Welcome back to another edition of the Roos Lets Loose monthly mailbag, where I answer your fantasy hockey questions by giving advice that should be useful to all poolies even if they don't own the specific players being discussed. As a reminder, if you want your fantasy hockey question(s) answered in the next mailbag, check out the end of the column, where I explain the ways to get it/them to me as well as the details you should provide when sending. The earlier you send a question the more likely it is to be included in the mailbag, and the deeper dive I can provide with my reply.
Question #1 (from Justin)
I'm looking for advice on some cap prioritizing for my 10 team, actual salary, keep 15, points-only league, with an NHL cap ceiling of $81.5M (next season $82.5M, tracking the real NHL cap). There are
22 player rosters (6 bench) and there must be 11F, 4D and 1G on each team's roster at all times. The roster size means we have twice as many keepers as drafted players each season. Benched players do not count against the cap, and the league also has a rule where one player can count for only half his salary, with the caveat being he can't be benched if he gets hurt and that player has to be designated prior to the season.
I currently have Aleksander Barkov, Artemi Panarin, and Brayden Point, who'll cost me, respectively, $12M, $12.5M and $9M next season. I realize that's a lot; however, I feel I can afford them due to having Cole Caufield, Quinton Byfield, Alex Newhook and Seth Jarvis, each of whom will make $0.93M next season. The rest of my keepers likely will be taken from this group, with their salary for next season in parentheses: Nikolaj Ehlers ($4.5M), Tyson Barrie ($4.5M), Connor Hellebuyck ($4.5M), Zach Hyman ($5.1M), Max Pacioretty ($5.25M), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($5.5M), Aaron Ekblad ($6M), John Carlson ($6M), Josh Norris (RFA).
I'm wondering how this looks to you, particularly if you think the four ELC guys will do enough by next se