Despite playing on the second line, Brandon Saad is a great play tonight as his team is implied to score the most points on the slate and he has topped double-digit fantasy points in each of the last two games. Between his team expected to fare quite well and the fact he is currently en fuego, Saad belongs in all DFS lineups. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NHL contests.
Note: Ricky is a novice when it comes to hockey and is only covering the subject because it is the NBA All-Star Break. This article is designed to highlight some of his favorite plays but he is in no way, shape or form a hockey expert. Please enjoy his comedic relief while enjoying some of FantasyDraft’s hockey offerings during this tumultuous lull in professional basketball.
Carolina Team Goalies, $16,600 – It was James Taylor who once sang “I’m gone to Carolina in my mind” and that statement applies to how one should feel about the goalie position tonight. According to masseyratings.com, every team on the slate is implied to score two or more goals other than the Avalanche. In other words, Carolina’s team goalies are expected to allow the fewest goals on the slate and they also have the highest probability for a win (76-percent). If playing the percentages, the Carolina goalies clearly stand out as the play at the position. Obviously, allowing fewer goals is a positive and FantasyDraft also awards five points for a goalie win. Since the team has a solid chance to allow a miniscule amount of goals and compete for a victory, why not spend up on them (especially considering they are not even the most expensive play at the position)?
Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche, $12,000 – Hopefully Nathan MacKinnon is more effective than the NFL’s Jerick McKinnon who averaged a measly 3.4 yards per carry (YPC) this season and scored just four total touchdowns. In fact, I would prefer Nathan play more like Kate who is a fantastic actress with a killer Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg impersonation.
Anyways, the hockey player MacKinnon is a solid contrarian play tonight if not rostering the Carolina goalies because he is priced way too cheaply for his production this season. Despite the difficult matchup, MacKinnon is averaging 13.25 fantasy points per game (FPPG) which is more than the likes of Rickard Rakell, Aleksander Barkov and Ryan Getzlaf who are all priced more expensively. In baseball, it sometimes makes sense to play one hitter against the pitcher you are facing simply because that hitter is the likeliest one to do any sort of damage; it is a hedge of sorts. If attempting to be different, fading the Carolina goalies and rostering the red hot McKinnon, who has scored eight-plus fantasy points in 11 of his last 13 games, certainly makes sense. Even assuming you do not want to fade the goalies, MacKinnon is a fine start as a price point play even alongside them.
Brandon Saad, Blue Jackets, $11,600 – The top stack of the night quite clearly is the Blue Jackets who are favored in the projected highest scoring game of the night according to Vegas (6.0 point over/under). Admittedly, I know very little about hockey but I do know that focusing on the highest scoring games of the evening in any daily fantasy sport is typically a solid strategy. I am told Brandon Saad comes off the second line but certainly seems like a cheap price to get a share of the Blue Jackets offense…and one that does not cost nearly as much as the first line. Saad has attempted at least two shots in five of his last six games and is coming off back-to-back double-digit fantasy point outings. Something can be “Saad” for those sort of numbers; okay, I already apologize for that terrible pun. Still, this does not discredit the fact the second unit/line could be the way to go in order to differentiate from the pack this week and Saad should be the one leading the way.
Seth Jones, Blue Jackets, $11,300 – Seth Jones? Who? Seth Jonesss, Jonessss. With this game expected to be high scoring, Jones should have a chance to block a healthy amount of shots and it does not hurt that his team is favored either. Apparently, plus/minus is a category in hockey so a player on the winning team is more likely to produce a favorable total…now that’s some deductive reasoning! According to rotoworld, Jones matched his career-high in terms of goals in the last game and now is well on pace to reach the 40-point “milestone” before the end of the year. Most importantly, he is rolling and finds himself in an elite spot with his team projected to score the most goals tonight. One of the songs from Space Jam was entitled “Basketball Jones” but they’ll have to make a remix called “Hockey Jones” after Seth goes nuts tonight.
Jordan Staal, Hurricanes, $10,300 – The word “stall” is defined as “stop or cause to stop making progress” on Google’s dictionary so the name is not fitting whatsoever for a player who should put the Hurricanes offense in motion tonight. In order to fit some of the higher priced players, a concession will need to be made at some point in the form of a salary punt. Although Jordan Staal is not quite a true punt, he is certainly listed at a reasonable price for his skill set. He has not cracked 20 mins since Jan. 21 but he has scored 14-plus fantasy points in three of his last four games and has scored eight-plus in seven of his last eight games. As noted in the goalie tidbit, the Hurricanes are the largest favorite on the slate (-235) and the only team to warrant being listed as 1.5 point favorites by Vegas instead of 0.5. If they are going to win, they are going to need to score and Staal ranks fourth on the team in both goals scored and points. At this bargain price tag, Staal is a financially responsible way to get a share of the heaviest favorite of the night.