Welcome to Drop Trends, where we look at the five players that were most frequently dropped on Thursday and see if you should be patient or follow the trend. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, the theme this time seems to be Flyers players, as you’ll see below.
Nolan Patrick (PHI – C)
Dropped: 2,501 times.
Why? He sustained an upper-body injury in the first period of Wednesday’s game against Ottawa.
Analysis: Patrick is expected to miss 7-10 days, so it sounds like a fairly minor injury in the grand scheme of things. That said, Patrick has gotten off to a very discouraging start. He has no points and a minus-five rating in four games after recording 30 points as a rookie. He’s got a lot of upside, so you’ll to at least keep an eye on him, but it’s perfectly understandable to pick other options over him at the moment in standard leagues, regardless of his injury situation.
Travis Konecny (PHI – C/LW/RW)
Dropped: 2,458 times.
Why? He’s gotten off to a slow start.
Analysis: Konecny also sustained a foot injury that forced him to leave Friday’s practice early, but people were dropping him before that happened. He might still end up playing on Saturday too, so the foot issue probably isn’t why fantasy owners are looking elsewhere. Instead, the issue is that he was a bubble player to begin with and has just one assist in four games thus far. His eligibility in all three positions is a nice thing to have, but he’s one of those players that’s simply expendable in standard leagues and you shouldn’t hesitate to drop whenever you spot an opportunity to pick up someone with more upside.
Kevin Shattenkirk (NYR – D)
Dropped: 1,928 times.
Why? He’s struggled out of the gate, which led to him being a healthy scratch on Thursday.
Analysis: I think some people are giving up on Shattenkirk too quickly. He’s coming back from major knee surgery and that might be a contributing factor to his sluggish start. However, when he’s at his best, Shattenkirk is a top-tier defenseman. Give him another few weeks to see if he can bounce back. Personally I still think there’s the potential for him to flirt with the 40-point milestone this season in spite of his cold opening.
James van Riemsdyk (PHI – LW)
Dropped: 1,274 times.
Why? He sustained a lower-body injury that will cost him five-to-six weeks.
Analysis: van Riemsdyk was hurt early in the second game of the 2018-19 campaign. It’s an unfortunate start to his return to Philadelphia to say the least. However, there will still be a lot of season left once he comes back. I don’t think he would have matched his 2017-18 total of 36 goals even had he stayed healthy all season, but I do think he’s valuable enough to make it worth your while to wait out this injury in most situations.
Kevin Fiala (NAS – LW/RW)
Dropped: 1,101 times
Why? He has no points in his first four games.
Analysis: This is another example of fantasy owners being impatient with a bubble player, which is fine. I wouldn’t put a lot of stock into early season results, but there are players that are expendable in standard leagues and aren’t worth being patient with and I think in a lot of situations, Fiala falls into that group. I think he can still get 40-50 points this season, but if you see a player your intrigued by, there’s no need to hold onto Fiala.