2014-15 Fantasy Hockey Daily Fix, December 16th

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Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler
Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Normally our NHL expert, Josh Kay (@stopbuntingplz), would be doing today’s NHL write up, but he’s taking a leave of absence for a few weeks to attend to a family matter. We wish him well and hope he’s back soon. But until then we’ll have some other people filling in for our NHL DFS content. Today I’ll be taking a stab at a healthy slate of games, 11 to be exact.

My methodology is a little different than Josh’s so let me explain my process. I’m not nearly as familiar with the NHL as Josh is (of course, very few are more familiar with the NHL than Josh), so I use numbers to identify the best plays of the day. What I’ve done is take numberfire.com’s rest-of-season projections and calculate how many DraftKings fantasy points each player is projected to score per game from here on out. I’ve then made my own adjustment for the quality of each player’s opponent. Then I see how far above or below average that projection is. I then compare that to how far above or below average the player’s price is. If the schedule-adjusted projection is further above average than the player’s price, then he’s a good value play and vice-versa.

Below I’ve got a discussion of some of the best matchups and stacks of the day and then rankings of individual players for cash games and rankings of stacks.

Make sure to check Twitter for any injury news tomorrow afternoon, and check Daily Faceoff for starting goalies.

Stack Options

It’s no secret that Buffalo is awful and picking on them is common practice in daily contests. Aside from the Sabres, the other great matchup of the day according to a mix of Corsi against and team save percentage is Calgary. They’re the only team remotely close to Buffalo in my matchup statistic, and they’re really not that close. But they are far ahead of the third best matchup of the day, Toronto. Past that the only other teams that are a well above average matchup for opposing skaters are Anaheim and Montreal. But we’ll primarily be picking on Buffalo and Calgary.

Winnipeg is the lucky team that draws Buffalo tonight, so how do we choose which Jets to play? A good place to start would be their top line that also serves as the three forwards for the Jets’ top power play unit, center Bryan Little ($5,500, C) with wingers Andrew Ladd ($6,100, LW) and Blake Wheeler ($6,400, RW). I’m fine stacking all three if you want to do so, but I’m not as high on Ladd as the others. Prior to making the matchup adjustment to the projections, Wheeler and Little had projections that were almost exactly as far above average as their price. However, Ladd’s price was much farther above average than his projection prior to adjusting for the good matchup. So I’ll probably roll with a Little/Wheeler stack. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Hockey: Week 11 Waiver Wire

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Jiri Sekac
Source: Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images North America

Week 11 in fantasy hockey is starting, and some players are emerging as must-own players in many leagues. Finding players on the waiver wire is essential to winning in fantasy hockey and for replacing injured players, either for the short-team or long run. Let’s take a look at which players you should be targeting on the waiver wire this week.

Jiri Sekac | Montreal Canadiens | Yahoo! Ownership- 1%

Sekac may not be an easy name to pronounce, but fantasy owners are starting to get to know him very well. The 22-year-old has 12 points (6G, 6A) in 24 games with two powerplay goals (PPG) and 26 shots on goal (SOG). The kid has been on a hot streak so far this month–five points in six games–and finds himself playing alongside talented center-man Alex Galchenyuk and sniper Max Pacioretty. The Czech Rebublic native missed seven games in a row early in the season as a healthy scratch, and since then he has been one of Montreal’s most dynamic players. The Canadiens made room for Sekac by trading away under achiever Rene Bourque and fourth liner Travis Moen, and the chance for Sekac to be an every game player is there for him to take.  Fantasy owners should pick him up now while he’s still unknown to most of the league.

Who I’d drop for him:  Mason Raymond (12%), Vincent Lecavalier (7%), Ales Hemsky (21%) [Read more...]

2014-15 Fantasy Hockey Daily Fix, December 11th

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I would like to apologize to our loyal readers. I am still feeling a bit under the weather, but while the writeup is short, I am extremely confident about my picks today. Normally our write-ups behind the paywall consist of multiple game breakdowns, plus cash game rankings and GPP rankings.

Take your NHL advice from someone who has played the game (me) for 15 years!

Good luck tonight.

Featured Game:

New York Islanders @ St. Louis Blues – Start Time 8:00 PM – O/U 5.5 – Line: Blues -158

Jori Lehtera ( $4,000, C), Vladimir Tarasenko ( $8,000, W) and Jaden Schwartz ( $5,000, W) have been re-united once again, and it comes at a great time for fantasy players. This line should be absolutely dynamite, and I wouldn’t hesitate stacking all three of them in cash games and in your GPPs.

