Puck Picks: Aggressive and Affordable Stacks

The NHL has been lighting the lamp in epic numbers recently. Last week Flip Forsberg had two hat tricks and there were a multiple of nights with a multiple of hat tricks. In our $750 Power Play Tournament on Monday night the winner finished with 224.50 points, the highest score I can recall seeing this season. I have a risky proposition for daily players tonight and at the very least, it justifies entering a multiple of lineups to give it a try.

I am a big match ups guy and I have been aggressively stacking recently. Tonight is a great night to aggressively stack in a great match up while also taking advantage of the big time scoring trends and the benefits of the recent scoring changes.

The Dallas Stars have allowed 35 goals in their last nine games and that immediately has me looking at the Nashville Predators. The opportunity created by the match up tonight is that the Predators don’t have a star Fantasy player, but they do have a lot of affordable ones.

I love taking advantage of prime match ups and the Predators are in a great position to do a “Bargain Stack.” The strategy I am proposing is to stack two, three or even four affordable Predators and with the savings you can package almost any group of elite scorers with a Team G that you want.

There are some big time scorers playing tonight. Sidney Crosby ($16,200),Kris Letang ($14,500) and the white-hot Penguins, Alex Ovechkin ($19,000) , Tyler Seguin ($17,900) and Jamie Benn ($17,000) and then the Boston Bruins are lighting the lamp as well. Players like Patrice Bergeron ($14,800), Brad Marchand ($14,000), Loui Eriksson (11,100) and Matt Beleskey ($9,500).

Here are the affordable Predators to use for a Mini-Stack, Standard-Stack or a Super-Stack

Calle Jarnkrok Center: $6,400

Stats: 5 Goals – 1 Assist – 21 Shots on Goal = 13 Games Played

Viktor Arvidsson Wing: $6,400

Stats: 4 Goals – 2 Assists – 30 SOG = 13 GP

Mike Ribeiro Center: $7,500

Stats: 0 Goals – 12 Assists – 16 SOG = 13 GP

Craig Smith Wing: $8,500

Stats: 3 Goals – 5 Assists – 24 SOG = 13 GP

I don’t recommend stacking 5-6 players in one game, which is what you would have to do if you were to stack the Predators and roster Seguin and Benn. I don’t like the Stars match up against a Nashville team that has only allowed nine goals in their previous eight games and if you want to show some cajones you can spend $16,100 on the Nashville Predators Team G.

Here are some hot players to consider tonight.

 Scott Wilson Penguins: Wing – $6,100

Stats: 4 Goals – 12 SOG = 6 GP

The Capitals aren’t an easy draw and the Penguins are playing on back-to-back nights, but it isn’t a match up to run from either. The elite Penguin scorers are all viable options, especially Kris Letang, but if you want to save some salary Wilson is a very affordable risk.

Zack Smith Ottawa: Center $7,200

Stats: 4 Goals – 1 Assist – 14 SOG = 6 GP

It’s difficult not to like any player at that price, especially one that has four goals and an assist in his last five games. . There are a lot of affordable options out there and Smith is performing as well as any of them right now.

Jason Pominville Wild: Wing $9,500

Stats: 4 Goals – 5 Assists – 16 SOG = 7 GP

Pominville has a good stat line with a reasonable salary facing an Avalanche team that has allowed 21 goals in their previous six games.

Tyson Barrie Avalanche: Defenseman: $11,900

Stats: 3 Goals – 3 Assists – 17 SOG = 5 GP

He is a staple on the power play and putting up points consistently in a solid match up against the Wild tonight. The price isn’t a bargain, but it is a significant discount compared to other high-priced defenseman like Erik Karlsson ($16,700) and Kris Letang ($14,500).

Zach Bogosian Sabres: Defenseman $6,900

Stats: 3 Goals – 2 Assists – 10 SOG = 6 GP

That’s very good production at a bargain salary that will allow you to spend your dollars on the big ticket plays tonight. If you like Seguin and Benn versus the Predators, Bogosian will allow you to afford the expensive stack. The Oilers have allowed 23 goals in their previous eight games.

