Fantasy Mailbag: Dynasty and Limited Keeper Decisions, Laine, Dumba, & Provorov

by Rick Roos on August 28, 2019
  • Roos Lets Loose
  • Fantasy Mailbag: Dynasty and Limited Keeper Decisions, Laine, Dumba, & Provorov

 

The mailbag got extra full over the past month, which is fine by me! But to answer all the questions I’ll keep some of my answers a bit shorter than usual. Still, I’ll maintain the goal of giving thorough enough responses while at the same time providing useful fantasy advice and food for thought to other readers, even if they don’t own the player(s) which happen to be the subject of these inquiries. Now onto the record number of questions – 13! – for this month!

 

Question #1 (from Dwayne)

I’m in a 10-team keeper league. We play 4C, 6W, 4D, 2G per week and get one FA pick-up each year. All positions (even goalies) get 1 point for a goal and 1 point for an assist; goalies also get 2 points for a win, 1 point for OT/SO loss, and 3 points for a shutout. Roster size is set at 33, so I need to drop 4 players. Here is my roster of 37 as of right now:

Centers: Sebastien Aho, Jack Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly, Sean Couturier, Logan Couture, Charlie Coyle, Vincent Trocheck, Ryan Donato, Adam Henrique, Robby Fabbri, Michael Rasmussen, Joel Eriksson Ek and Martin Necas

Wingers: Phil Kessel, Gabriel Landeskog, Jakub Voracek, Jamie Benn, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Johansson, James Van Riemsdyk, Taylor Hall, Jaden Schwartz, Daniel Sprong, Grigori Denisenko, Vitali Kravtsov and Jason Robertson

Defensemen: Erik Gustafsson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Rasmus Ristolainen, Alex Pietrangelo, Colton Parayko, Ivan Provorov and Henri Jokiharju

Goalies: Carey Price, Jacob Markstrom, Jake Allen and Tristan Jarry

My Initial thoughts on drops are four of Henrique, Fabbri, JVR, Jarry, Eriksson EK or Jokiharju. Do you agree? If so, which four? Or would you swap in one or more players I didn’t list?

 

Answer

First off, JVR might be a band-aid boy, but he’s also 24th in goals per game over the past three seasons, ahead of Filip Forsberg, Mark Stone, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Taylor Hall. And while turning 30 might exacerbate his injury issues, he’s also a lock for the Philly top six. He’s not a drop.

I’m on board for dropping Jarry and Jokiharju – they’re simply not good enough in comparison to your other options at their positions. I also see Allen as a possible drop, what with a GAA that’s risen each season plus a contract ($4.35M through 2020-21) and age (29) that work against him. You have five forwards who rank no worse than 35th among the top 200 forward prospects list, so you probably should keep them all. For wingers, Sprong has shown signs of life in Anaheim, but still could be a potential drop. I think Coyle is more droppable than Henrique, as it’s Henrique who as of now is a top-six player whereas Coyle is bottom six. As for Fabbri, it’s tough to give up on him since even if he doesn’t perform well enough to get another deal from St. Louis after this season that would mean he’d have a fresh start on another team which might rejuvenate him. Eriksson Ek would’ve been an auto-keep a couple of seasons ago; however, he’s not looked great since then. With the Wild projected to struggle offensively though, and a new GM in town who extended Ek for two seasons at roughly $1.5M per, he should get a longer look; so dropping him comes with a very real risk of regret.

All things considered, my surefire drops are Jarry and Jokiharju. After that, it’s two from among Fabbri, Henrique, Eriksson Ek, Coyle, Allen and Sprong. With center being the deepest position, I’m letting Coyle go. The last one is very tough. If you can stomach the risk, it might just be Allen. Otherwise, I’d probably lose Fabbri because of the cumulative injuries turning him into what’s no longer an NHL-caliber player. But a case could be made to drop any of the others if you prefer. Good luck!

