that is what I would do. Lecavalier can get past 100 points, whereas I think Kane would top out at 90 or maybe 95 in a good year. Just for the upside, that is why I would keep Vinny. If I were to keep any player over Vinny (if you aren’t comfortable with my advice, that is) it would be Nabokov.

As for your take on Eriksson, I would probably tone those expectations down by about five or 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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