I have been aggressively stacking three, four, even five players recently and it is a winning strategy. I talked about an affordable but aggressive stack with the Predators, well here is a Super-Stack that is going to cost you. It is risky because if the game ends up being a hard fought defensive battle then you are a cellar dweller tonight, but you could be glad you did if it doesn’t, which looks more likely.

The Bruins are at home against the Calgary Flames, who have allowed 33 goals in their previous eight games. That’s a prime match up for a Bruins team that has led the NHL in scoring with 32 goals in their last nine games.

Super-Stack of the Night:

Patrice Bergeron Center: $14,800

Stats: 4 Goals-5 Assists – 36 SOG = 12 GP

Brad Marchand Wing: $14,000

Stats: 12 Goals – 4 Assists – 44 SOG = 14 GP

Loui Eriksson Wing: $11,100

Stats: 8 Goals – 1 Assist – 32 SOG = 14 GP

Matt Beleskey Wing: $9,500

Stats: 5 Goals – 3 Assists – 30 SOG = 14 GP

David Pastrnak Wing: $8,500

Stats: 3 Goals – 6 Assists – 34 SOG = 14 GP

Here are some high salary options that are still worth the price tag.

Alex Ovechkin Capitals: Wing $19,000

Is there ever a reason to not like Ovechkin?

Johnny Gaudreau Flames: Wing $15,100

He has 11 assists in his previous 10 games to go with three goals. The Bruins light the lamp a lot, but they have also allowed 26 goals in their previous nine games. If you want to go another direction a Mini-Stack of Gaudreau and Sean Monahan is a viable choice. You shouldn’t Super-Stack the Bruins and then start Gaudreau or Monahan ($12,100) who is also an intriguing start, but if you aren’t rostering a multiple of Bruins, Gaudreau is a must-start.

Team-G

With the reduction in points for saves and the addition of five points for a Win match ups have become crucial. You still want to look at who is going to perform well, but don’t sleep on Wins, it’s important.

The Bruins, the Capitals and the Wild are the three teams that Las Vegas considers the biggest favorites of the night and who am I too argue with the professionals. The Capitals ($17,600) and the Bruins ($16,900) are the two most costly Team G’s, but I struggle to recommend either one. The Bruins allow too many goals and the Capitals face a hot Penguins team.

New York Islanders $15,800 vs. Vancouver Canucks

It looks like Jaroslav Halak will get the start. He has won three of his last four road starts while allowing five goals in four games. The Canucks have averaged under three goals per game in their previous games as well. The Islanders Team G hit all the right spots to score tonight. Affordable price, good performance and a good chance to get that ever important Win.

Minnesota Wild $15,100 vs. Colorado Avalanche

Wins have become increasingly important with the recent scoring changes and the Wild are one of the biggest favorites at one of the more reasonable salaries. Affordably chasing Wins is a solid strategy and the Wild is your squad tonight.

Buffalo Sabres $14,200 vs. Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers have scored 14 goals in their last eight games and lost seven of their last eight games. The Sabres have lost three of their last four so the Win is a toss up here, but there is a good chance that this is a low scoring affair and that Robin Lehner performs well.

Winnipeg Jets $12,000 vs. Florida Panthers

The Jets are the cheapest Team G on the slate, but the Panthers have only scored 12 goals in seven games, making this game a toss up for the Win. If you are a risk taker and want to save some salary, the Jets are your boys and it isn’t exactly a hail mary. The Jets could score well tonight.

Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell has been playing Fantasy sports for over twenty years. He contributed to RotoWire.com in their early days before contributing as a writer and doing Fantasy sports Podcasts for Seamheads.com. Three seasons ago he brought his writing and his Fantasy sports Podcast to RotoExperts.com and the Fantasy Sports Television network and this past season he wrote a weekly Fantasy sports column for BaseballAmerica.com. He also writes about Minor League prospects for RotoExperts. Chris has no more access to the site than the typical user. Follow him at Twitter @CJMiitch73.

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