Fantasy Hockey Q&A: Who to target, who will bounce back and much more

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Which under-the-radar names should you be targeting in your hockey pool? Will Erik Karlsson rebound after a rather slow start? Fantasy hockey expert Matt Larkin answered your fantasy hockey questions.

@Scott_Pianowski: Erik Karlsson, make me unsad.

Matt Larkin: He’ll be fine – started slowly last year, too – but “fine” doesn’t mean he’ll return to peak levels. Sharks forward depth depleted, meaning fewer of his passes turn into goals. Also, he’s 29, so decline years loom. But “aging, declining Erik Karlsson” might still mean 55-60 points.


@ExiledFromYoop: While I am happily riding high and gloating with a certain Coyotes goalie, how painful in Kuemper’s regression to the mean going to be?

Matt Larkin: Maybe not that painful? Tocchet has full confidence in him (our next magazine is the goalie issue – includes a Kuemper story!). And Kuemper is top-10 in the league in expected goals against per 60. Has been good for almost a calendar year.


@Ommmzzz: Under the radar players to watch for in Hits/Blocks leagues?

Matt Larkin: I am the lead conductor on the Sammy Blais train, but maybe people are onto him now (21% Yahoo ownership). So how about Max Comtois? In 22 career games, he has 12 points and 48 hits. 4% Yahoo ownership.


@DLuzny: Should I trade Kris Letang for Seth Jones?

Matt Larkin: In a keeper league: for sure. In a redraft league? Not so sure. Jones’ fantasy value got wounded by Panarin/Duchene leaving. Letang a good bet to miss time but produces D1 numbers when he’s in the lineup.


@ACass22: Is Corey Perry worth taking a flyer on in a league that’s just goals and assists? Stars are starting to heat up.

Matt Larkin: Only in DEEPER THAN DEEP leagues for Perry. I’ll put it this way: I play in a 16-team league with 20-man rosters, and he’s owned in that league, but his overall ownership is 5% in Yahoo.


@JKflames: I have Rittich, Hellebuyck, and F. Andersen as goalies, looking to offload one for some forward help. Stats counted are wins, shutouts, saves, goals against. Which two would be best to keep for the remainder of the year?

Matt Larkin: Rittich really is intriguing, but I have to lean toward the proven guys. Andersen for sure, and probably still Hellebuyck too. This decision is way tougher than it would’ve been even a month ago, however. Andersen has been the weakest so far, but slow starts are common for him.


@MrHagizz: Should I keep Andreas Johnsson or replace him with Travis Konecny?

Matt Larkin: Wow, that’s a humdinger. I like both players a lot. But you have to go Konecny. He’s almost three years younger than Johnsson and already has two 24-goal seasons by age 22. The ceiling is higher for Konecny.


@Terpish: Can I drop Trouba or Klefbom for Niskanen or DeAngelo? DeAngelo has basically taken Trouba’s job in NY, right?

Matt Larkin: I wouldn’t rush to drop Trouba just yet. But could be worth dropping Klefbom or DeAngelo. I don’t think of DeAngelo as a fluke. Offense was always his calling card in junior. His skill was never in doubt. Only his intangibles were


@RDAbyronhackett: I have Marzek, Grubauer and Griess as my goalies. How sustainable is that as a trio or should I look for help?

Matt Larkin: In today’s NHL, I feel like that’s not a bad trio at all, especially in a rate-stats league. If volume stats carry more weight, consider selling Greiss, as he’s a 35-40-game guy.


@Vith101: John Klingberg for Quinn Hughes?

Matt Larkin: Very tempting. I do think Klingberg is a buy low, but he’s banged up, and Hughes has been as advertised. In a redraft league? I feel like you’re selling too low on Klingberg. Keeper league if you’re rebuilding? Sure. Make the deal.


@ZachAttack9633: In the absence of Tarasenko, who, besides Schenn, is a good grab from St. Louis?

Matt Larkin: Robert Thomas and Sammy Blais have been the early beneficiaries. The safer long-term bet to get top-line looks might be David Perron, though. Also: don’t forget about Jordan Kyrou in the AHL. Healthy now. Already two points in his first AHL game this year.


@Dylan_Maygloth: Trade Evander Kane for JT Miller? Or is Miller gonna fizzle out over the season

Matt Larkin: I would not, especially if your league counts hits and/or shots. Miller has always been streaky. Hasn’t put it together over a full season. He’s still a good player, but I’m just saying I prefer Kane to him.


@Evgenemy: Who would you keep on your roster? Robin Lehner or Antti Raanta?

Matt Larkin: Robin Lehner. Simply because Crawford’s health is far shakier than Kuemper’s.


@Spence_Smith24: Chances Mikael Granlund gets things turned around and back on a 60+ point pace?

Matt Larkin: I’m a bit worried. Maybe Preds’ workmanlike system isn’t tailored to his finesse. Talent hasn’t gone anywhere, but he may need a system that suits his skills better.


@Hockey_Havoc: I got Alex DeBrincat, Calle Jarnkrok and MacKenzie Blackwood for Keith Yandle and Semyon Varlamov. Was this a good trade?

Matt Larkin: You did get the best player in the deal in DeBrincat. But looks like you bought high on Jarnkrok. If you have good goaltending depth, I like it for you. If you don’t…gulp.

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