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Fantasy Hockey Mailbag: How to stay afloat with players out due to COVID-19

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Surprise, surprise, COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on another fantasy hockey season.

We’re not even a month in, and already, there’s been a bevy of outbreaks throughout the NHL to start the campaign. Lately, it’s been San Jose and Pittsburgh, respectively, who’ve been hit the hardest, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby being among the confirmed positive cases.

As a fantasy owner, aside from being reactionary, there’s not much you can do. At the very least, it’s imperative that you stay up to date on all the latest news and information around the NHL. Indelibly, that’ll help to better prepare you for corresponding moves. Just look at it this way: Whenever a player enters covid protocols, there’s almost certainly always going to be someone who stands to gain a short-term bump in fantasy stock.

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Bottom line, especially if you’re in the Sportsnet Fantasy Hockey Pool, make sure stay on top of depth charts, you can find terrific value that way. Just think of it as a giant puzzle, it’s up to you to put all the pieces together.

Now to your questions:

Build your roster and compete for a share of $50,000 in cash prizes!

@smallcheeze asks: Why is my team being ravaged by COVID and injuries?

Fantasy hockey in 2021, am I right? Just know that you’re not alone, work that waiver wire!

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@bibbobolypse asks: Let’s talk about Getzlaf. Is Papa going to keep putting up assists with the kiddos?

I don’t see why not. For what it’s worth, I’m loving Anaheim’s new run-and-gun style. Not only is it refreshing, but it’s been exciting to watch as well. With respect to Getzlaf, it’s fair to expect some regression from this hot start. Having said that, I don’t expect him to fall off a cliff either. I’m buying.

@Pacadie09 asks: Is Troy Terry for real? And, do you expect a regression for Dubois once Scheifele is back in shape?

In general, it’s great to see the Ducks return to fantasy relevancy. Going into the season, Anaheim’s brain trust reiterated the need for some of their younger talent to take that next step. Without question, Terry has done that and then some so far. Quietly, the 24-year-old winger has been riding a scintillating nine-game point streak and finally demonstrating some consistency at the NHL level. While it remains to be seen how far this breakout will go, I do think Terry is approaching must-own territory right now. Ride the hot hand!

As for Dubois, I’ve been feeling him since he came into training camp in fantastic shape. Additionally, I don’t think Scheifele’s return has much of an impact – if any – on Dubois’ fantasy stock. He’s been tremendous, Paul Maurice will continue to trot him out there.

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@kovy1313 asks: Should I trade Cole Caufield for Lucas Raymond?

That’s an extremely enticing offer, but I’d be inclined to hold tight on Caufield for the time being.

If you breakdown the numbers this season, the Canadiens rookie hasn’t been that bad, the puck luck just hasn’t been there. For me, the AHL demotion was more about getting his confidence back and less about his overall play. Montreal’s starving for offence, Caufield should be back in short order.

As for Raymond, it’s unrealistic to expect this point per game pace to continue. It’s a long season, just remember that.

I prefer Caufield.

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@DeanMoriarty_57 asks: Is Kirby Dach worth holding onto?

For now, I think you’re good to hop out on Dach. Depending on the size of your league, there’s almost certainly better waiver options at your disposal right now. At the very least, you can always circle back down the road, right?

@dgauthier152 asks: What do I do with Chychrun? My gut is to trade him ASAP, what’s fair return?

As I intimated in last Sunday’s 20 Fantasy Thoughts, I’m out on all things Arizona Coyotes. Yes, that includes Chychrun, too. 13 goals in 10 games, no thanks.

Just drop him, I don’t think he has any trade value right now, maybe in a keeper league.

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Woof.

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@samson44 asks: What am I supposed to do with Yamamoto?

Easy drop; scoop someone else up.

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@stlchapman asks: Drop Klingberg, add Byram?

Another tough one, but I’m inclined to hold onto Klingberg.

