Ramblings: Bubble Keeper Week – Schneider, Labanc, Kase, Couturier and tons of ‘Player X or Player Y’ Questions (July 22)
Welcome to the second annual Bubble Keeper Week! Starting now, every article posted this week will be focused on keepers who will be on the bubble. We basically took away all players in the Top 150 in my monthly Rankings, and will focus on the others.
I solicited Tweets over the last few days, using the hashtag #AskDobber to round them up. I’m not going to quote all the Tweets, as it would take too long and looks a little messy. I broke the questions down into three sections…
Bubble Keeper #AskDobber
Section 1 – Single Players
Love the buy-low opportunity here, made some inquiries on him myself. In the end I didn’t want to pay a 31-year-old Cam Talbot and his opportunity in Calgary for a 33-year-old Schneider. I only like Schneider for this year, and year-by-year going forward. He finished strong last season and now the Devils are a much better team.
Regular readers of my Ramblings know that Labanc is a Dobber Darling. Ever since he was a prospect. His steady year-over-year points-per-game number is a beautiful thing. He’s going to keep going and I think he’ll be a first liner in two to three years.
Very injury prone so I don’t like him for fantasy, but I do love his numbers in limited action last season. I projected him for 44 points in the coming season, though in just 66 games which is about as good as it gets for an Anaheim player.
I have him for 57 in 75 next season. This is a rebound year for him, but scoring will be limited in Anaheim and so that will hold him back in terms of just how much he can rebound.
Section 2: This Guy or That Guy
Adam Boqvist or Bowen Byram
This one is very tough but I would prefer to have Byram. I think the wait time is the same. Upside is probably damn close. But I think Byram gets to those nice fantasy numbers sooner.
Keller for me because he is the Golden Boy on his team. Karlsson is not. Always safer to take the Golden Boy.
I would have said Delia until Chicago signed Robin Lehner. I also like how Petersen’s new contract is one-way starting next year. So give me Petersen.
If it’s a goal-heavy league I like Arvidsson here. But in all other league types (i.e. most of them) I prefer Couturier for the upside and the safe immediate production least reliant on others.
This one is tough. Mantha has more upside, but has injury risk and is less proven. He also had a great final month clicking on that big Detroit line. Tempting, but I would go safe here with Horvat.
Patrick all day long. I’m not seeing a lot out of Jost yet and think he’ll top out as a second liner. I’m still confident in Patrick getting to the first line.
Yandle is a steady eddie and he seems to just be getting better. I think flirting with 60 points this season is still in the cards, and probably next season as well. He’s in phenomenal shape. But Trouba will get 50 or 55, with upside for more. And he can still get better. The age gap here makes me go with Trouba, even though there is some risk of injury (and Yandle is an iron man).
Juuse Saros or Pavel Francouz
Saros. Saros. Saros. Francouz had a great year, his transition to North American hockey has been fabulous. But he’s not proven and has no pedigree. Saros is going to be a star. He’s only 24. One thing I noticed, working on the Fantasy Guide, is his workload. The team adds five games to his workload each year. Last year was 31 games, this year is 36. Next year 41. Then he’s the starter. He’s only 24 years old, the Preds are doing it right.
Great question here (he also had Artturi Lehkonen and Kevin Fiala listed, but to me it came down to these two). Hischier is steadily improving and was probably going to get to 60 points this year with a healthy season. His playing with Jack Hughes on the power play makes him an even better option long term. Granlund will be better than he showed with Nashville. I project his linemates to be Matt Duchene and Kyle Turris (moves to the wing). I see Granlund hitting in the low 60s this season, thus beating Hischier by just a point or two. But for the long-term potential here, I would go with Hischier because “just a point or two” doesn’t compensate for that.
I assume Gallagher is in there because your league goes beyond points-only. For this I enlisted the help of our Player Compare tool (click here to see the results for yourself). Last year it was Couturier by a mile. Given that Atkinson’s production will dip a little and Gallagher should be stagnant, I would go with Couturier here again.
Muzzin takes it and I fully agree. Pretty solid, reliable points that actually went up when he arrived in Toronto. More Hits, higher IPP (more involved in the offense) and more PIM too.
For this one I didn’t use the compare tool because things will be very different next year. Niederreiter a full year with Sebastian Aho? And Labanc, a Dobber Darling improving year over year? Konecny is improving, but only slowly. I think Labanc tops 60 points this year. But man… El Nino. Just on the chance that things continue to blossom, I take Niederreiter here. He also carries the biggest risk because I hate counting on players who are reliant on other players. But I’m confident enough that I would take that risk and go with El Nino.
Bergeron won this contest last year, but Zibanejad has Artemi Panarin there now. Put me down for Zibanejad as a result of this (again counting on linemates here, but he’s a pretty safe player even without Panarin whereas Niederreiter is not safe without Aho).
Section 3: Miscellaneous
In cap leagues with Yahoo standard scoring would you keep some of these $10M+ scorers like Jack Eichel or Auston Matthews over guys like Dylan Larkin or Timo Meier that may not score as much but delivery in all cats and also save you 5-6 million to draft more scoring help?
I love the value that you get for Larkin and Meier here at half the price. I will admit that it’s been years since I was in a cap league, and maybe my Dobbernomics playing is influencing me, but I think Larkin at 75 points and better categories for half the price beats Matthews at 90 points.
Jones, Letang and Ehlers for sure. I like defensemen over forwards when it comes to these decisions. Pacioretty had me thinking, because I like him playing with Mark Stone. If positions don’t matter then I go with Pacioretty, Hoffman and Ehlers.
There were a few questions that I didn’t get to. Cam mentioned to me that he will tackle them for his Ramblings. Look for them late Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.
All week the writers will be focusing on those players on the cusp. Hopefully we can help with a few of your decisions this offseason.
I’m still taking votes on which player to do an in-depth “Lowdown” for each team in the Fantasy Guide. Voting is done only in the forum. You can vote in this section as it will have two polls posted each day. Voting has been closed for Anaheim through Pittsburgh, with Troy Terry, Nick Schmaltz, Jake DeBrusk, Casey Mittelstadt, Noah Hanifin, Andrei Svechnikov, Dylan Strome, Oliver Bjorkstrand (by a mile), Samuel Girard (also by a mile), Oliver Bjorkstrand, Roope Hintz, Tyler Bertuzzi, Jesse Puljujarvi, Henrik Borgstrom, Tyler Toffoli, Kevin Fiala, Jonathan Drouin, Mikael Granlund, Pavel Zacha/Nico Hischier, Ryan Pulock, Pavel Buchnevich, Brady Tkachuk and Nolan Patrick as the players the community has selected. Be sure to check in at this section daily for the latest polls and have your say (right now TBL and STL are still open).
The Fantasy Guide is rolling along. It will have a new look this year, just like the other two Guides released in 2019. Much more reader friendly. And I have added (or I guess “changed” is more apt) a feature that will add even more weapons to your arsenal at this year’s fantasy draft. And there also be a chance to win a Google Home (details in the Guide). I’m done Anaheim through New Jersey for the teams. Things are underway! Pre-order here in the new Dobber Sports store.
The new DobberHockey site is coming very soon. I’m scheduled to see the ‘test’ site for that today, in fact. You hate this site, I know. You love the content, but hate the clunky 2010 look and feel of it. Be patient, we’re so close I can taste it.
See you next Monday
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