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Luck of the Irish

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

It’s St. Patty’s Day and in between sipping green beers, fantasy enthusiasts are looking over the rosters in their leagues for the 50th time today, trying to find the best route to glory. Let’s get to some letters!

Hey Dobber, I am in a roto keeper league with normal scoring categories plus blocked shots and hits. I have most of my keepers figured out and its come down to Benoit Pouliot or Jamie Benn. Who would you go for?

Branden, Westbrook, Maine

Benn, no question. In a points-only keeper league, Benn is far more valuable even with Pouliot’s excellent performance of late. Benn’s upside is higher and he is showing so much so quickly. But throw in the fact Benn could very well reach 200 hits this season and it’s a slam dunk.

Only wins and shutouts count in a non-keeper pool: Evgeni Nabokov or Roberto Luongo?

John, Hamilton, Ont.

I would take Nabokov. I always go for the sure thing and in this case a sure thing is “more wins.” San Jose will win more than Vancouver down the stretch.

Hi Dobber, regarding your recent Fantasy Mailbag, I have a quick question. As a prospect junkie I have a lot of interest in Kirill Petrov. Mostly because he is an enigma. Before the WJC he didn't play much (despite being healthy). Then he had a great WJC. After the WJC, he has hardly played (or at least there is no record of him playing). Is your analysis of his upside based on the WJC or are there other factors? That all being said, he looked a lot better than another high profile young Russian during the WJC.

Rob, Fogelsville, Penn.

It’s not just the world juniors, Rob, but also the various scouting reports about this kid both before and after the draft. There have been the usual questions asked about all skilled Russians, namely whether or not he will come over. But there have also been questions about his health. Petrov has been injured quite a bit over the past several seasons. The upside is there and it looks as though the Isles will get him over here within two years. However, I question whether we will see him play even 70 games in a season early on.

Hey Dobber, I'm in a non-keeper, head-to-head league (G, A, PPP, PIMs). In your opinion, who has more value for the remainder of the season: Scott Hartnell, Brenden Morrow or Chris Kunitz? Thanks!

Devon, Waterloo, Ont.

Hey Devon, I would have said Hartnell, but after witnessing Morrow’s monster game Tuesday night I have to give the nod to him. If there is even a tiny chance he has his mojo back, he is one of the best fantasy assets in the league. At his best he is a 75-point, 120-PIM player. The other two could never dream of such heights.

Dobber, I need your help on some big decisions: Rotisserie, partial keeper (four players one goalie). Should I accept the following trade? Mike Green and Anze Kopitar for Evgeni Malkin and Dion Phaneuf? I sit fifth in my pool with an outside chance of finishing third. The league has 15 managers in it. Also, would you rather have Patrick Kane or Zach Parise? I currently have Green, Kopitar, Parise, Vincent Lecavalier and Roberto Luongo set as my keepers for next year.

John, Vancouver

First off, I would keep Parise. As for your deal, I would do it. Granted, it probably hurts you a little for this season, but since you are only going for third (which to me should be considered the second-place loser), that is OK. Next year you have a possible 120-plus point player in Malkin and the upgrade from Kopitar beats the downgrade from Green to Phaneuf. I think Phaneuf will bounce back with at least 55 points next season.

Are you at all concerned about John Tavares? He strikes me as someone with great hockey sense and good hands, but poor skating. I don't see him as a point-per-game forward unless he improves his skating. Do you disagree?

Brad, Yorkton, Sask.

The skating issue has dogged Tavares for several years now. It really was a problem back in 2007 or 2008, however he has made great strides (pardon the pun) in that area and is actually now quite adequate. However, it takes years for a reputation like that to go away.

As for future production, if you take the name “Tavares” off the piece of paper and just show me his stats, I will opine he will be a point-per-game player in his prime at the very least. Any forward who tallies 45 points as a 19-year-old on a weak team is a strong candidate to reach that milestone.

The Isles are only going to get better and Tavares is only going to improve. I still do not rule him out for 100 points one day. His five-point game Tuesday doesn’t hurt his outlook, either.

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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