Welcome to Drop Trends where we look at the five players who were cut the most on Saturday and see if you should stay patient or follow the trend.
Matt Niskanen (WAS – D)
Dropped: 4,136 times
Why: Niskanen suffered an upper-body injury on Friday and was promptly placed on the long-term injured reserve list.
Analysis: There is still a lot we haven’t learned about the nature of Niskanen’s injury, but the fact that Washington put him on the LTIR is obviously a very bad sign. That means that Niskanen will be out until at least Nov. 7 and it could turn out that he will miss far more time than that. The one silver lining, if you want to look at it a certain way, is that the Capitals were up against the salary cap, so Washington was in a position where it needed the cap flexibility that moving Niskanen to the LTIR provided. In other words, it’s possible that moving Niskanen to the LTIR was a move made out of roster necessity rather than due to a grim outlook on his timetable. All that speculation aside, I would recommend holding on to Niskanen if at all possible. He’s a solid offensive defenseman and if he is back in a month then in many scenarios it would have been better to ride this out then drop him. Of course, how much flexibility you have on your bench and if you have a IR slot available are major considerations that will influence decisions on a case-by-case basis.
Jakob Silfverberg (ANA – RW)
Dropped: 1,846 times
Why: He has no goals and an assist in five games to start the campaign.
Analysis: I wouldn’t dismiss the prospect of Silfverberg bouncing back yet, especially given that he’s averaging a great 19:18 minutes of ice time per game. Keep in mind that five games is still a fairly small sample size, so his slow start isn’t too concerning yet. That being said, Silfverberg is more of a fringe option in many fantasy leagues to begin with, so there’s nothing particularly wrong with replacing him with someone you believe to be more promising even if Silfverberg’s slow start isn’t a glaring issue.
Nino Niederreiter (MIN – LW/RW)
Dropped: 1,678 times
Why: He’ll be out for at least three weeks with a high ankle sprain.
Analysis: Keep in mind, Niederreiter returning in three weeks is a best case scenario, so if you are holding on to him you should be prepared for him to be sidelined for far longer than that. He had 25 goals and 57 points in 82 contests last season and his career has been on an upward trajectory, which makes this injury all the more disappointing. It also makes me more inclined to hold onto him in the hopes that he won’t miss much more than the three weeks. After all, the season is still young and even if he doesn’t get back until mid-to-late November, that would still provide you with many months of contributions out of him if you stay patient.
Charlie Coyle (MIN – C/RW)
Dropped: 1,350 times
Why: He has a fractured right fibula.
Analysis: Coyle has undergone surgery and will be sidelined for the next six-to-eight weeks. Like Niederreiter, Coyle’s career has been looking up and he’s coming off a strong campaign where he scored 18 goals and 56 points in 82 contests. In all likelihood he’s going to be returning after Niederreiter, but at the same time you could also regard the fact that Coyle’s injury timetable as being more firmly established as a small positive. Either way, I’d lean towards holding onto Coyle as well, just because we’re still pretty early into the season so you will be getting a lot of use out of Coyle if you can ride this out.
Alex Galchenyuk (MON – C/LW)
Dropped: 957 times
Why: He was held off the scoresheet in Montreal’s first four games.
Analysis: Galchenyuk found the back of the net on Saturday, so perhaps he’s already began to thaw. This is a scenario similar to Silfverberg’s in the sense that it wouldn’t be surprising to see Galchenyuk shake off his slow start, but he’s also something of a fringe player by the standards of many leagues, so dropping him is a reasonable option regardless. Granted, Galchenyuk did score 30 goals in 2015-16, so there’s always the potential that he’ll play at that level again, but I wouldn’t bet on it.