Fantasy Mailbag: What to do before the trade deadline

Filip Forsberg is an intriguing fantasy player.

The NHL trade deadline looms!

Just 10 days away and most fantasy leagues have the same deadline (or one that is within a week of the real one). It goes without saying that there a lot of panicking poolies out there looking for that quick fix for the home stretch.

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 on fantasy hockey as players change addresses (and thus linemates).

Hey Todd, I’m in the same boat. On one hand, it shows the GMs in your league are getting smarter. On the other hand, it means that a lot of trades will require overpayment to get something done. At least until the deadline. Then a couple of moves happen. One thing I do is allow unlimited trading until the last Sunday of January. Then each team is only allowed three deals until the trade deadline. What this does is that it gives a kind of a mini-rush before that first deadline. A few smaller deals get done as teams tweak the bottom of their roster. At least under that setup we can get some trade action twice per season instead of once. And we still get the odd deal in the first half, but really no more frequently than what we witness in the NHL.

Assuming it’s not a keeper, I’ll take the Forsberg side. I think the Alex Goligoski and Colton Parayko swap is a wash, and Forsberg edges out Jeff Carter by a couple of points -- and hits and penalty minutes.

If it’s a full keeper then I’d like to think Ritchie could get more. If it’s a partial keeper, such as a Keep 12, then I’d do that. Hutton doesn’t have a lot of upside and he has the PP job in Vancouver by default (the team has no other option).

I don’t think so, unless there is another injury. Right now he needs to get lots of starts. What he did prove while he was up here is that he is indeed the organization’s best goaltender and so the Jets can safely let Michael Hutchinson walk away as a free agent.

Any minute now. The market correction has happened. His over-production was unsustainable and now his numbers are back where they should be – and perhaps even a tad low. His pace is for 71 points and I’m still confident he’ll finish with a little more than that.

Sharp is still a proven, though aging, 70-point player who has a name that carries some weight in fantasy circles. The reality is his 65- and 70-point days are probably behind him. But that doesn’t mean he still won’t give us another three years of 50- to 60-point production. I was recently able to move him for what was essentially Andre Burakovsky. I was able to land immediate help and long-term upside in exchange for the security of a likely 55 points next year. That may be the kind of player you want to target – a less proven, but high-upside young player who will pick up some points right now while Sharp is slumping. Other suggestions who don’t fit the above description but wouldn’t be bad for one-year leagues: David Perron, Jordan Staal, as well as defensemen Mattias Ekholm and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

There are several candidates here, but Shea Theodore is my pick. The only drawback to this is his competition. With fellow prospect Brandon Montour lighting it up and with Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen already in place, the competition is stiff. Then again, Gostisbehere had to step past some quality prospects on the Philly blue line as well as veterans Mark Streit and Michael Del Zotto. Not as stiff competition as Theodore will have, but not exactly easy either.

I think they could. Bernier is injury prone and that tends to put a drag on any positive momentum he gets. I like his upside more, but I think Lack has a better shot at rebounding. He has rebounded already, actually. Here are Lack’s numbers over his last 17 games (use the goalie calculator): 9-4-4, 2.31 GAA, 0.917 SV%

As for your other question, if it’s strictly for points I would prefer Ryan O’Reilly over Gabriel Landeskog.

Here’s one where I could end up being way off. David Perron has been on fire since joining the Ducks, with 13 points in 13 games. In that same span Forsberg has nine points, but he’s been heating up with seven of those points in the last five. He showed us last year that he’s capable of sustained high-end production. But for the final 25 games give me Perron.