This game has a chance to be incredibly chippy and high scoring, since when these two teams played on Saturday, Islanders center Anders Lee ( $3,400 ) delivered a vicious check to the head on Carl Gunnarsson — for which Lee was not suspended for. There should be a TON of penalties in this game because of that.

GPP targets for me in this game — aside from the above Blues trio — include: Brock Nelson ( $5,200, C), Frans Nielsen ( $5,100, C), Nick Leddy ( $3,800, D), Kyle Okposo ( $5,700, W), John Tavares ( $7,100, C), David Backes ( $4,900, C), T.J. Oshie ( $4,400 ), Kevin Shattenkirk ( $6,100 ), and Alex Pietrangelo ( $6,500 ). 

I like Anders Lee ( $3,400 ) — who I mentioned above — but he should find himself in the penalty box for a good amount of time in this game, or even end up with a game misconduct if he has to defend himself. This is what happens in hockey games so soon after a dirty hit is delivered in a previous game.

Price-Adjusted Cash Game Rankings:

Center:

  1. Jori Lehtera – $4,000 – St. Louis Blues
  2. Mike Ribeiro – $4,800 – Nashville Predators
  3. Brock Nelson – $5,200 – New York Islanders
  4. Bryan Little – $5,400 – Winnipeg Jets
  5. Ryan Johansen – $5,400 – Columbus Blue Jackets
  6. Nicklas Backstrom – $5,600 – Washington Capitals

Winger:

  1. Blake Wheeler – $6,600 – Winnipeg Jets
  2. Vladimir Tarasenko – $8,000 – St. Louis Blues
  3. Jaden Schwartz – $5,000 – St. Louis Blues
  4. Filip Forsberg – $5,900 – Nashville Predators
  5. Jiri Hudler – $5,200 – Calgary 
  6. Dustin Byfuglien – $6,800 – Winnipeg Jets
  7. Zach Parise – $9,000 – Minnesota Wild
  8. James Neal – $5,800 – Nashville Predators
  9. Andrew Ladd – $5,900 – Winnipeg Jets
  10. Johnny Gaudreau – $5,100 – Calgary Flames

Defense:

  1. Jared Spurgeon – $4,200 – Minnesota Wild
  2. Marek Zidlicky – $4,200 – New Jersey Devils
  3. Nick Leddy – $3,800 – New York Islanders
  4. Alex Pietrangelo – $6,500 – St. Louis Blues
  5. Ryan Suter – $5,400 – Minnesota Wild
  6. Dennis Wideman – $5,600 – Calgary Flames

Goalies:

  1. Craig Anderson – $7,500 – Ottawa Senators
  2. Cory Schneider – $6,400 – New Jersey Devils

GPP Stacks:

  1. Jori Lehtera / Vladimir Tarasenko / Jaden Schwartz + Kevin Shattenkirk or Alex Pietrangelo
  2. Mike Ribeiro / James Neal / Filip Forsberg
  3. Blake Wheeler / Bryan Little / Andrew Ladd / Dustin Byfuglien
  4. Brock Nelson / Frans Nielsen / Nick Leddy / Kyle Okposo
  5. Zach Parise / Mikko Koivu / Jason Pominville / Jared Spurgeon / Ryan Suter
  6. Jiri Hudler / Johnny Gaudreau / Markus Granlund
  7. Jori Lehtera / Vladimir Tarasenko / Jaden Schwartz / Kevin Shattenkirk / Alex Pietrangelo / T.J. Oshie + David Backes or Alex Steen or Paul Stastny
  8. Tyler Johnson / Nikita Kucherov / Ondrej Palat
  9. Claude Giroux / Jakub Voracek 
  10. Brandon Dubinsky / Cam Atkinson 

 

2014-15 Fantasy Hockey Daily Fix, December 9th

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December 9th Edition:

What do you get?

  • Game Breakdowns of
    • CHI/NJ
    • PHI/CBJ
    • WPG/DAL
    • CGY/TOR
    • WSH/TB
  • Positional, Price Adjusted Cash Game Rankings
    • Seven centers
    • Seven wingers
    • Five defensemen
    • Three goalies
  • GPP Stack Rankings
    • 10 different stacks

All for just $1 !

