This week's drop trends provides us with a nice variety of case studies. We have a great player who unfortunately suffered long-term injury, a star that hasn't been living up to expectations, a player who was superb out of the gate but has fallen back to Earth, an older player that might not be fantasy relevant anymore, and a goaltender that was picked up by many on a situational basis.
Are people making the right moves though? Let's talk about them one by one...
Jaden Schwartz (STL - LW)
Dropped: 6,493 times
Why: He'll miss at least 12 weeks after undergoing ankle surgery.
Recommendation: This one will really come down to the individual fantasy owner's circumstances. When healthy, Schwartz should be a great forward to have, but the expectation that he'll miss a minimum of 12 weeks is nothing to sneeze at. If you have an IR slot available then it would certainly be preferable to stick Schwartz there. If he would have to spend all that time occupying a bench slot, then it would be understandable if that's too tough a pill to swallow.
Justin Abdelkader (DET - LW/RW)
Dropped: 1,898 times
Why: The hot streak is over.
Recommendation: This is likely a case of people picking him up when he recorded four goals and five points in his first two games this season and dumping him now that he's gone six contests without a point. I agree with this trend. Abdelkader is not a major offensive contributor and while there's nothing wrong with picking him up in an attempt to ride a hot streak, there's not much reason to keep him around for long if you're in a standard league.
Mike Green (DET - D)
Dropped: 1,817 times
Why: He was cold and then he got hurt.
Recommendation: It's not clear how serious his upper-body injury, but obviously any ailment is concerning given his injury history. That being said, I believe it's premature to drop him. While he only has one point in seven contests this season, he is still one of the better offensive defensemen in the league. If he current injury proves to be minor, then it might not be long before patient fantasy owners are reaping the rewards.
Chris Kunitz (PIT - LW)
Dropped: 1,536 times
Why: He didn't have a point in his first seven games.
Recommendation: Kunitz actually scored on Saturday, but most of the people that dropped him likely did so before that event. Either way, Kunitz is a tough one to gauge. At the age of 36, he's a player in decline and is coming off of a lackluster 2014-15 campaign. However, he's still getting big minutes with some of the best players in the league and it's hard to be too harsh on him for his slow start when the Penguins as a whole have struggled offensively out of the gate. As the rest of the team heats up, Kunitz could follow suit, so I would recommend taking a wait-and-see approach.
Mike Condon (MON - G)
Dropped: 1,450 times
Why: His start on Friday is behind him.
Recommendation: Fantasy owners were given enough advance notice about Condon's impending start to pick him up ahead of time. Those seeking an extra start were getting a goaltender that looked strong in his NHL debut and was being backed by a strong Canadiens squad. Sure enough, that paid off as he turned aside 34 of 36 shots in a 7-2 win on Friday. However, there's no question that Carey Price will continue to get the bulk of the starts, after Condon served his time, fantasy owners dropped him again. It's an effective strategy and one worth repeating as the season progresses.