The NHL leader in goals stands out as the top play on tonight’s slate with his team favored in a game with a 6.5 goal over/under. Sometimes, the best players are worth spending up on and this is clearly one of those cases considering the Hurricanes have allowed a healthy 158 goals in 55 games this season. 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.
Ottawa Goalies, $15,400 – According to masseyratings, only two games possess over/unders of less than 5.5 goals: Kings/Avalanche and Senators/Devils. Of the teams favored in those games, the Senators are the only one with a healthy first string goalie as Jonathan Quick continues to sit with a groin issue. Although I could not point out Ottawa on a map, their goalies are a treasure chest of fantasy production on this slate. Despite being implied to allow the second fewest goals on the slate, they are priced as the 12th most expensive goalie team. Hell, the Islanders, Wild, Rangers, Lightning, Predators, Maple Leafs, Oilers, Kings and Penguins are all averaging more fantasy points per game (FPPG) than the Senators and yet they are priced more expensively. Sure senators are known to be largely unproductive but the same does not hold true for Ottawa’s goalies tonight; they should dominate especially on a per-dollar basis.
Sidney Crosby, Penguins, $17,600 – It took four days of writing hockey but finally the current best player in the NHL stands out as one to roster on Tuesday evening: Sidney Crosby. The name “Sidney” is often associated with greatness as “Sydney” is the name of one of the most gorgeous cities in Australia and it is also the first name of the first African-American actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor (Poitier). I’m sure there are countless other examples as well but basically Crosby was named appropriately and his team is favored in one of the projected highest scoring games of the slate. With a 6.5 goal over/under, the loaded Penguins offense is unsurprisingly expected to light up a Hurricanes team that allows the 21st most goals per game. There are many different breeds of penguin (including macaroni, yellow-eyed and rock hopper) but Crosby is certainly a king…now that is a penguin joke.
Phil Kessel, Penguins, $13,900 – While the aforementioned Crosby leads the team in both points (65) and goals (62), Phil Kessel ranks second on the team is assists (34) and third in points (55). Instead of rostering two incredibly expensive players at the same position on the same team (Evgeni Malkin), Kessel rates as the logical alternative to pair with Crosby and create the highest upside stack. In the month of February alone, Kessel has produced more points than anyone on the team not named Kris Letang or Crosby including a team-leading six goals and 21.4-percent shooting percentage (minimum three goals). In comparison to Malkin, his recent production suggests he is the vastly superior value so he should be started with confidence at just $1,500 above the average cost of a roster spot.
Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs, $15,400 – On Sunday, Auston Matthews scored his 28th goal of the season which catapulted him into a tie for third most goals in the league. The masseyratings website is only projected seven goals score in one game on this slate and the Maple Leafs are favored in it. As literally the only team expected to score around four goals, rostering potential goal scorers from the Maple Leafs feels like a must. Starting with the team’s leader in points (49) and goals seems like the proper place to start as Matthews actually leads the team in goals by four and only two players have scored more than 19 goals. In other words, their offense is a bit concentrated through a few scorers. Especially considering Mitch Marner has been hurt and may miss this game, one man stands out above the others as the likeliest of candidates to score. Matthews is a logical building block on this nine game slate.
Josh Leivo, Maple Leafs, $7,100 – With Marner injured and potentially set to miss tonight’s tilt against the Jets as well, Josh Leivo will continue to enjoy an extended role on the offense. At just $7,100, Leivo has scored at least eight fantasy points in four consecutive games with a total of 74 fantasy points (average of 18.5) during that span. Just look at his price compared to the others mentioned in this article and you can see just how fantastic of a value he is. Even beyond his price, the team is expected to score the most goals on the slate so the price becomes that much more valuable. The guy is red hot so all he needs to do is replicate the mojo he has produced lately and he will prove to be an absolutely elite value. Not only can he crush his own price tag but he allows all the expensive players to be safely fit into a lineup as well. Damn, it feels great to be a-leivo.