Brett TalleyFantasy HockeyFront Office

Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: January 15, 2016

Below I’ve got a discussion of the best matchups and potential stacks of the day followed by player rankings for Friday’s six-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.

Game Breakdowns

[cointent_lockedcontent article_labels=”hockey”]

Boston at Buffalo

Both of these team’s best possession lines are their top lines, and they’ll likely match up against each other tonight, so both top lines have a tough battle ahead of them for possession. One side may win out, but the top lines are bad matchups for opposing skaters. Boston’s second line is also a good possession unit, so you’d need to look to Buffalo depth lines if picking Sabres. For the Bruins, anything beyond their top line is in play.

Buffalo doesn’t have useful depth lines, so Boston’s second and third lines are the options in this game. Boston’s second line is the play with Ryan Spooner and Loui Eriksson being the best mini-stack as they play together on the top power play unit as well. Matt Beleskey joins them on the line but plays on the second PP unit. Colin Miller and Torey Krug join the second line on the power play but not at even strength. Everyone mentioned other than Beleskey is a better value on FD than they are on DK, but they’re all still underpriced on DK.

Chicago at Toronto

This might shock you, but some Leafs are the best play in this one, if there’s a play at all. Toronto’s depth lines are exploitable, but only Chicago’s depth lines are likely to see ice with Toronto’s depth lines, and the Hawks don’t have usable depth lines. Plus, Chicago played last night, which hurts them a little more.

As for Leafs, you really just need to avoid those facing Chicago’s top line and top D pair, who skate together at even strength. Nazem Kadri‘s line has been matching up with the opposition’s top line at home, so Tyler Bozak and P.A. Parenteau should avoid Chicago’s tough quintet. Bozak and Parenteau stay together on the power play, and they could be paired with Dion Phaneuf who skates with them at even strength and on the power play. These Leafs are only priced for potential use on FD.

Vancouver at Carolina

The Sedins and Carolina’s top line are both good possession units, but they’re unlikely to match up tonight and shouldn’t cancel each other out. Carolina tends to use their top line against the opposition’s second line and their second line against the opposition’s first, so both the Sedins and Eric Staal‘s line are in play. But only the Staal line provides any kind of value.

Staal is not a value on FD, but he is a nice value on DK. He’s joined on the power play by his line mate, Elias Lindholm, who is a decent value on DK. Their other line mate, Kris Versteeg, is a really nice value but mainly on FD, and he plays on the second power play unit. Defeseman Justin Faulk joins Staal/Lindholm on the top power play unit and is also a better value on DK.

Vancouver’s depth lines are not very good, and Carolina has a viable third line, so Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask are also options. Rask is more likely to see more power play time and even PP1 time, but Skinner should see a little power play time as well.

Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay

Tampa tends to use their second line against the opposition’s top line and their third line against the opposition’s second, which allows them to get Steven Stamkos some ice against depth lines fairly frequently. That makes Stamkos and perhaps line mate Ondrej Palat worth considering, but Stamkos is nowhere near a value today. He’s perhaps a bit more price-accessible on DK, which is where Palat is a bit of a value, so they can be considered there.

As mentioned, Tampa’s second line will match up with Pittsburgh’s top line. Tampa’s second line is a good possssion unit, and they typically skate with Tampa’s top defensive pair, which is a pair you want to avoid. So does Tampa consider Crosby or Malkin Pittsburgh’s top line? The last time Pittsburgh was in Tampa, it was Malkin’s line who got the matchup against the Johnson line. However, that game was on December 23……2014. The Pens haven’t been in Tampa in over a year, so who knows if the matchups are the same.

But if you are considering Pens, those potential line matchups make sense to some extent, so it’s Crosby’s line that is worth a look. The problem is that there is little value on that line. If there is any, it’s David Perron on FD. with Andrei Vasilevskiy in net for the Bolts, concerns about value are mitigated somewhat, but you still certainly can’t call Pens underpriced.

Winnipeg at Minnesota

Typically Minnesota uses whatever line Zach Parise plays on against the opposition’s second line, and Minnesota’s other top six line faces the opposition’s top line. That matters today because Winnipeg’s second line is noticeably their weakest possession line. That means Parise and whoever he skates with are worth considering. As of this writing it looks like he’ll skate with Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville. He’s joined by Pominville on the top power play unit, so there’s your mini-stack. Parise is more price-accessible on DK, so play them there if you go that route. Ryan Suter joins them on the power play, but he’s not a great value on DK.

As for the Jets, Minnesota’s top six are all solid possession-wise, so you’d have to target their depth lines. Mathieu Perreault is a nice value on FD from Winnipeg’s third line, so he’s worth a look. He could be paired with fellow third-liner Nikolaj Ehlers or Dustin Byfuglien, who joins Perreault on the top power play unit. Keep in mind that the Jets are playing for the second night in a row.