 

Question #2 (from Devin)

My league is a 12 team, H2H Points Keeper (Up to 4 Keepers, no restrictions) that determines the winner by overall weighted points accumulated for the week.
Rosters are: F, F, F, F, F, F, D, D, D, D, G, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, IR, IR

Scoring is: G= 4pts; A= 2.94pts; P= 1pt; +/-= .66pts; SHP= .59pts; SOG= .45pts; Blocks= .24; Games Started= 8.66pts; Goals Against= -5; Saves= .45

I was able to snag some great assets this past year due to selling off players last year for picks, but I'm now looking at whom I should keep in hopes of finally getting over the hump after losing last year in the finals. Which four keepers would you select from the following list: Anders Lee. Sebastian Aho, Elias Pettersson, Jeff Skinner, Patrik Laine, Auston Matthews, Torey Krug, Erik Karlsson, Tyson Barrie, John Carlson, Aleksander Barkov, Sean Monahan, Vincent Trocheck, Filip Forsberg, Frederik Andersen, and Ben Bishop?

 

Answer

Dynasty keepers are tough. You’re tempted to give huge weight to future potential; but I’ve found that in most cases you should keep the same players you normally would, except maybe guys in their 30s who might have perhaps only a season or two more of solid hockey left in them. With that said, the names that immediately jump out for keeper consideration are Aho, Laine, Matthews, Karlsson, Barkov, and Andersen. Many of the rest are quite good too but don’t make the cut because they’re just not as solid options as these six. If only you could trade them, but I’m guessing that would be difficult when only 48 total players are kept in the league.

The big question is whether to retain a goalie. If everyone does so, then you must as well. Otherwise, you can toss Andersen back because you only start one goalie per week. Assuming you keep him, that leaves three spots for the remaining five players. Karlsson is a lock because until proven otherwise he’s still the fantasy force we’ve come to expect, plus you need to keep at least one d-man. So now we’re down to two spots for four guys. To me, Matthews gets the nod over Laine, as they’re similar players but Matthews has already shown he’s going to be special, whereas Laine still might but we cannot be as certain. Similarly, since there are no positional requirements, I’m going with Barkov over Aho for the same reason – Barkov just put up 98 points without metrics that scream regression; and while I happen to think Aho might end up as good as Barkov someday, he also might not, and thus you go with Barkov. If you don’t keep Andersen, then I’m taking Aho over Laine since Aho’s NHL trajectory suggests he takes a big leap this season and perhaps keeps going up from there. Laine, as promising as he is (more on that later), becomes the tough omission. The good news is all teams will face similar dilemmas and there will be a lot of great players you can draft. Best of luck in taking home the title this year.

 

Question #3 (from Brad and Dave)

Brad’s Question: What do you think will be the fantasy impact of the rookies aside from Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko? Does Kirby Dach stay with the Blackhawks? Is Cale Makar potentially a Calder candidate? Does Alex Nedeljkovic take over the Carolina net this year? And what about Vitali Kravtsov, Nikita Gusev, Eeli Tolvanen, and Sam Steel?

Dave’s Question: I'm liking Alex Nedeljkovic. What are the chances of him getting 50 starts this year or next?

 

Answer

I thought I’d combine these two questions since both touches upon Nedeljkovic (“AN”), and let’s start with him. What he has going in his favor is a very good AHL season in 2018-19 and being 23 years old, three years removed from juniors; so he’s not too young or too inexperienced to have the net entrusted to him. Also, no Carolina goalie is signed for more than $3M; as such, it’s not as if the Canes are paying someone $5M plus, which virtually guarantees that player would stay the starter.

But by the same token, Carolina is paying two goalies over $3M and both are UFAs in two seasons. As such, I think the team’s plan would be for AN to remain in the AHL this season for sure but perhaps try to move the worse of the two before next season and pencil in AN as the 2020-21 back-up. Could AN be Jordan Binnington 2.0 for 2019-20? Probably not, as in the case of Binnington first Jake Allen had to implode, plus it was a lot easier for the Blues to cast Chad Johnson aside given he was on a one-year deal making only $1.75M. With both Mrazek and Reimer earning $3M+ this season it would be more difficult to envision AN pulling a Binnington. That having been said, if, for example, Reimer or Mrazek goes down with a long-term injury then AN would get a shot in net and, if he played lights out, could force the team’s hand. Barring these events though, AN is a longshot to be a starter or even a 1B goalie for Carolina until 2020-21 at the very earliest.

