By CHRIS NICHOLS -- SLAM! Sports
Chris: Excellent article, it is a must read everyday! Just out of curiosity, and I'm sure a lot of other people would like to know, how many e-mails do you get a day? In addition, how are you doing in your fantasy leagues and what is the current roster of your best team? Thanks a million, and keep up the good work.
Yep, those are pretty popular questions. So much so, in fact, that it's about time I post something about it here.
Email volume: It varies day-to-day, but I've literally answered thousands of emails since the start of the season. That's why I truly appreciate brevity in any email - three to four lines is the perfect length.
Status of my current leagues: I've been in and am still in first place in the ESPN experts league for a good portion of the season, but there's still a lot of hockey left. I finished second in it last year. In my other pools I'm either in first or within striking distance of first.
Roster of my best team: Keep in mind this is a keeper league too, where we hold onto 17 active players and a bunch of farm picks and draft picks too... Bertuzzi, Thornton, Iginla, Hejduk, Forsberg, Alfredsson, Demitra, Palffy, Yzerman, Spezza on F... Gonchar, Souray, Suchy, Kubina, Mara and Jackman on D... Esche, Hackett, Grahame, Burke in net. As you can see, I've got a Murderer's Row up front. I dealt from my farm depth to get Forsberg, Bertuzzi and Palffy last month and as a result, I'm slowly closing in on total domination of the offensive categories. My goalies are killing me though, so it's going to be a close race despite my offensive juggernaut. As bad luck would have it, I traded for the Philly tandem right as they went into the tank.
Speaking of which, I'll be addressing my thoughts on the Philly goaltending situation in Friday's Fantasy Scoop, so stay tuned for that opinion.
Chris you are the hockey junkie! I can't seem to get enough of you column. My question deals with patience. I was leading my league until the downward spiraling of Brodeur and the Philly tandem. I am especially concerned that Philly will go out and get Burke or Khabibulin. Our league only counts wins (20) losses (-5) saves (+1) and shutouts (+5). Should I try to make a trade or hang on for dear life? My other goalie is Boucher. Also I was thinking of trading Comrie while his value is high.
Thanks, Nervous Tom
Hang on Tom. New Jersey and Philly's defense can't struggle forever. And yes, I'd deal Comrie while his value is high right now.
Hi Chris: I'm in a regular Yahoo league that counts P, +/-, PPP,SHP,GWG,Shots,and negative PIM's (-0.25). I started the season with Sundin (thanks for convincing me to wait put his troubles at the beginning of the season) and Fedorov as my main star players. I have since been able to acquire Forsberg while he was on IR for York and Vokoun. While I am happy with Sundin and now Forsberg's performance, Fedorov is stinking up the joint. Do you see him (and the Ducks) improving in the second half? Are there any other star quality players that are underperforming now that I might acquire with Fedorov? I'm a little weak in Defense, if that helps.
Ian Chapman, Lethbridge, Alberta
As you might suspect, Fedorov's trade value is pretty low right now. He's actually been contributing more points lately though, so I'd hold onto him and see what happens in the second half. It's better to keep a guy like that than sell him for less than market value. And believe it or not, Joe Thornton and Todd Bertuzzi are two guys that you should be able to get for less than their usual value.
Chris: I love you article, keep up the good work. Trade question for you. I have been offered Lalime, Datsyuk, Morrison, and Rob Blake for my Brodeur, Bertuzzi, and Jovanovski. My forwards other than Bertuzzi are very weak. Our league is H2H and counts everything. What are your thoughts?
It's a decent offer, honestly. However, I wouldn't take it. Blake and Jovo are similar and maybe Blake is even more valuable this season. Brodeur beats Lalime by at least as much as the difference is between the two defensemen. I'd rather have Bertuzzi and another forward than Datsyuk and Morrison, despite the fact that both Datsyuk and Morrison bring a good fantasy game.
