Fantasy Pool Look: The benefits of the underdog

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While the rest of the group in your playoff draft set upon the Buffalo Sabres players like a pack of wolves, did you quietly load your team up with Dallas Stars?

Not a bad strategy.

While poolies did everything they could to grab Buffalo, Anaheim, New Jersey or Vancouver players, you asked yourself the question – are they really such a heavy favorite that it is worth grabbing their number six scorer in the first round? The bottom line is, if you grab Jason Pominville in the first round and then eagerly snap up Brian Campbell in the second round, you really aren't accomplishing anything. After all, if the Sabres go to the final, wouldn't the guy/gal (who picked ahead of you) that scooped up Daniel Briere and Tim Connolly beat you? So why would you try to out-Sabre them?

Upsets do happen and it was so easy this year to select two or three New York Islanders in the final rounds of your draft. Why not roll the dice? I know someone in a 19-team pool, eight players per team, who drafted seven Dallas Stars. Guess what? If the Stars go to the semi-finals, he could very well win.

In the Stanley Cup playoffs, if you wind up at the bottom of the draft order, going with the underdog is probably the smart move. You just need to pick (or luck into) the right oneÂ…

Sean Avery not only sparked the Rangers and helped them into the playoffs with his aggressive play and decent offense, but he has 16 shots (and two points) in the first two games of the series against Atlanta. He played more than 20 minutes in the second game and it is looking like his team will go to the next round. A great dark horse pick and kudos to those who picked himÂ…

Injuries, from a fantasy pool perspective: With Todd Bertuzzi still out of action (neck and head, day-to-day), Jiri Hudler is still getting a little bit of quality ice time and has two points in the post-season so far. When Bertuzzi returns, Hudler's production will ceaseÂ…

Farm Report: Columbus farmhand Derick Brassard has 20 points in 10 Quebec League playoff games for Drummondville. He had missed much of the year after shoulder surgery, but has come back in a big way and will have a strong season in the American League next year.

Darryl Dobbs' Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Get the edge in your league - check out the latest scoop every Monday and Wednesday afternoon. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the 1st of every month in THN's Fantasy section.

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