Time to drop Rich Peverley?

Thrashers C Rich Peverley, a fantasy mainstay this season, has gone ice cold.

Thrashers C Rich Peverley has not scored for four straight games.

Despite this dry spell, Peverley (89.8 percent owned in ESPN, 63 percent in Yahoo!) ranks No. 27 among all centers in Yahoo! and 39th among all forwards in ESPN. With 12 goals and 21 assists, he is on nearly a point-per-game pace.

Still, I dropped Peverley in one of my leagues today because I needed a body to replace Senators RW Daniel Alfredsson (separated left shoulder), who is expected to be out until early February.

Why did I cut Peverley? The primary reason is his position. Every fantasy hockey season offers unlimited depth at center. Look no further for evidence than Canadiens C Tomas Plekanec (68.6 percent owned in ESPN, 66 percent in Yahoo!). Though Plekanec is a higher rated player than Peverley in both ESPN (37th among all forwards) and Yahoo! (eighth among centers), he is more widely available.

You can always find a solid No. 2 center on the waiver wire in fantasy hockey. Every now and then you can also find a terrific one like Plekanec, who is second in the NHL in assists. That’s why I never fret about dropping my No. 2 center to fill an injury void. I can always find another. By contrast, a red-hot winger like Red Wings LW/RW Todd Bertuzzi — eight goals and 22 penalty minutes in his last eight games — might not last in the free agent pool very long.

photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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