The Goods: Fantasy Hockey Mailbag

11/10/2010 11:59 AM -  Ian Gooding

Dear Ian,
I need help in my fantasy league. I am currently in last place, and I am extremely inconsistent in my goaltending. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for more consistent goalies? I was also wondering if you had any suggestions for a trade for any upgrades offensively because I seem to lose every category by one of two every week.
C: Matt Duchene, Steven Stamkos, Henrik Sedin, T.J. Oshie, Jarret Stoll
LW: David Perron, Raffi Torres, Brooks Laich, Ville Leino, Daniel Sedin, Alex Burrows
RW: Chris Stewart, Jeff Skinner, Justin Williams, Corey Perry, Steve Downie
D: Paul Martin, Tomas Kaberle, Brooks Orpik, Brad Stuart, Brian Campbell, Luke Schenn, Steve Montador
G: Michal Neuvirth, Jimmy Howard, Jean-Sebastien Giguere
Top Free Agents: Brandon Dubinsky, Alex Steen, Derick Brassard, Sean Avery, Logan Couture, Brendan Morrison, Drew Stafford, Steve Sullivan, Erik Cole, Manny Malhotra, Rich Peverley, Doug Weight, Mikhail Grabovski, Anton Babchuk, Cody Franson, Jordan Leopold, Keith Yandle, Michal Rozsival, Mathieu Garon, Cory Schneider, Ty Conklin, Andrew Raycroft, Peter Budaj, Alex Auld, Brian Elliott, Chris Mason, Mike Smith, Nikolai Khabibulin, Rick DiPietro, Jonathan Bernier, Antti Niemi, Ondrej Pavelec
Sincerely, Michael

Hi Michael,
Be patient, as many owners overreact after the first month if their position in the standings is less than desireable. In fact, I’ll admit that I am currently sitting in 12th place out of 14 teams in one of my leagues. In that league, there’s not much I can do, since the options on the waiver wire are no better than what I have on my team.
Having said that, there are a few roster moves that you should make to make your team a little better.
Add Dubinsky, drop Torres. Both players will no doubt cool down, but Dubinsky has the greater upside of the two players. Dubinsky won’t be on the waiver wire much longer, and you can afford to get rid of an extra LW.
Add Yandle, drop Orpik. Yandle offers considerably more offense, and I’d only hang onto Orpik if your league counts hits or blocked shots.
Add Rozsival, drop Stuart. Rozsival offers more offense, and he appears to be bouncing back from a horrible season last season.
Add Niemi, drop Schenn. I’m not saying that Niemi will be the starting goalie in San Jose, based on his abysmal start. But he has the most upside out of the goalies in this bunch. Schenn hasn’t shown much offensive upside in his NHL career, and his junior numbers didn’t look like he was channelling Bobby Orr.
Keep an eye on Franson, since he could be a sleeper this season who scores a quiet 35-40 points in Nashville. He was a very impressive d-man in the WHL, and Nashville has the ability to develop NHL-caliber defensemen.

If you are losing by a very small margin each week, the difference could be on defense, which I think is the area on your team that needs the most significant changes.


Hi Ian,

I think I need to upgrade at the left wing position. My LWs are Dany Heatley, Tyler Ennis, and Kris Versteeg. But if I wanted to change Ennis or Versteeg, who do you like on that list below? I also have Johan Franzen, Loui Eriksson, and Ales Hemsky on RW, so maybe I could try and deal one of them. I think had Andy McDonald pretty high, if I recall. Let me know what you think. 
My options are Raffi Torres, Sean Avery, Erik Cole, Andy McDonald, Matt Moulson, Blake Comeau, Tomas Fleischmann, Andrew Brunette, Pascal Dupuis, Alex Tanguay, Chad LaRose, Tuomo Ruutu, Chris Kunitz, Ryan Malone, Tyler Kennedy, Benoit Pouliot, Viktor Stalberg, Nikolai Kulemin, Brandon Prust, Curtis Glencross, Milan Michalek, Mike Comrie, Alexander Frolov, Ray Whitney, Jamie Benn, Jason Chimera, Mathieu Darche, Sergei Samsonov, and Jason Blake.

Thanks, Sherman.

Hi Sherman,
I would hang onto Ennis a little bit longer, but drop Versteeg. Despite the Sabres’ struggles early this season and the fact that he has scored only two goals in 15 games, Ennis has too much upside and could benefit if the Sabres right the ship. Versteeg isn’t scoring (13 GP, 2g, 3a, -6) or rapping as much as he was in Chicago, now that he has inferior linemates in TO.
McDonald is a reasonable option from your list, but I think your best option is Kunitz. The Pens’ forward should provide a similar number of points as the Blues’ forward, but Kunitz has the edge based on his penalty minutes. McDonald is a player that you can keep in mind if Ennis doesn’t revert to his point-per-game form of last season.
As for your right wing situation, you are fine. You could attempt to sell high on Eriksson while he is this hot (16 points in 13 games), but I would settle for nothing less than a clear-cut top-10 left wing in return. In this situation, though, I much prefer grabbing an option from the waiver wire than attempting to swing a deal with another owner.

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