Questions for the Frog

by Eric Maltais on November 28, 2007
Cory Stillman


I received a lot of feedback following my 60 thoughts on 30 teams column a couple of weeks ago. Some of you liked the article and some of you really thought it was…well, a piece of crap. But whatever your opinion, don’t hesitate to comment on the articles through the forum . It’s good to hear from you and to debate the opinions we write week in and week out. We’re not always right and it’s up to you, the reader, to decide whether to accept our views or not, but one thing I can guarantee is that we’ll always make you consider the moves to make in your fantasy leagues. You can also post suggestions on topics you’d like us to cover in our respective columns, so go ahead and put in your two cents’ worth.

This week, the Croaks are a 'Questions for the Frog' special, featuring several questions received over the past week.


I am in a one year points only fantasy league with 14 teams and limited moves. I have already used 6 out of the 10 allotted moves and I currently have a goaltending dilemma. Right now I have 2 slots for goalies and I have Emery and Khabibulin. Emery has been killing me all season and I know he COULD get the starting job back but I am losing hope. Available in the waivers are the following; Bryzgalov, Osgood, Theodore, Labarbera, Ellis, Price and Garon. We get 2 points for a Win and 3 for a SO. Just wondering if you think it would be a good idea to waste one of my remaining moves to pick one of these guys up or if I should keep being patient with Emery and hope Gerber gets hit by a falling skate. – Celly (Canada)

FROG: Alot of people are starting to give up on Emery, and I'm also worried about him, but I know that Gerber can lose any time (and has started to do so lately), so Emery's value could change very quickly. Other than Bryzgalov, Labarbera and Theodore (who's in a time share situation) all others are backups so they aren't worth wasting 1 of your 4 remaining moves. Bryzgalov, Labarbera and Theo's win potential is limited given the teams they play for so I'd take the chance that Emery wins back at least a 50-50 share with Gerber and if that happens he'll be good for as many wins as those other goaltenders. If it wasn't for your limited number of moves, I'd drop Emery for Osgood short term with the strong possibility of dropping Osgood within a month if Hasek regains his form, but you can't really afford to do that since you need to keep your moves in case of injuries.

Currently in 4th place in 10 team, 5 keeper, Yahoo H2H league.  Cats include G, A, +/-, PPG, PPA, SHP, GWG, SOG, FW, W, L, GAA, SA, SV, SV%, SHO
16-team roster allowed to play 2C, 2RW, 2LW, 3D, 1 utility, 2G each night. Roster includes:
C-Getzlaf, Spezza, Belanger
LW-Vanek, Kariya, Parise, Stillman
RW-Gaborik, Radulov, Erat
D-EJ, Niedermayer, Boyle-(IR)
G-Kipper, Emery, Gerber, LaBarbera
Have been offered Kane for Stillman. Considering accepting because I'm not sure if Stillman will continue at his current pace, plus Kane could be a great keeper prospect. Would you pull the trigger or try to package Stillman with someonelse like Erat to try to land a stud RW?
Keith (Mpls)

FROG: Don't even hesitate for a second to do that deal. Kane is an outstanding keeper who'll soon be a regular 100-point player. He has the ability to become the top right-winger in the NHL very soon. In fact, Kane and Radulov could possibly be the top two at the position in three years time. Stillman is playing over his head and the age of 33, soon to be 34, his trade value will never be so high. You’ll have very strong keepers to choose from and can use that depth later on or in the off-season to pull a 2 for 1 deal and land another stud. You can also look for help on defense and you should use your depth on the wings to help you out in that area.

