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Summer evaluation

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Even though we are still far from the start of another NHL season, major news continues to flow – much of which will impact your fantasy league. Let’s get to the letters!

Hey Mr. Dobbs, Big fan of your articles! I'm in a yearly 12-man league, points only (forwards and defensemen). I was wondering where you would draft Mike Green? Should I try to take him early or wait until the third round or later? Also, do you see Bryan Little playing with Antropov and Kovalchuk or White and Kozlov? Would it be crazy to think Colin Wilson could contribute 50 points or more with Nashville? Do you see Nicklas Bergfors making the Devils and putting up points right away?

Elliott, Montreal

If your league requires you to activate a certain amount of defensemen, I would take Green fourth behind the Big Three (Crosby, Ovechkin and Malkin). If you are not required to have a defenseman active and all points are awarded equal, I would still consider him a top-30 pick (I have him 26th in my predictions for this year).

Little – yes, I see him on the top line with Kovalchuk and Antropov.

Wilson – I think that’s pretty optimistic. I like him, but I also liked David Legwand when he was 19. Wilson plays a sound all-around game, but I don’t think we will see a lot of offense for a couple of years yet. In fact, with Cal O’Reilly trying to get a one-way contract I think we might see Wilson in the American League for a year, which is probably for the best. Nashville does not rush their kids.

Bergfors – I think he will make the Devils, but as you may have noticed in a recent article I don’t think he’ll be a big producer in his first few NHL seasons. As he did in the AHL, Bergfors will need to adjust first.

Mr. Dobbs, I'm in a 10-team, salary-capped keeper pool that only counts points. I'm very weak on wing. My present wingers include: Brad Boyes, Brian Gionta, Nik Zherdev, Martin Havlat, Andrew Cogliano, Milan Michalek, Andrei Kostitsyn, Andrew Brunette and Wojtek Wolski. Not exactly a stellar cast. What is Cogliano's upside? Will Kostitsyn ever be a 70-point player? Who among David Booth, Ryane Clowe, David Perron, David Backes or Kris Versteeg would you swap for my incumbents?

Peter, Vancouver

Hmmm…everyone seems to be asking for my dad this month…

Cogliano – I wait until a player with his potential (perhaps as high as the mid-80s) has played four years in the league before I start pigeonholing him into a lower-production bracket. So even if ‘Cogs’ posted only 40 points this season, I still think a breakout is feasible. Ideally, he would show a little something this year – just to give us a glimpse of what is coming. If he can flirt with 60 points in 2009-10, I will remain comfortable with my mid-80s statement.

I still think Andrei Kostitsyn will be a 70-point player with upside for more. Not this season, but next. His ugly 2008-09 was just a step back; likely (hopefully?) a one-off.

I would replace Zherdev – who is expected to officially sign in the Kontinental League any day now – with Brunette and Wolski with Booth, Perron or Backes. Disclosure: I’ve never been high on Wolski, so a lot of fantasy experts would probably take me to task on that one. But he’s too inconsistent for my liking.

Hey Dobber, We just added rounds to our rookie draft for our keeper league. I need help ranking these rookies (G, A, PPG, SHG, GWG): Drayson Bowman, Brett MacLean, Zack Kassian, Richard Panik and Joe Colborne.

Chuck, Fredericton, N.B.

In order:

Bowman – probably ready and has good upside.

Colborne – one or two years away, but the highest upside on this list.

MacLean – underrated, but still a year away

Kassian – of all the teams to draft him, the one that could use him the earliest is Buffalo. Still, as a power forward it will be six years or more before you get any return on him.

Panik – He is too unknown of a package at this point in time. The upside is there, but he is the least certain of this group to make the NHL.

How much of a percentage of playoff points is used in determining the player’s fantasy total value?

Jeff, Milton, Ont.

In my keeper league player rankings I don’t use playoff points as a variable. I use the team’s playoff value. So the players on a team such as Pittsburgh would see about seven extra points on their rating, whereas players on a team such as the Islanders would see zero. Not much weight at all, but a little.

Hey Darryl, I have a chance of getting Zach Parise for three years in my keeper league. Would you give up Jason Spezza signed for four years?

Paul, Kouchibouguac, N.B.

No. Even if Spezza completely fell off the map and had 30 points last season I would still prefer him because his upside is so much higher.

Most fantasy owners will disagree because fantasy hockey is a “what have you done for me lately” kind of game and Parise is coming off a 94-point season to Spezza’s 73. But when Spezza was aged 23, 24 and 25 he had a points-per-game average of at least 1.21. Parise is now 25 and has not yet reached that mark.

Compound that with the arrival of Jacques Lemaire in New Jersey, a coach who has never had a player reach 87 points on his team and I’m backing Spezza.

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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