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Life and Fantasy Hockey Mailbag – February 21st, 2021

Welcome to the LFH mailbag, where all your burning fantasy questions are answered moderately well by Spencer Plamondon, co-host of the Life and Fantasy Hockey Podcast.

Alright, for those of you who don’t know, my name is Spencer Plamondon and I co-host the Life and Fantasy Hockey Podcast with my hetero-lifemate Kaveh Ghidy. You can catch us on the Hot Sauce Sports podcast network every second Sunday, and you can now catch the mailbag on here every week.

We got some great questions to kick this thing off, so let’s dive in.

I’m new to fantasy and playing in a ten team deep league with a minimum of 4 goalie starts per week. I’m carrying 4 goalies and I still didn’t hit the minimum for two weeks in a row. How many goalies should I be carrying this season? This can’t be normal.Thomas B.

Oh, Thomas. What a year you chose to enter the fantasy fray.

It’s not normal. Neither is facing an opponent who’s got 17 more man games than you because half your team has that deadly virus that’s going around. This year is a sh*t show.

There’s no easy answer. You can petition your commissioner to make changes. Kaveh and I co-commission a cash league where two managers had the same issue. We’ve had to adapt on the fly and make adjustments, like adding an additional IR+ spot, enabling daily transactions, and reducing our minimum goalie starts to three from four (with league approval, of course).

Four goalies should be enough, unless you’ve got four backups. Be vigilant with monitoring your goalie starts for the week. Plan ahead as much as you can, and add goalies who are likely to start that week as needed, though you can get screwed if nobody is starting on the day you need it. Dailyfaceoff.com is your best friend when it comes to knowing who’s starting each game. They’ve also got up to date line combinations from practice (including power play). It’s a great resource.

Good luck, and don’t quit because of the madness this year. I promise you, it’s not normally like this.

Do you factor in the Canadian division when adding players? (COVID situation being better) – Jon E.

Great question.

I think you have to consider it, absolutely. I definitely factor it in, though what that’s worth varies from case to case. For example, I drafted Joe Pavelski in my cash league and had to wait a week or so for him to play a game because of COVID postponements. At this point he was about 20% owned, so it was a perfect opportunity to swap in a guy from the Canadian division, and I had options – Toffoli was still available at the time, among others. I considered it, but at the end of the day I believed in Pavelski enough to hold onto him, and obviously I’m thrilled that I did.

If I had someone like Anthony Duclair during Florida’s COVID stretch, that would’ve been a different story. When dealing with players on teams who are going through/have gone through an outbreak, I weigh my perceived value of the player against the missed man games in the short term, and ask myself how confident I am that this player’s team will be able to play all 56 games (or close to it) by the end of the fantasy season. I know the NHL will do everything it can to ensure teams play all 56, but Florida is gonna Florida. If bath salts, a general disregard for safety, and James Franco’s character from “Spring Breakers” have one thing in common, it’s that they’d all list “Florida” as their home state on a government form. Make of that what you will.

James Franco’s character from Spring Breakers; not wearing a mask and probably high on bath salts.
See: Florida in background.

Will Joe Thorton be a viable fantasy player the rest of the year playing with Matthews and Marner? – DaBirdz3

As long as he’s healthy and playing with those two I think he absolutely will be, particularly given his newfound C+LW eligibility. The combination of flexibility and opportunity make him a legitimate option, even in public leagues. He’s on a tear right now.

Those bones are gettin’ old, but that mind is the very same that won a Hart Trophy, and lord knows his spirit continues to be that of a Pee-Wee hockey player on his first away tournament. He’s as passionate as ever. Just don’t go spending a chunk of your waiver budget or dropping a big name to scoop him up. Even if the team keeps him on the Marner/Matthews line long term, expect injuries & recovery days to knock him out of the lineup here and there.

New step-dad in town for Marner & Matthews (Sorry Patty Marleau)

Is it f*cking time to give up on Duchene!?!?! I can’t deal with him! – Mike T

Remember when everyone was sure Sakic had lost his leverage and had no chance of winning a Duchene trade? That was a weird time.

Yeah, bail on Duchene. If he gets hot, blame me, I don’t care. Duchene is a frustrating fantasy player. He’s in that weird tier of guys who’s floor is like 35 points lower than his ceiling, and his ceiling is like 75 points to boot. That’s solid upside, sure, but he’s only hit 70 points twice in his career and there’s too much variation from year to year for my liking. Too much risk.

Nashville is where offence goes to die. Don’t ask me how, I don’t get it. There’s enough there to have good offensive pop. It just ain’t happening.

Matt Duchene, probably questioning the horrible life decisions that led him to an 8 million dollar annual salary.

Is Cale Makar the real deal? – Mike T

Unless Joe Sakic trades him to Ottawa, who then trade him to Columbus before he signs in Nashville long-term as a UFA, yes. Cale Makar is the real deal, and he’s here to stay. If you’ve got him in a keeper league, you’re laughing maniacally right now.

Slow start to the year goals-wise, but through 12GP he’s at a point per game (half of them being on the PP). The goals will come, his shooting percentage is down about 6% from last year so I think you see some positive regression there. He’s also a +10 right now, if you’re in a league that forces you to care about that kinda stuff.

Cale Makar, laughing like he owns himself in a keeper league.

Got a question? Send it in to @LFHPod on Twitter. Seriously. We need questions.

Find me on Twitter @HockeyOMC

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