Lee Stempniak caught fire after being traded to the Phoenix Coyotes. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
The first Wednesday of every month throughout the summer, I’ll take your fantasy hockey related questions. Rebuilding in your keeper league? Important draft coming up? I have you covered. Now let’s get to some letters!
If you have to start a franchise, which player is your first pick? Matt Duchene, John Tavares, Evander Kane, Tyler Myers or James van Riemsdyk?
Gaston, Rimouski, Que.
In leagues where defensemen are required, I would go with Myers, as that position is difficult to fill. The center position is the easiest to fill in fantasy hockey, but in leagues that don’t require defensemen I would take Tavares. His upside is the highest of those listed.
Keeper league - keep 16. My Team: Joe Thornton, Marian Hossa, Eric Staal, Jason Spezza, Anze Kopitar, Kyle Okposo, Drew Doughty, Jakub Voracek, Patric Hornqvist, T.J. Oshie, Peter Mueller, Nikita Filatov, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Jason Pominville, Brenden Morrow, Justin Williams, Teemu Selanne, Fredrik Modin, Milan Michalek, Lee Stempniak, Henrik Lundqvist, Tuukka Rask, Steve Mason.
I need to choose my keepers and I don't know if some of my young guys are due for point increases to warrant me keeping them over my players who have more experience. My top five I think are obvious. I've been thinking of keeping all three goalies because I can't decide who to let go. I think Okposo and Doughty will be up there very soon. So should I keep any of my young guys ahead of the likes of Bergeron, Krejci and Pominville? With Krejci injured again is his durability in question along with Bergeron’s?
Joel, Carstairs, Alta.
You have an embarrassment of riches between the pipes and I agree you should hang onto all three. Since this is a points-only league and obviously positions are not required, Doughty’s value is not nearly as high. Thornton, Hossa, Staal, Spezza and Kopitar are the no-brainers. For the other eight spots I would choose Krejci, Okposo, Mueller, Doughty, Voracek, Hornqvist, Filatov and Pominville. That last one was a toss-up between Pominville and Bergeron, but the injury concern swayed me. I do like Oshie, but he plays a style that has me concerned about his potential injuries, too.
Hey Dobber, I would like your take on Lee Stempniak. Do you see him continuing to perform like he did playing for the Yotes after the trade deadline (14 goals and 18 points in 18 games) next season? That is, assuming he re-signs with Phoenix. Or is he a player who just goes on hot streaks and then cools down significantly at other times? Is it maybe because he is the type of player who just benefits from playing in the Western Conference more than the East? Thanks and keep up the good work!
Stempniak has always been a hot/cold guy. He has shown us strong offense in the past (early on with St. Louis) and he has also shown us a sudden drop in numbers despite no discernable change in his situation (later on with St. Louis). Throw in the fact he was at the end of a contract year with Phoenix and I don’t think you can trust what you saw. His career high is 52 points. In the perfect situation, he could hot/cold his way to a 60-point season, but that is the ceiling. Frankly, I wouldn’t bank on more than 48 points in the season ahead, even if he remains in Phoenix.
Dobber, I am in a keeper league and we are having an expansion draft. We are allowed to protect six forwards, four D-men and a keeper, plus one 'extra.' I have come down to my last spot and have a dilemma. Antoine Vermette or Patrick Sharp? Who should I keep? I also have David Backes and Michael Frolik on my unprotected list.
Sharp is the safe answer and Vermette is a solid choice as well, but if it was strictly a points pool I would protect Frolik. His upside is by far the highest out of the selection you gave and at worst he will get 45 points. You take a chance that you miss out on 20 points, but he is a season or two away from a breakout and I would want to own him when that happens. He can be a point-per-game player in this league.
Hey Dobber, How would you rank these defensemen for the next two to three years? Erik Johnson, Zach Bogosian, John Carlson, P.K. Subban, Keith Yandle, Alex Goligoski.
Dave, Ancaster, Ont.
For points, I would rank as follows: Carlson, Goligoski, Subban, Johnson, Yandle, Bogosian.
Every one of those guys has the skills to net at least 55 points per season within four years.
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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