With many teams crossing over the halfway mark of their seasons, and the fact "Selection Sunday" is just a day away for the NCAA Tournament, it got me thinking. Who would I pick as my "Final Four" if I were to fill out an NHL bracket today?
After some thought, I would have to go with Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vegas, and Boston. It's certainly not easy making a pick for that East Division though. I picked Boston before the season and while they're currently sitting in fourth (with multiple games in hand), I haven't seen anything that worries me enough to make me come off that pick. As for the other divisions, I'm not going out on much of a limb picking the teams who are either in first or second in the standings, but that doesn't mean there can't be a March Madness-style upset when the playoffs do roll around. Keep in mind regardless of the playoff matchups, the two teams facing off will have played each other at least seven times this season already. And then the teams meeting in the final four will not have played a single game against each other. It all should make for a great tournament.
As for daily fantasy, we have no shortage of options with a whopping ten games on the main slate. With plenty to sift through let's get right into it. Here are some suggestions on how I'm handling this slate. All players and prices are from DraftKings Main Slate (7 pm EST) but can be applied to FanDuel as well.
PIT – Sidney Crosby ($7,400), Jake Guentzel ($7,700), Bryan Rust ($7,300)
In the words of the late, great Tom Petty, the Buffalo Sabres are "Free Fallin'". They have lost nine straight games and 13 of 15 since returning to play from their Covid layoff. On the flip side the Penguins come in having won four straight. In goal tonight will be Carter Hutton who, when you remove any Ottawa and Detroit goalies from the mix, has the second-worst save percentage in the league at .883. Sidney Crosby has owned the Sabres in his career with 64 points in 43 games and is riding a five-game point streak entering the contest. Crosby has cracked double-digit fantasy points in all five games as well. His two linemates of Guentzel and Rust also join him on the power play giving you full correlation between the three. Stack them up and consider adding in Kris Letang ($6,400) too if you have the salary cap space.
EDM – Connor McDavid ($9,200), Leon Draisaitl ($8,600)
No surprise here with this duo, the matchup with Vancouver is a plus-one. Since being put on the same line together McDavid and Draisaitl have been tearing it up. They come into Saturday with a combined 16 points and 156.6 DraftKings points in just the last three games, led by Draisaitl's monster 53.5 DK point performance on Wednesday. The upside here when these two are together is simply unmatched from a fantasy perspective, making it extremely difficult to not have at least a little exposure to them. Stacking is quite difficult given the price tags so I'd likely leave Kailer Yamamoto ($5,200) off in most case