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Draft Guide

Can Vanek still bounce back?

by Ryan Dadoun
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

As has become a recurring theme for the Drop Trends, the top players on the list are victims of injuries.  WIth that in mind, I included six players instead of the usual five to compensate for how clear cut the decision is regarding the most dropped player on Saturday.

 

That being said, the five players below him are not black and white decisions with Thomas Vanek in particular being an interesting case.  He might not fit your definition of a star forward, but he's not far below that mark either.  Or at least he wasn't until this season.  With precious little time left in the season, many are cutting their losses with him.  Is that the right move?  We'll talk more about that below...

 

Nathan MacKinnon (COL - C/RW)

Dropped: 5,298 times

Why? He has a fractured foot that will sideline him for six-to-eight weeks.

Recommendation: In other words, he's done for the season.  This is as clear cut as it gets: Drop him unless you're in a keeper league.

 

Dustin Byfuglien (WPG - RW/D)

Dropped: 2,486 times

Why? He will miss the next two-to-four weeks with an upper-body injury.

Recommendation: Byfuglien has been a great fantasy asset this season with 42 points and 116 penalty minutes in 65 games.  It would be a shame to let him go when there's still a chance that he can return in time to play for a meaningful portion of what's left of the regular season.  If you have an open IR slot for when he becomes eligible, then your decision is easy, but even if it would cost you a bench slot, you should give serious consideration to keeping Byfuglien for now in the hopes that he returns at the short end of that timetable.

 

Trevor Daley (DAL - D)

Dropped: 1,126 times

Why? He's projected to be sidelined for two-to-four weeks following a knee-on-knee hit.

Recommendation: This situation is obviously similar to Byfuglien, but the key difference is that Daley hasn't been nearly as invaluable to fantasy teams as Byfuglien has been.  If you have an open IR slot for when he becomes eligible or feel like you can make do with one of your bench slots being occupied by an injured player, than Daley isn't a bad guy to hold onto, but if your team has already been battered by injuries and you need to cut ties with one of your hurt players, then replacing Daley makes sense.

 

Thomas Vanek (MIN - LW/RW)

Dropped: 936 times

Why? Vanek, who has underwhelmed this season, is dealing with an illness.

Recommendation: Being sick is typically not a good reason to drop someone, but this likely has less to do with his current illness and more with the fact that he has just 13 goals and 39 points in 64 games in 2014-15.  He's certainly capable of far better than that, but we're in March at this point so if he hasn't turned his season around yet, there's no reason to expect anything to change.  With that in mind, I can't fault anyone that wants to change things up by dropping Vanek.

 

Antoine Vermette (CHI - C/LW)

Dropped: 846 times

Why? He hasn't gotten off to the hot start in Chicago that fantasy owners were hoping for.

Recommendation: It's too early to assume that Vermette won't work out in Chicago.  He's only played in two games with the squad and on Friday he logged 18:40 minutes while primarily skating alongside Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.  He's being given an opportunity to succeed and I would give him at least a few more games before jumping ship.

 

Colin Wilson (NAS - C/LW)

Dropped: 738 times

Why? He only has one point in his last eight games.

Recommendation: Keep in mind that Nashville as a team has struggled mightily over that span and that cold streak has extended to James Neal and Filip Forsberg as well.  This has already been the worst stretch of the season for the Predators and I don't expect it to last much longer.  When Nashville bounces back, Wilson should too, so if you're patient, I imagine you'll be rewarded for it soon.

Ryan Dadoun
Ryan Dadoun is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.