The Coyotes got off to a great start this season, but they've slipped and that's reflected in this week's drop trends. As a team, Arizona overperformed out of the gate, but what does that mean for its individual players? We'll take a look at two examples right off the bat...
Anthony Duclair (ARI - LW/RW)
Dropped: 2,195 times
Why: He hasn't recorded a point in five games.
Recommendation: Duclair is a promising young forward, but there's no question that he overperformed early on with four goals and six points in his first four games. I recommend having modest expectations for him overall this season of about 40-50 points. If you don't feel that range is good enough to warrant keeping him, then it would be best to explore your other options.
Mike Smith (ARI - G)
Dropped: 1,256 times
Why: He's struggled after a hot start to the season.
Recommendation: Smith had allowed three or more goals in six straight starts going into Friday's contest against Vancouver. That streak ended in the Canucks game, but only because he was yanked after allowing two goals on three shots. Like many others, I was cautiously optimistic after he surrendered just two goals in his first three games, but it's hard to defend his overall performance this month after factoring in his 2014-15 performance as well. Beyond that, Arizona just isn't a great team yet and that will drag him down. He's still a starter and that alone holds some value, but he should be regarded as being firmly in the bottom-third of starters in the NHL from a fantasy perspective. If you're in a deep league it might still make sense to keep him, but in a lot of situations his poor GAA and save percentage will do more harm than good.
Justin Abdelkader (DET - LW/RW)
Dropped: 1,226 times
Why: He hasn't recorded a point in nine games.
Recommendation: This is a bit of an unusual case. We usually don't see the same player appear on this list in back-to-back weeks, but Abdelkader's prolonged cold streak has made him the exception. When we talked about him last week, I was in favor of dropping him as he doesn't have enough offensive upside to make him worth owning most of the time in standard leagues anyways. Since then he has recorded no points and a minus-one rating in three games, so as you can imagine, my opinion hasn't changed.
Jonas Hiller (CAL - G)
Dropped: 1,168 times
Why: He's dealing with a lower-body injury.
Recommendation: Hiller is out at least a week, which isn't that long in the grand scheme of things. However, Calgary's goaltending has been a mess and Hiller personally has a 3.67 GAA and .861 save percentage in seven games, so the injury may have simply been the thing that broke the camel's back for some. Hiller is certainly capable of better, as are the Flames as a whole. He's not going to be one of the better goaltenders this season, but he does still have the potential to continue on as the Flames' number one netminder once he's healthy. Whether or not holding that role alone is good enough to warrant keeping him will depend on what your alternatives are.
Jonathan Drouin (TBL - LW)
Dropped: 867 times
Why: Drouin went five games without a point and then he got hurt.
Recommendation: His lower-body injury might not be particularly serious, so if you're considering dropping him over that, then I'd recommend simply waiting it out. If your concerns are with his performance than it gets a little more complicated. Drouin is still establishing himself in the NHL and is consequently a bigger risk than most. He does however have a lot of potential, even when you narrow the focus to just this season. He's spent a fair amount of time playing with Steven Stamkos and obviously that's a desirable role. I'd lean towards waiting it out a few more weeks with Drouin before deciding if he'll be worth holding onto in the long run.