Capped: Fantasy Trade Deadline Targets

Logan Doyle

2021-03-04

We're closing in on one of the most exciting dates of the season for fantasy owners, the trade deadline. Players can switch fantasy teams faster than Alex Galchenyuk in the days leading up to the deadline. If you think NHL teams can make mistakes at a deadline, they have nothing on fantasy owners.

As exciting as it is being a top team going for the league championship it's important to really take stock of your team. I like referring to this process as a 'team autopsy.' I will do a player-by-player autopsy of my roster several times a year, specifically as soon as the season has ended, a couple weeks before the season starts, and two weeks before the deadline. In my multi-cat pools I'm looking for specific categories I'm deficient in. Once I identify an area of weakness I'll then make a list of potential trade targets. I'll also look at free agents as you never know when someone has been overlooked. 

It's a personal decision to swing for the fences and go for the homerun deal by landing one, two, three, or even more studs at one deadline. In a dynasty pool you'll end up liquidating every asset you have to make it happen. Pulling off a that monster deal though, that's why we play.

There are players playing well over their head that will come with inflated prices based on current production, two examples are Joe Pavelski and Jordan Staal.  At 27 percent and 23.7 percent shooting percentage they're in for serious regression. This being a shortened season there looms the possibility the full affect of regression doesn't show its ugly head before the games are done. At $7 million (M) and $6M, buyer beware.   In multi-cat pools Staal does provides over two hits per game and almost 59 percent on the dot. That production is sustainable with career averages. The offensive bubble is more likely to burst on Staal than Pavelski considering he has never had more than 50 points in a season.

There are some real bargains around the league that will come significantly cheaper than Pavelski and Staal. They don't have the flair of a blockbuster deal either. If you have a strong prospect pool tinkering rather than swinging for the fence like Sammy Sosa (baseball reference) will allow you to be competitive for years. 

Here's a few depth options to consider.

Joe Thornton, Toronto Maple Leafs ($1M) – This one is for points only pools or deep, deep multi-cat pools. He's had a couple injuries limiting his games, but he has still rolled out 10 points in 11 games. It's been four years since he's provided an owner with anything other than pure points. With 11 shots and two hits that