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Risky proposals

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Deadline Day. It’s make or break time for many of the fantasy leagues out there. Let’s get to some letters!

TSN seems to believe that James van Riemsdyk could be on the move to Atlanta for Kari Lehtonen. Short-term, I think this will be a good move for JVR, but for the long-term do you see this as seriously stunting his upside? He could form one of the most dangerous lines in the league with Carter and Giroux in a couple of years if he stays with Philly. Thanks Dobber!

Kyle, Hamilton, Ont.

I think blue chippers like JVR will perform no matter what team they launch their careers on. Don’t worry about van Riemsdyk, no matter where he ends up (if he moves at all).

I'm in a 12-team keeper league. At the end of the year, we are allowed to keep three forwards. The stat categories are (G, A, +/-, PIM, SOG, PP, SH, FW). I'm pretty deep at forward so I'm having some problems picking my top three. My top choices are: Evgeni Malkin, Eric Staal, Nicklas Backstrom, Derek Roy, Brenden Morrow and Olli Jokinen. I've got a pretty good lead in my Yahoo league, so I could package a few of them together and go for a different player to protect like a Spezza. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Bill, Calgary

To me, it is cut and dry. Protect Evgeni Malkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Brenden Morrow (for an edge in multi-categories). In my books, that’s as good a threesome as you’ll get.

Dobber, I'm in a limited keeper fantasy pool and I can only keep one goalie. I'm looking for a balance of solid production next year and value over the next three years. Who would you keep, Martin Brodeur, Pekka Rinne, Rick DiPietro or Mason?

Steve, Winnipeg, Man.

If that’s Steve Mason and not Chris, then I would choose him. If it is Chris, then I would go with Brodeur. He still has two elite years left in him and probably one more very good season after that before slipping to just “pretty good.”

Hey Dobber. This is a one-year league, straight points. The top free agents based on our pool points are: Antti Miettinen, Niklas Hagman, Dominic Moore, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Wojtek Wolski, Matt Cullen and Marek Svatos. Who do you like? Also, does a partial keeper league work well in your opinion? Protect two to four of 12 skaters going into the next year?

Randy, Lindsay, Ont.

I think Bouchard is your steadiest bet, or if you have unlimited moves, you can try streaming (the practice of moving players in and out of your lineup as needed). It would depend on how often you can make moves, of course, but under that system you can always play the hot hand.

Regarding your question on partial keepers, the answer is no. To me, if you limit the number of players you can keep to such a small amount, some people in your pool will have trouble letting go of some of their better players. In a system like this, the owners who have one of the Big Four (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green) have the advantage.

Keeping only two to four players is nonsensical in my opinion, because everyone is just keeping the same quality of player with the notable exceptions I pointed out above. Since the skill of running a successful fantasy team rests in how you handle the middle and later rounds, restricting the amount of keepers to such a low number makes the purpose of keeper leagues irrelevant. It may as well be a one-year pool, because you aren’t employing a big strategy shift. If your league has 12 teams in it, I say the minimum keepers you need to have to truly enjoy that ‘keeper feeling’ is 10 players per team. And to be frank, keeping the entire roster is my true preference.

Is Rick DiPietro finished long-term or is this just a ploy to get John Tavares? That is, if the Islanders were a decent team, would DiPietro have come back and played or do you think he is at risk of retiring? I have him in my perpetual pool and hope he's still a good long-term keeper.

David, Whitehorse, Yukon

I believe DiPietro would not play this year regardless of the team’s long-term goals; he is truly injured. From what we have seen from him, the long-term outlook would appear to be DiPietro getting hurt pretty much every year going forward. If you ever get 60 games out of him, consider yourself lucky. That may change after a couple of healthy years, but at the present that is how I see it.

Dobber, please evaluate my goalie situation in a 10-team deep 15-keeper roto league. Active roster: Roberto Luongo, Rick DiPietro and Scott Clemmensen. Minor League roster: Pekka Rinne, Jon Quick, Josh Harding, Ondrej Pavelec, John Curry, Jeff Frazee, Curtis Darling and Mark Dekanich. None of the minor league goalies will take up a keeper spot, as they are all still minors-eligible at least thru 2009-10. With Rinne and Quick's success, should I count on them for next season and perhaps move DiPietro? Will Harding or Pavelec help me next year? What about Curry being MAF's backup in Pittsburgh next year?

Mark, Lancaster, Pa.

Looking at your goaltending, I would say you could ride Luongo and Rinne to success next year and beyond. I believe Pavelec is a great one for the future and if Harding can go to a new team, ditto for him. Curry should be the backup in Pittsburgh next year and makes a great dark horse if Marc-Andre Fleury gets hurt. Move DiPietro if you can get anything for him – his injuries are too much for a fantasy owner to handle. As for Quick – he is touch and go in my books. I don’t trust any goaltender in Los Angeles right now, as that position is still in a bit of a flux.

I am in a 12-team keeper league (regular stats) and we get eight keepers every year, plus we get to keep prospects that have yet to play 50 games. I am having trouble deciding whom to keep for next year. My locks are Jason Spezza, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Steve Mason, Roberto Luongo, and Patrik Elias. Out of Shea Weber, Brenden Morrow and Johan Franzen, whom would you recommend keeping? Is Franzen going to re-sign with Detroit? I can see that negatively affecting his value if he does not.

Ben, Whitby, Ont.

If your league requires defensemen, then keeping Weber is a no-brainer. If it does not, keep the two forwards. Of the two forwards, Morrow has the most upside by far. He has the ability to get 80 points. Franzen may get 70, but I see him as a 70-game player who gets 60 to 65 points each season.

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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