Fantasy Mailbag: Connor McDavid changes everything

Join Jackie Redmond and Rob Wong as they help you get your fantasy hockey roster set.

We’ve finally reached the point in our McDavid where all the McDavids are about McDavid. And McDavid certainly Connor McDavid the McDavid. So McDavid, McDavid and McDavid.

The following is a selection of questions that you tweeted @Sportsnet after we put the call out. And by all means follow me on Twitter @DobberHockey for even more insight into the goings on in fantasy hockey. And can you guess the theme of today’s McDavid … er, mailbag?

You drop Craig Smith. And let me just add – that’s a pretty sweet upgrade. To change a roster spot from Craig Smith to Connor McDavid … wow. Enjoy your surge up the standings.

To expand on my answer, I think Lee has a solid second half. Not spectacular, but definitely better than Smith. And of course Spooner is a stud this year and I wouldn’t consider dropping him.

If these questions are not directly involving McDavid, then they’re indirectly involving him. Cam Talbot has been a stud lately and now that the wunderkind is back and healthy, Talbot’s star will rise even further. An easy call, in my opinion.

Benoit Pouliot is playing on a line with - you guessed it - Connor McDavid. He has 11 points in the 15 games that McDavid has been in the lineup, but just 15 in 28 otherwise. On the other hand, Jakob Silfverberg has been on fire, getting the bulk of his points this year in just the last 11 games. If it’s me, I’m tempted to go with Pouliot because for the short-term, he’s going to be on fire alongside McDavid. If he slows in two weeks, I start looking for the next flavour of the month. It is a tough call though, I will admit.

This is an even more difficult question than the one above because Eriksson has been doing it all year and Palat was very solid in 2014-15. But Eriksson has just five points in his last 13 games. Is that enough to drop him? Maybe if it’s for a player like Pouliot. As for Palat, he has six points in his last 11 games, but I‘m starting to get the sense that he’s waking up on the long-troubled Triplets line. But in a one-year league with plenty of transactions and these types of players on the waiver wire, it’s too soon to roll the dice on Palat. And by the same token, dropping Eriksson for Pouliot is a move you can make because if Pouliot stops paying dividends later in the month, there will be another Pouliot-type or Eriksson-type for which you can swap him out. So yes, to answer your question.

I’m sorry, what does this have to do with McDavid? Wait - the McDavid part is over? Huh.

Okay, moving on then. There is another high-end talent coming off injured reserve and you need to drop a player to make room for him. Skinner has 25 points in his last 32 games. Monahan had three points in 14 games before rattling off a four-point effort Wednesday. Stepan has seven points in his last eight games. I see your dilemma.

To be honest, I’m almost tempted to drop Schwartz. Almost. Instead, I think I’ll go with Stepan. It’s been a miserable season for Stepan and while I do see him turning it around, the other two have shown a little more over the past two months. At worst, Schwartz and Stepan will score at a very similar pace over the next two months..

With five points in his last 14 games, Boedker is indeed cold. Silfverberg, last two games aside, has been white-hot. Silfverberg’s production also has more of a market correction on the way. I’d go with him.

I like Robin Lehner and what he’s done since his return, but he’ll struggle with getting you the ‘W’. The other stats will still be great so if you need those, then he’s your guy. But Ramo has been steady for a long time. Since Nov. 5, Ramo is 16-13-1 with a 2.29 GAA and 0.919 SV%. I’d take him as my No.2.

I value Aleksander Barkov more but his frequent injuries concern me. So while I’d keep him over Forsberg, I would shop Barkov for an equal, but healthier player.

1. John Tavares
2. Alex Ovechkin
3. Ryan Getzlaf
4. Cam Talbot
5. Mark Giordano

I selected these for various reasons centering around the amount of games left, their below-market value, and how hot they’ll likely be over the last two months. McDavid doesn’t fit the low-value part of the criteria (but perhaps his linemates Jordan Eberle and Benoit Pouliot could be had on the cheap).

I would consider that a sideways move in one-year leagues and thus not worth your time.

1. Jordan Eberle
2. Dylan Larkin
3. Gustav Nyquist
4. Andre Burakovsky

Yes, I think Nyquist will get going again. Hopefully soon.

Yes, I believe that all players are worth trading except the cream of the crop (McSomethingOrOther.) I’ll tell you this much – you mention Tarasenko to any owner and they’ll be all ears. Nothing gets trade talks flowing like a true star being dangled.

Well, if you picked him with proper expectations (45 points with 55 upside for this season) then he’s well on his way to fulfilling them. If you needed him before, then there’s no reason why you won’t need him now – he’s doing the same thing.

Yes, it would have to be Gallagher. Johnson has been red-hot (10 points in 12 games), Hertl would be a sideways move, and I wouldn’t even consider dropping Spooner.

For those of you in keeper leagues, I posted my Top 300 Keeper League Skaters on Tuesday.