fantasy frog

 

My column is a couple of days late this week and it’ll be a short one since I just moved into a new house last week and there are a million things to get done. Despite my busy days, I found the time to pull off a huge deal in the Dobber Expert League. An 11-player trade that will have major repercussions on the outcome of the season. One of the most fun aspects of fantasy sports is the opportunity to act like a general manager and to some wheeling and dealing so it’s always a rush when you pull off a huge transaction. Here is the detailed analysis of the trade and how you can achieve such deals in your fantasy league.
 


Before the deal

I drafted two of the top netminders in the game with my top two picks in Evgeni Nabokov and Miikka Kiprusoff so I knew I’d get some very solid stats in net this season. I was also quite fortunate with my third drafted goalie drafting Alex Auld knowing quite well that Martin Gerber was bound to struggle at some point. It just happened quicker than I would have thought. This gave me some nice depth in goal and I currently rank no.1 in the league in the Wins and Saves categories despite the few weeks missed by Nabokov. In addition, I lead the Wins category with 33 which is 10 more wins than my closest competitor. Our only other goaltending category is Goals against average where I’ right in the middle of the pack.

On offense I rank second in Goals and +/-, last in Penalty minutes and middle of the order in Assists, Power play points and Shots on goal putting me in fourth place overall tied with Dobber five points off the lead.

Given my strength in goal I decided to gamble on Auld as my second goaltender and put Nabby and Kipper on the trading block in order to upgrade my offense and target top position in every offensive category other than penalty minutes. It’s a huge gamble, but one that could pay off big if Auld continues to play like he has since the start of the season.

I’m a big believer in no guts no glory when it comes to managing your fantasy team. Second place is as good as last place in fantasy (when no money is involved) so you’ve gotta play to win it all. You also have to use your strengths to improve your team. Productive players that sit on your bench don’t help you put up points in any category. Of course you want some solid bench players to help you out in case of injury like Auld did for me when Nabokov was injured, but a star on the bench in simply a waste.

My roster before the trade:

C   Olli Jokinen
C   Jason Spezza
C   Scott Gomez
C   Viktor Kozlov
LW   Zach Parise
LW   Simon Gagne
LW   Andrei Kostitsyn
LW   Pierre-Marc Bouchard
RW   Phil Kessel
RW   Devin Setoguchi
RW   Bobby Ryan
RW   Daniel Cleary
D   Dan Boyle
D   Andrej Meszaros
D   Niklas Kronwall
D   Mark Streit
D   Daniel Girardi
D   Jaroslav Spacek
BN   Ryan Malone
BN   Danny Briere
BN   Mats Sundin
BN   Mike Van Ryn
IR   David Booth
IR   Tim Connolly
G   Miikka Kiprusoff
G   Evgeni Nabokov
BN   Alex Auld

Wheeling and dealing

I was somewhat surprised to receive very few offers for my goaltenders. The first offer I received was a very decent one where I would have received Patrice Bergeron and Jean-Pierre Dumont in return for Nabokov. My problem was that I don’t trust Dumont to keep up his pace and top 80 points and Bergeron wouldn’t have helped me once Briere and Sundin would come back.

Next offer I received was from Jeff Angus and it was much more interesting, consisting of Henrik Zetterberg and Paul Stastny for Nabokov and Sundin. I was very tempted to accept as these guys would give me a huge boost on offense, but I decided to make a counter offer because for one I’m greedy and two, I think Nabokov could be the most valuable goaltender for the remainder of the season. So I offered Nabokov, Sundin, Briere, Girardi and Meszaros in return for Zetterberg, Stastny, Marian Gaborik, Joe Corvo and Ty Conklin. I targeted Conklyn since I believe he has a real opportunity to take over as the number one in Detroit so he’d make a solid third goalie on my roster and someone who could step in if Auld falters. I knew this offer probably wouldn’t be accepted, but I expected a counter offer.

I did indeed receive a counter offer of Zetterberg, Stastny, Corvo, Conklyn and Bryan Little for Nabokov, Sundin, Briere, Girardi and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Having little interest in Little (no pun intended) who’d just sit on my bench I countered with Nabokov, Sundin, Briere, Girardi, Bouchard and Bobby Ryan for the original five players I went after. And that got the deal closed. Zetterberg, Stastny, Gaborik, Corvo and Conklyn for Nabokov, Sundin, Briere, Girardi, Bouchard and Ryan.

Following the trade

My roster after the trade:


C   Olli Jokinen
C   Jason Spezza
C   Scott Gomez
C   Paul Stastny
LW   Henrik Zetterberg
LW   Zach Parise
LW   Simon Gagne
LW   Andrei Kostitsyn
RW   Phil Kessel
RW   Devin Setoguchi
RW   Marian Gaborik
RW   Daniel Cleary
D   Dan Boyle
D   Andrej Meszaros
D   Niklas Kronwall
D   Mark Streit
D   Joe Corvo
D   Jaroslav Spacek
BN   Ryan Malone
BN   Viktor Kozlov
BN   Mike Van Ryn
BN   
IR   David Booth
IR   Tim Connolly
G   Miikka Kiprusoff
G   Alex Auld
BN   Ty Conklyn


The success of this deal hinges on two things for my team, Gaborik’s health and Auld or Conklin’s ability to fill my number goaltending spot. If those two things get done, barring a rash of injuries to my other key guys, I honestly expect to win the league. And if I do it will be in large part due to this one deal.

It didn’t take long for comments to go up on the league board following the trade announcement as usually happens in every league when a trade involving so many players goes down. Some leagues limit the number of players that can be involved in a single trade, but there is really no need for that kind of rule in a league of experts where everyone knows what they’re doing.

Jeff Angus broke the deal down as follows:

"Sundin/Girardi for Stastny. I like Paul, think he will suffer a bit with no secondary help from Sakic. Girardi won't keep the pace up, but he is a solid depth D. Think Sundin has a big impact in either NYR or Vancouver.

Ryan/Bouchard for Gaborik. Gaborik could come back hot and be traded, or he could sulk and get hurt again. Who knows, I need some wingers and can't really wait on him. Ryan will force his way back to the top unit and Bouchard is insurance: If Gabby gets going you can sure as hell bet Bouchard will be riding shotgun!

Nabokov for Zetterberg/Conklin. Zetterberg is a top 5/10 fantasy forward. Always a hint of injury concern with him, though. Needed a stud goalie in a bad way.

Briere for Corvo. Corvo will have a much better second half, but I like taking a chance on Briere. He will get IR eligibility next week and is a PPG player when healthy.
"

So now we wait and see what the next few months will bring.

Who do you think won the deal? Send your answer to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 


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