DFS for Beginners: News, Notes & Trends Mid-Season

We are half way through the NHL season making it a perfect time to look at the meaningful trends across the NHL. Which teams are scoring and which ones aren’t? Which players are hot and who is not? It seems to me that now is a good time to do a news and notes column and that’s what I will provide this week.

Goals are kind of important to DFS players, but matchups are how you determine your starting lineups, so lets start with the team stats.

Goals Scored

  1. Dallas Stars (149)

Everyone knows Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, but Patrick Sharp (16 goals, 21 assists), Jason Spezza (14 goals – 20 assists) and Cody Eakin (9 goals – 10 assists) are putting up good numbers if you want a cheaper nightly stack. John Klingberg (6 goals – 32 assists) is one of the most expensive defenseman, but he has averaged almost a point per night. Like Benn and Seguin, you are getting production for his hefty salary.

  1. Washington Capitals (132)

Alex Ovechkin is the only elite scorer for the Capitals, but they have three players with 21 assists or more. You pay less in salary for assists, so be sure to keep your eye on Nicklas Backstrom (13 goals – 25 assists), Evgeny Kuznetsov (13 goals – 24 assists) and defenseman John Carlson (6 goals – 21 assists).

  1. Boston Bruins (123)

The Bruins lack an elite DFS starter and Patrice Bergeron ($15,400) isn’t cheap, but as a team they spread it around well and consistently put up Fantasy points. Loui Eriksson ($11,100) and David Krejci ($12,100) are comparable plays to Bergeron and Brad Marchand (($12,900) at cheaper salaries, but on a nightly basis they are all solid plays. Ryan Spooner ($9,200) is the cheaper salary and he isn’t much of a drop-off.

  1. Montreal Canadiens (122)

A lot like the Bruins, there isn’t an elite goal scorer on the Canadiens, but they have five starters with 16 assists or more with three players of 20 or more. Andrei Markov (D)Tomas Plekanec (C) – P.K. Subban (D). P.K. Subban (2 goals – 27 assists – 114 shots on goal) is a reliable source for assists and is second on the team in shots on goal. Markov is much more affordable without much drop off in nightly production except for shots on goal where Subban is a Fantasy monster.

  1. Colorado Avalanche (122)

The Avalanche has seven players with 22 points or more and four defenseman with 15 points or more. This is a unit that puts the puck in the net with a lot of assists from up and down the lines. Some DFS players choose to make out a lineup with “Stars” and then fill in the rest with “Scrubs” and others like to have a well-balanced lineup top to bottom. The Avalanche and the Bruins are the teams to look to if you are a DFS player that prefers the latter.

Early in the season the Boston Bruins were ranked in the top five in both goals scored and goals allowed, making them a matchup target every single night. Since then the Bruins have received better goaltending and tightened up their defense are no closer to the middle of the pack in goals allowed. The closest team to doing that this deep into the season is the Colorado Avalanche who rank fifth in goals scored and ninth in goals allowed. Night in and night out the red lamp is shining when the Avalanche are in town. DFS players want to be stacking Avalanche players and stacking their opponents against them as well, especially the elite scorers.

After 41 games the Washington Capitals are ranked second in goals scored and second least in goals allowed, which makes for an interesting stack – Team goalie and offensive players. Braden Holtby and Alex Ovechkin are one of the best pairs in the DFS game.

Another team that scores their fair share while being stingy about allowing them is the Chicago Blackhawks. They rank seventh in total goals allowed – one goal more than the Pittsburgh Penguins – and seventh in total goals scored – one goal less than the New York Rangers.

Goals Allowed (most)

  1. Columbus Blue Jackets (139)
  2. Arizona Coyotes (125)
  3. Edmonton Oilers (125)
  4. Ottawa Senators (124)
  5. Calgary Flames (124)
  6. Winnipeg Jets (121)

Goals Allowed (least)

  1. Florida Panthers (88)
  2. Washington Capitals (89)
  3. Los Angeles Kings (90)
  4. Anaheim Ducks (97)
  5. Minnesota Wild (97)
  6. Pittsburgh Penguins (100)

Hot and Cold Players:

Early in the NHL season Anaheim Ducks star Ryan Getzlaf couldn’t score on an empty net while Flyers forward Claude Giroux has disappointed all season. If you are going to pay the salary for a star player you have to know the points are coming.

Here are a few expensive players that haven’t averaged the Fantasy points per game (FPPG) to justify the dollars.

  1. Henrik Zetteberg: $12,100 – FPPG 6.70
  2. Rick Nash: $14,700 – FPPG 8.33
  3. Pavel Datsyuk: $11,800 – FPPG 6.80
  4. Joe Thorton: $10,600 – FPPG 6.02
  5. Justin Abdelkader: $9,600 – FPPG 5.36

After seeing the players struggling in the first half, lets look at the stars that are hot and those that are not over the last 14 days

The “Hot” Players

  1. Alex Ovechkin: 8 Games played – 9 Goals – 47 Shots on Goal
  2. Jonathan Toews: 7 Games – 5 Goals – 4 Assists – 26 SOG
  3. Sidney Crosby: 6 Games – 5 Goals – 2 Assists – 19 SOG
  4. Patrick Kane: 7 Games – 4 Goals – 8 Assists – 34 SOG
  5. Zach Parise: 7 Games – 5 Goals – 2 Assists – 26 SOG

The “Not” Players

  1. Henrik Zetterberg: 7 Games – 1 Goal – 2 Assists – 12 SOG
  2. Ryan Getzlaf: 7 Games – 1 Goal – 2 Assists – 15 SOG
  3. Jakub Voracek: 5 Games – 0 Goals – 2 Assists – 15 SOG
  4. Claude Giroux: 5 Games – 1 Goal – 1 Assist – 15 SOG
  5. Tyler Johnson: 6 Games – 0 Goals – 1 Assist – 9 SOG
  6. Taylor Hall: 6 Games – 1 Goal – 0 Assists – 21 SOG

Now, lets look at some of the best players over the last fourteen days that started off the DFS radar that are very much deserving in the month of January.

  1. Shane Doan: 6 Games – 7 Goals – 1 Assist – 27 SOG
  2. Artemi Panarin: 7 Games – 5 Goals – 3 Assists – 23 SOG
  3. Jimmy Hayes: 5 Games – 4 Goals – 1 Assist – 9 SOG
  4. Andrew Desjardins: 7 Games – 4 Goals – 1 Assist – 20 SOG
  5. Bo Horvat: 5 Games – 4 Goals – 1 Assist – 13 SOG

Its always good to stay on top of the trends because you don’t want to pay for a slumping star and starting a bargain who is on a goal scoring spree is how you set yourself apart from the field. Good luck DFS’ers and talk to you next week.

Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell has been playing Fantasy sports for over twenty years. He contributed to RotoWire.com in their early days before contributing as a writer and doing Fantasy sports Podcasts for Seamheads.com. Three seasons ago he brought his writing and his Fantasy sports Podcast to RotoExperts.com and the Fantasy Sports Television network and this past season he wrote a weekly Fantasy sports column for BaseballAmerica.com. He also writes about Minor League prospects for RotoExperts. Chris has no more access to the site than the typical user. Follow him at Twitter @CJMiitch73.

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