Hey Chris, your column is THE REASON I'm on the verge of capturing first place in my yahoo points league, but I need some advice! We have a limit on how many games we can play on forward, defense and goalie for the season and it's sometimes tough to keep an eye on how many games you're projected to use... Here's my team - F - Demitra, Recchi, Naslund, Kariya, Nagy, Doan, Satan, Lang, Elias, Savard, Modano (IR), D - Pronger, Gonchar, Souray, Jovanovski, G - Aebischer, Turco, Nabokov, Boucher, Kiprusoff (IR). Obviously I'm heavy on goalies and forwards and have relied on them to get where I am, but if I want to stay here I need to balance my roster. I'd like to get a good D-man or two that can put up some points. Top available guys on waivers are Morris, Stuart, Zidlicky, and Modry. I consider Elias and Satan most "droppable" but are either of too valuable to drop for these any of these guys or should I try to trade for someone, and of course which of my forwards should I try to deal and what should I expect back? Thanks in advance...and thanks again for your amazing advice!
Thanks again. Your D is pretty good, really. If you're under paced on D, I'd look to add Morris. Otherwise, leave them as is. If you're way over on goalies, just play Aebischer for awhile. In terms of forwards, again - if you're over paced, then just play the big stars for a few weeks and check your pace then and make adjustments accordingly.
Chris, what is the deal with Lecavalier this season? He was just waived and I'm thinking about picking him up but would need to drop Richards. Marleau is also available. Thanks.
I still think Vinnie can pick it up, but I would not drop Richards to test that theory. Marleau has also been playing really well, so if you had room to add him that'd be good.
Is it just me or do many people consider it strange that certain fantasy leagues reward fantasy players for a player taking a penalty (which will likely hurt his real NHL team). I figure that it's just another way to rate players and get them some points (aside from goals/assists/plus/minus) but you'd never see a NFL fantasy league rewarding a player for going offside or committing a holding penalty. Your thoughts/preference? Outstanding column!
Joe Natishan, Stockton, NJ
Thanks Joe. I actually had this question a few months back and I completely agree. However, while there are other categories to consider for fantasy stats in place of PIM's, none are handed out as much as PIM's. Still, some leagues count them as a negative and maybe that's a good idea. So, we'll continue to place heavy value on power forwards in PIM leagues. And when you think about it, power forwards also have a huge positive impact on their real life teams. So, maybe the PIM's aren't so bad after all.
Chris: What are your thoughts on trades for either Forsberg, Hejduk, or Sakic for my Guerin and Boucher?
Sakic and Hejduk are the safer bets, but Forsberg is even winning me over in terms of health at this point and I might try for the home run there. You'll lose out a bit in PIM's, but I suspect Colorado stars will have a great +/- in the second half, similar to last season's numbers.
Hey Chris: I love the SLAM sports page stuff. My question is this: "Is Roman Turek ever going to play?"
Thanks and yes, he certainly will. His return is very close, although I realize it can get frustrating as a fantasy owner. Just keep checking back on the Slam! Hockey page and as soon as Turek is set to go, we'll let you know. Calgary is in a good situation right now, where McLennan is playing some good hockey. The Flames don't need to rush Turek back at this point.
Hi Chris: I really enjoy your column. I think you have a good handle on the fantasy potential of players. I am considering trading for either Cechmanek or Nabokov. In my pool, wins and save percentage are the only goalie statistics. Which goalie do you think would be the better bet over the remainder of the season and into the playoffs (my pool has a playoff portion as well)?
Let me know what you think. Brad
Thanks. With only those stats, I'd say Nabokov would be the safest bet. San Jose should be a in a position to win more games in the second half, especially with all of the injuries to the Kings. However, Los Angeles is going to have a winning streak fairly soon and San Jose has to taper off a bit, at least for awhile. No rocket science here... it's just the law of hockey averages.
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. I do my best to answer all questions within 24 hours, depending on the volume of emails. Please keep the questions short. Your fantasy questions may be answered in our Ask Slam! section.
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