As for the fantasy impact of other rookies, allow me to use this opportunity to plug the Fantasy Guide, which covers all these players, plus the other 2019 draft picks and potential Calder candidates, and it is updated regularly in August and September. You can purchase a copy of the Fantasy Guide here.

In terms of my thoughts, Dach could break camp with the Blackhawks, who are light at center now that Artem Anisimov is gone. And if he impresses substantially in the games he plays before a year of his ELC kicks in, I could see the team keeping him around. As for Makar, he looked plenty NHL ready in his brief stint with the team during the spring, even amid all the pressure of the late season and playoffs. Samuel Girard’s new deal doesn’t automatically install him as the top dog; however, it does indicate he might get the first crack at being the PP QB. Or the team could give Makar a Torey Krug early career type of treatment, namely a lot of offensive zone starts and PP time, but not much else. If so, Makar could see his way to 40 points, especially if the Avs stay offensively potent.

Kravtsov’s size and skill should put him in the mix in New York, where although the team has made some great strides since the season ended they still need all the talent they can get. If he can impress in camp he should be able to stick around and could seize a middle-six gig, but don’t count on a breakout as yet. As for Gusev, if he can manifest the talent he showed while in the KHL he should coast to 60+ points; but others with excellent KHL resumes have come stateside and crashed and burned. If I was to break down his rookie scoring outlook into percentages, I’d say 15% chance he gets over 70 points, 35% over 60, 20% over 50, 10% between 40 and 50, and 20% under 40. So in terms of feast or famine, he’s far more likely a feast, but with a possibility of being a famine and less chance of being something in between.

Tolvanen has seen the hype surrounding him drop quite a bit after not exactly setting the AHL on fire last season. Probably the best thing that could happen to him is to get traded to a team that needs him in the NHL now, as I think he could be the type of player who might shine more in the NHL than the AHL, due to the added motivation and playing alongside more skilled players. But if he does end up getting dealt it probably wouldn’t happen until the deadline, so 2019-20 might be another “lost season” for him. As for Steel, if Adam Henrique wasn’t around I’d like his outlook a lot better; however, Steel likely has it in him to play well enough to possibly displace Henrique as the #2 Ducks center. Worst case scenario Steel gets you 30-40 points, but his possible 2019-20 upside is 50-55.

 

Question #4 (from Matt)

I’m in a 12 person points only league where each team gets 3 keepers each year, down from 5 in years past. Rosters: 7F, 4D, 2G, 4 Bench, 1 IR. Categories and scoring: Goals (2), Assists (1.5), +/- (0.5), PPG (1), PPA (0.5), SHG (2), SHA (1.5), GWG (2), SOG (0.15), BLK (0.15); Wins (2), Saves (0.075); Shutouts (4)

Players on my team: Nikita Kucherov, Elias Pettersson, Vladimir Tarasenko, Patrice Bergeron, Zach Parise, Sam Reinhart, Max Pacioretty, Mathew Barzal, Jake Debrusk, Miro Heiskanen, Shea Weber, John Klingberg, Alex Pietrangelo, Carter Hart, Jordan Binnington, Tuukka Rask, Jaroslav Halak

I’m set on Kucherov as one keeper but am torn on which two to keep of Bergeron (ranked 19th in my league last season), Pettersson (ranked 76th), or Tarasenko (ranked 49th). Or should someone other than these three be a potential keeper?

 

Answer

What you don’t know, since the keeper number just dropped from five to three, is whether teams will keep a goalie or not. I happen to think doing so in your league would be a mistake. For one, there are only three goalie categories versus ten for skaters, or eight if you ignore the rare SHG and SHA. But even looking at someone like Connor Hellebuyck last season, who had 34 wins, 1872 saves, and two shutouts, that’s a total of 216 points, which even a very good skater can equal. So I think you’re better off keeping all skaters and no goalies, in case that makes a difference in terms of your plans.