Game Breakdowns:

Chicago Blackhawks @ New Jersey Devils – Start Time – 7:00 PM, O/U: 5.0, Chicago -181

The Hawks are currently on a six game winning streak during which they are outscoring the opposition by a robust 22-9 margin, while the Devils are 3-7 in their last 10 games. In fairness to New Jersey, they’ve played a tough schedule as of late, having eight road games and just two home games in this span. This one game at home and back on the road nonsense will continue for them too, as this is their only home game before embarking on yet another road trip — this time a three game trip against the Flyers, Stars and Islanders. Their 2-1 overtime victory over the Hurricanes was huge last night because Cory Schneider turned away 39 of 40 shot attempts in the win. The fact though that Schneider suited up last night and faced as many shots as he did, doesn’t bode well for his performance tonight against the streaking Hawks. Obviously if Scott Clemmensen suits up, things will get incredibly ugly for New Jersey, but in this tough part of their schedule they may just roll with him since this will be a very tough game to win even with Schneider in net. For now, I’m going to operate as if Clemmensen will get the start, and if Schneider starts, lower your expectations for the Hawks just a bit but not significantly.

The Blackhawks road power-play comes into the game tonight operating at 22.2% efficiency, much better than their mark of 14.4% at home. On the other side, the Devils penalty-kill is ranked 29th overall, and 30th if we are just looking at home penalty-kill percentages — which is a putrid 67.7%. Kris Versteeg ( $5,200 ) is a nice, versatile cash game option because he gives us exposure to the Blackhawks top power-play and the #2 forward line without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, Patrick Sharp is not included in the player pool — which is obviously strange. This puts a bit of a wrench into the idea of stacking Hawks since we are missing key exposure links. Nevertheless, Jonathan Toews ( $5,700 ) is still obviously a good cash game option, as is Patrick Kane ( $8,400 ) although he is more expensive — but if Clemmensen starts, it’s 100% worth it.

All Games: Kris Versteeg – W, Patrick Kane – W, Jonathan Toews – W, Duncan Keith – D, 

GPP Only:  Brandon Saad – W (best if paired with Toews and/or Marian Hossa )Brad Richards – C ( best if paired with Kane and/or Versteeg.

Philadelphia Flyers @ Columbus Blue Jackets – Start Time 7:00 PM – O/U 5.5, Columbus -120

This is only the Blue Jackets third time being favored since November 4th, and this time it’s well deserved. The Jackets are on a three game winning streak  – all against Florida based teams, having defeated the Panthers twice and the Lightning once. The question is though, can Sergei Bobrovsky ( $7,900 ) continue to play like this? The Jackets were out-shot 55-20 in their game in Sunrise, Florida against the Panthers, and were out-shot 34-20 against the Lightning at Amalie Arena in Tampa in their past two games. Well, he may not have to, since Brandon Dubinsky (not in player pool) makes his season debut tonight for the Blue Jackets. Dubinsky led all Columbus centers in On-Ice-Corsi and Corsi-Relative last year, which will go a long way in helping prevent the ridiculous number of shots the Jackets have been facing.

Despite not having a key component in a potential stack, I am incredibly interested in Blue Jackets tonight for GPPs and cash — though i understand if you are personally hesitant to trust them. Dubinsky’s return should be a massive treat for Cam Atkinson   ( $5,100 ) as he scored 23 of his 26 points while skating with Dubi last season. Joining Atkinson and Dubinsky on the second line is Matt Calvert ( $2,800 ) who actually is a pretty decent player when he’s paired with good talent around him. Calvert and Atkinson are a nice GPP mini-stack. Ryan Johansen ( $5,300 ) is one of, if not my favorite play of the night. Not only is Johansen incredibly talented, but Dubinsky’s return will take off a ton of pressure defensively for Ryan, which will allow him to focus more on scoring. Boone Jenner ( $4,800 ) is a smart pairing with Johansen in GPPs, although I am a bit saddened by the fact that they are split up on the power-play. Tim Erixon ( $2,500 ) is a min-price GPP candidate defenseman that plays on the top power-play unit for Columbus. He must be paired with other Blue Jackets, obviously for him to be of best use.

James Wisniewski ( $3,900 ) is also a good GPP play, and Jack Johnson ( $4,100 ) is a great cash game play — he doesn’t have a ton of upside so that’s why i prefer “Wiz” over him.

On the other side, the Flyers have a pathetic 2.1 goals per game on the road, so they are GPP only. The bad ranking for Columbus against forwards needs to be ignored/adjusted going forward with Dubinsky’s return.

Cash Only: Jack Johnson

All Games: Ryan Johansen – C, Cam Atkinson – W, Sergei Bobrovsky – G

GPP Only: James Wisniewski – D, Tim Erixon – D, Boone Jenner (with RyJo) – C, Matt Calvert – W (with Atkinson ),

2014-15 Fantasy Hockey: Week 10 Waiver Wire

Photo Credit: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images North America

Photo Credit: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images North America

Week ten in fantasy hockey is starting, and some players are emerging as must-own players in many leagues. Finding players on the waiver wire is essential to winning in fantasy hockey and for replacing injured players, either for the short-team or long run. Let’s take a look at which players you should be targeting on the waiver wire this week.

