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Is Ovechkin worth keeping?

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Vacation last week is the cause for the delay in the fantasy hockey mailbag - let's not delay another minute and get to some letters!

I play in a keeper league and I'm wondering if you think a guy like Alex Ovechkin is ever going to be worth keeping again. And if I should try to move him or drop him and keep a guy like Logan Couture instead?


With most upper-echelon stars, I tend to let them start their third season of terrible play before giving up on them. And even that may not be long enough (see Richards, Brad - circa 2007-2010). But with a player who has been above that upper-echelon, I have no problem sitting on him for five years. Especially when he still contributes 65 or 70 points in an "off" year. You can count on one hand the number of players who could post 125 points in a season. You don't want to drop one of them, no matter how bleak the outlook. If you're truly fed up, then explore a trade. Just set your asking price and stick to it, though.

Hi Dobber, I am a big fan of your work and often use your advice on my different pools. We started a keeper league this year where we get to keep one forward, one defenseman and one goaltender in a standard head to head roto league format. At the third overall pick I was lucky enough to pick Crosby and Halak and will roll them for years to come. Unfortunately, I was late on picking a defenseman and as a result I am left with Kevin Bieksa, Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh as my starters and Ryan Whitney, Jason Garrison on my bench. Best options on the waiver wire are: Alex Goligoski, Christian Ehrhoff, Cam Fowler and Nick Leddy. Should I try and make a trade, pick up a player or wait?


Thanks Nicolas! In a shallower pool such as this one, a lot of problems can be solved via the wire. So swapping out Garrison for Leddy would be my first move and Whitney for Ehrhoff my second move. And while I'm a fan of Halak's skill, I'm not a fan of his proneness to injury, so as soon as he strings a few great games together I would shop him for a more reliable (read: durable) goaltender.

Hi Darryl, I'm in a total points keeper league (22 man rosters, keep 18, standard ESPN scoring categories) and I'd like your input on a massive 3-team trade that took place during the first week of the season. Team 1: loses Josh Harding, Cory Conacher, Taylor Hall receives Steven Stamkos Team 2: loses Marian Gaborik receives Josh Harding, Chris Kunitz Team 3: loses Steven Stamkos, Chris Kunitz receives Marian Gaborik, Taylor Hall, Cory Conacher. We've been having some debate within the league as to who "won" the trade. I'd love to hear your analysis. Thank you


Hi Serge, in a keeper league, any team that lands Stamkos is your winner. Best player in the deal by a wide margin and very durable and reliable too - that's priceless in fantasy hockey. Congrats to Team 1.

Hi Darryl! Is Viktor Fasth going to start half the games for the Ducks or is he just a backup playing above his head? And what kind of stats can we hope to get out of him the rest of the way?


Hi Thomas! Hiller is typically a second-half goalie, but in a shortened season that may be too late. I think Fasth will start a tad more than half the games this season and will end up with more wins than Hiller. This will set the table for a long and interesting competition for next year's 82-game slate. If so, then I would expect Hiller to be traded in 18 to 24 months.

I need another D-Man for my roster. I have Michael Del Zotto, Justin Schultz, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Kevin Shattenkirk. My Forwards are Henrik Zetterberg, Jonathan Toews, Jeff Skinner, Marin Gaborik, Rick Nash, Ryan Getzlaf, Logan Couture, Jordan Eberle, Cody Hodgson, Vladimir Tarasenko, Brad Richards, and Brad Marchand. Which forward should I drop, and what D-man should I go get?


I would drop Marchand and since I don't see a list of defensemen available, it's tough to advise. If you need points and plus-minus, Toronto's Cody Franson is a good option.

Follow me on Twitter - @DobberHockey

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 that 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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