Which skaters to keep of the four? Of course Kucherov – you’ll no argument from me (or any other rational person) there. I also like Bergeron since he shows no signs of slowing and is a big gun in your league format. For the third choice, I’d go with Tarasenko, whose season-long numbers don’t reflect just how good he was once Craig Berube became coach. Heck – he had 39 points in his last 31 regular-season games while firing the puck a ton and racking up goals and PPPts. He’s my pick over Pettersson, who should be better this season but can be redrafted.

 

Question #5 (from Randy)

I'm in a 12 team, H2H, 4 keeper, non-salary-cap league. There is no limit on the timeframe keepers can be retained. Categories are G, A, +/-, PIMS, PPP for skaters and goalies it’s W, SV%, and GAA, with the roster positions 2C, 4W, 4D, 1 UTIL, 2G and 3 bench slots.

I'm leaning towards Aleksander Barkov, Blake Wheeler, Patrik Laine, and Tuukka Rask as my keepers, which would mean letting go of Elias Lindholm, Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Marchessault, Nicklas Backstrom, Morgan Rielly, Victor Hedman, and Ben Bishop.

Do you see Laine's value increasing in the near term, keeping in mind if I let him go I'll likely never see him on my team again? Or am I sacrificing too much in the short term waiting on Laine? I also do not have a pick until the 3rd round, 35th overall pick so keeping at least 1 goalie is a must as my league tends to go goalie crazy early in drafts.

 

Answer

I can’t argue with Barkov – he’s the real deal and younger than Bergeron. Wheeler is a toughie because he’s older; however, you do need stats now to win and he shouldn’t slow down for at least a couple of more seasons based on the type of game he plays and the team he’s on.

Rask over Bishop is a toughie. They’re pretty close and Bishop is more of a band-aid boy, but I see Dallas as a vastly improved team this season and Bishop looks to be one of those goalies who could play well as he ages. He might be my pick over Rask, but barely.

As much as Laine intrigues me (again, more on him below), I think you have to keep one of Rielly and Hedman, as both are top five blueliners. Yes, losing Laine for what might be forever could hurt, but the blow will be cushioned by the 70 point seasons you get from Rielly or Hedman throughout his prime.

One thing to try is, although only 48 players are kept, trade Laine plus whichever of Rielly and Hedman you don’t opt to keep (I’d keep Rielly personally) to get draft picks, as that way you don’t lose them for nothing. Or perhaps you could try to turn then into an even better keeper? Yes, it’s likely a longshot that you’ll be able to pull off a trade given your league parameters, but it’s probably worth giving a shot.

 

Question #6 (from David)

I’m in a 10-team, H2H, keeper league, with 5 keepers per team. Roster Size is 24 (4 C, 4 LW, 4 RW, 6 D, 2G, 4 Bench). Scoring system is standard, with HITS and PIMS also for skaters. Long story short, I was out of the running and traded away a lot of my roster to collect early to mid-round draft picks for this upcoming season, ending up with two 1sts, two 2nds, two 3rds, one 4th, one 5th, two 6ths, one 7th, two 8ths, three 9ths, and three 10ths.

My envisioned keepers are Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, Ben Bishop, Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Dumba. My question is whether you think Dumba is likely to return from injury and be a top tier defenseman? Or should I leverage some of my draft picks and try to obtain another "keeper" from a team that will likely have to drop 1 due to maximum 5 keepers?

 

Answer

I’m a big believer in Dumba. Before he got hurt last season he had 22 points in 32 games. But going back a bit further he tallied 19 points in his final 25 games to end 2017-18, meaning he has 41 points in his last 57 games, for a 59 point pace. In doing so, he supplanted the ageing Ryan Suter as the Wild’s top PP option and saw his minutes rise to over 23:00 per game. What’s also key is despite added ice time Dumba’s offensive zone starting percentage was up markedly to 54.8%, giving him a best of both worlds combination (i.e., lots of minutes and mainly offensive zone starts) that fuels fantasy success.

I like the idea of trading Fleury plus some draft picks to get another top D or goalie. Fleury is no spring chicken, having played over 46000 career minutes and set to turn 35 this coming season. Those are key thresholds, as the 46000 minute mark is when Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Brodeur started to fall apart; and if we look at netminders since 2000-01, there were 14 who won over 25 games at age 34, but only eight who did so at age 35, four of which started 59+ games, which might be more than Fleury projects to start.

