The big news - even bigger than the Fantasy Guide (for today, anyway) is the new site 'Dobbernomics'. When it's ready to launch, the headline will be splashed across the home page. The site is pretty much ready, but just ironing out the registration and how the site will talk to my other sites. My partners Benny Tjärnberg and Daniel Gustavsson have done a fine job getting this ready. I hope to launch today. Stay tuned.

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The Fantasy Guide can be picked up online in pdf form for $9.99 - it comes with an updated spreadsheet - free. Updates are all free, download as often as you'd like. Last update was Sunday (i.e. yesterday). The update has Selanne, Omark and Fraser added. For some reason, I had missed putting Fraser back in a couple of weeks ago and I'm surprised nobody called me on it until yesterday!

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Paul Ranger is going to play for the Leafs. He's not going to the AHL. So something has to give here. Actually, two somethings. Right now:

Phaneuf               Gardiner

Franson                  Gunnarsson

Fraser                   Ranger

Liles                       Holzer

Brennan               Rielly

And yes, I think Gardiner is on the top pairing by November. At this point he's too good

to hold back any longer. But I digress. Ranger will make this team. So Rielly won't. And Brennan will be the 'spare'. That means that either Franson and Liles get traded, or one of them is traded and Holzer is back to the AHL again. I believe Holzer would need to clear waivers - at least according to Cap Geek.

The right move would be to trade Liles, even if it's for a bucket of pucks. Fix the situation and clear the cap space. Even in these tight cap times, the Leafs should be able to get a middle-round pick for him. The situation as it stands now makes for a very muddy picture for several key fantasy players. Liles, as long as he's in Toronto, is almost fantasy-useless. Yet a move back to Colorado, say, would spike his value right back up again.

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Similar situation? Edmonton. Let's take a look:

Petry                     Smid

Schultz                  Ference

Schultz                  Grebeshkov

Larsen                   Potter

Belov                     Klefbom

Once again - 10 defensemen. So once again, the stud rookie is your first cut from the picture - Klefbom. And once again, the defenseman who is probably ready but can't squeeze into the picture, can't be sent to the AHL. Or he can, but it would cost them. I'm of course speaking of Philip Larsen, who according to Cap Geek also needs to clear waivers. Meanwhile, Anton Belov is exempt from waivers so he can go right down. So Belov and Klefbom go and the Oilers will be down to eight defensemen.

And no, they can't trade Potter. In fact, if they put Potter on waivers he'd probably slide right down to their farm team unclaimed.

The two defensemen with upside in fantasy hockey who are getting screwed by these situations are - T.J. Brennan and Philip Larsen. And I wish it turns out differently, but my hunch is that both of these players will be playing in Europe by 2015-16.

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The Puck Daddy fantasy hockey series from DobberHockey finishes up today with my piece on sleepers and downgrades. Watch for that. In the meantime, here are the other three articles:

Forwards

Defensemen

Goalies

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As the draft approaches, there are three categories of keepers when it comes to your players - definite keepers, clear dropsies and dropsies with value. The latter category describes players who either have an appealing name (i.e. a history of production), or they teased a little last year and someone in your league will take him off your hands to see what happens. And, depending on how deep your league is and what the league rules are, you should trade them for whatever you can get. Failing to move each and every player on your team who falls into this category is just you wasting an asset. So how successful you are at making these moves is going to decide how much of an edge you get in your league long term. Here are some suggestions, but again this is only for leagues that are pretty deep and are points only.

Jake Muzzin

Daniel Briere

Ilya Kovalchuk (seriously man, he's not worth keeping just because he 'may' return at the age of 34 and get 60 to 65 points - which at that age is all he would do)

Travis Zajac

Nikita Nikitin

Dave Bolland

Michael Grabner

Simon Gagne

There's a good three dozen more examples, but this is what I came up with in a pinch.

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Players who intrigue me enough to take a chance on if I can get them cheap:

Michael Frolik

Nate Gerbe

Kris Versteeg

Ville Leino

Craig Smith

J-M Liles - only for the 'trade possibility' factor

Bobby Butler

Again, these are only if they come cheap - and I would only take on one or two of them. I wouldn't want a full bench of 'maybes' and 'hopefully'.

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Also - roll the dice on Damien Brunner. His fantasy owner must be getting pretty antsy by this point, so offer him or her a bag of pucks and see if you can pull it off.

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Brennan's first NHL goal in his first NHL game:

 

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Larsen goal from the point:

 


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