The Stars are overdue to bust loose offensively. I believe in contract year John Klingberg, and you should, too. As for Byram, to a degree, I think he’s restricted by Cale Makar, especially on the power play. Even with that, Byram has legitimate fantasy value, I just think Klingberg can offer you more.

By the way, if the prognosis turns out to be longer-term on Makar, I’d probably pull the trigger on this offer.

@VanHelvoirt5 asks: What do I do with Kappo Kakko in my dynasty league. Drafted him and have hung on to him for a couple seasons. Is he ever going to break out or should I trade him? Josh Norris has been offered.

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Yes, it’s time to move on, it’s just not happening for him offensively. I’d feel extremely comfortable swapping Kakko for Josh Norris, I like him a lot. The Sens boast sneaky fantasy value this season.

@Karlski_01 asks: What should I do with Pietrangelo? Bench him, trade him, or ride this out and hope he turns it around?

Ride this out, Vegas is ravaged by injury right now.

Personally, I think Pietrangelo is bound to get going eventually, especially as the Golden Knights get healthier. You won’t get fair value in a deal right now; the only option is to hold onto him. Chalk it up to a tough start.

@hockey_burner asks: When (if at all) is the time to pick Evander Kane off the waiver wire?

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I wouldn’t rush to add him. Even when his suspension concludes in late November, there’s no guarantee that the Sharks will even welcome him back. For now, just monitor the situation closely. No need to act.

@Jarvis_Official asks: Sorokin or Blackwood?

It’s not even close, Sorokin by a country mile.

Even with Semyon Varlamov back in the mix, the sophomore still holds top-50 fantasy appeal. Not only is Sorokin extremely talented but the Islanders are really good, too. Meanwhile, Blackwood’s Devils are still very much in a rebuild. They’re better than last year, but ‘how much’ is the real question. His numbers should be decent, just not as good as Sorokin’s.

@sarumanthedark asks: What should I do with Anders Lee? He’s been flat as of late.

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Keep him, the Isles captain is a far better long-term option over the players you mentioned.

Be patient, once the Islanders start playing regularly, Lee’s progression will pick up. Also, he’s coming back from a serious injury. Give him some time.





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San Diego State vs. Toledo: How to watch, schedule, live stream info, game time, TV channel

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Who’s Playing

Toledo @ San Diego State

Current Records: Toledo 2-1; San Diego State 1-2

What to Know

The San Diego State Aztecs may be playing at home Saturday, but the experts are forecasting a three-point defeat. They will take on the Toledo Rockets at 3:30 p.m. ET at Snapdragon Stadium. Both of these teams will be looking for a pick-me-up after considerable defeats in their previous games.

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The Aztecs were expected to have a tough go of it last week, and, well, they did. They found themselves the reluctant recipients of an unfortunate 35-7 punch to the gut against the Utah Utes. San Diego State was in a tough position by the half, with the score already sitting at 21 to nothing. One thing holding San Diego State back was the mediocre play of QB Kyle Crum, who did not have his best game: despite one touchdown, he threw one interception with a passing completion percentage of only 31.25%.

Meanwhile, it’s never fun to lose, and it’s even less fun to lose 77-21, which was the final score in Toledo’s tilt against the Ohio State Buckeyes last week. The Rockets were down 56-21 at the end of the third quarter, which was just too much to recover from. Toledo’s loss came about despite a quality game from QB Dequan Finn, who passed for two TDs and 153 yards on 19 attempts in addition to rushing for one TD and 70 yards. Near the top of the highlight reel was Finn’s 50-yard TD bomb to WR Thomas Zsiros in the first quarter.

The losses put San Diego State at 1-2 and Toledo at a reciprocal 2-1. A couple offensive numbers to keep in mind before kickoff: San Diego State enters the game with 221 rushing yards per game on average, good for 22nd best in the nation. The Rockets have displayed some offensive firepower of their own as they rank 17th in the nation when it comes to rushing touchdowns, with nine on the season.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Snapdragon Stadium — San Diego, California
  • TV: Fox Sports 1
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $14.85

Odds

The Rockets are a 3-point favorite against the Aztecs, according to the latest college football odds.