Josh Jooris | Calgary Flames | Yahoo! Ownership- 4%

Jooris is slowly becoming a must-own fantasy player. The undrafted center has been very productive in his first NHL season with the Flames—12 points (8G, 4A) in 21 games with a plus-3 rating and 29 shots on goal (SOG). The rookie clearly isn’t taking enough shots, but his potential to score goals is there. The 24-year-old has five powerplay points up to now—four of them being goals, and two game-winning goals (GWG). Jooris is only averaging 47 seconds on the powerplay, so the production may be hard to maintain long term, but right now he’s worth a pick up and should be a very good depth player for fantasy owners.

Who I’d drop for him: Tanner Pearson (29%), Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (23%), Alexander Semin (39%)

Riley Sheahan | Detroit Red Wings | Yahoo! Ownership- 5%

The Red Wings are known for growing talent in their organization, and Sheahan looks like he could be the next big thing in Detroit. The 23-year-old has 15 points (6G,9A) in 28 games with a plus-6 rating and 46 SOG. The numbers don’t scream superstar, but the Ontario native is playing close to fifteen minutes a game and has five powerplay points this season—three of them being goals. The first round pick in 2010 is playing on the third line with Tomas Jurco and Stephen Weiss and the chemistry the three have will continue to keep Sheahan fantasy relevant. Even with all the superstar talent in Detroit, the kid will find a way to produce at a high level more often than not.

Who I’d drop for him: Evgent Kuznetsov (38%), Andrew Shaw (17%), Patrick Elias (29%)

Martin Brodeur | St. Louis Blues | Yahoo! Ownership- 33%

I’m going to start off by saying I don’t think the Brodeur experiment in St. Louis is going to work long-term. However, the future Hall of Famer could definitely help a fantasy team in desperate need of a goalie, so Brodeur becomes fantasy relevant again. His numbers haven’t been great—a .872% save percentage (SV%), a 3.03 goals-against average (GAA) and one win. It’s only two games, but the 42 year-old looks his age, and playing in a tough western conference won’t help. With all that being said, Jake Allen has not been good of late and is struggling to say the least. The kid is going to have to be exceptional to keep the four-time Vezina trophy winner on the bench and right now that’s not the case. Brodeur will get every chance to play and show the Blues that he can help keep pace in a tight central division.

I wouldn’t drop anyone to add him because, personally, I don’t think it will last. If fantasy owners have an empty spot in their roster and need a goalie, then adding him would be a wise decision, and Jake Allen owners should also consider pick up the two-time Stanley Cup champion as a handcuff in case the kid does lose his starting job down the road.

Players to Watch:

Fanatsy hockey season is in full swing and these players could be on the rise/decline in the next few weeks

Trending up:

Brendan Gallagher | Montreal Canadiens | Yahoo! Ownership- 27%

Jacob Trouba | Winnipeg Jets | Yahoo! Ownership- 53%

Matt Beleskey | Anaheim Ducks | Yahoo! Ownership- 32%

Trending Down:

Bobby Ryan | Ottawa Senators| Yahoo! Ownership- 85%

Milan Lucic | Boston Bruins | Yahoo! Ownership- 87%

Mark Streit | Philadelphia Flyers | Yahoo! Ownership- 79%

2014-15 Fantasy Hockey Daily Fix, December 6th

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It’s a big weekend in the NHL, and what better way to make sure you win some money, then to get a full breakdown of all the top games. Here’s a look at what you will get throughout this article. In this edition, we breakdown

  • Montreal/Dallas
  • Chicago/Nashville
  • Columbus/Tampa Bay
  • Buffalo/Florida (some surprisingly good plays here)
  • Boston/Arizona
  • Vancouver/Toronto
  • Suggested plays from WSH/NJ, and SJ/CGY

1600+ Words:

All this for just $1.

Alright, let’s get to the games.

Game Breakdowns:

Montreal Canadiens @ Dallas Stars – Start Time 7:00 PM

This game has a fascinating inside story going on here. Referee Dave Jackson is a native of Montreal, and also owns the league’s highest Home team penalty call percentage. In fact, home teams are just 5-17 when Jackson referees. Finally, the Habs were 4-1 when Jackson called their games last year. Oh, and the Dallas Stars are allowing the most goals per game in the NHL.

