Fantasy Mailbag: Dressing dynamic duos could be smart strategy

Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) is congratulated by teammate right wing David Pastrnak (88) after scoring a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the first period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series, Saturday, April 13, 2019, in Boston. (Mary Schwalm/AP)

Tim and Sid; Zach Morris and A.C. Slater; Batman and Robin; Charlie Conway and Gordon Bombay. All are dynamic duos that would make your upper lip quiver, especially in Movember.

In the NHL world, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand have been pretty much unstoppable so far; Ditto for Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid in Edmonton; Washington’s John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin have been terrorizing their opponents.

What am I trying to say here? When in doubt, go the combo route. Keep it simple when it comes to daily fantasy and also the Sportsnet Fantasy Hockey Pool. Considering how dominant some duos have been, you’d be foolish not to at least contemplate dressing a pair of players from the same team.

Teams and players         Total points Total SN Fantasy Hockey Pool Value    
BOS David Pastrnak (30) & Brad Marchand (28)         58 8    
EDM Leon Draisaitl (29)& Connor McDavid (26)         55 8    
WSH John Carlson (26) & Alex Ovechkin (22)         48 6    
VAN Elias Pettersson (21) & J.T. Miller (17)         38 5    
FLA Jonathan Huberdeau (19) & Aleksander Barkov (19)         38 6    
TOR Auston Matthews (19) & Mitch Marner (18)         37 6    
COL Nathan MacKinnon (22) & Cale Makar (15)         37 6    
CGY Matthew Tkachuk (18) & Elias Lindholm (17)         35 6    
VGK Mark Stone (18) & William Karlsson (16)         34 5  

In case you were wondering, there were three teams tied for tenth with 33 total points (Nashville – Roman Josi & Ryan Ellis, San Jose – Tomas Hertl & Brent Burns, St. Louis – Ryan O’Reilly & Brayden Schenn).

Now, to your questions:

Unsurprisingly, the Red Wings are one of the worst teams in the NHL this season. In fact, they’re currently dead last. It’s weird to see, but if there were a year to bottom out, it’s probably this one.

Across the roster, they’re not very deep. Up front, the top line of Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin and the aforementioned Mantha has been doing all the heavy lifting. That said, I do like the Robby Fabbri acquisition. He should be a decent complement to the slumping Andreas Athanasiou on line two.

When it comes to Mantha, there’s little doubt that he’s primed for a breakout season. What’s a fair expectation, you ask? I’d say 30 goals and 60-65 points. He’s a really good chip to use in an attempt to land, say, an Alex Radulov, Joe Pavelski or Blake Wheeler. Be smart.

I would put a claim in on Hart immediately. Despite his early-season struggles, he remains Philadelphia’s No. 1 goalie and with Brian Elliott behind him, and that won’t be changing anytime soon.

Meantime, the Canucks have two extremely solid crease options in Demko and Jacob Markstrom. At best, barring anything unforeseen, I could see it developing into a timeshare situation as the season progresses.

Demko is the real deal. And so is Hart. I’d roll with Rinne, Greiss and Hart, if possible.

Good question, tricky answer ahead.

Considering how productive he’s been lately, it’s tough not to side with Tony DeAngelo right now. If you’re in search of multi-category coverage, Josh Morrissey remains a far better option. Outside of the power play, DeAngelo won’t offer much.

With no Dustin Byfuglien in sight, Morrissey is firmly entrenched as Winnipeg’s No. 1 defenceman. He’ll continue to eat up the big-time minutes in all facets of the game. Suffice it to say, there are plenty of defenceman ahead of DeAngelo in the Rangers’ pecking order.

It’s a great time to buy low on Jacob Trouba, by the way.

Your guess is as good as mine at this point. As it lays right now, Kevin Fiala is pretty much as irrelevant as it gets in the fantasy-hockey world.

The good news is that he’s only 23 and still has plenty of time to find his way. Since acquiring him from Nashville at last year’s trade deadline, Bruce Boudreau has given the 2014 first-rounder plenty of opportunities to stick in the top-six.

Drop Fiala until he actually does something.

For the time being, Gusev should be on your watch list. Nothing more.

A couple more performances like Thursday night in Calgary could go a long way in endearing him to fantasy owners. His current exposure to rookie phenom Jack Hughes is nothing to sneeze at either. There’s no question Gusev has some legitimate tools, it just remains to be seen how they translate to the NHL game. Watch closely.

Sit tight on Matt Dumba.

Far and away, he’s an upgrade on anything sitting on the waiver wire right now. Trust me.

It’s too early to gauge Dumba’s fantasy value this season. Don’t forget, he sustained a pretty serious injury last year (ruptured pectoral muscle). Before going down for the season, the 25-year-old was off to a blazing start with 12 goals and 22 points in 32 games.

Simply put, you can’t overlook that type of production. The Wild aren’t a very good team but they’ll score some goals. Tread carefully.

Sticking with the patience theme, I have faith in Pavelski finding his way in Dallas. The 35-year-old has a goal and four helpers over his last four outings. He’ll come around.

Jordie Benn, on the other hand, has been regressing from a fantasy standpoint for a couple seasons now. He’ll still offer respectable category coverage, just don’t expect him to be the top-10 fantasy stud of old. I’d consider the Stars captain a solid buy-low candidate right now.

In fantasy? Edmonton, by a landslide. In reality? Talk to me in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but most likely the Oilers too.

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