Dealing at the deadline

The trade deadline is in 12 days. This is the last mailbag before then, so crunch time is here. Let’s get to the letters!

Hey Dobbs, The best part of my fantasy season this year was taking a chance on Jeff Skinner and later picking up Logan Couture off of waivers. I’ve also got Tyler Myers on my keeper list hoping he’ll bounce back next year. Any projections for next year’s breakouts? Jamie Benn and Tyler Ennis are already grabbing attention and have been picked up by lower-ranked teams trying to rebuild, but who is a sleeper I could roll the dice on? Jonathan Ericsson? Nathan Gerbe?
John, Regina, Sask.

Those are great suggestions. The more I’ve seen of Gerbe over the past six weeks the more I believe next year will be his year. I’ve always felt he was still two years away from making a splash, but he’s quickly changing my mind. As for Ericsson, I don’t think it will happen next year. Think 2012-13. Other names to think about – Max Pacioretty, Evander Kane, Jamie McBain, Cal O’Reilly, Eric Fehr, Josh Bailey and Shawn Matthias.

Keeper league two goalie spots per night one point for the win five for a shutout. Which two of these four young goalies would you rather have: Steve Mason, Tuukka Rask, Corey Crawford, or Jonathan Bernier? I’m not in contention for the money this year, but have a good shot at it next year. Also is it time to give up on Filatov yet or should I hold on to him for one more year?
Joel, Carstairs, Alta.

Those are some great young goalies you have. I would keep the two best – Rask and Bernier. Granted, neither of them is a starter right now, while Mason is, but their skill is elite. Both Rask and Bernier will be top 10 NHL goalies to own in two years. That doesn’t help you next season, but you can draft a veteran goalie in the summer and if you find yourself in the mix for the win, you can always move one of them. Trade value is another consideration when making these decisions.

I wouldn’t give up on Filatov yet, but then again if a better prospect is available to pick up then I wouldn’t overlook it simply because I don’t want to drop Filatov.

My offense has been great but my goalies are just killing me and I am in desperate need of relief but every time I make a move involving my goalies I get burned. Right now I have Henrik Lundqvist, Ondrej Pavelec and Sergei Bobrovsky…who would be a better pick up: Dwayne Roloson or Antti Niemi? Should I touch my goalies at all and if so who should I drop other than the Lundqvist…Thanks man I really appreciate it, I am going crazy.
Andrew, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Picking up Roloson is the right move. Drop Pavelec – as Atlanta is spiraling a bit – and ride the Lightning. You won’t regret it.

Hey Dobber huge fan, read your articles every time! I’m in a weekly head to head and after having a huge lead I got hit by injury and slumps and am barely managing to keep my lead. Big Buff isn’t scoring very much for me, Pavelec isn’t winning and Chris Stewart isn’t playing like he did before. Going into the final part of the season I was wondering: is Stewart the best option at RW out of him, David Backes and Jeff Skinner? Both of the others mentioned are still available and I’m debating picking them up. Also do you think Dustin Byfuglien will pick it up again, or is there someone I should swap him for?
Brent, Welland, Ont.

Thanks Brent! Colorado is in a death spiral and I don’t see them coming out of it for at least a few more weeks. Something needs to happen to shake this team up. Until then, do not count on Stewart to be his point-per-game self. I would go with Backes for the time being. As for ‘Big Buff,’ because Tobias Enstrom is back, I think Byfuglien will start scoring again.

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Hey Dobber, I was just thinking that, with all the goalie fights recently, maybe fantasy leagues should consider counting penalty minutes (and even assists) for goalies. Those fighting majors could be very valuable in most leagues. What are your thoughts?
Marco, Toronto

I disagree Marco. In fact, I think fantasy leagues should shift towards tracking hits and veering away from PIM altogether. After all, hits have been carefully tracked by the league for several years now and laying out the big hit in a game is generally considered a positive thing. Whereas putting your team down a man is often a negative. That’s one man’s opinion, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more and more leagues turn towards hits and away from PIM in the coming years.

Hi, I came across your column recently and love it, I’m sure it will become a permanent fixture in my weekly reading. I’m relatively new to fantasy hockey (my first real season), but by some sort of fluke, happen to be leading my league at the moment and would like your opinion on a trade I just made. I gave up Kari Lehtonen and Mikko Koivu in exchange for Chris Stewart and Pekka Rinne. The league is a daily total points keeper league and my reasoning was that I was selling high on my two players and buying low on the other two, especially Stewart. What do you think?
Serge, Ottawa

Fantastic. What a wonderful deal. I am a huge fan of Rinne and consider him one of the best goalies to own. I also think you shed two players who get hurt a lot and acquired two who do not (Stewart’s injured hand and Rinne’s earlier groin issues aside).

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

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