A funny thing happens this time of year and no it is not Spring. However, thoughts immediately turn to the second season while still worrying about the end of the regular season. So many things happen in the final week and it can get quite chaotic. This year is a little unique in the sense that the NHL hits Game 82 for all on a Saturday. It is not unprecedented by any means but it has been awhile.
There are obvious problems with this. Now in rotisserie leagues, no one really cares much because you play until the end anyway. However, in head to head leagues that are going this week, it is a six day week and most major fantasy platforms have pro-rated your moves, etc. It makes a difference when you look at it. So you can take a guess what one of the questions that came my way because it came with a lot of venom from some. Who could blame them?
Okay let's begin.....
Fantasy Hockey Mailbag
What are your thoughts on playing the last week of the regular season in fantasy hockey?
Since there are multiple ways to play these days and now daily fantasy hockey as well, there are at least three different ways to answer this.
DFS -- This one is simple. I do not really like it but I will play away on Wednesday and Saturday. Friday's two game slate is just not that appealing and honestly Tuesday is not all that good and Thursday is not optimal either. Think of this as torture. No one knows when players like Zdeno Chara will return just yet or if other injuries will occur. Daily is far tougher to gauge as well because it is a one day contest. If someone unexpectedly sits, that goose egg resonates throughout your lineup. It also means one probably does not cash. No $$$ is bad news as they say. Players will also be "shut down" for minor things so expect that too.
Roto/Points -- Honestly, I do not mind the last week all that much. It is like playing through the string. You expect it in rotisserie leagues. That 15 game Saturday slate is going to decide a lot of leagues. Personally, I am in a few myself and the difference in money will literally come down to probably the late games. That is how you want a league to end honestly. It is so much more fun when things come to a thrilling conclusion and not just a whimper. Some will like quiet thrashings but they are not exciting for everyone. The leagues you talk about are the ones that keep you on the edge of your seat and roster moves right down to the wire.
H2H -- NO! This cannot be emphasized enough. NO! It was bad enough I made a mistake in my own personal league and had this, not realizing it until it was too late. Granted there are a couple playoff races left and some seeding to be determined but all that needs to occur is a few players sitting and that kills a finalist at the most crucial moment. There is nothing more agonizing to see a whole season down the drain because Carey Price had to rest on a Saturday. I am not going to say that will happen but hypothetically it is possible. This is why next year I will make sure every league ends the week before the regular season ends. Call it a lesson learned in remembering dates.
Okay....we have time for one more.....
So which player(s) may influence lines and fantasy production this week?
It has to be the Florida Panthers first line of Jaromir Jagr, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Aleksander Barkov for daily fantasy. Yes they only play two games but those should be impact filled. Now if it is season long in any format, it is the hope that Marko Dano of the Columbus Blue Jackets is on the second line at some point this week. He is fun to watch and worth the gamble. Also keep an eye on whatever line Brett Connolly is on for Boston this week as they end their regular season on the road.
Finally, the Rangers should see something from the Kevin Hayes line this week and maybe he is still on waivers somewhere. The kid is good and does have that exuberance and skill you want to see. He has not hit the wall needless to say.
Next week's edition will be later in the week due to the break between the playoffs and end of the regular season. Good luck, thanks for reading, and as always you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisWasselDFS.