There hasn't been many contests played since my last In The Crease article due to the All-Star Game, so I thought I would do something a bit different for this week's article. If you read the italicized text in the Daily Dose, then it should come as no surprise to you that Rotoworld has partnered with FanDuel, which hosts one-day fantasy sports leagues. So for this article, I'm going to assemble a team for FanDuel and go over the process of how I selected my squad.
Before I do that though, I think it's important to get a disclaimer out of the way. Sports are always going to have an element of unpredictability in them and that's part of their appeal, but it's also something we can't forget. Nine out of ten games, Sidney Crosby is going to get more points than Zac Rinaldo (I'm intentionally picking two players that aren't eligible to play Tuesday), so on any given day the smart money is on Crosby if all you care about is points. However, once every now and then, you'll be wrong and that's the most extreme of examples, often the choices you make aren't as lopsided as Crosby vs. Rinaldo.
So while you should feel free to use some of the players I'm selecting for my team, copying me won't guarantee you success. Though nothing else will guarantee you success either. What I'm hoping to show is my methodology and if you like it, then you might chose to incorporate it into how you pick your teams in the future.
I'm also doing this with a handicap against me as this article needs to be out in the early afternoon. It would be far more ideal if I could pick my team closer to the start of games so that I have as much information as possible. So that's another reason why simply copying my team might not be in your best interests.
With all that established, here's what I went with:
Goaltender: Devan Dubnyk ($7,600)
This is the worst part of picking a team early because I'd like to know as many of the starters as possible before selecting my team. Under normal circumstances, I would give serious consideration to a good backup goalie that's been confirmed to start because that's a good way to save cap money. However, Dubnyk isn't too expensive by goalie standards and he'll be playing against Edmonton, so he'll have added motivation. He crushed another former team in Arizona recently and has a career 0.97 GAA and .968 save percentage in three starts against the Oilers, so he's typically been good in revenge games.
There are trends that work against me too though. Dubnyk is coming off two rough outings and Edmonton has scored at least two goals in each of its last seven games, so there's no question I'm taking a risk.
Giordano's one of the best offensive defensemen in the league and he'll be facing the worst squad in the NHL in the Buffalo Sabres. I like my chances with him.
I wanted someone that was relatively cheap for my second blueliner and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take Subban. He's having a great season with 11 goals, 31 points, and 48 penalty minutes in 45 games. On top of that he was hot going into the All-Star break and he'll be facing a Dallas team not known for its defense.
You have to cut costs somewhere, so I decided to take a chance on Grabovski. He's struggled mightily this season with just six goals and 14 points in 38 games. However, with Kyle Okposo sidelined, he's projected to play alongside John Tavares tonight. That's a big opportunity for him and it makes him a desirable discount player tonight.
I selected Tavares after taking Grabovski. There's something to be said for hedging your bets, but this is a one-day league against a lot of opponents, so you'll want to be bold in order to have a shot at the top. I've already bet on the idea that Grabovski will benefit from playing with Tavares, so the logical extension to that is that Tavares will have a good game. If he doesn't then they're both a bust, but if he does then they'll likely both have great games. This is a page out of the going for first or last approach that you'll see employed in playoff league (where you'll take a lot of players on two-to-three teams in the belief that those are the squads that will go far rather than spread yourself thin), although as you'll see based on the rest of my squad, it's the mildest example of that.
Frolik was another cost cutting move. As I mentioned in my Waiver Wired report, he's stepped up somewhat after a slow start to the season. More importantly though, he's facing a weakened Penguins team that will be missing Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and is projected to start Thomas Greiss over Marc-Andre Fleury. With Kris Letang, Patrick Hornqvist, and David Perron all questionable for Tuesday's game as well, this is a big opportunity for Winnipeg and I'm hoping that Frolik and the Jets will take advantage of it.
Foligno was the last player I picked, which meant that his selection was largely influenced by how much money I had left. That being said, I do that pick. He's coming off being a host for the All-Star weekend and he's a guy that's undervalued at $6,300 relative to what he's done so far this season.
As is the case with Giordano, the fact that Gaudreau is playing against Buffalo was a big factor in my decision to take him. The other reason was that I needed a cheap player to afford some of the other talented I wanted. As far as discount players go, Gaudreau is pretty solid, with 13 goals and 35 points in 46 games. He was also hot going into the break and got the experience of playing in the All-Star Game, so hopefully he'll stay strong tonight.
I decided to grab his All-Star linemate and Calder Trophy adversary too in Forsberg. Forsberg slowed down just before the break, but I don't think he's falling back to Earth. He's been a great option all season and at $6,400, he struck me as undervalued. The fact that he's playing against Colorado, which lost top defenseman Erik Johnson, doesn't hurt, but it wasn't my primary consideration.
If you found this article to be interesting and what to read more in this vein, then the Daily Games section might interest you as they do this sort of thing all the time.