It is now day four of my hockey saga and so far no one has trolled me worse than I can handle. Yesterday I actually wrote a whole hockey article from start to finish with zero outside assistance. Today, Chris Mitchell will once again assist me but progress has officially been made. Unlike Sunday, all seven of the NHL’s games on Monday will be included on the slate in FantasyDraft so there will be a plethora of options to choose from. My shortcoming so far has been not utilizing stacks quite like I should so that will change today. Mr. Mitchell likes a certain team from the greatest city in the world and they’re most of what I am rolling with on Monday evening.
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, 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. Alright once again, deep breath, let’s do this:
Jonathan Toews, $12,500 – Three time All-Star and three time Stanley Cup Champion Jonathan Toews will square off against the Maple Leafs at home on Monday. The Blackhawks opened as whopping -280 favorites according to ESPN’s moneylines and they are the only team favored by 1.5 goals. In other words, they should be doing plenty of scoring on Monday night so you’ll want exposure to those potentially involved. Toews ranks second on the team in plus/minus (+/-) to Patrick Kane and is likely to add to that total in a game the Blackhawks should win easily. Despite his talent and excellent matchup, five centers (Cs) are priced higher including three who are currently injured. Take the discount from Tyler Seguin or Sidney Crosby and spend down on a player who literally possesses as much upside.
Patrick Kane, $18,000 – As mentioned in the opening, there is one team stack that reigns supreme on Monday and that team is the Chicago Blackhawks (for those of you who didn’t make the connection with Chicago being the greatest city in the world). Patrick Kane leads the Blackhawks in games played, +/-, points, goals and assists probably amongst many other categories I am just not aware of. In fact, Kane leads the whole NHL in points so it’s no wonder he costs the most of any wing on the slate. When the Blackhawks last squared off against the Maple Leafs on Jan. 15, Kane dropped 42 fantasy points including a hat trick to go along with an assists. Yeah, you’re going to want to roster him and come along for the ride in case he decides to produce a similar line in what should be another destruction of the Leafs.
Ales Hemsky, $7,500 – According to Mitchell, Ales Hemsky is just plain too cheap. In order to fit the Blackhawks stack, sacrifices will need to be made at other positions and Hemsky fits the bill in price…but not in production. He costs less than half comparatively to the elite wings but his team is heavily favored on the road in a projected high scoring game (5.5 over/under). Assuming the NHL works like the MLB or NBA, a team must be much better than another for Vegas to favor them as a road team. Therefore, I feel great about Hemsky’s +/- if nothing else but he has also registered at least six fantasy points in back-to-back games. Roster him for his safety in cash games but also consider him for tournaments as he showed earlier this month (Feb. 4) he possesses the necessary upside for GPPs (17 fantasy points against Colorado that day).
Patrick Nemeth, $5,200 – Fantasy is a funny game. Just the other night Mitchell was preaching how paying up for defensemen can give an edge but yet he feels saving money for the likes of Patrick Nemeth is the preferred strategy on Monday. This is reminiscent of baseball because some nights punting catcher feels like the correct play to fit star pitchers and other nights Buster Posey will stand out as a way to gain an advantage. Defense feels like the catcher of hockey and Monday evening is a night to use the Curt Casali-types of the position (aka the cheap alternatives with potential). Don’t-call-him-Joe Nemeth is coming off two straight productive games and likes primed for a third straight against a weak Nashville opponent.
Chicago Blackhawks, $20,000 – The final piece of the Chicago stack is now complete. Complement the offensive fire power with their goalie Corey Crawford because clearly Mitchell expects them to blow the Maple Leafs out of the water. GPP winning lineups in baseball often include as many pieces as possible from the team of the night who blows out their opponent like 12-0. If the Blackhawks put up four to five goals and win, you’ll be in a great position in all formats to reach the PayoutZone. Oh by the way the Blackhawks goalies average more than one fantasy point per game more than the next goalie on the slate and are only priced $600 more than the next. Clearly their goaltenders are amongst the best and their skillsets translate to DFS. Against a weak opponent, Mitchell suggests going big or going home with the Blackhawks and I’m way on-board with that mindset.