Just like Martin Hanzal a few days ago, top 2nd-line center Tomas Plekanec ( $4,800 ) sees more ice time in road games than home games. At home he averages 18.3 minutes per game compared to 19.1 per game on the road. He also has 11 points ( 6 G, 5A) on the road compared to just 8 points at home ( 2 G, 6A). His line includes talented youngsters Alex Galchenyuk ( $4,500 ) and Brendan Gallagher ( $4,500 ). I’d feel comfortable using any of these three in cash games, but if I’m picking one, it’s Galchenyuk. He’ll have the least defensive responsibility of the three, as this line is slated to skate against the Seguin-Benn line and Galchenyuk plays left wing (Montreal puts the Plekanec line out first on the road). P.K. Subban ( $5,700 ) is the best defenseman on the board tonight. I’d use him in cash and GPP with supreme confidence.

For GPP’s a power-play stack of Plekanec-Galchenyuk-Gallagher-Subban- Max Pacioretty ( $7,000 ) could pay off huge dividends — especially with the referee favorability in play . Pacioretty has 16 points (9G, 7A) in 13 home games and just 4 points (3G, 1A) in 15 road games which is an incredible split. Dallas is worst in the NHL against Left wingers, so I’m obviously not going to fade Pacioretty completely. I’m labeling him as a GPP only play just in case there is something to this home road split — not to mention he’s skating with David Desharnais and Dale Weise ( $2,700 ). 

Summary

All Games: P.K. Subban, Alex Galchenyuk, Tomas Plekanec, Brendan Gallagher

GPP Only: Max Pacioretty, Dale Weise, Tyler Seguin/Jamie Benn

**Note, for those scratching their heads at Seguin being labeled as a GPP Only play, he’s obviously fine for cash because he’s a great player, but i prefer Stamkos at that price point **

2014 Fantasy Hockey Daily Fix, December 4th

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Tuesday was a perfect example of how incredibly frustrating/random the NHL can be at times. The Tampa Bay Lightning at -190 was a massive road favorite and the Detroit Red Wings were -201 at home against the Florida Panthers who were on the second leg of a back-to-back.

It’s not just about Vegas, because Vegas lines in hockey are nothing but a general guideline, and not the somewhat gospel-ish way we use their lines in NFL and the NBA.

Steven Stamkos and Tyler Seguin both were held without points against extremely suspect defenses. The Sharks and Flyers, both teams that have been poor defensively, played a 2-1 game, while Pittsburgh apparently was more under the weather than anyone expected — eking out a 1-0 win over the injury riddled Devils.

2014-15 Fantasy Hockey: First Third of the Season Awards

Photo Credit:Jamie Sabau/Getty Images North America

Photo Credit:Jamie Sabau/Getty Images North America

The NHL season is fully under way. Players are starting to separate themselves from each other, while others continue to be a disappointment. Some fantasy owners are looking to improve their teams, while others look for answers to save their season. With that, it’s time to hand out some fantasy hardware to the best, and worst, players from the first third of the NHL season.

The “Sleeper” Award

–Awarded to the player drafted after the tenth round with 20 or more points.

Winner: Jiri Hudler | Calgary Flames

Runners Up: Vladimir Tarasenko | St. Louis Blues, Tyler Johnson | Tampa Bay Lightning

Hudler is the clear-cut winner of the “Sleeper pick” award. The 30-year-old was going undrafted in many leagues. And in leagues where he was being drafted, he was going as the 267th pick. The Czech Republic native has 25 points (11G,14A) in 25 games with a plus-9 rating and 42 shots on goal (SOG). The second round pick in 2002 is tied for 12th in NHL scoring—ahead of guys like Henrik Zetterberg, John Tavares, Ryan Getzlaf, and Alexander Ovechkin. Vladimir Tarasenko and Tyler Johnson both have more points than Hudler, but the value that the veteran has provided so far this season for both the Flames and fantasy owners gives him the prize. Anyone of these players could have won it and are excellent value in the rounds they were taken in. It may not last the entire season, but for now, Hudler is providing early second round production and is the steal of the draft.

The “Gordie Howe” Award

 –Awarded to the player with the most points and penalty minutes.

Winner: Evgeni Malkin | Pittsburgh Penguins 

Runners Up: Jamie Benn | Dallas Stars, Corey Perry | Anaheim Ducks

Gordie “Mr. Hockey” Howe had the ability to score goals and rack up the penalty minutes. If fantasy hockey existed in his time, he would be the definition of a “stat stuffer.” Evgeni “Geno” Malkin is following in his footsteps as a goal scorer and a stat stuffer. Malkin has 30 points (12G,18A) in 24 games with a minus-1 rating and 64 SOG. The Russian superstar does everything, including racking up a nice 46 penalty minutes so far this season. The 28-year-old is in the top ten in all offensive categories (6th in goals, 8th in assists, 4th in points, and 1st in powerplay goals) and is an essential part of the Penguins success this season. There’s never been any question about Malkin’s talent, but his health in recent years has slowed him down. So far the 2nd overall pick in 2004 has avoided injury and will continue to be a point producer and rack up the penalty minutes.

