Facing a team that has allowed the most goals per game (3.32), the Lightning’s team leader in points is a logical play as this is quite clearly one of his best opportunities to score (and score multiple times). Start Nikita Kucherov in this elite matchup. 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.
Anaheim Ducks Goalies – According to masseyratings, the Ducks are the only team on the slate projected to allow fewer than two goals to their opponent. In fact, the over/under of this game (4.5) is the lowest on the slate by a full goal. Even though the team is only projected as slight favorites to win the game, FantasyDraft recently adjusted the scoring to tone down the value of a win. Now, other categories such as saves and goals allowed carry more importance so this the team’s goalies can produce a solid fantasy outing regardless of whether they win or not. Since they are only listed as slight favorites, this probably deems them a better play for tournaments because they could certainly produce a GPP winning total if the team manages to win the game. In a weird fortuity, making the call to Aflac could save you money on disability or accident insurance sort of like how rostering this team’s goalies could save you from losing money as well. What is the mascot for both Aflac and the Anaheim hockey team? A duck. Coincidence? I think not.
Nikita Kucherov, Lightning – While I do not know much about hockey, I do understand basic numbers and statistics. One statistic that stands out here is the fact the Avalanche allow the most goals per game this season (3.32). Digging a little deeper, the team has allowed two-plus goals in all but one game this month, three-plus goals in all but two games and four-plus goals on six separate occasions. Essentially, their 2-1 win against the Hurricanes last time out clearly stands out as the outlier. Google defines the term “avalanche” as “a sudden arrival or occurrence of something overwhelming in quantities” and apparently that applies to shots aimed at goal versus the Avalanche’s collection of goalies. They clearly are overwhelmed by shots on goal at the NHL level so the team name is quite fitting. Meanwhile, Nikita Kucherov leads the team in both points and goals so clearly he possesses the best chance on the team to excel. Furthermore, Kucherov is averaging more minutes per game this month (20:56) than in any previous month so far this season and more time on the ice equals more time to potentially produce.
Victor Hedman, Lightning – How can you pass on a guy named “head man”? That sounds like the name of the protagonist from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” that did not make it through final edit. Anyways, Victor-y shall be yours (apologize for that pun) if you stack him with Kucherov because he is the team leader in assists and plenty of goals should be on the horizon for this Lightning team. If Kucherov is scoring them then the “head man” should be the prime candidate to be the guy feeding the beast. Stacking this team could lead to lightning in a bottle for your fantasy team. *Mic drop after that pun*
Taylor Hall, Devils – While the Avalanche have allowed the most goals per game, the pack as a whole is not that far behind them. The Islanders rank 22nd in goals allowed per game and they are only 0.39 goals per game behind the Avalanche. While Kyle Palmieri is a fine play and one you will want to look into because he leads the team in goals, he is not the prime target on the team. Therefore, spending up a bit in order to roster Taylor Hall is a smart alternative as he currently leads the team in points by a decent margin (37 for him, Palmieri second with 33). The Devil may prove to be a bit more contrarian than the aforementioned lightning but all the main pieces from both offenses can comfortably be fit into the same lineup. In cash, rostering both Hall and Palmieri along with the Lightning duo should help create a safe floor because both these offenses should be scoring plenty on Sunday night. A character in an Adam Sandler movie once said “Foosball” was the devil but she never said anything about rostering a devil in fantasy hockey. Consequently, she must be on board with it and you should be too.