Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: January 12, 2016
Below I’ve got a discussion of the best matchups and potential stacks of the day followed by player rankings for Tuesday’s eight-game slate of NHL contests around the industry. At the bottom of the post I’ve embedded my research chart for the day. Here is just a snippet of and old chart I’ll use to explain what you’re looking at.
First the colors. Purple/blue is amazeballs, green is great, yellow is good, orange is bad, red is awful and deep red is no effing way.
The first column that isn’t self-explanatory is the sixth one, the one that is titled ‘z’ to the right of salary. That is how far above or below average the player’s salary is compared to all other players in action today. ‘Proj.’ is a projection from my own Marcel-like projections. The ‘z’ next to the projection is how far above or below average the projection is compared to all other players in action today. And then ‘Value’ is the projection z-score minus the player’s salary z-score.
All shot attempt numbers discussed are at even strength, score-adjusted and weighted for recent performance unless otherwise noted.
And as always, make sure to check Twitter for any injury news, and check LeftWingLock for starting goalies and line combos.
Teams to Target
Islanders home to Blue Jackets
Columbus allows the sixth most shot attempts per 60 and has the second worst team percentage. You already knew they were a good matchup, but there are the numbers showing it. The one good thing they have going is a second line with Alexander Wennberg and Scott Hartnell that is a good possession unit. You’ll want to avoid Isles facing that line at even strength, but any other skaters are in play.
The Isles tend to match their lines up evenly with the opposition’s lines in home games, so it’s New York’s second line that should draw the tougher matchup. That means John Tavares is in play today. He can be stacked in tournaments with his line mates Anders Lee and Josh Bailey in tournaments, and Lee is the guy to mini-stack with Tavares as the pair plays together on the top power play unit. Joining them on the power play is defenseman Nick Leddy, who is an option to pair with Tavares alone, the mini-stack or the full line stack.
If you like other expensive players and want to fade Tavares, New York’s third line is a viable depth line that should see plenty of ice against Columbus depth lines. Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome are the wingers on that line and would make for the best mini-stack.
Coyotes home to Oilers
Edmonton allows the fourth most shots attempts per 60 and ranks 24th in team save percentage. As long as you can avoid skaters facing Edmonton’s top line, the Oilers are very exploitable. In recent home games, the Yotes have used their third line and top defensive pair against the opposition’s top line, so both of Arizona’s top six lines should avoid Edmonton’s top line and are worth considering today.
The top line is centered by Martin Hanzal who has a goal, an assist, six shots and a +3 rating in two games back from injury. He’s very underpriced on both sites (perhaps because of the injury), and his line should win the possession battle against Edmonton’s second line. Hanzal is joined by his right-winger, Anthony Duclair, on the top power play unit, and that would be the mini-stack if you like Hanzal. Left-winger Tobias Rieder could be stacked with them in tournaments.
Normally Hanzal’s line would have a good enough matchup and enough value potential to lock them in and move on from Arizona. But Arizona has been using Antoine Vermette‘s line against depth lines in recent home games, and Edmonton has some of the worst depth lines in the league. Vermette and right-winger Mikkel Boedker have been playing on the top power play recently, so top power play minutes and this sweet individual matchup could make them a better option than Hanzal’s line. Max Domi is on the left wing if you like the whole line as a stack.
No matter which forwards you choose, defenseman Oliver-Ekman Larsson is an option to stack with any of them. OEL has been on the ice for 86% of Arizona’s power play minutes in their last three games, so he should see ice time on the power play with each forward mentioned. He’s a particularly great value on Fanduel.
Wild home to Sabres
Somewhat like Edmonton, Buffalo’s top line is a good possession unit that you might like to avoid if picking skaters facing Buffalo. But past that the Sabres don’t provide tough matchups. Minnesota tends to match their top line up with the opposition’s top line in home games, so look to Minnesota’s second line to pick on the Sabres.
It’s the wingers on the second line who are the best options. Nino Niederreiter and Jasom Pominville play on the second line and stay together on the second power play unit, making them a nice option for a mini-stack. Their center, Mikael Granlund is an option to pair with them for a stack in tournaments. Defenseman Jared Spurgeon joins Nino and Pom on the second power play unit and is certainly an option to be paired with one or both of them. Spurgeon happens to be an insane value on Fanduel. You may have to play him there even if you don’t roster Minnesota forwards.
Jets home to Sharks
Assuming Alex Stalock is in net for the Sharks, Jets are an option tonight. The Sharks are the only team in action playing for the second night in a row, and the Sharks have only used the same goaltender in both halves of a back-to-back in two of seven opportunities this year. Considering Martin Jones started last night, there is a decent chance Stalock starts tonight. If it ends up being Jones, I would probably list the Tampa Bay Lightning here as my fourth team to target with Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Anton Stralman being the best plays there.
