Ricky Attempts Hockey Picks: Stone Cold Steve Stamkos

It’s cold. It’s dark. I am all alone.

Yes, like most people Chris Mitchell is busy on Saturday nights and therefore did not have time to assist. Therefore Sunday’s picks will be full-on, 100-percent be authentically my own. With only three games on the horizon, there are only so many options which drastically increases the chances of this blind squirrel finding a worm (aka the PayoutZone).

Note: this piece is designed for entertainment value more than it is designed to educate readers. My friend and fellow FantasyDraft contributor Chris Mitchell typically has helped steer me in the right direction. Hopefully this piece is as amusing for you to read as it is for me to write. Round three, commence:


Steven Stamkos, $14,500 – On short slates in basketball, I almost always lean towards using the studs on the slate especially in cash. Typically the full-on mid-tier strategy only works when everyone produces and the margin of error drastically decreases. Assuming Russell Westbrook scores 60 fantasy points, the punt play you pair him with doesn’t need to do much for the two of them to combine for value. If, for instance, Serge Ibaka fails and you failed to roster a stud, then literally everyone else has to be a monster or you will have no chance (especially if the stud goes off). Steven Stamkos seems to fit the bill as the star on the slate because he is coming off a monster performance, leads his team in goals and his team is a 58-percent favorite to win according to masseyratings. Apparently his nickname is “Stammer,” so make sure Sunday is your “Stammer Time.”


Mats Zucarello, $12,500 – No Zucarello is not an Italian noodle dish but rather the New York Rangers’ leaders in points this season with 41. Though the slate is small, the Rangers are the largest favorite and are projected to have a 62-percent chance of winning in a game with a 5.5 over/under. For that reason, they are the preferred stack on the slate and Zucarello, the safest asset, is the one worth rostering in cash games. In larger GPPs, fading him most likely isn’t the worst idea in the world.


Victor Hedman, $12,400 – One of the tips Chris Mitchell lent me over the past few days was skimping on defensemen typically did not work out. Differentiating yourself from the field is difficult as it is in other DFS sport so a defensemen with the ability to score points is a great strategy. Of all three teams projected to win on the slate, Tampa Bay is projected to both allow and score the fewest number of goals. The over/under for St. Louis/Tampa Bay is only 4.5; one full goal lower than either of the other two games. Victor Hedman’s plus/minus (+/-) is consistently positive, he’s an assist machine and he blocks shots so start him with confidence regardless of the projected goalie’s duel.

Colton Parayko, $9,500 – At some point, a value play will be needed amongst the upper-echelon options mentioned so maybe Colton Parayko will make more sense than Hedman in order to make roster construction work. Why Parayko decided on number “55” is beyond me considering he very easily could have chosen a number slightly lower and referred to himself as “Colt 45.” Anyways Parayko has scored at least 12 fantasy points in back-to-back games and registered at least one blocked shot in 13 of the past 14 games. In a game that forecasts as a defensive battle, there should be plenty of opportunities for blocked shots a majority of the shots will not be going in the net.

Team Goalie:

Tampa Bay Lightning, $18,400 – Ben Bishop has played 41 games versus 15 for Andre Vasilevskly and one for Kristers Gudlevskis so predicting Bishop to draw the start on Sunday is probably safe. Only Detroit’s Petr Mrazek (1.94) and New Jersey’s Cory Schnieder (2.00) allow less goals per game (2.09) than Bishop and St. Louis’ 2.42 goals per game ranks 23rd out of 30 teams in the NHL. Wow, am I actually using hockey data to back up a point? Man, Chris Mitchell would be so proud of me. For someone with such a positive outlook, being priced as the second-to-cheapest goalie on the slate does not make much sense. Take the gift of a discount at goalie and spend the money wisely at other positions.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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