Also, in the first three-quarters of 2018-19 Fleury appeared in 53 games with a quality start percentage below 50%, whereas in 2017-18 two-thirds of his starts were quality starts. Another issue is the Vegas team that’ll be in front of Fleury, since, it was one of four squads (the Canadiens, Islanders and Wild being the others) which had no forward average either 19:00 per game or 3:00 on the PP and only one player on any of those four teams broke the 62 point mark. So in other words, Fleury likely won’t have the goal support he needs to win when he has bad starts.

Do yourself a favor and trade Fleury and one or more picks for an elite goalie or defenseman. That’d be what I’d try to do in your shoes.

 

Question #7 (from Dennis)

I’m on a 10-team keeper where 8 players are kept and there are 4 roster spots for each skater position, plus two starting goalies and two bench spots. Categories are G,A,PIM,PPP,GWG,SOG,FW,HITS,BLKS and W,SV%,SO.

I’m in a little bit of a pickle since I don’t have my 1st and 2nd round picks (traded for a playoff push) so I just want to make sure I have the right keepers. The keepers I have chosen already are Tyler Seguin, Alex Ovechkin, Vladimir Tarasenko, Victor Hedman, and Carey Price.

This leaves me with three keepers spots left. This rest of the notable players I could keep are Sean Couturier, Mika Zibanejad, Jeff Skinner, Evander Kane, Vincent Trocheck and Jordan Binnington. I’m a fan of stat stuffers so I’m leaning towards Zibanejad, Trocheck and Evander Kane. Do you think I have this right or should I substitute Kane with Couturier to have a little more scoring since scoring will be shallow by the time I make my first pick in the 3rd round. Keeping Binnington is also a possibility since I would be set with goalies.

 

Answer

With 80 players being kept, I think Binnington should be one of them if, as I expect is the case, it is normal for teams to keep two goalies. Moreover, if you don’t keep Binnington, your lack of picks in the first couple of rounds could leave you really in a pinch, more so than missing out on skaters, where there will still be some quality left after rounds 1 and 2. I also like the idea of keeping Zibanejad, who was already starring last season while the Rangers were floundering and now gets to play alongside Artemi Panarin, who seems to make those around him even better. Plus, Zibs fills your categories nicely.

The last keeper isn’t an easy pick. First off, I think Couturier and the rest of the Flyers are going to see their scoring drop, as that’s par for the course under Alain Vigneault. I think he might be lucky to hit 70 points this coming season, although he will get you plenty of FW. But he doesn’t make the cut. I also think Skinner, big new contract notwithstanding, is what he is, namely a 60-65 point guy who pots a lot of goals, doesn’t excel on the PP, and doesn’t get you great stats in other categories except SOG.

That narrows things down to Trocheck and Kane, both of whom are stat stuffers. As noted in a recent Forum Buzz column, from 2015-16 through 2017-18 both were one of only four forwards (Alex Ovechkin and Patric Hornqvist were the others) to cumulatively average 1.75+ Hits and 2.75+ SOG per game. But Trocheck gives you more goals (he has 79 over that stretch, which was tops aside from Ovi) and FW as well. I also worry that the departure of Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi, who just so happened to be Kane’s most frequent linemates, will hurt him more than help. And there’s also the void in leadership with Pavelski gone, which I worry could cause Kane to revert to his old ways, giving headaches to GMs who own him. On top of all that, Kane’s never even reached the 60 point mark, whereas Trocheck had 75 in 2017-18. Give me Trocheck for your last spot.

 

Question #8 (from Matt)

I’m in a multi-cat keeper league and have three candidates for my last two keeper spots: Mathew Barzal, Patrik Laine, and Sean Monahan. Which two are you keeping?

 

Answer

I wish I knew more details about your league, such as the number of teams, roster sizes, how many other keepers you get, whether there is a limit on how many years a player can be kept, etc. I guess I’ll answer this assuming each team gets at least a few more keepers and there is a limit to how many years a player can be kept (i.e., it’s not a true dynasty).