The “Flop” Award

 –Awarded to the biggest fantasy hockey disappoint.

Winner: Anze Kopitar | Los Angeles Kings

Runners Up: Tuukka Rask | Boston Bruins, David Backes | St. Louis Blues

It’s hard to call any of these players a fantasy flop, but for fantasy owners who spent an early round draft pick on them, that’s exactly what they are. Kopitar is a great leader and a two-time Stanley Cup champion, but sadly this season hasn’t been so great to him or fantasy owners. The 27-year-old has 12 points (5G,7A) in 22 games with a plus-2 rating and 36 SOG. Its not terrible, but its not late second round production— the 12 points puts Kopitar tied for 156th in scoring and his 36 shots tied for 255th. The Slovenian captain still has plenty of time to turn it around, but it’s been rough so far and his production till the end of the season may not make up for the poor start he had.

The “Brick Wall” Award

 –Awarded to the best goalie in fantasy hockey.

Winner: Pekka Rinne | Nashville Predators

Runners Up: Ryan Miller | Vancouver Canucks, Ben Bishop | Tampa Bay Lightning  

Most fantasy owners would be surprised to see Rinne having this kind of start to the season, but it shouldn’t be a surprise. I’m not going to say I told fantasy owners to take him (I did), but if you did, the risk is definitely paying off. The 32-year-old has a 16-4-1 record with a 1.83 goals against average (GAA) and a .932% save percentage (SV%). Rinne is in the top ten of almost every goaltending category—first in wins, second in games played, third in SV% and GAA, seventh in shutouts, and second in minutes played behind Corey Schneider (who has played every minute this season for the devils). The 258th pick in  2004 had an average draft position (ADP) of 38th overall, 7th amongst goalie, so if you waited to take a goalie, the reward has been really nice. The two-time Vezina Trophy finalist will once again be in that conversation at season’s end and should be, and the idea of him slumping as the season goes on is not likely. The main concern will definitely be if the Finnish goalie can stay healthy, but for now, he’s the most valuable goalie in fantasy hockey.

The “New Kid on the Block” Award

 –Awarded to the rookie with the most points

Winner: Flilip Forsberg | Nashville Predators

Runners Up: Johhny Gaudreau | Calgary Flames, Tanner Pearson | Los Angeles Kings

Predator fans have already seen one Forsberg in Nashville, but I have a feeling they’re going to like the new Forsberg in town a lot more. Filip Forsberg could have easily won the “Sleeper” award too, but it didn’t seem fair to let a new kid take all the attention. The 11th overall pick in 2012 has 23 points (10G,13A) in 24 games with a league leading plus-21 and 73 SOG. Forsberg is running away in his rookie class and is almost a lock to win Rookie of the Year this year. The 6’1” center is an offensive juggernaut—leading his team in points, plus/minus, game-winning goals (GWG), and second in shots behind talented sniper James Neal. The Ostervala, Sweden native’s ADP was 280th (78th as a center-man) and right now sits 22nd in NHL scoring. Rookies aren’t always great fantasy value, but there’s always that one player that surprise every year, and this year it’s Forsberg. The legacy of talented Forsberg’s to play in Nashville will continue for many years to come.

The “First to 50” Award

 –Awarded to the player projected to score fifty goals this season first.

Winner:  Tyler Seguin | Dallas Stars

Runners Up: Steven Stamkos | Tampa Bay Lightning, Rick Nash | New York Rangers

Seguin currently leads the league in goals and will be the first player to score fifty goals this year. The 22-year-old is a scoring machine and can’t be stopped. He’s playing with captain Jamie Benn, and both make a great one-two punch upfront. Steven Stamkos and Alexander Ovechkin are the only legit competition Seguin has, and only Stamkos has a good chance to get to fifty goals by seasons end. Rick Nash may get to fifty as well, but it’s hard to believe he’ll be able to maintain this pace all year. One thing is certain—The Brampton, Ontario native is a superstar and will have many more fifty-goal seasons after this one. Right now its his race to lose, and to believe anyone will score more goals than him this season is really hard to believe.

The “Offensive/Defensive Defenseman” Award

 –Awarded to the defenseman with the most points and best plus/minus.

