Day two of the hockey grind feels way more difficult than the first. Nearly all of my hockey movie references were used up in the first article so my topical jokes arsenal has drastically diminished already. Luckily for my readers, the Hanson Brothers from the movie “Slapshot!” are my aces in the hole. What did I learn on the first day of hockey touting? Nothing, sadly. FantasyDraft contributor Chris Mitchell sat me down and tried to explain everything yesterday but sadly it went in one ear and out the other mostly because reruns of “Breaking Bad” happened to be on television. Today, I am determined to try once again attempt to learn this game and add it to my rotation of DFS sports. If nothing else, one day I dream of being able to refer to myself as a “puckhead”…and mean it. On that note, onto the plays of the day…
Note: this piece is designed for entertainment value more than it is designed to educate readers. My friend and fellow FantasyDraft contributor Chris Mitchell helped steer me in the right direction yet again, but all of the commentary is my own. Hopefully this piece is as amusing for you to read as it is for me to write. Time for round two. Alright, deep breath, let’s do this:
Alex Ovechkin, $18,400 – Alex Ovechkin has taken over the NHL’s goal scoring race so naturally he is going to be expensive. Assuming you have ever turned on a television, you have seen the “He went to Jared” commercials. Paying up for the GOAT Ovechkin is like going to Jared to buy your fiancé’s wedding ring. If you decide to go cheap and pay mall kiosk prices, the consequences will be dire. If you pony up for quality, you will get what you pay for.
Ryan Getzlaf, $11,700 – Bazinga! The Anaheim “Mighty” Ducks are in action in this slate so I’m doubling down on the “Flying V” jokes. Ryan Getzlaf plays center so if you think of the letter “V,” the center on the team will be the one leading the formation. Once Emilio Estevez pumps up the team with a motivational pregame speech, Getzlaf will be motivated to take out his frustrations on the Blackhawks. The matchup is not easy and Getzlaf will be playing through a broken nose. However, if anyone is going to be involved in scoring a point for the Ducks, it will be their team leader (40) and the price is reasonable.
Jordan Eberle, $11,700 – Simply roster Jordan and live happily Eberle after. Of all the stacks on Saturday, Mitchell suggests the Oilers versus the Jets. As I preach all the time, projecting your own lines for games can give you the upper hand and Vegas is not incredibly fond of the Oilers. Mitchell is going out on a limb and, considering the teams’ reasonable prices, it 100-percent makes sense from a pure value sense. While reserving a full stack might be best left for GPP formats, Eberle can be safely inserted into cash lineups one game removed from a whopping 49 fantasy points. In fact, he dropped 32 fantasy points on Feb. 4 as well so there may not be a better source of upside at a mid-tier price.
Brandon Saad, $11,700 – Thinking about fading Brandon Saad? That makes me a saaaaaaaaaaaad panda. The Columbus Blue Jackets carry the largest implied total on the slate at four goals and the 6.5 over/under leaves this game tied for the projected top scoring contest on the slate. Of Columbus’ top 13 points scorers, Saad’s -1 plus/minus (+/-) ranks the highest of anyone on the team and he is tied for the team lead in points with 36. Apparently, the Blue Jackets’ name and logos were inspired by Ohio’s Civil War history. Gold jacket, green jacket, who gives a s*** as long as he provides the necessary fantasy points at the end of the day and the top scoring player on Vegas’ projected highest scoring team should be a safe bet.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, $12,300 – This tweet from respected industry writer Benny Ricciardi is all it took to convince me to write him up for tomorrow. The law firm of Ekman-Larsson will provide you with the best defense money can buy.
Andrej Sekera, $8,700 – According to Mitchell, Andrej Sekera isn’t a sexy play but he draws an excellent matchup on Saturday. He has taken 12 shots in the past six games which is a ton for a defenseman (I’m told). Players with similar skill sets in the NBA such as Tony Allen and/or Iman Shumpert are usually tournament plays only because their offense only shows up sporadically but that does not appear to be the case here. At a cheap price, as long as Sekera continues to take shots he remains worth the shot to pair with a solid goalie and consistent center/wing options.
Florida Panthers, $19,600 – According to masseyratings.com, the largest favorite on the slate once again are the Florida Panthers with a 69-percent chance of winning. Thanks to Google.com, I discovered Roberto Luongo is their goalie and, since he is one of the few names in the NHL I recognize, it all makes sense. Furthermore, only one other game on the slate possesses a lower over/under than Nashville/Florida’s 5.5 projected total. Mitchell’s suggested strategy in FantasyDraft’s format to hockey is to pay up for the sure thing goalie so I am going to continue to do so once again.
Chicago Blackhawks, $20,000 – In baseball, I only recommend using a hitter on the opposing team from your pitcher on smaller slates in tournament formats in order to differentiate yourself. This is a large hockey slate so make sure to fade Getzlaf if the final decision is to go Corey Crawford (the Blackhawks Goalie) over Luongo. Chicago is the largest favorite of any team projected to allow two goals or less. They rank second in the NHL in points behind only the Washington Capitals at this point so clearly their goalie has a great chance of earning a win. If only the format awarded bonus points for epic drunken rants, Crawford would emerge as the Wilt Chamberlain of his time in fantasy hockey.