I won’t beat around the bush – I think the player you don’t keep is Barzal. For one, he’s not a multicat stud; however, of more concern is his immense talent being wasted in Long Island. I went into great detail about Barzal in a mailbag column from May; and what I said there was that in putting up what was seen as a disappointing 62 points, he did as good as he likely could’ve given the team around him and his deployment. After all, his SOG and IPP rates improved, all while keeping the same overall ice time and seeing his PP time slip by 14 seconds per game.

Keep in mind the Isles scored 16% fewer goals in 2018-19 versus to 2017-18, so right there it would’ve been reasonable to expect Barzal’s scoring to drop by 16%, to put him at 71 points. Then there was the team’s power play, which suffered even more, seeing its total PPGs drop from 58 to 31. And Barzal had points on a higher percentage of PPGs this past season (18/31, or 58%) versus in 2017-18 (27/58, or 46%). And the team’s drop in PPGs from 58 to 31 (i.e., a drop of 46%) nearly mirrored Barzal’s drop in PP scoring of 50% as compared to 2017-18. So if we take Barzal’s expected 71 points and subtract nine more, that puts him at an expected production rate of 62 points, which is right where he ended up.

And I wouldn’t hold out hope of things improving, as the Islanders look to be patterned after Nashville teams Barry Trotz coached from 1999 -2014, during which only once did a player score over 76 points (Paul Kariya’s 85 in 2005-06, which was a huge scoring year in the NHL). So Barzal has that situation working against him as well, which likely will put his points ceiling at 65-70 for the foreseeable future.

Monahan’s floor is higher than that, so he’s a keeper. As for Laine, he hit 15 posts and crossbars last season, which was unsustainably unlucky even for someone who shoots as much as him. And looking at players who, like Laine, had 134+ points as a teen since 1990-91, we find just two – Steven Stamkos and Sidney Crosby – who both went on to become huge stars. So although Laine looked terrible last season and I didn’t recommend keeping him in two instances above, he’s a keep over Barzal in this instance due to Barzal’s unfortunate situation.

 

Question #9 (from Zdolnyb)

In my keeper league, the categories are G, A, Pt, +/-, PIM, SOG, GWG, PPP, SHP, Hit, Blk and FOW. I can keep one defenseman from among Dustin Byfuglien, Erik Gustafsson, Dougie Hamilton, and Shea Weber. I`m leaning towards Weber, but is he the right choice?

 

Answer

If you read my Bubble Keeper Week edition of Goldipucks and the Three Skaters, you saw I’m bullish on Weber mainly because he should finally be healthy plus although he missed nearly an entire season’s worth of games over the past two campaigns he still scored at a better than point per every other game pace when he did play. What’s also key is he was firing tons of pucks on net and still hitting and blocking everything in sight. He also is a PP machine who should help the Canadiens a lot on the man advantage. If he’s able to best 50 points, which I think he can, I think he’s tops among this group.

Buff would’ve been my pick if this were this two years ago; however, his health has been failing him and I think the grind of playing over 900 career games with his large frame will make it difficult, at age 34, for him to stay healthy or, if healthy, remain as productive. What’s more – even when he did play over the past two seasons his SOG, Hits, and Blocks rates were dropping. He’s too big – pun intended – of a risk to keep, I think.

Gustafsson is someone I also examined in a previous column, where I said that him breaking out at a late age shouldn’t be a concern in and of itself, as he might be the second coming of Brian Rafalski. But what worries me is he still could be a one year wonder; and with both Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook still in the mix, he might be pushed aside if he stumbles out of the game.

As for Hamilton, I feel sorry for poolies who own him since he’s so capable of more than what we’ve seen from him over the past two seasons. On the one hand it looks as if he’s bound to suffer the same fate in Carolina as he did in Calgary in 2017-18, namely not a lot of minutes overall and subpar PP deployment, what with coach Rod Brind’Amour showing in 2018-19 that Justin Faulk is his guy; however, Faulk is a UFA after this season, so Hamilton might get a chance to step up. Still though – that chance and a career-high of only 50 points isn’t enough to make Hamilton the pick.

