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Draft Guide

Is it time to drop Lehtera?

by Ryan Dadoun
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

Saturday's Yahoo transaction trends were dominated by goaltenders in terms of both on the adds and drops.  The reason for that was likely a byproduct of the holiday break.  That removed three days worth of games and naturally eliminated a lot of potential goalie starts.  To make up for that, some owners likely attempted to play the field by dropping expendable goaltenders and picking up others that were likely to get a start.  After that start, they could then drop their newly acquired goaltender for someone else.


Because that skewed this week's results, I decided to ignore goaltenders entirely in this week's Drop Trends.  You'll see lower drop numbers as a result, but I think I'll be providing more useful information this way.


Steve Downie (PIT - LW/RW)


Dropped: 872 times

Why: He has the mumps.

Recommendation: If you read my Waiver Wired report first, then this won't come as much of a surprise, but I recommend holding onto Downie.  If someone else in your league has gotten rid of him then you should seriously consider taking advantage of that.  Downie is a unique asset in standard leagues because he's capable of chipping in offensively and accumulating an insane amount of penalty minutes.  He's already been out for roughly a week, so hopefully he won't end up missing too much more time with the disease.


Blake Comeau (PIT - LW)


Dropped: 804 times

Why: He's expected to miss "several weeks" due to a wrist injury.

Recommendation: Comeau on the other hand you should feel free to drop.  His fantasy value was tied to the fact that he was logging minutes with Evgeni Malkin due to the Penguins' injury woes.  It's hard to say what the Penguins' situation will be like when he returns and I can't recommend holding onto him in the hopes that he'll still have a top-six spot by the time he recovers.  He's just not a good enough offensive talent to warrant the risk.


Jori Lehtera (STL - C)


Dropped: 676 times

Why: He's scored just one goal since Nov. 15.

Recommendation: There was a time when Lehtera and Vladimir Tarasenko were two of the hottest players in the league.  Tarasenko hasn't slowed down, but Lehtera has declined dramatically despite the fact that they often still play on the same line.  Unless they're broken up, there's still reason to be optimistic about Lehtera going forward, although you'll want to stick him on the bench at the very least for now.


Tommy Wingels (SJS - RW)


Dropped: 534 times

Why: He's cooled down after a hot stretch.

Recommendation: Wingels scored three goals and nine points in the span of just four games, but he's now on a three-point drought.  He's been playing with Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture, which makes him at least interesting, but he's not exactly a premiere offensive talent in his own right.  If you picked him up in the hopes of riding out his hot streak, then there's not much reason to keep him now.


Mika Zibanejad (OTT - C/RW)


Dropped: 495 times

Why: As with Wingels, his hot streak is over.

Recommendation: In addition to all of the goaltenders, I skipped over Nick Bjugstad.  He was dropped 503 times, but he was also added 855 times, so I didn't feel like he meshed well with the purpose of this article.  Moving onto Zibanejad, he is indeed a similar story to Wingels, but the main difference is in their upside.  Zibanejad has 17 points in 33 games and that's been heavily skewed by his run of six goals and 11 points in nine games from Dec. 2-19.  However, Zibanejad has the potential to develop into a solid top-six forward and it wouldn't be shocking to see him actually do better in the second half of the season than he has in the first.  He's not so good that you should feel obligated to keep him in standard leagues regardless of the circumstances, but if his current three-game drought is all that's scaring you, then I recommend waiting at least another week before pulling the trigger.

Ryan Dadoun
Ryan Dadoun is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.