Brent Burns is above and beyond the highest scoring defender in the league and he yet again warrants consideration versus the Coyotes with his team implied to score nearly three (2.9) goals. 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.
Brent Burns, Sharks, $17,500 – The last name “Burns” is kind of fitting because George Montgomery Burns is the evil billionaire you do not want to like and Brent Burns plays the position you do want to spend up for…but here we are. Spending up for a defender is sort of like spending up for a catcher I am told and yet Burns has proved to be such an advantage as of late that he actually has proven to be the outlier. Over the course of his last two games, Burns has produced a whopping 76 fantasy points and averaged 25.0 minutes per game (MPG). In fact, in terms of fantasy points per game (FPPG) for the season (20.29), Burns is averaging nearly 4.0 more per game than the second highest player at the position: Erik Karlsson (16.30). According to masseyratings.com, this game is tied for the highest projected total of the night (5.5 goals) and the Sharks have a 60-plus percent chance of winning. In other words, there should be plenty of time the evil genius Burns to take a healthy amount of shots, produce some blocks and also finish with a positive plus/minus. Spending up at defense is risky but Burns is a great way to get a leg up on the competition. Just roster him and then sit, back, relax and enjoy with your fingers pressed together like so:
Minnesota Wild Goalies, $16,500 – For some reason, the name “Wild” always makes me think of the “Wild and Crazy Guys” from Saturday Night Live back in the day. Not that I know the actual name of the goalie but the “Wild and Crazy” goalie is the play for a multitude of reasons. For one, the team is listed as the second most substantial favorites according to masseyratings and yet they are priced as the third most expensive goalies. Edmonton, who is priced $500 more, is listed as the heaviest favorite of the night and yet only slightly. Despite having the slight edge in projected win percentage, they are averaging 2.20 fantasy points less per game than the Wild and the Predators have lost two of their last three heading into Saturday. I know the best thing to come out of Minnesota had been the accents up to this point but the dominant performance their hockey teams’ goalies are going to put in tonight should change all that.
Joe Pavelski, Sharks, $15,400 – There are only four teams favored enough to warrant a 1.5 point spread and one of those teams is the sharks. If stacking one team on this slate, they seem like a solid option because they are amongst the most heavily favored and Arizona allows the fourth most goals against per game. Like actual sharks, this team senses blood in the water as the Coyotes have allowed at least three goals in all but two games this month. The first line on the Sharks is loaded with talent on both the defensive and offensive end so stacking Joe Pavelski with Burns makes a ton of sense. Similarly to baseball, stacking creates the most possible upside especially considering two different players can get an assist on the same play in hockey.
Jamie Benn, Stars, $14,600 – Guys with two first names are always viable and Jamie Benn is no exception tonight as he will lead the Stars’ top line and he is absolutely en fuego. Heading into this contest, Benn has managed at least 12 fantasy points in 11 of his last 12 games including six 24-plus fantasy point outings and three 30-plus fantasy point explosions over that span. So far this season, Benn ranks 12th in points, only slightly ahead of the aforementioned Pavelski who is tied for 13th, and yet he is priced $800 cheaper. In terms of value, he is the superior play of the two. If you are looking for one of the best plays of the night, roster this Stars stud and become the Benn-eficiary (I apologize for that horrendous pun already).
Anze Kopitar, Kings, $11,400 – To be quite honest, I have no idea how to pronounce this name but I do recognize $11,400 is a ridiculously cheap price to play for this skill set. On a per-dollar basis, Anze Kopitar ranks 26th amongst centers who cost at least $10,000 which does not sound overly impressive. However, rotoworld notes Kopitar has been red hot since the end of January so the overall sample size does not accurately portray his current value. It should be noted that prior to the Kings, there were the “Original Kings,” and Kopitar is just following in their footsteps. Okay fine, you got me, I just wanted to figure out a way to incorporate a Bernie Mac video into this tidbit. Anyways, Kopitar’s minutes have been on the rise lately and he will run with the first line so he is certainly worth a shot for a reasonable price.