In short, I see Weber as the one to keep; but if you think Buff isn’t breaking down and can stay healthy you should go with him. Or if you believe Gustafsson is just starting to scratch the surface then he could be the choice.  It’s a close call.

 

Question #10 (from J Clark)

Ivan Provorov – not as good as advertised, or a huge bargain?

 

Answer

An issue with Provorov is one that I’ve talked about in many of my previous columns, namely that skill in real-life hockey doesn’t necessarily translate to fantasy success. The Flyers have Shayne Gostisbehere, who’s as one-dimensional as they come, plus the 2018-19 season saw the emergence of Travis Sanheim, whom the team chose to put into situations that are conducive to points. Meanwhile, Provorov saw his offensive zone starting percentage drop for the second straight campaign and shed some of his already low PP time.

That having been said, things looked far worse for Provorov than they should’ve been; and it all had to do with IPP or the percentage of points he received on the goals scored while he was on the ice. His IPP last season was 28.9%, which is beyond unsustainably low even for a defenseman, and especially after it had averaged 47.2% in his first two seasons. Had it been 47.2% again, he’d have had roughly 16 more points in 2018-19!

Realistically Provorov should continue to improve; and his presence, plus the emergence of Sanheim, might prompt the Flyers to deal Ghost. If that were to occur, between it and Provorov continuing to blossom just in the normal course (let’s not forget – he’s just 22), he should start to fulfill the lofty expectations folks had for him before last season. If Ghost isn’t dealt, however, Provorov nevertheless should do better as his IPP naturally climbs back to his usual range.

 

Question #11 (from Adam)

I’m in a 12 team league (2lw 2rw 2c 4d 2u 2g, 5 bench). League scoring is G-3, A-2, PPP-1, Hits-0.5, Blocks 0.25, SOG – 0.1. Goalies are W-5, GA- -1, SOG – 0.15.

My locked in keepers are David Pastrnak, Jack Eichel, and Frederik Andersen. I've got 2 keeper slots left. To keep a player we need to forfeit the pick they were drafted at the season prior (waiver pickups carry cost of the lowest pick you have to offer). Here are the four I’m considering.

Ristolainen – taken in the 7th

Rittich – Waiver

E Lindholm – Waiver

Quinn Hughes – Waiver

I was going to go with Lindholm / Risto, but I worry about Risto with all the D now on Buffalo, and Lindholm had so many 2nd assists versus primary so there could be big regression. I feel like Rittich and Hughes have MASSIVE upside, with a fair bit of risk, but I'm leaning towards taking that risk.

 

Answer

First off, keep Lindholm. Yes, he could give back a few points due to regression and/or Matthew Tkachuk seeing some time on the first line; but as a waiver wire keep there’s too much value to not retain him. I’m not keeping Rittich because I don’t like the risk. Maybe if he’d been signed for $4M per year and not, as actually happened, Talbot, receiving the same dollar amount; but given they’ll both be earning the same I’m concerned enough not to keep him, especially since you already have Andersen and can likely get a goalie as good as Rittich in the draft. Hughes only would be a consideration if this was a true dynasty league, and even then the concern is he’ll take a few years to truly break out, sort of like Krug did in Boston. That leaves Risto, whose weaknesses I pointed out in my Bubble Keeper Week Goldipucks column; however, you do count hits and blocks and SOG, and he is solid in those areas. Plus, since that column was written the trade winds have started blowing even more; and should Risto get moved, he’d likely pick up value at his new locale. In sum, I’m keeping Lindholm and Risto in your shoes.

 

Question #12 (from Paul)

I am in a 14 team, multi-cat keeper that protects 8 players. Rosters are 10 forwards, 5 defenseman, and 2 goalies, plus 8 IR spots. Skater categories are: forward goals, forward assists, defense goals, defense assists, team +/-, Team Hits& Blocks, Team PIM; Goalie categories are wins, SV%, GAA.

The six I envision protecting, in order of certainty are: Frederick Andersen, Thomas Chabot, Victor Hedman, David Pastrnak, Patrick Kane, and Dylan Larkin. Now I need to decide on two more keepers from among Brady Tkachuk, Tomas Hertl, William Nylander, and Victor Arvidsson. Which two of those are you keeping?

