Welcome to Drop Trends, where we look at the players that were dropped the most on Saturday in Yahoo leagues and examine if you should be patient or follow the trend.
Curtis McElhinney (TOR – G)
Dropped: 2,073 times
Why: He was likely a situational pickup ahead of Friday’s start.
Analysis: It was easy to assume that McElhinney would start on Friday given that it was the Maple Leafs’ second contest in as many games. Some owners like to pick up backups ahead of a start to get some playing time out of them and then immediately drop them afterwards, but it’s unusual to see so many owners participate in that activity for a single game. It might be that people were hoping for big things out of McElhinney given that he earned a 41-save shutout in his previous start, but of course using him on Friday didn’t pay off because he allowed three goals on 29 shots in a loss to Detroit. Either way, we don’t recommend owning him long-term in a standard league.
Kari Lehtonen (DAL – G)
Dropped: 1,915 times
Why: His hot streak may have run its course.
Analysis: Lehtonen played in six of seven Stars games from Dec. 3-15 and had some pretty good starts in that span. However, he allowed four goals on 25 shots on Friday and then Ben Bishop saved 28 of 30 shots Saturday night. That likely led to some people feeling like Bishop would start to get the bulk of the starts again and Lehtonen would regress back to subpar levels. That’s not a bad assessment in my mind and I wouldn’t recommend holding onto Lehtonen unless you’re in a deep league or hurting for goaltending.
Anthony Mantha (DET – LW/RW)
Dropped: 1,860 times
Why: He has no points in his last six games and just three points in 13 contests dating back to Nov. 17.
Analysis: After a decent rookie season, there was some hope that Mantha would be able to take a significant step forward in 2017-18. Those hopes were fueled by him scoring 10 goals and 19 points in his first 19 contests, but obviously he collapsed after that and some fantasy owners have had enough. It seems that Red Wing coach Jeff Blashill might be adjusting too. Blashill called out Mantha on Nov. 23 and more recently has started to cut back on the young forward’s ice time. Over Mantha’s first 19 games he averaged 17:20 minutes per contest, but he’s logged a more modest 15:47 minutes in his last six contests and has gotten less than 15 minutes in each of his last two games. Mantha still has considerable upside, so if you’re in a deep keeper league there might be reason enough to stay patient with him, but he’s a big enough gamble for the rest of 2017-18 that I would recommend those in single-season leagues to consider your other options.
Tristan Jarry (PIT – G)
Dropped: 1,710 times
Why: Matt Murray has recovered from his lower-body injury.
Analysis: Jarry was okay for the most part in Murray’s absence, but he’s not a serious threat to overtake Murray for the starting gig. As long as Murray stays healthy, Jarry will likely only see an occasional start and thus he’s not worth owning in standard leagues.
Laurent Brossoit (EDM – G)
Dropped: 1,546 times
Why: Cam Talbot has recovered from his upper-body injury.
Analysis: This situation is obviously similar to the one in Pittsburgh. If there’s a difference, it’s that Edmonton is likely to lean on a healthy Talbot even more than the Penguins will lean on a healthy Murray. There’s no reason to own Brossoit right now unless you’re in a very deep league.