Time to drop Tavares? Plus thoughts on Tyler Myers

Long time, no score: It's seven games and counting without a point for Islanders C John Tavares.

The Islanders scored three goals in Friday night’s 4-3 loss at Dallas. For the seventh straight game, rookie sensation C John Tavares had nothing to do with the scoring.

Since Tavares is a center and a rookie, a drought like this warrants a simple question: Is he still worth a fantasy roster spot, especially with studs like Sabres D Tyler Myers (more on him later) available in many free agent pools?

Here at The Genius, we’ve always used the rookie season of second-year Lightning C Steven Stamkos as a comparison post for Tavares.

It is worth noting that Stamkos, as a rookie, did not hit a wall. Yes, he went through an eight-game scoring drought in November, 2008, and another five-game drought in January, 2009. But beginning with his hat trick Feb. 17, he scored 17 goals and eight assists in his final 26 games.

Whether Tavares is as good as Stamkos is an open question. But the pertinent facts here are (1) Stamkos did not hit a rookie wall; (2) Stamkos managed to produce down the stretch as a rookie pivot on a losing team.

Conclusion: Don’t drop Tavares just yet. In fact, now’s the time to acquire him on the cheap.  The Islanders visit Phoenix Saturday night at 8:00 pm, and this could be the game where Tavares starts to turn it around.

Meanwhile: Sabres D Tyler Myers, 19, had the sort of game Friday night that gets everyone’s fantasy attention: two goals and one assist, all on the power play, plus four shots on goal.

He has now scored in five of his last six. He has 20 assists on the season, leading all rookies. Standing 6-8, weighing a lithe 222, Myers recalls a young Zdeno Chara. So there’s all the more urgency to add him in keeper leagues, where he can be a mainstay of fantasy blue lines for the next 10 seasons.

For all his upside, for all his present-day value, for all his hype as a rookie sensation, Myers is owned in only 28 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 31 percent of ESPN formats. Why is this? Probably because of his 28-game goal-less streak from Nov. 6 to Jan. 3.

The Sabres next host the Avalanche  Saturday night at 7:00 pm EST. One more good game from Myers and you may lose the chance to add him to your roster.

photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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