 

Answer

Hertl is making the list. He put up 74 points and ended strong enough that 80+ seems like a virtual lock. He’s arguably better than Larkin in a multi-cat. For the second pick, I’m probably going with Arvidsson barely over the other two. Arvy is lousy at PPPts, but his goal scoring and shooting are superb and the team sees him as a real deal first-line talent. Tkachuk could be a multi-cat force, but being on Ottawa could keep him below 60 points for perhaps several more seasons. Nylander I fear will not be on PP1, in which case his value will take a bit hit, plus he’s very poor in some multi-cat areas.

 

Question #13 (from Chris)

I’m in a weekly H2H keeper league, with 15 players on the rosters. We keep 7.

PLAYER CATEGORIES: G, A, PTS, +/-, PP, SHP, GWG; GOALIE CATEGORIES: W, S/O, GAA, SV%

(2 goalies have to play per week / must reach 3 gm minimum)

Because of my brutal 2018-19, I managed to trade away players and currently hold five 1st Round draft picks, two 2nd Round draft picks and one 3rd.  Here are my players:

Mathew Barzal; Bo Horvat; Nikolai Ehlers; Jakub Voracek; Viktor Arvidsson; Brock Boeser; Sam Reinhart; Ryan Pulock; Aaron Ekblad; Carter Hart; Annti Raanta; Petr Mrazek; Thatcher Demko

The 1st round picks are: #2, #3, #7, #10, #14

The 2nd round picks are: #1, #4

The 3rd round pick is: #10

 

My questions are:

(1) Would you trade three 1st Round draft picks for Mikko Rantanen, and

(2) Would you trade two 1st Round draft picks for Jonathan Huberdeau?

 

Answer

I’ll be honest – I’m not loving your keeper options. I covered my concerns regarding Horvat in a recent Forum Buzz column, and Barzal above. Your d-men have been disappointments, and your goalies consist of a sophomore who might or might not be the real deal (Hart), plus one coming back from a major injury (Raanta), another who looked both good and bad last season (Mrazek), and one (Demko) who probably won’t be a starter this season and maybe, if Jacob Markstrom re-signs, for several more years.

Given all this, I’m not sure Rantanen or Huberdeau would mean more to you than the picks, except perhaps if you can get Rantanen for your three worst first-round picks, but that’s probably not doable. Both Rantanen and Huberdeau are excellent players who would improve your team; however unless this is a 16 team league I can’t see them making you competitive this season or the near future, and even in a 16 team league, it might be a stretch. Probably you’re better off using the picks and waiting to see which pan out, and also strategically trading youngsters as you go along. Yes, rebuilding is no fun; but if you enter the season with that mindset, you can make even more moves to get better, and you’ll help your team improve faster than you might envision. I’d recommend looking to dish Voracek in particular if he gets hot during the season since I think he’s headed downhill with Alain Vigneault as coach – see my Goldipucks column from May for more details.

 

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Thanks to the record number of readers who sent in questions for today. Although my next mailbag isn’t for another four weeks, it’s never too early to start providing me with more questions, which you can do in one of two ways: (1) by emailing them to [email protected] with the words “Roos Mailbag” as the subject line, or (2) by sending them to me via a private message on the DobberHockey Forums, where my username is “rizzeedizzee”.

When sending me your questions, remember to provide as much detail about your league/situation as possible, since as you saw above in a couple of the questions there were some omitted details which made it difficult for me to give a truly proper answer. Examples of the types of things I need to know include what type of league you’re in (i.e., limited keeper, dynasty, or one-year; roto vs H2H), does the salary cap matter, how many players are rostered (and of those, how many start at each position), what categories are scored and how are they weighted, plus other details if necessary (such as free agents available if you’re thinking of dropping a player or rosters of both teams if you’re thinking of making a trade). The key is to tell me enough for me to give you a truly proper answer, and for readers of this column to benefit from the answer/advice I provide. When in doubt, err on the side of inclusion. See you next week for the return of Goldipucks and the Three Skaters!