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Stamkos or Crosby?

Steven Stamkos and Sidney Crosby shared the Rocket Richard Trophy in 2009 after both scored 51 goals. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Steven Stamkos and Sidney Crosby shared the Rocket Richard Trophy in 2009 after both scored 51 goals. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The season is going by quickly…25 percent already gone. Most poolies are still in contention - let’s get to the letters!

Dobber, I'm in a one-year, points-only pool with 14-man teams and an automatic drop two. I walked in late this year and picked in the eighth spot. Evgeni Malkin was still available and after a lot of soul searching I ignored my gut (Ryan Getzlaf) and drafted Malkin. Well, he’s currently sitting as the lowest-scoring player drafted in the first round. Do you think he's going to turn it around, or were his first couple of seasons a fluke? Is Malkin really a 60-to-70-point player going forward?
John, Saint John, N.B.


Hey John, In a points-only pool I would have taken Malkin third, so you made the right call. Since your message was sent, Malkin has tallied nine points in five games, which just about puts him back on track. Only an injury will stop him from getting 90 points and, frankly, I think he’ll get 100. With Steven Stamkos exploding onto the scene, Malkin will probably end up fourth in scoring. Hang in there. The only way he’s a 60-to-70-point player is if he plays 55 games.

Hi Darryl, I'm in a head-to-head league and I was just offered Sidney Crosby for Steven Stamkos. I'm inclined to accept it, because how can you say no to Crosby? But looking at the stats, Stamkos is doing better and has better teammates. What should I do?
Alex, Montreal


Another letter that is a week old, but I wanted to address this one as well. Stamkos hasn’t really slowed since you sent this in, but Crosby has been on fire. In fact, Crosby has 34 points in his past 19 games, whereas Stamkos has 30 in that same span. Always take Crosby, Malkin and Ovechkin in a one-for-one trade. Stamkos is elite, but as I noted in a recent column, he doesn’t quite make it the Big 4.

As a side note, with Malkin playing a little hurt, his value isn’t where Stamkos’ is, so my “one-for-one” statement above doesn’t apply in his case. The Stamkos side is in a position to demand more, so do so. Just make sure you end up with one of the Big 3.

Hey Dobber, what’s going to happen with1 the goalie situation in Philly when Michael Leighton comes back? I can pick him up cheap in my 16-team keeper league. Should I grab him while he is still on the IR?
Gray, Toronto


Brian Boucher’s back-to-back starts (both wins) after Sergei Bobrovsky finally stumbled proved coach Peter Laviolette will play the hot hand. Leighton will come in and get his starts when the current hot hand loses. Then all Leighton has to do is win - and keep winning. I think he makes a decent pickup if you have the bench room. Frankly, this is a top team in the league and they would win tons of games even if you or I were between the pipes.

Hey Dobber, I'm in a 12-team rotisserie league and I have very weak goaltending. Both Mathieu Garon and Ty Conklin are available. Which one do you suggest adding?
Rory, Topanga, Calif.


Hey Rory, I prefer Garon - but that isn’t going to solve your goaltending woes. In your situation, you need to do two things. One, use a lot of - too many, in fact - spots on your bench for goalies and hope a starter gets hurt or loses his job. I suggest, besides Garon, you add Chicago’s Corey Crawford and/or Edmonton’s Devan Dubnyk. If you have five bench spots, you may need to use three of them for this. Then, over the course of the next month, you need to drop them if they’re clearly not getting anywhere. Two, try to trade for a goaltender. Yes, it would mean overpaying, but you have to - I imagine a large percentage of your categories involve goaltending, so I’m guessing you’re getting killed in those stats. Be prepared to trade one of your three best forwards and a second forward on a hot run who you can replace via the waiver wire.

In a points-only league, I'd be giving up Ales Hemsky (starting to pick it up, but realistically, I see him putting up 70 points at most if he stays healthy - fair enough?) and Rene Bourque (off the first PP unit, but obviously can make his way back - the question is health. Is 65-70 points a fair projection?). I'd be getting Ilya Kovalchuk (HAS to turn it around, doesn't he?) and Tomas Fleischmann (whom I’d drop for FA Jordan Staal). Obviously, Hemsky and Bourque are injury risks. Any thoughts here?
Travis, Winnipeg


I would try that, Travis. Kovalchuk’s value has never been so low. At worst, he’ll keep pace with Hemsky from today onward; at best, he’ll beat Hemsky by 20 or more points. Fleischmann is another player who is undervalued. I’m not so sure I’d drop him for Staal at this time, but when Staal is ready to return, I might make that move if ‘Flash’ is still struggling.

Hey, I’ve got an offer from someone: my Malkin for their Joe Thornton, straight up. Our league is a points-only, one-year league. Who do you think will get me more points?
Robin, Halifax, N.S.


Once again, put me down for Malkin. Maybe it’s blind faith, but if I have blind faith in Evgeni Malkin, I know I’ll come out ahead nine times out of 10.

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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