December 03, 2009
("Sleepers, Keepers , Bench'em or Drop'em" is a weekly fantasy hockey column written by Darryl "Dobber" Dobbs, an honest-to-goodness expert on such matters and founder of DobberHockey.com. His column will run on Puck Daddy every Thursday in a non-holiday week.)
Running a fantasy squad can give you more headaches than tending goal for the Panthers. Not to worry - Dobber's here to help you navigate through the twists and turns of the player trends.
The rookie has already had a couple of cups of coffee with the ‘Canes, but now that Joe Corvo(notes) is out for an extended period, Rodney should be called back up and he'll enjoy an extended stay. He's a worth a flyer if you're a rotisserie owner in desperate need of defensive depth.
Are you drunk?
I think so. Earlier, at the bar, I was heading to the can and someone was walking towards me. We did the ‘go left', ‘go right' dance for a couple of minutes before I realized it was a mirror. At that point I decided enough was enough -- time to write the Puck Daddy article. Anyway, both of Rodney's points this season have come on the power play. That's where he'll get his minutes, which is just fine for poolies.
The Keepers who are on fire...
Michael Frolik(notes), Florida Panthers: It's déjà vu all over again for Frolik. After starting last season with two points in 19 games, he finished with 43 in 60. This time around, he had nine in his first 21. Now he has five in his last six. I think he'll finish in that 55 to 60 range, so good things are ahead.
Tobias Enstrom(notes), Atlanta Thrashers: Lost in how fantastic the likes of Rich Peverley(notes), Max Afinogenov and Zach Bogosian(notes) are playing is the fact that Enstrom is kicking ass. After Mat Schneider was dealt away last season, Enstrom finished with 21 points in the last 26 games. That gives him 40 points in his last 50 overall.
Ryan Miller(notes), Buffalo Sabres: The Sabres are leading their division despite having just one player on pace to top 70 points. That's due to goaltending. And given that Patrick Lalime(notes) sees about as much ice time as a teenager on a Ken Hitchcock team, you can give Miller 100 percent of the credit. He's the NHL leader in goals against average and save percentage and is second in wins. He'll beat his career high of 40 wins easily this season.
The Sleepers who are on the wire...
Randy Jones(notes), Los Angeles Kings: With eight points in 10 games for Los Angeles, this certified Band-Aid Boy is off to a great start with his new team. As long as he stays healthy, he should be good for a point every two games. In each of his last eight contests his ice time as been at least 19:30.
Eric Fehr(notes), Washington Capitals: Right now his numbers are as easy to miss as a fire hydrant on Tiger Woods's front lawn, but 10 of his 11 points have come in the last 11 games since returning from a rib injury. The power forward's development was slowed by several injuries, but if he's back on track he'll surprise you with his stats come April.
Ryan Potulny(notes), Edmonton Oilers: This is Potulny's best chance yet to stick in the NHL. The team is in desperate need of offense with Mike Comrie(notes) and Ales Hemsky(notes) out. He has five goals in 11 games and has seen at least 15:30 of ice time in each of the last four.
Robert Lang(notes), Phoenix Coyotes: NHL teams gave up on him and poolies followed suit, dumping him like a whiny girlfriend. Lang has the last laugh though, after signing with Phoenix late in camp. He's found his timing now and has four points in his last three games and should get to the 55-point mark.
In a slump, these boys are mired...
Andrew Cogliano(notes), Edmonton Oilers: Cogs is trying to beat Peter Mueller(notes) in the "crappiest third year" contest. With three points in the last 21 games, the smallish forward had better step it up if he wants to catch Brooks Orpik(notes) in the scoring race. Don't look for much this season, but have hope that Year 4 brings better results. Bench him.
Matt Hunwick(notes), Boston Bruins: Hunwick surprised us with a big hot streak last campaign and some fantasy owners harbored secret "what a great dark horse" thoughts at the draft table this past September. With just two points in his last 17 games, Hunwick is down to about 15 minutes of ice time. Last year's horseshoe has been removed from his sphincter. Drop him.
Anze Kopitar(notes), Los Angeles Kings: Ryan Smyth's(notes) arrival was clearly a driving force behind Kopitar's monster 30 points in 19 games. It's hard to imagine though, that Smyth's absence has hit Kopitar so hard. With just three in his last 11, Kopitar is struggling. One would think that former linemate and Ryan Smyth impersonator Dustin Brown(notes) would be the perfect replacement on that line, but coach Terry Murray has yet to buy into that theory. Regardless of his linemates, Kopitar should still be a point-per-game player so think of this as just a cold streak. Too good to bench, ride it out.
Dan Girardi, New York Rangers: Last year, Girardi had 14 points in his first 19 games and then eight in his last 63. This year he started with seven in nine before earning just two in his next 18. The potential for a major letdown definitely exists, so if you have unlimited moves it's best to let someone else take the risk. Drop him.
Darryl Dobbs is the founder of dobberhockey.com, a fantasy hockey community with over a dozen columnists, a daily blog and in-depth fantasy player rankings. His always accurate opinions can also be found over at The Hockey News in their fantasy section.