Winner: Mark Giordano/ TJ. Brodie | Calgary Flames

Runners Up: Shea Weber | Nashville Predators, Anton Stralman |Tampa Bay Lightning

It’s only fitting that teammates and line partners Giordano and Brodie win this award together. It was impossible to pick just one, as together, they complete each other. The Flames weren’t supposed to be a very good hockey team, but with Giordano and Brodie leading the way, the Flames have found themselves in contention for a playoff spot come April. The 31-year-old captain leads all defenseman in points with 26 (6G, 20A) and is third in plus/minus at plus-15. The un-drafted defenseman is having a career year and has been a surprise so far this season to say the least. 24-year-old Brodie is second behind Giordano in points with 21 (6G, 15A) and first in plus/minus at plus-19. The combo collectively make up the best pairing in hockey right now and will continue to provide fantasy owners with excellent value going forward.

2014 Fantasy Hockey Daily Fix, December 2nd

 

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Another big night in the NHL tonight, hopefully we can find more punt plays like yesterday when we recommended Tobias Rieder and Jiri Sekac!

Rieder was 2.4% owned. He potted two goals and had four shots (12.5 fantasy points!) , and Sekac ( 1.7% owned) potted a goal on one shot.

This article contains a very detailed “Value Plays” section to ensure that we get our value plays right again tonight!

Top Games

2014 Fantasy Hockey Daily Fix, December 1st

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I’d like to apologize to all of our loyal readers for the lack of NHL articles the past week. I was enjoying a Thanksgiving vacation in Albany NY with my extended family. I hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving as well.

We have five games to look at in the NHL today, so let’s break them down.

Game Breakdown:

Tampa Bay Lightning @ New York Rangers – Start Time – 7:00 PM

The Bolts bring their league best 3.50 goals per game into Madison Square Garden, looking for a season sweep of the Rangers. Former Rangers captain Ryan Callahan ( $6,200 ) has scored twice in each of the two games he has played against them this year, and overall the American is riding a three game point streak ( 3G, 3A). He’s a great cash game play as the white hot Lightning look to keep their winning ways going against the Rangers and the rest of the league. Alex Killorn ( $4,600 ) has been really enjoying his time on the Lightning’s top line. He has four goals in his last five games. He’s an excellent cash play as well.

The Bolts have gotten elite defenseman Victor Hedman back, but sadly he’s not in the player pool yet, as his first game back from injury was against Ottawa on Saturday. His return pushes Jason Garrison ( $4,600 ) off the top power-play unit. 

I’m fading Steven Stamkos ( $8,800 ) in cash so that I can use the Ducks, especially Getzlaf — who is at a much better price point.

Nikita Kucherov ( $4,500 ) and Tyler Johnson ( $5,100 ) are decent cash plays, and a potential sneaky GPP mini-stack, but I’m tentative about them due to the fact that season sweeps are so rare in the NHL.

Interesting stat:

Referee Brad Watson leads the NHL in Home team winning percentage at 74%. (Home Teams are 14-5 when he refs). I’m staying away from both of these goalies.

Florida Panthers @ Columbus Blue Jackets – Start Time – 7:00 PM

This one seems like a “move along nothing to see here” game on paper, but it contains some intriguing hidden value. For example, the Blue Jackets have allowed an average of 10 shots per game to opposing defensemen in their last eight games. Dylan Olsen ( $2,600 ) is a third-line defenseman that doesn’t play the power-play, however…. since being a healthy scratch against the Wild, Olsen has done the following:

Olsen Activity Stats ( Hits + Blocked Shots + Shots on Goal)

Two games since benching = 13 activity events: ( 7 hits, 6 SOG)

Five game stretch prior to benching = 13 activity events: ( 1 hit, 6 blocked shots, 6 SOG)

While we don’t get points for hits in DFS, Olsen’s activity level has seen a significant uptick since the benching. He is a talented puck moving defenseman, albeit in a not so wonderful situation as a third-liner without power-play time. The good news here though, is that the Blue Jackets third line have a combined Corsi-On-Ice of  (-44.5), which is really atrocious. Columbus has depth issues now with the injury to Artem Anisimov. Third line forwards for Florida, Vincent Trocheck ( $3,700 ) and Jimmy Hayes ( $3,600 ) have a combined Corsi-On-Ice of (+8.30). Their individual Corsi-On-Ice ratings are 5th and 6th best on the team. Hayes and Trocheck have a combined 18 points in 26 games, which is a level of production rarely seen from third line players. This combo of Olsen, Trocheck and Hayes is a sneaky GPP combo in lets say a $2 GPP. You need a lot of differentiation to win those, and absolutely nobody will have these guys.