Center Marleau or Modano for the rest of the year? Defenseman Brent Burns or Bouwmeester for the rest of the year? Is either LW Semin or RW Havlat worth adding?  They are both free agents right now along with RW Hemsky. I am in 1st place, but I need goal scorers. – Regi

FROG: Modano has surprised me lately; he’s been playing very well lately, scoring 12 points in his last 10 games. I don’t think he’ll keep it up, but I’m not very confident in Marleau this season. I think 2007-08 will be a very disappointing season for Marleau and that he’ll bounce back in a big way next season. So for now go with Modano and ride his hot streak. As noted in last week’s column, Bouwmeester is a notorious slow starter who turns it up in December. However, I’m worried that Cory Murphy will cut into his production so I’d go with Burns as a safer pick. If you need goals, Semin and Havlat are definitely worth adding unless you have to drop a stud player to acquire either of them. When they play, they’ll produce and they are first and foremost goalscorers while Hemsky can’t be expected to score 30 goals. Of course, Semin and Havlat won’t score 30 either if they don’t play enough, which is a distinct possibility, but their upside is too high to ignore.

I have a trade deadline coming up (I have 3 more through out the year) in Dec. I have Stempniak (Boyes, Erat, Plekanec, Ribeiro & Perry are available), Little bro Hossa (Kobasew & Belanger) Eriksson (Fiddler, Vasicek) & Backstrom (Kane, Hamilton, Stillman & Kessel). I can trade three of these guys although I would hate to use them all up. Do you think Backstrom may pick it up with the new coach? Will Stempniak ever make it off the third line? – Shawn (Canada)

FROG: Backstrom’s play is very typical of a rookie. He’s getting accustomed to the NHL and will have several ups and downs throughout the season. Much of his production will depend on the role he is asked to play. If he continues to play on the third line, it’ll be very hard for him to put up decent numbers. Unfortunately, I think we may have to wait until next season for his emergence. With the arrival of Kariya, Boyes and Rucinsky and return of Tkachuk in St-Louis, Stempniak is playing a role better suited to his abilities. You shouldn’t expect anything out of Marcel Hossa and Loui Eriksson so those are the first two guys you should normally look to dump. However, it doesn’t look like you can pick up much value on return.

So the decision must be made based upon which acquisition will give you more production comparatively to the player you drop. With that in mind, I’d drop Hossa and pick up Kobasew who I believe will score 30 goals this season and have 40 points more than Hossa. I’d keep Eriksson since his potential replacements wouldn’t bring you much in return, maybe 20 points more than Eriksson. Stempniak could still end up with 50 points so you’d need to look at a guy who’ll score at least 70 to make it worth your while. Erat is your best bet amongst the players available with Perry a close second. If you make those two moves, you’ll want to keep a third for later on so it’s a good idea to gamble on Backstrom for now.

I'm in a predicament. My team sucks. Here's my team:

Scott Gomez
Nik Antropov
Mike Ribeiro
Pierre-Marc Bouchard  (C,RW)
Robert Lang

Henrik Zetterberg
Tomas Holmstrom (LW/RW)
Erik Cole (LW,RW) [on IR]

Corey Perry
Ales Kotalik

Andrej Meszaros
Tomas Kaberle
Sergei Gonchar
Adrian Aucoin
Tobias Enstrom

I'm a bottom feeder in my 9-team Roto league with points, +/- and pen. I've had to deal with a number of stinkers, Gomez chief among them. Now I have Cole coming off the IR and I have no idea what to do, other than insert him ASAP. Who do I put on waivers? – Mike (Canada)

FROG: First off, let’s eliminate Gomez who you must keep. He picked up his play in November and has scored 14 points in the last 13 games. An option would be to drop Meszaros, but that would leave you thin on D. You’re also thin on wing, so you must drop a center. Ribeiro is very hot so you need to continue to ride him. Bouchard has the added value of right-wing eligibility. Lang is playing pretty well and is a decent backup. So my advice is to drop Antropov who I’m already on record as saying has no fantasy value anymore in most leagues. He has scored a mere 5 points in the last 12 games to go along with a -10 during that span. Since he doesn’t earn any penalty minutes, all he’s done lately is hurt you.

Wondering who to pick-up? Who to trade? Who to keep? Write to the Fantasy Frog at [email protected] and you could see your fantasy hockey question answered in Croaks from the Fantasy Frog. Please indicate where you are from.


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