The first thing I look at before I skim the days schedule are the teams leading the league in goals allowed over the previous 14-30 days. That tells me where the dream match ups might be. Then I check the goalies to see who is projected to start for those teams. Next, I check the games to see which of those teams are playing and who their opponents are.
By doing this I know who might be the home run start and it also gives me an idea of the bargain price players that could be in a great situation to produce.
Lets start by looking at the teams allowing the most goals and then get into the players to pick today.
Goals Allowed Leaders Today
Boston Bruins @Buffalo Sabres
Colorado Avalanche vs. Winnipeg Jets
Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Florida Panthers
The Avalanche/Jets game pairs two teams that allow a lot of goals, unfortunately for us, neither team scores a whole lot either. The match up is a hot one that fizzles.
The Avalanche has allowed 16 goals in five games while the Jets have allowed 15 goals in four games. Blake Wheeler ($14,200 – FPPG 9.52) and Dustin Byfuglien ($13,500 – FPPG 7.78) are the big timers on the Jets team, but the salaries don’t make them a great value choice. However, this is a match up you want shares in and the best combination of salary and production is Nikolaj Ehlers ($8,800) who had a hat trick a week ago and four goals and three assists in his previous five games.
The Avalanche aren’t scoring goals (ranking 23rd in the previous three weeks) and its tough to get hot and bothered about their best players so while this is a match up I want to take advantage of, I don’t see the great values.
The Bruins/Sabres game is an interesting one because everyone scores on the Bruins and the Sabres allow their fair share as well. These teams played earlier this week and Evander Kane ($12,900 – FPPG 7.59) was unstoppable while Brad Marchand ($13,200 – FPPG 9.34) just keeps scoring points, eight goals and one assist in his last nine games. Patrice Bergeron ($15,100 – FPPG 9.94) is as consistent a play as you get, but you pay full price for that consistency.
A bargain in this one is Brett Connolly ($6,400 – FPPG 3.83). He isn’t playing well and he doesn’t scare you with his talent, but he has the ingredients for a good tournament play; strong match up, cheap price, plays with other great players (Bergeron and Marchand). It’s a risk, but it’s a cheap risk.
Joe Thornton C, Sharks – $10,700 – FPPG 5.67
He doesn’t score a lot of goals, but if you are willing to pay top dollar for Patrice Bergeron’s consistency then you should be jumping at the cheaper version, Joe Thornton.
Vincent Trocheck C, Panthers- $9,900 – FPPG 6.88
He is on fire with five goals and three assists in his last four games. At $9,900 he isn’t a “bargain” but ride the hot hand and you don’t get much more fire on the gloves than Trocheck right now.
Charlie Coyle C, Wild – $7,800 – FPPG 6.31
Coyle has four goals in his last five games at a salary that allows you to do a lot of other things with your lineup. That’s the definition of a bargain.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau C, Senators -$7,000 -FPPG 5.67
The price and his recent play is the temptation here. Unlike Brett Connolly for the Bruins who is all about the price, Pageau has two goals and two assists in his last four games.
Today’s Full Price Picks:
Erik Karlsson D, Senators – $15,300 – FPPG 10.73
I am coming around to the contrarian view that you should pay the price for the best defenseman and Karlsson is one of them. The elite forwards cost $17,500-$18,000 and the best defenseman are closer to $15,000. Karlsson has eight assists and two goals in his last eight games and the Maple Leafs are a good match up tonight as well.
Patrick Kane W, BlackHawks – $18,000 – FPPG 13.05
Kane is a monster and its hard to not like him any night. The Dallas Stars have only allowed 10 goals in their previous four games so it’s a tough match up, but Kane is able.
Brad Marchand W, Bruins – $13,200 – FPPG 9.34
As I said above, Marchand is on fire and he is not priced as one of the elite forwards yet. Ride the hot hand until it burns you. Bruins/Sabres should be a high scoring game and the best scorer on the Bruins right now is Marchand.
Mini Stack of the Day:
Erik Karlsson ($15,300) and Jean-Gabriel Pageau ($7,000)
It’s an odd stack to say the least, but Toronto allows a lot of goals, even though James Reimer has played well this season, and the price is right.
St. Louis Blues ($19,200) vs. Minnesota Wild
The Wild have scored 15 goals in nine games and the Blues are the fourth highest salary of the night behind the Blackhawks, Panthers, Bruins and Penguins. The Blackhawks face the Stars, the Panthers face Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, the Bruins allow a lot of goals regardless of the opponent (Sabres), and the Penguins face the seventh ranked scoring offense over the last three weeks, the Panthers. The match up is great and they are a better start than the more pricey options.