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Briere or Stastny?

Daniel Briere is coming off a 34-goal, 68-point season. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Daniel Briere is coming off a 34-goal, 68-point season. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

So how did the first week go for you? Any early jitters? Let’s get to the letters!

I'm in a one-year simple league. Goals and assists are one point each. I've been offered Paul Stastny for Daniel Briere. Would you accept?
Kody, Dalmeny, Sask.


Absolutely not.

Hey Dobber, My friends and I are starting a 12-team Head-to-Head league this year and we want to make it a keeper. How many keeper positions would you recommend?
Mack, North Vancouver, B.C.


It would depend on how hardcore the gang is, but I would recommend a full keeper. I like to have things as realistic as possible. You’ll find most players don’t stay on the same team any longer than two years anyway, except perhaps the better players who stick around for three or four. The downside to this is if there are a couple of exceptional managers in your league, they will start to pull ahead and by the third or fourth year the win would be theirs to lose. Failing that, start at a 15-player keeper. If that doesn’t fly, try 12. There are really just two things to consider: 1.) What does everyone want? 2.) How big of a gap is the skill level between the strongest manager and the weakest manager?

Who is a better defenseman to have on your fantasy team for the 2011-12 season: Kimmo Timonen or Joni Pitkanen?
Ryan, Sault Ste Marie, Ont.


Pitkanen. Although Pitkanen is injury prone, Timonen’s numbers have slipped at a steady and consistent pace for a few years now.

Dobber, with my draft come and gone, and because I wasn't available to make my picks, the computer-generated team I have is actually really good. My one area of weakness is in net. I've already swapped out Jose Theodore for Jonathan Bernier, but I need help with my third goalie. Right now I have Al Montoya. Would you drop him for Tuukka Rask or Cory Schneider? Rask and Schneider will get more starts this year to rest the No. 1 goalie on their respective teams, but Montoya could continue from last year and tear it up to steal the No. 1 job himself.
Devon, Ingersoll, Ont.


Devon, it’s easier for me to say this because we’ve seen him start twice now (this letter was sent in last week), but Montoya is the way to go here and recent events have only confirmed this hunch. Coach Jack Capuano is playing to win and he strongly feels Montoya will bring in the Ws.

Hello Mr. Dobbs, I am in Year 3 of a five-year, points-only keeper league (keep nine of 19 roster spots each year). Goalie wins count as one point and shutouts count for five. I have been offered a trade of Brayden Schenn and Jimmy Howard for Shea Weber and Jonathan Quick. If I take the trade I will need to drop a F and add a D from the free agent pool. I feel like I should do the deal, but Schenn's value for this season seems to be falling. Will he be a 70-plus point player in 2013?
Paul, Halifax, N.S.


I wouldn’t do this deal even if it wasn’t a five-year league. Quick is a top goalie to own - a better own than Howard - and Weber is a top defenseman to own. All this for a prospect, when you already have a handful of good ones?

Hey Dobber, I just received an interesting trade offer. I would give up Ilya Kovalchuk and Bobby Ryan for Pavel Datsyuk and Dany Heatley. Your thoughts? This is a one-year league with G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, ATOI, and SOG.
James, New York, N.Y.


Interesting offer. Obviously he is going after goals and banking on Kovalchuk turning the horrible plus-minus around. Both Datsyuk and Heatley should bounce back this year and Heatley is clicking very well on that top Minnesota line. If it were me, I would ask for a little more. Perhaps a small upgrade in another part of my lineup. But in the end I would agree to something close to this offer. It all depends on your comfort level with Heatley – back to 80 points or only 70?

Hey Dobber, Keeper league with three goalies, I have Jonas Hiller, Dwayne Roloson and Cory Schneider. One or two keeper goalies (still being debated) scores 0.2/save, 3 for wins, 2 for shutouts, -1/GA. Semyon Varlamov is available on the waiver wire. Would you drop Schneider for Varly? Varlamov will play more games, but on a worse team and is an injury risk.
Ryan, Calgary


There are three reasons to make that move. First of all, the league counts saves and Varlamov will see a lot of rubber. Second of all, you are not penalized for losses. And finally, Varlamov is a starter. Although Schneider will probably wind up a starter somewhere at some point, Varlamov is already there. So take the sure thing.

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. Also note the mailbag is up every two weeks, so keep that in mind when sending in your question.

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag will appear every other Wednesday during the season. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.

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