The line has drifted a bit towards the Rockets, as the game opened with the Rockets as a 1-point favorite.

Over/Under: -111

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Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



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Miami (FL) vs. Middle Tenn.: How to watch online, live stream info, game time, TV channel

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Who’s Playing

Middle Tenn. @ No. 25 Miami (FL)

Current Records: Middle Tenn. 2-1; Miami (FL) 2-1

What to Know

The Middle Tenn. Blue Raiders are staring down a pretty large 25.5-point disadvantage in the spread for Saturday’s game. They will take on the Miami (FL) Hurricanes at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium. The Blue Raiders should still be riding high after a win, while Miami (FL) will be looking to regain their footing.

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Middle Tenn. simply couldn’t be stopped last week, as they easily beat the Tennessee State Tigers at home 49-6. The team ran away with 42 points in the first half and mostly just sat on those in the second to pick up the victory.

Meanwhile, Miami (FL) came up short against the Texas A&M Aggies last week, falling 17-9. Miami (FL) couldn’t find the end zone and got their points from three field goals.

Special teams was responsible for all of the team’s points. K Andres Borregales delivered a perfect 3-for-3 game.

Middle Tenn.’s win brought them up to 2-1 while the Hurricanes’ loss pulled them down to an identical 2-1. Two defensive numbers to keep in mind before kickoff: The Blue Raiders haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown yet this season. Miami (FL) is not quite as good, but they are no chumps, either: they enter the contest with only one rushing touchdown allowed, good for 11th best in the nation. Looks like the running backs might have a tough go of it.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Hard Rock Stadium — Miami Gardens, Florida
  • TV: ACC Network
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $4.00

Odds

The Hurricanes are a big 25.5-point favorite against the Blue Raiders, according to the latest college football odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Hurricanes as a 26.5-point favorite.

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Over/Under: -111

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Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.

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Watch Memphis vs. North Texas: How to live stream, TV channel, start time for Saturday’s NCAA Football game

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Who’s Playing

North Texas @ Memphis

Current Records: North Texas 2-2; Memphis 2-1

What to Know

The Memphis Tigers’ homestand continues as they prepare to take on the North Texas Mean Green at 3:30 p.m. ET Sept. 24 at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium. The defensive coordinators will surely put in extra hours ahead of this game since these teams’ offenses combined for 1,021 yards last week.

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The Tigers were able to grind out a solid win over the Arkansas State Red Wolves last week, winning 44-32. Memphis’ QB Seth Henigan was on fire, passing for three TDs and 360 yards on 28 attempts in addition to punching in one rushing touchdown. Henigan’s 51-yard touchdown toss to WR Joseph Scates in the fourth quarter made for one of the most memorable moments of the night.

Meanwhile, North Texas’ and the UNLV Rebels’ contest last week was up for grabs at halftime, but the Mean Green were thoroughly outmatched 35-7 in the second half. North Texas found themselves the reluctant recipients of an unfortunate 58-27 punch to the gut against UNLV. RB Oscar Adaway III put forth a good effort for the losing side as he snatched one receiving TD.

Memphis is the favorite in this one, with an expected 12.5-point margin of victory. True fans might be the only ones betting on them, currently 0-2 ATS, to cover the spread.

The Tigers are now 2-1 while the Mean Green sit at 2-2. Two offensive numbers to keep in mind before kickoff: Memphis comes into the matchup boasting the 18th most passing yards per game in the nation at 313.3. North Texas has displayed some offensive firepower of their own as they enter the contest with nine passing touchdowns, good for 17th best in the nation.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium — Memphis, Tennessee
  • TV: ESPN Plus
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $15.00

Odds

The Tigers are a big 12.5-point favorite against the Mean Green, according to the latest college football odds.

The oddsmakers were right in line with the betting community on this one, as the game opened as a 12.5-point spread, and stayed right there.

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Over/Under: -112

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.

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