Dallas at Anaheim

Here’s how the line matchups should go based on how Anaheim typically matches up at home: ANA2-DAL1, ANA3-DAL2 and ANA1-DAL3. Now, both team’s weakest lines is their third line, so that means Dallas’ second line and Anaheim’s top line should have the best matchups. From Dallas’ second line, Jason Spezza is the only real option. He’s only a value on FD, as is John Klingberg, who joins Spezza on the top power play unit, so they’re a mini-stack option there.

As for Anaheim’s top line, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Rickard Rakell are in play, and they all stay together on the top power play unit. Getzlaf and Rakell are better values on DK, but Perry is a better value on FD. They’re joined at even strength and on the power play by young defenseman Shea Theodore, who is an excellent option to stack with any Ducks you roster on either site.

Player Rankings



  1. Ryan Getzlaf – $5,600 – Anaheim Ducks
  2. Eric Staal – $4,900 – Carolina Hurricanes
  3. Ryan Spooner – $4,600 – Boston Bruins
  4. Rickard Rakell – $4,000 – Anaheim Ducks
  5. Mikael Granlund – $4,300 – Minnesota Wild
  6. Elias Lindholm – $4,000 – Carolina Hurricanes


  1. Loui Eriksson – $5,500 – Boston Bruins
  2. Corey Perry – $6,900 – Anaheim Ducks
  3. Matt Beleskey – $4,200 – Boston Bruins
  4. Zach Parise – $7,900 – Minnesota Wild
  5. Jason Pominville – $4,600 – Minnesota Wild
  6. Jeff Skinner – $4,600 – Carolina Hurricanes
  7. Kris Versteeg – $4,100 – Carolina Hurricanes
  8. Ondrej Palat – $3,900 – Tampa Bay Lightning


  1. Torey Krug – $5,900 – Boston Bruins
  2. Kris Letang – $6,000 – Pittsburgh Penguins
  3. Justin Faulk – $6,400 – Carolina Hurricanes
  4. Shea Theodore – $2,700 – Anaheim Ducks
  5. Colin Miller – $3,400 – Boston Bruins
  6. Ryan Suter – $6,100 – Minnesota Wild



  1. Ryan Spooner – $5,500 – Boston Bruins
  2. Jason Spezza – $5,500 – Dallas Stars
  3. Tyler Bozak – $4,400 – Toronto Maple Leafs
  4. Mathieu Perreault – 4,800 – Winnipeg Jets
  5. Ryan Getzlaf – $7,100 – Anaheim Ducks
  6. Victor Rask – $5,300 – Carolina Hurricanes

Left Wing

  1. Artemi Panarin – $6,000 – Chicago Blackhawks
  2. Matt Beleskey – $5,500 – Boston Bruins
  3. Jeff Skinner – $5,200 – Carolina Hurricanes
  4. Kris Versteeg – $4,000 – Carolina Hurricanes
  5. Nikolaj Ehlers – $3,900 – Winnipeg Jets
  6. Rickard Rakell – $5,300 – Anaheim Ducks

Right Wing

  1. Loui Eriksson – $4,700 – Boston Bruins
  2. Corey Perry – $7,000 – Anaheim Ducks
  3. P.A. Parenteau – $3,800 – Toronto Maple Leafs
  4. Jason Pominville – $5,400 – Minnesota Wild
  5. Elias Lindholm – $4,400 – Carolina Hurricanes
  6. David Perron – $3,900 – Pittsburgh Penguins


  1. Torey Krug – $5,400 – Boston Bruins
  2. Ryan Suter – $4,500 – Minnesota Wild
  3. Colin Miller – $3,200 – Boston Bruins
  4. Shea Theodore – $3,100 – Anaheim Ducks
  5. John Klingberg – $5,400 – Dallas Stars
  6. Dustin Byfuglien – $6,000 – Winnipeg Jets



  1. Scott Darling* – $7,400 – Chicago Blackhawks
  2. Devan Dubnyk – $7,800 – Minnesota Wild
  3. Jonas Gustavsson – $6,800 – Boston Bruins
  4. James Reimer – $6,600 – Toronto Maple Leafs (GPP only)


  1. Devan Dubnyk – $8,100 – Minnesota Wild
  2. Andrei Vasilevskiy- $7,400 – Tampa Bay Lightning
  3. Jonas Gustavsson – $6,800 – Boston Bruins
  4. Scott Darling* – $8,200 – Chicago Blackhawks
  5. Cam Ward – $6,900 – Carolina Hurricanes (GPP only)

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.

Research Chart

You can download the research chart from this Google Sheet page here.


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