Top 10 guys you can cut bait on
A couple of weeks ago, I looked at players that you should be picking up in Yahoo leagues. But that got me thinking of the flip side. What about those guys who should be dropped but aren't?
Admit it, you're holding onto some of these guys because you feel some sort of allegiance. Maybe they play on your favourite team. Maybe they helped you win a championship at some point. Maybe you had a hunch on someone before the season started and you're too proud to give up on him yet. The guys on this list were owned in at least 30 per cent of Yahoo hockey pools as of last night.
It's time to give up on these guys. There has to be better options on the waiver wire.
Here's the top 10 guys you can cut bait on.
10. Jacob Trouba
Truthfully, I was a little surprised to find out Trouba was owned in 41 per cent of Yahoo leagues. He only averages 30 seconds of power play time per game. He's only got a goal and two assists in 21 games. His plus-zero seems a little high considering the goaltending behind him. Twenty-six shots is not a lot for an offensive defenseman. His 35 PIM seem nice until you realize Trouba isn't the guy you want if you need a player for PIM.
The problem with Callahan is that he doesn't make his linemates better for fantasy reasons. Callahan is a regular linemate of a former elite superstar Steven Stamkos. Last season was Stamkos' worst year since his rookie season when it comes to points-per-game. This year looks to be worse. And instead of playing with other great players, Stamkos is stuck with Callahan. Callahan is doing nothing to help your fantasy squad. He has four goals, three assists, a minus-four, two pims, 36 shots, 48 hits and 17 blocked shots. The numbers aren't that far off from Rickard Rakell, who sometimes plays with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf in Anaheim. Yet Callahan is owned in 42 per cent of Yahoo pools, and Rakell just two per cent.
Is it scary that Brayden Schenn isn't that much better a fantasy asset than his brother, Luke? Depending on your categories, Luke may be a better option thus season. So far Luke has more average ice time, more assists, a better plus-minus, more hits, more PIM and more blocked shots. Brayden has more goals, power play points and shots. Brayden is seen as the better fantasy option and is still owned in 38 per cent of Yahoo leagues. Brayden is playing around 15 minutes per game and isn't scoring enough to worry about keeping on your bench.
I'll be honest. I really thought Zidlicky was going to have an okay year in Brooklyn. He's put up decent numbers the last couple of years. Last year he managed 11 points in 21 games after being traded to Detroit. He was expected to be the top power play option with the Islanders this year. But he hasn't been great, with just a goal and five points in 18 games. Worse yet, he's only taken 11 shots. He's also averaging less than 16 minutes a game. None of that is a good sign.
6. Jeff Skinner
Can your career become fantasy irrelevant at the age of 23? That's the way it appears for Skinner as the guy is turning into a fantasy albatross. In 20 games this season, he has just four goals, one assist, a minus-one, and eight PIM. And it's not a recent thing. He was brutal last season. And in five full seasons, he has just one season above 55 points.
5. Dan Boyle
As Steve Laidlaw put it in the ramblings last Friday, Boyle is pretty much done with as a fantasy option. He's been a healthy scratch a couple of times, and has played just 16 of the Rangers' 20 games. And he hasn't been effective when he does get in the lineup. Boyle has just four assists, a plus-six, 10 pims, and 12 shots. When is in the lineup, he's barely getting power play time. Somehow he's still owned in 33 per cent of Yahoo leagues.
It seems as if his body has simply broken down at this point. It's tough to watch at times when you think back how great he once was. You can see the writing on the wall when you take into account he wasn't that great last year. He's 33 years old, and just looks like an old broken player. This season he has two goals, two assists, a minus-six, 10 PIM, 43 shots, eight hits and six blocked shots. You know who's a better fantasy option this year? Everybody!
3. Nick Leddy
Leddy probably won't finish with just 20 points, although that's all he is on pace for. But he probably won't crack 30 points. Somehow, Leddy is owned in 55 per cent of Yahoo pools. 55 per cent! That's insane. He's ranked 500th overall. But half the leagues still see him as a viable option. What does he contribute that is worth a roster spot? He has zero goals, five assists, a plus-one, four pims, three power play points, 19 shots, 27 hits and 25 blocked shots. Worse yet, he's slowed up in November, with just one point in 10 games.
2. Olli Maatta
In keeper pools, you definitely hold onto Maatta and hope he doesn't wind up as Kris Letang 2.0. But it's already time to cut the cord in one-year pools. He's literally not contributing anything in fantasy hockey this year outside a plus-eight rating. He's not getting points, penalty minutes, shots, hits or blocked shots. He doesn't play on the power play and is now out for three to four weeks with an injury. There are so many better options out there for your fantasy squad.
1. Chris Kunitz
It was just two short years ago that Kunitz was good enough to be a gold medal Olympian. Now he can't even stay on a top-six line in Pittsburgh. Unless your league counts hits, Kunitz pretty much useless as a fantasy player can get nowadays. In 19 games this year, Kunitz has just three goals, zero assists, a plus-two, six pims and 33 shots. That's just sad. And it's not just this year. Last year was the start of his decline. It's time to let him go.
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