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Fantasy Hockey: The Monday Mailbag

Hello everybody! This is the part where I introduce myself. My name is Chris Wassel and you may have seen me on such hockey sites such as Dobberhockey, The Hockey Writers, and Hockey This Week just to name a few. If it seems like I have written in a lot of places, it is because I have. Fantasy hockey is the name of the game here and anytime you have a question, just send it my way @ChrisWasselTHW. You never know when I may use your very question on the mailbag.

The goal every Monday is to take those questions and answer them right here for all the world to see. Are you ready? Let's go!

What is the better strategy? Do you draft players that will top out in a few categories or players who fill categories across the board?

Right away, we get hit with the whole enchilada. The age old question will not get the age old answer here. However, I think we have something that is a little bit different than conventional. If it is a rotisserie league, always look for players that can fill as many categories as possible.

At that point, I am looking for the guys who can help me on those lean nights where I need to stay afloat. Those lean nights when your fifty goal scorer goes on a two week slump can break out. Believe me, I know.

Points leagues are a bit different of an animal. It really all depends on what time of points league it is. Is it head to head points or season long points. This makes a huge difference. Head to head points can cloud your judgment because you can get by most weeks with streaky top performances with players that do well in a few categories.

On the other hand, with season long points leagues, they are kind of like rotisserie leagues, where balance is more the name of the game and it does not hurt to top a few categories too. The final word is it simply depends on the type of league you enter.

Will Nail Yakupov get more ice time at some point? 

This is one that peaked my curiosity so I went looking for the numbers. The one big surprise is that he did not see a bump at all after his rookie season, which was very good for a rookie (31 pts in 48 GP). He even finished fifth in the Calder Trophy voting. Last year was a lot rougher as Nail Yakupov took his lumps and people questioned his defensive mettle. At a -33, it was actually understandable to a point. One thing was in common, his ice time was almost the same. Talk about eerie.

  • 2012-13 -- 14:34 ATOI
  • 2013-14 -- 14:19 ATOI
  • 2014-15 -- 11:59 ATOI (2 gms)

This year, it is a little early to try and gauge how Edmonton is using him, but based on the first two seasons I am left scratching my head a little. Now he did come back down to Earth but you would have thought that the early part of season two would reveal some higher times on ice. The answer over the first ten games was yes at almost 16 minutes per night but then gradually that fell almost right back to his 2012-13 numbers in relatively short order. 

Eventually he is going to get more ice time but the coaching staff feels he has to earn it. Yakupov has the potential. Stay tuned to see if he can do it. 

For the season, would you take Milan Lucic or Jaden Schwartz?

Both players are very solid in their own respects. Much to my surprise, several sites have had this same question asked of them. When Milan Lucic is playing his game, the goals and assists come but so do the PIMS, hits, shots on goal, etc. He fills categories and does a really solid job of doing so. 

Jaden Schwartz does a pretty good job of doing what he needs to and last season he was rewarded with an excellent breakout season. The problem is with the NHL, it is inherent among younger players to be like this or that great player. Schwartz just plays the game the way it needs to be.

lucic hidden gemMilan Lucic plays it a different way and usually on raw emotion. When that emotion is channeled in a positive way, his numbers go through the roof. How will Lucic rebound when it comes to putting pucks in net? Goals, assists , and points are rather identical. Is there a way to choose?

Yes there is always a way. Think of this as a little bit of friendly advice. Schwartz will be consistent like clockwork while Jaden Schwartz. However, Milan Lucic is just and scary beast when he gets things rolling. Who do I take? It is a tough one but for as much as Lucic can be up and down emotions wise, I still take Lucic.

Granted, it is a very difficult decision but Lucic again just fills more categories than Schwartz can right at this moment. That is enough for me to swing the pendulum to Lucic. Add in the fact that the Boston winger just seems to have that veterans' work ethic.That is why, for now, Milan Lucic is the guy I go out to battle with.