With the NHL halfway mark come and gone in 2018-2019, there are some depth players emerging that should be available in most multi-category leagues. One of them is undrafted 28-year-old Brenden Dillon (owned in 15% of Fantrax leagues) who is riding the coattails of his defensive partner, Erik Karlsson to a huge degree. So why not add him to your fantasy team, at least in the short term? Teams should always be looking to add value, especially when it is free or very low-cost.
Dillon has become a fixture in San Jose as a 3rd pairing defenseman in a sheltering role, averaging 16-17 minutes per game since 2015-2016. He is not going to get many points as he won’t play on the power play, but he will get you 15-25 points per season and get about 150 hits if your league rewards that. With the addition of Erik Karlsson and the fact that Dillon is paired with him 65.7% of his shifts (73% since December 1, 2018), he should be on the ice for more goals than against, and if your league rewards plus/minus (as mine does) he is benefitting greatly this season as he is plus-22 at the moment. With the help of Karlsson, GF% has increased from 45.22 in 2017-2018 to 62.26 in 2018-2019 and because Dillon starts in the offensive zone around 55% of the time since he joined San Jose, his plus/minus is relatively protected, so you shouldn’t see a huge decrease.
Dillon should be able to continue to flourish for the rest of this season, but to be clear this is a short-term move unless Karlsson signs with San Jose going forward. At 28 years old and with one more year at $3.9m salary ($3.27m cap hit) into 2019-2020, Dillon isn’t a cheap add for any salary cap leagues, but he should be a free pick up in most leagues to either help you stay or get to the top with some much-needed depth. Teams not in contention should still consider picking him up, as he would be good trade bait and you might get something of value in a trade. Even active or in reserve, Dillon should still be a welcome addition to most teams.
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