What in the world is going on? Before consulting with Chris Mitchell on Monday evening (I write the picks articles the nights before), I had already written up a few of the names he suggested before he even responded to my texts. To reiterate, we were on the same players before we even spoke. Am I actually getting a hang of this hockey thing? Never in a million years did I think this day would come, but I am starting to identify trends in the DFS hockey world. However, I could never have done it without an expert leading the way and that is how I suggest the general public learns the game as well…Find someone you trust and follow their principles/lessons.
You wouldn’t walk into the Sahara Desert without a tour guide and/or proper supplies. The same is true for diving into a new DFS sport. Sure you can probably make due but the proper training certainly increases chances of success. Learning a new DFS sport have given me perspective on the sports I focus on and motivates me to help all readers understand fully as opposed to just spouting picks at them. If anyone ever needs any additional information or assistance, please feel free to message me on Twitter @RSandersDFS. I only hope I can be half as helpful as Mitchell has been to me over these past handful of days.
Note: this article is designed for entertainment value more than 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:
Nicolas Backstrom, $14,700 – Considering the Washington Capitals have the most points of any team in the NHL, it’s not surprising they are the heaviest favorite even on a larger slate. With more games, it feels wrong and lazy to simply recommend Alex Ovechkin and move on despite his recent ridiculous hot streak. In basketball, more games usually makes concocting a balanced lineup easier and I believe that be true in hockey as well. Instead of spending up on Ovechkin, at least in GPPs, the contrarian route would be to roster Nicolas Backstrom instead who has scored at least six fantasy points in three straight including 21 fantasy points at Minnesota. Stacking Backstrom and Ovechkin in cash makes sense as Backstrom ranks second on the team in assists and Ovechkin leads the league in goals. This is similar to rostering Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan in a solid matchup because many of Paul’s assists are to Jordan so one play will benefit both and it increases a fantasy team’s overall upside if they happen to really find some chemistry that night.
Brad Marchand, $14,000 – Despite masseyratings deeming Washington the team with the best chance to win on Tuesday, Boston is the team projected to score the most goals. The Bruins are favored in the only game with a 6.5 over/under and, looking at Brad Marchand’s game log, he is absolutely cooking right now. Although I admittedly am out of touch with the DFS hockey format, Marchand feels like a guy who is going to be chalk. I cannot find another player that has scored at least 13 fantasy points in seven consecutive games including at least a goal scored in each game. Whew. What goes up must come down at some point but sometimes players just get into a groove and you want to ride them while they are hot. If you’re going to use Marchand and want to differentiate, adding in some Blue Jackets and just full-on stacking the game is probably the way to go.
Cam Atkinson, $9,900 – …and there’s the perfect lead in for Cam Atkinson of the Blue Jackets. Tuukka Rask is an excellent NHL goalie but according to Yahoo his stock is falling. The .917 save percentage is the worst of his seven year career and Vegas does imply this will be a high-scoring game. In other words, the Blue Jackets will likely not be shut out and could in fact give the Bruins a game at home. Atkinson has been completely hit or miss lately…here are his fantasy point totals in the past four games: four, 20, three and 19. The recent pattern suggests he is best left for GPP but the game flow suggests he is fine for cash. If not spending top dollar, it’s hard to find a player without downside so YOLO; Atkinson is playable everywhere.
Alec Martinez, $9,500 – Defending the Washington Capitals is no easy task but Alec Martinez will try his damnedest. Mitchell likes Martinez due to the reasonable price and the fact that he has scored two goals and dished out three assists in the past six games. Eric Karlsson is his true favorite at the position but that’s like saying Mike Trout is my favorite player at the outfield position on a given night in baseball. If you have the money, spending up on the elites makes sense, but Martinez is an excellent value with upside as evident by double-digit fantasy points in three of his last six games.
New Jersey Devils, $19,700 – One game on the slate possesses an over/under of 6.5, five have over/unders of 5.5, one 4.5 and one game even projects to be lower-scoring than that: Philadelphia/New Jersey opened with a 3.5 over/under! In my four days (lol) of writing hockey, I have never seen a projected total this low and the Devils are expected to win this tilt with a 55-percent probability. The odds-makers thoroughly believe the Philadelphia Flyers could score one goal (or even less). They certainly know more than I know so I am going to trust their judgment and roster the Devils goalies…who are priced as the third most expensive. This bargain feels too good to be true…almost like one had to sell their soul to the “devil” in exchange for the value.