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Giant expectations

Mid-season drafts are in full swing and we’re also just a few weeks away from the Olympic break. Let’s get to some letters!

Who has the better point upside for the future between Mike Richards and Paul Stastny? Also, when do you expect Jarome Iginla's production to start to slow down?

John, Ottawa

I think Stastny’s upside is about five points higher than Richards, but I’m a little wary of his health. Right now, I would prefer Richards in a keeper league. As for Iginla, I think he’ll give you at least a point per game for another three seasons after this one. Stars like him can go a lot longer than most.

Hey Dobber, I am in a single-season, 12-team pool, where I am currently in second. I have Khabibulin and I just can't wait any longer. (win is 2 pts, shutout is 3). The best available goalies are: Pekka Rinne, Jose Theodore, Jonas Hiller, Dan Ellis, Mike Smith and Jimmy Howard. Who would you take?

Steve, Toronto

I’m surprised you waited this long, Steve! I would take Rinne and then Howard, in that order.

Hi Dobber, I participate in a deep keeper league with 15 participants each with 21 active players and a farm team. We are allowed to protect four D-men every year. Out of the following players, which four have the best chance of regularly contributing to the scoresheet for years to come: Dan Hamhuis (Nsh), Dennis Seidenberg (Fla), Andy Greene (N.J.), Dan Girardi (NYR), Tyler Myers (Buf), Andrew Ference (Bos), Kris Russell (Clb), Brian Lee (Ott), Kyle Cumiskey (Col), Ladislav Smid (Edm), Johnny Boychuk (Bos), John Carlson (Wsh)?

Jeff, Montreal

My four would be, in order:

1. Myers – shocking how productive he is already. Though his upside may be limited to 55 or 60 points, he’s giving you production here and now. Priceless for such a young player.

2. Carlson – even with Mike Green ahead of him on the PP depth chart and Alex Ovechkin playing the other point, Carlson has a very high ceiling for a defenseman. Especially on this team.

3. Greene – He’s boom or bust. He’s having a tremendous breakout season thanks to the Paul Martin injury. I’ve seen enough of him, though, to put him third.

4. Russell – He’s still two or three years away from becoming that stud we’ve been waiting for, but given the other options, I’m certain he’s your best bet as the fourth guy to protect. Hamhuis may – and I mean may – turn into something on another team (he’s a free agent in the summer), but who knows where he’ll end up?

Hey Dobber, I'm in a head-to-head keeper league and I've had Cody Hodgson in my only IR spot all season. Is he going to play in the NHL this season and is he worth the spot if one of my lesser players goes down long term?

Jason, St. Louis

Jason – cut him loose. He was already sent to junior back in September. Missing the entire season there with a back injury certainly cuts into his odds of getting to the NHL this year after Brampton (Ontario League) is eliminated from the playoffs.

Hey Dobber, What kind of totals could we expect for young defensemen like Cam Barker, Michael Del Zotto, Alex Goligoski and Matt Hunwick?

Dave, Vancouver

Hi Dave, if Barker could ever remain healthy I think he could be a 65-point rearguard. He has fantastic vision and skills as far as offense goes. But he’s buried in Chicago and injuries limit his games played.

Del Zotto has the same upside, but is not as fragile and is near the top of the depth chart in New York, so he’s a much better option.

Better still is Goligoski, a defenseman who would have “only” a 55- or 60-point upside if he didn’t play in Pittsburgh; the year Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin come into their own will be the year Goligoski tops 70 points.

As for Hunwick, I just don’t see him as an NHL regular. He made a splash last season thanks to some injuries and it earned him a contract. But he hasn’t shown much this year and if he ever gets 45 points, I’ll eat my hat.

Hey Dobber, I'm in a keeper pool and am looking ahead to next season already, because that’s what I do, and I think I have a real chance of taking it all. I saw your article about Luca Caputi and was wondering whether you saw him taking a big step towards the NHL next season and having a real fantasy value or whether it is coming in a few years? I was also wondering where you think Tyler Myers will stand next year with regard to his offensive output? Thanks and love the columns.

Alex, Thornhill, Ont.

I believe Caputi could take a big step next year, but a more likely scenario would be something in the 50-point range to start and then build on that. If his chemistry with Malkin holds, he could be a point-per-game player or more within three years.

As for Myers, I think he’ll get to 45 points this season and he’ll hold in that vicinity for another four or five years before taking it to another level. That level could be 60 points.

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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