I know this sounds scary to some, but I do like Goaltender Al Montoya ( $6,400 ) in cash games, and GPP’s. He’ll get the start in net for Florida. Sergei Bobrovsky has allowed 19 goals total in his last five games for Columbus, so it’s safe to say he’s really scuffling. Montoya brings a .924 save percentage into this contest.

Finally, another sneaky combo for Florida is Sean Bergenheim ( $3,900 ) and Brad Boyes ( $4,000 ). The “Killer B’s” line is back intact, and these guys both shoot a good amount. Having brilliant passer Aleksander Barkov ( $3,400 ) in between them, just makes things even better.

Montreal Canadiens @ Colorado Avalanche – Start Time 9:00 PM

Calvin Pickard ( $7,200 ) or “Jean-Luc Picard” as I call him, will be in net tonight for the Avalanche. He brings in a sparkling .931 save percentage into this contest. He has allowed just five goals in the last 94 shots he has faced. The only guys I’m interested in for cash games in this one are Montreal’s right wingers. Both Jan Hejda and Nate Guenin (Colorado’s two top left defensemen) are extremely slow, and the speedy Brendan Gallagher ( $4,800 ) should benefit from this very nicely. P.A. Parenteau ( $4,000 ) is not only the #1 line winger, but he plays the left point on Montreal’s top power-play unit. If I have to choose one to like better though, it’s Gallagher. His speed and willingness to shoot make him a very tough player for Colorado’s slow left defense to deal with.

A player I am interested in for GPPs is RW Jiri Sekac ( $2,800 ). Sekac plays on the top power-play unit for Montreal, as well as right wing on their third line. 

Arizona Coyotes @ Edmonton Oilers – Start Time 9:30 PM

This game could feature a ton of penalties, as referee Dave Jackson calls the highest percentage of penalties on the home team (56%), and Justin St. Pierre calls the highest percentage of penalties on road teams (66%). Home teams are 13-6 with St. Pierre refereeing, while home teams are just 8-10-1 with Jackson refereeing. 

Add in the fact that these referees both have biased whistles on each side of the spectrum, to the already suspect goaltending/defense that these teams provide, and we could have a high scoring affair here.

Edmonton allows the third most goals per game (3.38) and Arizona allows the 7th most (3.04 per game).

The most obvious line stack here is Taylor Hall ( $6,800 ), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ( $4,700 ) and Jordan Eberle ( $5,200 ). In cash games, I like Hall as a “stand-alone” that you can use without needing to combo with the other two. Hall has 17 career points in 14 games against the Coyotes, including four in two games this year.

Tobias Rieder ( $3,000 ) has been extremely active for the Coyotes, averaging 4.3 shots per game over his last four contests. He’ll skate with Martin Hanzal ( $5,200 ) and Shane Doan ( $4,800 ) on the second line for Arizona. Hanzal has seven points in eight road games, and all of Doan’s seven goals have come on the road (10 points in 13 road games). This is a good stack, and Rieder is safe for cash. Connor Murphy ( $2,700 ) is a good cheap defenseman to use in both cash and GPPs. Despite his points slump, his “activity stats” (hits, blocked shots, and shots on goal) are strong lately, which shows he is still mentally and physically engaged in every game. In two games against the Oilers, Murphy is a combined (+3) with a goal, three hits, four blocked shots and five shots on goal (3.8 fantasy points per game).

Further reasoning for liking Hanzal, is the fact that he has played 19.2 minutes per game on average, in the two games against the Oilers this year. He averages 17.6 minutes per game on the road (compared to 16.6 at home). Head Coach Dave Tippett clearly likes the matchup Hanzal has against Edmonton.

Boston Bruins @ Anaheim Ducks – Start Time 10:00 PM

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask ( $9,400 ) is currently sporting some incredibly large home/road splits. So far in 13 home games, Rask has a 1.99 goals-against-average and a .931 save percentage. This compared to a 3.31 GAA and a .879 save percentage in five road games. The Ducks are finally getting back into the groove of scoring, as Corey Perry ( $7,500 ) and Ryan Getzlaf ( $6,600 ) each collected three points a piece in their loss to the Sharks on Saturday. They are brilliant cash game plays against an ailing Bruins team. Finally, I like Hampus Lindholm ( $3,400 ) for value on defense. He takes on a more offensive-minded role at home ( 27 shots on goal in 13 home games and just five blocked shots) compared to on the road where he has just 8 shots on goal in 13 games, but 17 blocked shots.