Fantasy Hockey Drops: It's past time to cut these injured players

By Michael Finewax, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

Fantasy leagues are finally into the playoffs this week in head-to-head leagues. Best of luck if you are contending for the trophy, and good luck to everyone in roto leagues as you are in the final three weeks of the regular season. It's a good time to look at the schedule and take advantage of extra games.

The Oilers have only played 69 games heading into action Tuesday, while a multitude of teams have played 72. That's a huge advantage for managers with Edmonton players. But let's return to the task at hand and consider some injured players rostered in ample Yahoo leagues who could be easily dropped.

Vince Dunn, D, Seattle Kraken, (85% rostered)

Dunn is having a very good season — at least he was, until he suffered an upper-body injury that has cost him the last nine games. Dunn is considered day-to-day, but you probably can't afford to stash him during your playoff run. I would hold on to him in keeper leagues, as he has 11 goals and 45 points in 57 appearances; his second good year in a row, as he managed 14 goals and 50 assists in 2022-23. The defenseman isn't likely to be rushed back though, as the Kraken are close to playoff elimination in the Western Conference.

Mark Stone, RW, Vegas Golden Knights, (75% rostered)

Why 75% of Yahoo leagues have Stone rostered is bewildering to me. Chances are that you are in a redraft league and there is no reason to keep the oft-injured winger, who has missed the last 15 games and is on long-term injured reserve with an upper-body injury. Stone has missed 100 of the Golden Knights' 236 games over the last three seasons, and is likely to miss the remaining 10 games of this one. He has 53 points in 56 games this season, but that should be it for the regular season. Again, he could be worth holding on to in keeper leagues, but even then I would be wary due to his propensity to get hurt.

Jacob Trouba, D, New York Rangers, (64% rostered)

Trouba has missed the last 10 games with a lower-body injury and is still considered week-to-week. The Rangers are hoping he returns for the start of the NHL playoffs, and while he could get into a game or two at the end of the regular season, there is no real reason to hold onto the 30-year-old blueliner. Trouba had three goals and 22 points in 60 games before the injury. He has value in hits (164) and blocked shots (170), but obviously not if he doesn't play again.

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Radko Gudas, D, Anaheim Ducks, (48% rostered)

Gudas could return for the final week or two — but that's a maybe at best. He has missed the last six games with an upper-body injury and is not expected to return during the Ducks' current five-game road trip. Gudas has six goals, 10 assists, 124 PIM, 213 hits and 142 blocked shots in 60 games. He has plenty of fantasy value in multicategory leagues when he plays, though.

Tomas Hertl, C, Vegas Golden Knights, (38% rostered)

Hertl has not played since January 28 — a span of 22 games — with a knee injury. He was placed on long-term injured reserve Sunday and will likely return in time for the start of the playoffs. That won't do fantasy managers any good unless they are in a playoff pool. Vegas picked up Hertl at the trade deadline with the postseason in mind, as the center had 15 goals and 34 points in 48 games for the lowly Sharks.

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