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Neuvirth or Varlamov?

Michael Neuvirth is 5-2 with a .919 SP and 2.53 GAA. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Michael Neuvirth is 5-2 with a .919 SP and 2.53 GAA. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

There have been some hot starts and some cold starts early in the season, but there doesn’t seem to be as many unexpected ones as in recent years. But that hasn’t stopped the mailbag from filling up any. Let’s get to some letters!

Hi Dobber, I'm in a points-only league (not a keeper) and I was wondering: could Andy Greene be a 40-point guy this year? He's playing as first D-man with the Devils, but I still have doubts.
Charles, Montreal


He’s off to a slow start, but he’s getting the ice time and the opportunity. As soon as the Devils start winning again, Greene will start putting points on the board. Yes, I believe he’ll top 40 this year.

Hey Dobber, I'm in a one-year league where goalies get two points for a win, 0.2 per save and five for a shutout, but also lose one point per goal against and one per loss. We also have no bench, which limits our goalie roster spots to two. I've got Craig Anderson, Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov, but only until he comes off the IR. I'm going to hold onto Anderson, but which of the Washington duo do you think will emerge as the No.1, or at least the better option?
Ronen, Toronto


Hey Ronen, I think Varlamov has proven over the past year that he is far too fragile to trust as one of your two. No question you have to make the safe play here. Neuvirth will be No. 1 and hang onto it unless he gets hurt. Craig Anderson’s knee injury throws a bit of a wrench into the plans, but he’s still the most consistent of the trio.

Hi Dobber, Is Mark Streit worth keeping on my bench while I have no IR spots for him? Should I drop him then pick him up again in February or should I stick with him and hope for the best? Thanks.
Nik, New York


Hi Nik. It would depend on how big your bench is. If it’s three spots or less, then drop him. Five spots or more, hang on to him. If it’s four spots that would depend on the player you are picking up. If I felt comfortable with the player I was plucking off the wire, then yes I would drop Streit.

Hi Dobber, first time mailing. I'm in a points fantasy league through Yahoo (six teams) (G3, A2, PPP2.5, SHP3, GWG2 and SOG-0.2) and goalies (W3, L-2, SO5, SV-0.2). I didn't draft as well as hoped and am sitting in the middle of the pack. I have a trade offer from a friend offering me Nicklas Backstrom, Patrick Marleau and Ryan Miller for Alex Ovechkin and Tuukka Rask. I figure I'll pick up a few more points and spread out the offense, but is it worth sacrificing 425 guaranteed points? I'm 90 behind the leader, second place is 80 points behind him. I own: Center - Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier, Jeff Carter (also RW), Ryan Kesler LW - Ovechkin, Zach Parise, Mason Raymond, Guillaume Latendresse G – Martin Brodeur, Rask, Carey Price. Is this trade worth it?
Thomas, Windsor, Ont.


Hi Thomas. If you can pick guys up off the waiver wire, then I would fill your needs that route, rather than via trade. If you are in a keeper league, then I absolutely would not trade Ovechkin and Rask, as they are the core of your squad. However, if you don’t have a waiver option and this is a one-year league I would pull the trigger. The downgrade to Marleau is a small price to pay to give you an all-important No. 3 goaltender and a center to offset the struggles of Lecavalier, Carter and Kesler.

I'm caught in a dilemma and need of your opinion. I am in a 12-team Roto keeper league and G,A, plus-minus, PIMS, PPP and SOG are the deciders along with the usual goalie stats. I'm in a situation where I have good talent in my forwards and D-men - it’s just the fact I am short one D-man. His position lying dormant and unused, I am forced to choose between a trade and a wire pickup. Here is the offer I have on the table: A guy is offering me Chris Pronger and Tomas Kopecky for Jiri Hudler and Thomas Vanek. I do want to go for a win this year, but I am in last for goals at the moment and trading Vanek doesn't make sense to me. Do you think I should accept the offer or go drop Hudler, Nikita Filatov or Sheldon Souray for a wire pickup like Alex Pietrangelo, Dan Girardi, Steve Montador or Kyle Cumiskey? Also do you think it’s worth holding onto Souray for now in case he lands a spot with an NHL club in the near future? Thanks Dobber keep up the good work.
Brandon, Creston, B.C.


That’s not a bad offer, but if you can pick up Pietrangelo in a keeper league for free off the wire, don’t hesitate. He should be good for 30 or 35 points this season, with high upside for the future. Whenever I’m in a position like yours, I always fill the holes via the wire. Then, and only then, will I look at deals and possibly include the player I just picked up. Sheldon Souray just injured his hand fighting again, though, and will miss at least two weeks of American League action. His value to NHL teams is at about rock bottom.

I'm in a 16-team, head-to-head league (which is under vote to become a keeper). I currently have Peter Regin on my squad, but have been considering dropping him for P-A Parenteau, or maybe even T.J. Galiardi. Regin has looked great in the games I've watched him play - he seems like he's on the verge of really making an impact, yet the lack of production so far is frustrating. Am I being too impatient with Regin, or do you feel that Parenteau or Galiardi have more potential? Also, what are your feelings on Blake Comeau? I picked him up as a free agent, with his early sparkling numbers, mainly with the intent of seeing what I could get for him in a trade. He's had a steady increase in numbers every year, which if he continues, will make him a 20-goal, near 50-point player. Is he for real?
Justin, Waukesha, Wis.


You are giving up on Regin too early, but if your league does not go to keeper format I would look at Parenteau over Regin for this season. All three of them have an upside in the low- to mid-60s. As for Comeau, I think he is for real, but he carries a risk. He is a boom or bust player who could see time in the press box or lead this team in scoring. Very streaky, but very skilled, Comeau is producing enough to keep him in the top six for now. If he can hang in there, 55 points is doable for this year and even more in the future.

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 other Wednesday during the season. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.

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