Welcome to the first in what will be a weekly series of Drop Trends articles. In Drop Trends we will focus on players that are getting booted from fantasy teams the most as determined by Yahoo’s Transaction Trends, explain why owners are acting that way, and determine if people are justified or overreacting. Think of this as a companion to our Waiver Wired articles. While we focus on players you should consider picking up in those, this will put a greater emphasis on players at the other end of the spectrum.
With all that said, let’s look at Saturday’s drop leaders:
And while you're at it, play Yahoo fantasy hockey!
Dan Boyle (NYR – D)
Dropped: 3,455 times
Why: He broke his right hand during Thursday’s game and will miss four-to-six weeks.
Recommendation: Early season injuries are tricky because players are more likely to be rusty when they return given that they didn’t have a chance to get into the swing of things before heading to the sidelines. That being said, Boyle has 955 games under his belt and should be better equipped to handle these sorts of situations than most. Going into the season, I viewed him as a defenseman capable of surpassing the 40-point mark and while that will be difficult now, I don’t think this injury is severe enough to warrant dropping him. If he’s been dumped in a league you’re a member of, he would actually be a pretty nice waiver pickup.
Jake Muzzin (D – LAK)
Dropped: 1,785 times
Why: He’s day-to-day with what Kings coach Darryl Sutter has described as a “frustrating” upper-body injury.
Recommendation: We don’t have a good sense of how long Muzzin will be sidelined for, so to already give up on him seems like an overreaction. He only had 24 points in 76 games last season, but he is a fair candidate to take a moderate step forward this season. If you believed enough in him to draft him, I recommend keeping him on your roster for at least a few more days to see if any further details about his injury surfaces.
Josh Harding (G – MIN)
Dropped: 1,423 times
Why: He’s out at least two-to-three months with a fractured foot
Recommendation: Dropping him seems like a fair reaction. The Wild’s goaltending situation is murky when he gets back. He was great when healthy last season, but it’s entirely possible that Darcy Kuemper or Niklas Backstrom will have solidified their role as the team’s starter by the time Harding’s back. Even if that’s not the case, Harding is still looking at a situation where he’ll be part of a three-man rotation after missing (potentially) half the season. There’s just too much risk involved to justify keeping Harding in standard leagues.
Evgeny Kuznetsov (C, LW – WAS)
Dropped: 1,192 times
Why: He logged just 6:36 minutes in Washington’s season opener.
Recommendation: Of course, he did get an assist and was on the ice for 11:09 minutes in Saturday’s contest, but odds are most of the people that dropped him did so before that happened. Look: Kuznetsov has plenty of upside, but like all rookies, he’s a big risk too. Whether or not he’ll get enough playing time to make his mark offensively under Barry Trotz is a valid concern, but I think it’s premature to believe that we have the answer. Some rookies move up the depth charts as the season progresses and for some that process is quicker and less rocky than it is for others. If you have some risk tolerance, then you can do worse than rolling the dice on Kuznetsov.
Brandon Dubinsky (C, LW – CLM)
Dropped: 1,100 times
Why: He underwent abdominal surgery and will consequently miss the next six weeks.
Recommendation: I would sooner drop Dubinsky than Boyle for a couple reasons. For one, I’m more worried about a player’s ability to bounce back from early season abdominal surgery than I am a broken hand. I also view him as more easily replaceable than Boyle in standard leagues (read: leagues that don’t value hits). Dubinsky and Boyle were both taken around the same time in Yahoo drafts – approximately 100th and 107th overall respectively. However, in a good year Boyle can get you over 40 points (he had 36 points last season despite not feeling great after returning from a concussion) while Dubinsky will net you around 50 points and 100 penalty minutes. Obviously, neither of them will have ideal seasons, but a strong offensive defenseman is significantly harder to find on the waiver wire than a forward who is decent offensively and spends a fair amount of time in the sin bin. By all means, keep Dubinsky, especially if you have a free IR slot anyways, but my point is I view dropping him as an acceptable action in standard leagues under the right circumstances.