We’ve got ourselves an interesting slate of games today and I have a partner to play with this weekend, Fantasy Draft’s DFS writer Ricky Sanders. With the NBA taking an All Star break he is throwing his hat into the DFS hockey rink and giving it a go. In his first attempt at it he started Happy Gilmore. Tanya Harding and some dude he created named *McPucketts.* He is a creative fella and from what I hear he is kind to his pets. That’s enough for me.
I don’t blame DFS’ General Sanders for getting after it with an aggressive lineup like Gilmore/Harding/McPucketts. If a guy can golf with a hockey stick then he must have mad skills while a name like McPucketts is destined for daily success and well, Tanya Harding, I will stand mute out of fear of reprisal.
Originally, I was reluctant and a little bit scared for my knees to hop on the Tanya Harding ($1,994) wagon due to significant weight gain and the fact that she hasn’t wielded a weapon in anger in over 20 years, but I reconsidered. At her age the salary was low and when you stack her with her accomplice in the Nancy Kerrigan attack, Jeff Gillooly ($1,994), you got yourself a bargain basement mini-stack. But I digress; lets get back to the DFS.
Lets look at the Match ups for the day to get us started. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Arizona Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers are the teams allowing the most goals in the last three weeks and that’s where I like to look first when compiling a lineup.
The Jets and Oilers face each other, as do the Coyotes and the Sharks, making them games to look at closely. I am reluctant to recommend starting three or four players from the same game regardless of how great the match up is because you are putting a lot of eggs in one games basket, but there are a multiple of players to want shares in those games. Games like this are best used if you plan to enter a multiple of times or in a multiple of contests. This approach gives you shares of all of the viable plays without minimizing your potential ceiling by using so many players from one game in one lineup.
For good or for bad, both of these teams are struggling to prevent goals but they are also struggling to score them. The Jets have scored 19 goals in their last seven while the Coyotes have 19 in their previous eight.
Winnipeg Jets @ Edmonton Oilers
I am not in love with any of the Winnipeg Jets players, but they have two viable options:
Dustin Byfuglien: D, $13,500
Byfuglien is an offensive producer and has had one goal and four assists to go with 17 shots in his last five games. He isn’t a bargain and he is more of an assist’s man than a scorer, but he is viable. I would recommend looking elsewhere first, but when the budget and the roster spots get tight, he is a viable consideration.
Drew Stafford: Wing, $9,600
Stafford has the match up and the salary to be intriguing. He has two goals and two assists to go with 14 shots on goal in his last four games, providing some confidence that he can get something done tonight. He isn’t a “must start”, but he needs to be considered as you mix and match to fill out a lineup on budget.
The Oilers are a different story. They have as many as five viable starts in a great match up. While the Jets options are viable, the Oilers are recommended or at least better alternatives than many others. Lets look at the core of this strong group today. They are definitely a serious consideration for a mini-stack or even that rare full three-player stack.
Connor McDavid C, $14,300
Four goals, eight assists and 15 shots on goal in his previous six games in a “ching ching” match up. The only reason he isn’t a “must start” is because you have to pay a hefty price to roster him. He is starting for me.
Jordan Eberle Wing, $11,700
He is one of my favorites of the day. Seven goals and three assists to go with a whopping 24 shots on goal in his last six games – this dude is on fire and he is significantly cheaper than fellow teammate Connor McDavid.
Benoit Pouliot Wing, $9,900
Two goals and eight assists in six games under $10,000, that puts him on the “consideration list.” I lean towards a mini-stack of Eberle and Pouliot, but its tough to pass on McDavid.
Andrej Sekera D, $8,700
A goal, three assists, 12 shots on goal in his previous six games and 20:24 minutes of ice time per night makes him worth a thought or two. Some players like to roster a discount defenseman like a Hail Mary “toss and hope it rains” play. Sekera is a little bit cloudy and could pay off, but it’s a risk.
Leon Draisaitl C, $10,600
I am not recommending Draisaitl, but if his price point allows you to afford someone else, he is a viable choice compared to some of the alternatives.
Arizona Coyotes @ San Jose Sharks
I don’t love many San Jose Sharks but there are two viable options if you feel the need to have shares against the Arizona Coyotes.
Logan Couture C, $13,200
Two goals and five assists in five games puts him on the radar, but the price is too rich for my blood.
Joe Thornton C, $11,100
DFS players like Patrice Bergeron because of his consistency; well Joe Thornton is the low budget version and is a better play for the price. He is mostly an assist’s man, but they are good too. He isn’t a “must start,” but the price is reasonable and the return is safe. He doesn’t have the highest ceiling, but you can feel good about his floor.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson D, $12,300
I believe in paying for defenseman and Ekman-Larsson has two goals, five assists, and 23 shots on goal in his previous five games. He isn’t the most expensive defenseman, but he has been one of the more productive ones recently in one of the better match ups of the night.
Shane Doan Wing, $9,200
Four goals, two assists and 21 shots on goal in his previous five games at only $9,200. Any player under $10,000 minimizes your exposure, elevates your potential and Doan has been putting Fantasy points on the board.
Doan and Ekman-Larsson is not the typical mini-stack since they may not play together and one is a defenseman and another a forward, but it could work tonight.
Here are some additional plays I like today:
Full Price Plays
Erik Karlsson D, $15,900
You aren’t getting anything for nothing here, but Karlsson is a reliable producer every night (10 assists in last six games).
Patrick Kane W, $18,000
That’s one costly play, but Kane is a beast in an intriguing match up against the Anaheim Ducks tonight. The Ducks have played four road games THIS WEEK. That’s a recipe for a hat trick and the big bonus, something we have seen from a lot of players this week.
Mark Stone Wing, $11,700
Stone has six goals and three assist to go with 18 shots on goal in his previous six games. That kind of run at that price point makes Stone a play I am high on tonight.
Bargain Basement Boys
Zach Smith C, $6,100
He hasn’t lit the ice on fire (3 goals, 3 assists, 14 shots on goal in last 6 games) but he has produced at as bargain basement a salary as you will find for a viable starter.
Toronto Maple Leafs $16,200 and Vancouver Canucks $16,600
Both are risk/reward plays tonight. The Maple Leafs have allowed 28 goals in their last eight games which is bad, but they face the Vancouver Canucks who have only scored 12 goals in their last six games, which is good for the Leafs. The Canucks have allowed 14 goals in their previous six games while the Maple Leafs have only scored 15 goals in their last eight, a match up that makes them a Team G consideration.
The Canucks are the better play because the Maple Leafs can’t put the biscuit in the basket and the Canucks only cost an extra $400 in salary. This game could be a snooze fest with low scores or it could be a game to mini-stack against the Maple Leafs.
If you are looking for a mid-range alternative the New York Islanders ($18,400) are an intriguing play tonight against the low-scoring Carolina Hurricanes (18 goals in last six games). They are $2,000 cheaper than the Capitals, $1,600 less than the Blackhawks and the match up could be a kind one.