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Time to drop Fleury?

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Believe it or not, the quarter pole of the 2010-11 season is rapidly approaching. Time to start making some moves - let’s get to the letters!

I'm looking for some depth at forward in a very deep league. Which of Sean Bergenheim or P-A Parenteau will gather the most points or be the most effective in a head-to-head league with standard categories? Those two are getting some time on the top lines and on the power play, but will it last? Thanks for the advice.

Thomas, Cookshire-Eaton, Que.

Bergenheim will give you the better numbers in terms of multiple categories, but Parenteau has better odds of staying healthy. If you have a solid bench and a free waiver wire, I would go with Bergenheim until he gets hurt.

Hi Dobber, I am in a keeper league. I have J-M Liles as one of my D-Men (Mike Green, Lubomir Visnovsky, Nicklas Lidstrom and Marek Zidlicky are my others): is he for real this year or should I look at trading him while he is so hot.

Nelson, Fort St. John, B.C.

Not so hot anymore, Nelson, as Liles has gone pointless in the four games since you sent this question in. But if anyone still values him like a 55-point defenseman, absolutely trade him. I think he’s a 45- to 50-point guy.

Hi Dobber, I'm in a one-year league with normal points attribution and I have Nik Antropov and Jiri Hudler. The two are off to a slow start. Do you have any idea why Hudler is just playing eight or nine minutes per game? In a lot of magazines I read before the beginning of the season, they were giving 60-65 points to him: do you think he will reach that? If you had to choose between Rene Bourque, Andrew Ladd or Kris Versteeg and one of the two players I've mentioned, who would you choose?

David, Quebec

I’m as guilty of this as anyone, but the transition back to the smaller ice surface was not factored in for Hudler. The rinks in Russia give a lot more room to move about and are tailor-made for Hudler’s game. Furthermore, he is habitually a slow starter. His ice time has steadily declined this season because the production hasn’t been there (no goals and three assists in 11 games). Yes, Hudler will get rolling again by January, but it will be far too late to get the 65-plus points I thought he would get. Now you should be hoping for 55. I would choose Bourque from your list and sub in Hudler off my bench if (and when) the fragile Bourque gets hurt.

My center position is where I’m considering a change. I currently have Travis Zajac and his lack of production is killing me (not to mention Parise). Now, there are still some decent centers available, specifically Matt Duchene, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and a few IR guys like Marc Savard and Jordan Staal. The question I have is am I giving up on Zajac too early or should I make a move? My current team is as follows: Crosby, Zajac, Parise, Ladd, Horton, Backes, Chara, E. Johnson, Hedman, Kronwall, Jimmy Howard and Turco in net with Gagne and P. Mueller on IR. I’ve gone from third place to 10th in a week and it seems to be getting worse. Any advice would be appreciated.

Scott, Bowmanville, Ont.

I don’t think, even if Zajac was red hot right now, Duchene is a downgrade. Make that switch: it’s an upgrade made even more obvious by Zajac’s slump and his linemate Zach Parise’s injury.

Hi Dobber, I'm in a 12-team rotisserie league and was wondering who you would take between Derick Brassard and Antoine Vermette? Thanks for your insight!

Yannick, Switzerland

Brassard. Because it is a roto league my main concern (health) is alleviated because you can always go back to the wire.

I am in a free, one-year fantasy league with a bunch of my friends. We are just doing it for fun, but the trash talk has been plentiful so I want to do well. I am currently getting smoked because of my goaltending situation. I have M-A Fleury and Miikka Kiprusoff. Kipper started slow, but has done better lately. I feel OK staying with him. But Fleury is absolutely killing me. There are some quality free agent goalies I could add. Do I hold on to Flower and hope he turns it around or drop him and add someone else?

Cambria, Huntsville, Alabama

I don’t own Fleury in any of my leagues, but I am in a similar position as you in two of them. How I would solve the issue is to take up an extra spot on my bench for a goaltender - in this case Fleury. Then I would pick up a netminder, preferably Brent Johnson. I would ride Johnson for as long as it lasts and drop him when Fleury heats up again. But no, I would not drop Fleury. I just wouldn’t have him active.

Hi Dobbs, I'm in a points-only league (not a keeper) and I was wondering if I should drop James van Riemsdyk for another winger or just stick it out (as JVR seems to be a streaky player)? But, with 16 teams the pickings are pretty slim. I have the choices of the following: Jeff Skinner, Magnus Paajarvi, Tyler Kennedy and Raffi Torres.

Casey, New York

Make that JVR for Skinner swap like…yesterday! Get on it! See my Saturday column for more on Skinner.

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 other Wednesday during the season. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.

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