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Fantasy mailbag: Faulk, Pavelski underachieving

Hurricanes defenseman's slow start alarming; Sharks forward capable of rebound

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Friday during the season, NHL.com will answer your fantasy mailbag questions. Whether you're in a year-long league or play DFS, we'll answer the most relevant questions based on Yahoo transaction trends, DraftKings value and any other developments (production, lineup, injuries) around the League. Send your questions to @NHLJensen on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

 

@peppersmurray09: Should I be alarmed by Justin Faulk's lack of success thus far?

This is a legitimate concern considering Faulk's success in recent seasons; he's had at least 15 goals and 37 points in each of the past three seasons, including at least 13 power-play points. So far, the Carolina Hurricanes defenseman has three points (one goal, two assists) and ranks third among Carolina defensemen in scoring, behind Noah Hanifin (eight points) and Jaccob Slavin (five). Faulk is getting 23:07 of ice time per game, the exact total he averaged last season, but despite a Hurricanes-leading 3:17 on the power play per game, he's been limited to two power-play points, a big reason Carolina ranks 30th (14.3 percent) with the man-advantage. At this point, it's worth checking the waiver wire to find an option to replace him.

 

@RedsealNinja: Am I being too patient with Joe Pavelski or is it time to release him to the waiver wire, with Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi scoring the goals?

Before you hit the panic button, don't forget Pavelski has at least 29 goals and 68 points in each of the past four seasons and is an eight-time 20-goal scorer. True, four goals and eight points (just one on the power play) in 17 games may be low, but it's not like he isn't getting chances. He also has 21 PIM, something fantasy owners aren't used to seeing from him. Couture has 10 goals and Donskoi has five; they are the only two players with more goals on the Sharks than Pavelski. The bottom line is Pavelski is capable of going on a scoring tear and you'll likely regret dropping him.

Video: TOR@SJS: Pavelski tips home Thornton's drive

 

@Stevebny: Drop Brent Seabrook for Matt Niskanen or Deryk Engelland? Or just hang with him? Yahoo standard scoring

Seabrook has seven points in 19 games with the Chicago Blackhawks this season, a far cry from the 39 points he had last season and the 49 points he had in 2015-16. The 32-year-old has two power-play points and is plus-2, although to be fair, he's far from the only member of the Blackhawks struggling this season. Looking at Niskanen, the Washington Capitals defenseman has one assist, 10 penalty minutes and 11 SOG in seven games since returning from injury, and although John Carlson (16 points in 20 games) has been the better offensive defenseman this season, Niskanen is a perennial 30-point scorer. Engelland makes an interesting case because he has never had more than 16 points in a season during his NHL career, but has nine in 18 games with the Vegas Golden Knights and, surprisingly, is plus-9. He's making the most of his chances, but how long will that last? I would give Seabrook another week and if nothing changes, drop him for Niskanen.

 

@HockeyRules96: Should I drop Jared Spurgeon for Hampus Lindholm?

Lindholm missed the start of the season because of a shoulder injury and didn't play in a 4-2 win against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday because of an upper-body injury. However, he's expected to play Sunday against the Florida Panthers. He's looked good in 10 games (three goals, two assists, plus-3, 19 SOG, three PPP). Spurgeon, who had an NHL career-high 38 points last season, has 14 through 18 games this season. He's minus-1 after he was plus-33 last season and doesn't take penalties (four this season). The scoring will tail off despite a three-point performance against the Nashville Predators on Thursday. I can see why you'd have a hard time parting with Spurgeon, but Lindholm is the better long-term option this season.

Video: VAN@ANA: Lindholm banks home PPG off Edler, Markstrom

 

@LA_Frankie: Just traded Claude Giroux and Vladislav Namestnikov for Sidney Crosby and Cam Fowler (due back next month). Keeper league; Hits, Blocks included. Did I give up too much? I now have Connor McDavid and Sidney and kind of feel a bit giddy.

Having McDavid and Crosby makes your team an immediate offensive threat, since they're two of the best players in the League and it wouldn't be surprising if they end up as the top two scorers again this season. Giroux (21 points in 19 games) fills a lot of the offensive categories and Namestnikov (20 points in 19 games) has obviously benefited from playing on a line with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. Without knowing what the rest of your roster is, you definitely gave up two of the top scorers this season but also got a defenseman (Fowler) who will help in hits and blocks when he returns. Crosby has three points in two games, and although the 16 points this season is low, we all know what he's capable of. I think it's better to have Crosby and McDavid with Fowler than McDavid-Giroux-Namestnikov.

 

@PeterGalanos: As for Colton Parayko, I was sure with Kevin Shattenkirk gone, he'd improve on his numbers this season. Time to trade him or hang on and be patient? H2H points only non-keeper.

You're not the only one who thought Parayko would benefit with more ice time and put up more points in the absence of Shattenkirk. He has seven points in 20 games, which puts him on pace for 30 points this season after having 35 in 2016-17. Parayko is getting 1:45 of power-play ice time per game but has one PPP to show for it, with Alex Pietrangelo taking over Shattenkirk's spot on the top power play. Pietrangelo leads defensemen in scoring (seven goals, 18 points) and has averaged a point per game since Shattenkirk was traded to the Washington Capitals last season. I would advise trying to trade Parayko if you can.

Video: STL@PIT: Parayko blisters PPG past Murray

 

@NyRangersFan07: Should I drop Kyle Connor and pick up Teuvo Teravainen? Seems like a good move with Mathieu Perreault back. What do you think?

Perreault returned to the Winnipeg Jets lineup on Thursday after missing a month because of injury, but Connor played on the top line with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler. Connor hasn't scored in two games but has eight points (four goals, four assists) in 13 games this season, and playing with Scheifele and Wheeler has helped him. Teravainen has eight points in his past four games with the Carolina Hurricanes and is plus-5 during that span. He has 15 points this season, and in addition to that being almost double Connor's total, Teravainen is tri-eligible in Yahoo, which is another reason why I'd choose him over Connor.

 

@frocan: I've got a D problem. I've got Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson and now Mikhail Sergachev. Got 3 D in 2 D spots, allowed 8 keepers in 8 scoring categories and 3 goalie categories. Who do you keep?

With eight of the 11 categories accounting for offense, it's clear your league puts an emphasis on skaters. Karlsson has 17 points in 12 games and although his SOG total (29), plus-minus (minus-1) and power-play points (four) may be low, he's clearly the best defenseman of the three and has bounced back nicely after offseason surgery. That means it comes down to Burns and Sergachev for one spot. This season has been frustrating for Burns owners; he has no goals, seven assists and is minus-6 with 71 SOG in 17 games with the Sharks. Through 17 games last season, he had 14 points (six goals, eight assists), was plus-1 and had 79 SOG. Sergachev, a rookie, has 14 points (five goals, nine assists), is plus-9 and has five power-play points. He also plays on the Tampa Bay Lightning, who lead the NHL in goals per game (4.0). Burns likely will turn it around, but if you can only keep two of them, Karlsson and Sergachev would be my choices.

Video: TBL@CAR: Sergachev deposits Stamkos' feed by Darling

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