Sunday, August 31, 2014
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NHL Beat the Expert Fantasy Challenge

Welcome to the inaugral philly.com “Beat The Experts” free NHL challenge. With the smashing success that was and currently is our weekly NFL contest, we’ve expanded into the winter sports: hockey and basketball. Matt Mullin has been doing the NBA contest for a couple of weeks now. (Shameless plug: Challenge him, win cash!)

NHL Beat the Expert Fantasy Challenge

Welcome to the inaugral philly.com “Beat The Experts” free NHL challenge. With the smashing success that was and currently is our weekly NFL contest, we’ve expanded into the winter sports: hockey and basketball. Matt Mullin has been doing the NBA contest for a couple of weeks now. (Shameless plug: Challenge him, win cash!)

This is the first week of the NHL contest. I’m quite excited about it, and confident I cannot lose. Stranger things have happened, though, which is where you come in.

The rules are simple: Pick a team of two left wingers, two right wingers, two centers, two defensemen and one goalie, fitting all nine players under a $55,000 salary cap. You can switch players in and out up until the first game on Saturday, which is a 1 p.m. start.

For the first week, as a gift to you, it's free to join. You risk nothing by playing, and you can win the world (or at least $100 worth of it). First place nets $50, second place $30 and third place $20.

As an added bonus, if you finish higher than the resident expert, you will have $5 deposited into your FanDuel account. For example, if I finish in 20th, those who finish first through 19th get $5 deposited into their account. The top three obviously win the big prizes as well.

Let me repeat that, with just the keywords: Free. $100. $50. $30. $20. $5. You’ve got nothing to lose, and cash money to gain.

I’ll be listing some guys I like and dislike from each of Saturday’s games. You can also get a peek at my roster, because that's just the kind of guy I am: ultra-confident and mighty generous. You'll thank me later.

So, without further ado, my Saturday recommendations:

FLYERS VS. DEVILS
Guys I like: Danny Briere ($7,500); Claude Giroux ($6,200); Dainius Zubrus ($4,800)
Guys I dislike: Johan Hedberg ($7,300); Mike Richards ($7,200)

AVALANCHE VS. ISLANDERS
Guys I like: Matt Duchene ($6,600); Tomas Fleischmann ($6,100); Pierre Parenteau ($6,100)
Guys I dislike: Matt Moulson ($5,900); Trent Hunter ($5,300)

PENGUINS VS. WILD
Guys I like: Evgeni Malkin ($8,500); Kris Letang ($6,700); Cal Clutterbuck ($5,200)
Guys I dislike: Chris Kunitz ($6,600); Martin Havlat ($6,400)

SENATORS VS. LIGHTNING
Guys I like: Martin St. Louis ($8,000); Mike Fisher ($5,900)
Guys I dislike: Vincent Lecavalier ($7,100); Ryan Malone ($6,800)

CANADIENS VS. BRUINS
Guys I like: Carey Price ($7,900); Milan Lucic ($6,100)
Guys I dislike: Zdeno Chara ($6,300); Patrice Bergeron ($6,300); Andre Kostitsyn ($6,000)

CAPITALS VS. PANTHERS
Guys I like: Alex Ovechkin ($9,500); Brooks Laich ($6,400); Corey Stillman ($5,600)
Guys I dislike: Tomas Vokoun ($8,800) ; Mike Green ($7,300)

BLUES VS. RANGERS
Guys I like: Henrik Lunqvist ($8,600); Brandon Dubinsky ($6,700); David Backes ($6,900); Alex Pietrangelo ($4,400)
Guys I dislike: Marian Gaborik ($7,600); Alexander Steen ($6,900)

COYOTES VS. SABRES
Guys I like: Ilya Bryzgalov ($8,500); Ray Whitney ($6,400); Tyler Ennis ($5,100)
Guys I dislike: Tim Connolly ($6,400); Lee Stempniak ($5,600)

SHARKS VS. PREDATORS
Guys I like: Joe Pavelski ($6,900); Dan Boyle ($6,600); Shea Weber ($6,400); Martin Erat ($6,100)
Guys I dislike: Patrick Marleau ($7,100); Patric Hornqvist ($6,500)

CANUCKS VS. RED WINGS
Guys I like: Daniel Sedin ($8,900); Henrik Zetterberg ($8,200); Todd Bertuzzi ($5,700)
Guys I dislike: Roberto Luongo ($8,800); Chris Osgood ($5,200)

KINGS VS. BLUE JACKETS
Guys I like: Anze Kopitar ($8,000); Ryan Smyth ($6,900); R.J. Umberger ($6,200)
Guys I dislike: Steve Mason ($7,300); Drew Doughty ($6,400)

So there you have it. You can either take my picks to heart or completely ignore them. I won’t know the difference anyway, except if you do not sign up. So do it.

As for my team:

So I’ve laid it all out on the table. It’s your turn to pick your team. This week, it’s as free as the air you breathe.

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