But, assuming it’s Stalock in net, look to Winnipeg’s top power play unit for Jets to roster.
Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler on Winnipeg’s top line and top power play unit probably make the most sense. It was Winnipeg’s habit earlier in the year to match their top line up with the opposition’s top line in home games, but they’ve deviated from that in recent home games, allowing the top line to see ice time against depth lines. That’s particularly good in this matchup because San Jose’s top line is a good possession unit you should try to avoid. There’s still some chance the top line sees some of San Jose’s top line or even that they see exclusively San Jose’s top line. But that may be a risk worth taking if Stalock is in net.
Mathieu Perreault won’t see any of San Jose’s top line playing on Winnipeg’s third line, but with his normal center, Mark Scheifele, injured, Perreault is slightly less attractive as a play. He’ll still see minutes with the top power play unit, and he’s a nice value, so don’t completely write him off. But he’ss best used if Stalock is in net and you want Jets exposure but don’t want to risk their top line drawing a bad matchup.
Playing on the power play with all forwards mentioned above is defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. If you roster any Winnipeg forwards mentioned here, Byfuglien is an option to be paired with them.
- John Tavares – DK: $7,700, FD: $8,400 – New York Islanders
- Bryan Little – DK: $5,600, FD: $6,300 – Winnipeg Jets (better value on DK)
- Martin Hanzal – DK: $4,200, FD: $4,800 – Arizona Coyotes
- Mathieu Perreault – DK: $4,200, FD: $5,100 – Winnipeg Jets
- Antoine Vermette – DK: $3,400, FD: $4,000 – Arizona Coyotes
- Mikael Granlund – DK: $4,200, FD: $5,500 – Minnesota Wild (better value on DK)
- Tyler Johnson – DK: $4,600, FD: $6,600 – Tampa Bay Lightning (better value on DK)
- Anders Lee – DK: $4,700, FD: $5,200 – New York Islanders
- Alexander Steen – DK: $6,800, FD: $7,200 – St. Louis Blues (better value on FD)
- Max Domi – DK: $4,900, FD: $5,300 – Arizona Coyotes (better value on FD)
- Nino Niederreiter – DK: $3,700, FD: $4,100 – Minnesota Wild
- Tobias Rieder – DK: $4,400, FD: $5,200 – Arizona Coyotes (better value on DK)
- Brock Nelson – DK: $4,600, FD: $5,500 – New York Islanders (better value on DK)
- Drew Stafford – DK: $4,700, FD: $5,700 – Winnipeg Jets (better value on DK)
- Blake Wheeler – DK: $6,900, FD: $6,400 – Winnipeg Jets (better value on FD)
- Nikita Kucherov – DK: $6,200, FD: $6,300 – Tampa Bay Lightning (better value on FD)
- Mikkel Boedker – DK: $5,000, FD: $6,100 – Arizona Coyotes (better value on DK)
- Jason Pominville – DK: $4,600, FD: $5,600 – Minnesota Wild
- Ryan Strome – DK: $3,900, FD: $4,400 – New York Islanders
- Josh Bailey – DK: $3,900, FD: $4,500 – New York Islanders
- Anthony Duclair – DK: $3,800, FD: $5,000 – Arizona Coyotes
- Dustin Byfuglien – DK: $6,300, FD: $6,300 – Winnipeg Jets
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson – DK: $5,700, FD: $5,100 – Arizona Coyotes (better value on FD)
- Jared Spurgeon – DK: $4,600, FD: $3,400 – Minnesota Wild (better value on FD)
- Nick Leddy – DK: $4,000, FD: $4,100 – New York Islanders
- Kevin Shattenkirk – DK: $6,400, FD: $5,400 – St. Louis Blues (better value on FD)
- Ryan Suter – DK: $6,000, FD: $4,300 – Minnesota Wild (better value on FD)
- Devan Dubnyk – DK: $7,800, FD: $8,300 – Minnesota Wild (better value on FD)
- Louis Domingue – DK: $6,500, FD: $6,700 – Arizona Coyotes
- Thomas Griess – DK: $7,800, FD: $8,400 – New York Islanders
- Connor Hellebuyck – DK: $7,200, FD: $6,900 – Winnipeg Jets (better value on FD)
Goalies with an asterisk next to their name are not expected to start tonight but haven’t been ruled out, so don’t count on them playing. Any players in bold have been confirmed as the starter for the day. And players with a line through their name will not be starting tonight. Make sure you always check LeftWingLock for starting goalie updates in case I am unable to update the list throughout the day.
You can download the research chart from this Google Sheet page here.