The season is still young and some fantasy owners are quick to panic over a cold start. Should you join in the rush to dump a struggling player?
Let’s take a look at who were the most dropped players in Yahoo leagues on Saturday:
Justin Schultz (EDM – D)
Dropped: 1,697 times
Why: Like his team, he’s off to a bad start with one point and a minus-five rating in five games.
Recommendation: Schultz has always been a bit overvalued and now it seems like that is catching up to him. He had 33 points and a minus-22 rating in 74 games last season. That’s a decent offensive output for a defenseman, especially one that was just 23 at the time, but his plus/minus rating killed it. The problem is that Schultz has often been regarded as an elite offensive defenseman or at least a player with that kind of potential, when that hasn’t been the case. He’s a guy that can provide you with 30-40 points, which means that there will probably be at least 20 blueliners that do better than him. Combine that with the fact that Edmonton can’t seem to get competitive and it’s hard to believe that his plus/minus rating will get better rather than worse as the season progresses. Ultimately, whether or not owning him makes sense will be determined by your tolerance for that rating.
David Perron (EDM – LW/RW)
Dropped: 1,367 times
Why: He plays for Edmonton
Recommendation: Honestly, it feels like that’s more or less the reason he’s being dropped. He hasn’t gotten off to a terrible start with three assists in five games. Sure, he’s gone three contests without a point and yes he hasn’t scored a goal yet, but it’s premature to panic when it comes to Perron. What’s broken in Edmonton isn’t its offense and goals have a tendency to come in bunches which can lead to goal scorers being streaky. That was the case last season when he had one goal in his first 11 games and still ended up with 28 over the course of the season. Like Schultz, his plus/minus could be really bad this season (although Schultz probably will end up with a worse rating), but from an offensive standpoint, he should have a good campaign.
John Gibson (G – ANA)
Dropped: 1,230 times
Why: He’s been sent to the minors (with an asterisks)
Recommendation: First off, it’s important to understand the reason he went to the AHL. It wasn’t that the Ducks gave up on him, it was that Frederik Andersen got off to a hot start, so Gibson suggested that he could play in the minors for a couple games to stay sharp. They agreed that it would be good for the 21-year-old and if anything, he deserves points for maturity. It is fair to say that Andersen has the inside track on the starting gig at this point, but Gibson isn’t out of the race yet. By all means, drop him if you need the roster spot because he’s a purely speculative pick, but he’ll get another chance with Anaheim and it probably won’t be that long from now.
Jonathan Drouin (TBL) – LW
Dropped: 1,032 times
Why: Missed start of 2014-15 campaign with a thumb injury
Recommendation: Going into the season, Drouin was regarded as one of the most desirable fantasy options among this year’s crop of rookies. He’s got a ton of offensive upside and while a thumb injury has slowed him down, he’s capable of hitting the ground running now that he’s healthy. He had a goal and three points in two games during his AHL conditioning stint. He’s still owned in 68% of leagues despite the recent rush to dump him, but if he’s available in your standard league and you have a bench spot to spare, then he’s worth taking a chance on.
Brad Richards (CHI) – C/LW
Dropped: 963 times
Why: He’s not the team’s second-line center as was anticipated
Recommendation: When Richards joined Chicago, the idea was that he would play alongside Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad. Instead he’s averaging just 13:46 minutes per game and his most common linemates are Ben Smith and Bryan Bickell. That could change as the season progresses, but given that Richards had just 51 points last season, it’s understandable that some fantasy owners wouldn’t give him the benefit of the doubt. Frankly, I don’t see any fault in cutting ties with him if there are promising alternatives available.