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New year evaluations

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

May this be a decade of winning for all of my readers. To kickstart the process, let’s get to the letters!

Should I drop Devin Setoguchi? How many points do you expect from him?

Alex, New York

I’ll say 42 points this season, which is an increase in the second half, but not enough to make him worth a roster spot in most rotisserie leagues.

Alexander Semin signed a one-year extension, which will make him an unrestricted free agent in 2011. Do you think he has a future in Washington beyond that? Also, would you consider late next season to be a sell-high mark for Semin, or will he be able to perform regardless of his team? I don't get to see many of Washington's games, but in my opinion, it seems like he creates many chances for himself and doesn't entirely rely on production from Nicklas Backstrom/Alex Ovechkin.

Andrew, parts unknown

I agree – Semin gets his points with or without Ovechkin and he’ll get them on any team. But will that team be a Kontinental League squad with deep pockets? That’s the million-dollar question and one reason why you won’t be selling high next season. There is not only that risk, but also his fragility to deal with – frankly, I would be shopping him around now and see what you can get. His points can come fast and furious, but who knows when the next injury will strike?

I am trying to deal Pavel Datsyuk for goaltending help. I have someone who offered me Ilya Bryzgalov and John Tavares for Datsyuk and Sergei Gonchar (12-team keeper league 10 cat roto H2H). Losing Gonchar would leave me with four D-men (Brent Seabrook, Dan Boyle, Lubomir Visnovsky and Drew Doughty). Losing Datsyuk wouldn't hurt as badly – my centers would be Nicklas Backstrom, Tavares and Olli Jokinen. Would Bryz solve my goaltending issues, or do I need to ask for Roberto Luongo instead? And am I losing too much here by getting Tavares and Bryzgalov for two stars rather than trying to go after one of his big boys like Jeff Carter, Mike Cammalleri or Simon Gagne?

Desmond, Playa Del Rey, Calif.

I like this deal for you a lot, actually. I’m beginning to wonder if we are only going to get 65 games a year out of Gonchar going forward, plus he is likely on his way out of Pittsburgh this summer as a free agent. Your four defensemen are very good and in three years I think Tavares will be every bit as good as Datsyuk, even better in some categories. In the meantime, Datsyuk is having a horrible year and, given that, the downgrade to Tavares is not exactly a steep one. Bryzgalov and Evgeni Nabokov will give you the best 1-2 punch in your league and I assume goaltending is four or five of your categories. It can’t hurt to dicker, but if it gets right down to it I would make this deal as is.

Hey Dobber – was wondering if you'd care to comment on an 'over/under' list of players who are either over or underachieving. Will it continue, or do you think they will break the trend?

Overachievers: Jimmy Howard, Matt Moulson, Maxim Afinogenov, Rich Peverley, Mason Raymond and Andy Greene.

Underachievers: Steve Mason, Matt Niskanen, Ville Leino, Peter Mueller, Nicklas Lidstrom and Derick Brassard


Chris, Halifax

Sure Chris, here goes:

Howard – Detroit will try to push the workload off to Osgood as we head to the stretch. If Osgood stumbles, then yes Howard will continue and perhaps even improve. However, I think with a healthy lineup, which the Wings should have in a month, Osgood will start to turn it around and Howard will probably sit more as we approach April.

Moulson – He’s already off the Tavares line (something I thought would never happen) and is in a slump. He should still be good for 45 points.

Afinogenov – Yes, he’s strong in Atlanta and, barring an injury, he will continue to be.

Peverley – He’ll still reach 65 points, despite his recent slowdown.

Raymond – He won’t continue is recent torrid pace of nearly a point-per-game, but he’ll finish around 60.

Greene – This one is tough, as he was getting scratched before Paul Martin went down. I do know Greene will keep this up while Martin recovers. But when Martin returns, you may see a slowdown.

Mason – I think the year will be a write-off for Mr. Mason. But of everyone you listed, he has the most hope for picking it up again.

Niskanen, Leino, Mueller – Not this year.

Lidstrom – He’ll bounce back, but just not to the level we’re used to seeing from him. He’s on pace for 38 points, but I think he’ll get to 48.

Brassard – Not this year. Unless Ken Hitchcock is fired; a new coach would give him the ice time.

Hey Dobber – I enjoy your column and rankings…Onto the questions:

1) Is Steve Mason in a sophomore slump or was last year a fluke?

2) Will Nik Antropov play at the same level, or close to it, without Ilya Kovalchuk?

3) Is Alexander Frolov just having an ‘off’ year?

4) Is Matt Duchene worth holding onto in place of any of the other 10 I’ve given to you?

5) What's the long-term potential of Chris Stewart?

Alex, Dallas

Thanks Alex, I’ll give these a shot:

1. No fluke, definitely a slump. Probably too much, too soon for the youngster.

2. Yes, I think he’s a 65- to 70-point guy with or without Kovy.

3. I think Frolov always has ‘off’ years. I also think he is a KHL risk if he overvalues himself as a UFA next summer and in a keeper league, I don’t want him.

4. Of the 10 players you gave me, I would keep Duchene over both Antropov and Travis Zajac.

5. I think he can be a 70-point guy in the right environment, which is actually the environment he is currently in.

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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