Brett TalleyFantasy HockeyFront Office

Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: January 7, 2016

Below I’ve got a discussion of the best matchups and potential stacks of the day followed by player rankings for Thursday’s seven-game slate of DraftKings contests. 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

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Arizona on the road in Calgary

As is always the case when the Flames are playing, you have to consider the opposing forwards that will avoid Calgary’s top D pair of Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie. Arizona has a viable third line, so you have two options when picking Yotes tonight.

My preferred option is Shane Doan. Doan plays on Brad Richardson‘s wing, but Richardson does not see power play time, so he’s not an ideal option. Richardson is a good value and a salary relief option, but you shouldn’t need much salary relief tonight. Doan does play on the power play, and he plays on the top unit. Doan, who has nine goals in his last six, is an excellent mini-stack option with blue liner Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who joins Doan on the power play.

The other option is to go with wingers Anthony Duclair and Tobias Rieder who play on the same line together. They do not play on the power play together as Rieder plays up on the top power play unit. If you prefer Rieder to Doan, OEL might be a better mini-stack partner with Rieder than Duclair.

On the other side of that game, the Flames don’t provide a ton of value, but their top line should see plenty of work against Arizona’s top line, which isn’t a great possession unit. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan are priced almost exactly right according to my model, though I’d prefer they have more value potential. But they’re a mini-stack option and could also be played with Brodie who joins them on the top power play unit.

Florida on the road in Ottawa

Ottawa ranks right up there with Colorado and Calgary in terms of shot attempts allowed per 60, so they’re a good matchup for skaters. You need to avoid their top line and D-man Erik Karlsson, who usually plays with the top line, as that’s a strong possession unit. They’ll likely match up with Florida’s top line, so the second and third lines for the Panthers are in play.

It’s not exactly clear which is the second and which is the third line, but all that matters is that they’re not the top line. The line I prefer is Vincent Trocheck‘s line with Reilly Smith and Jussi Jokinen on his wings. The whole line stays together on the power play, which makes them an option for a tournament stack. You could even include D-man Brian Campbell in that stack as he joins them on the second power play unit. But as far as mini-stacks go, I’d probably prefer to stack Smith with Trocheck because Smith tends to shoot more than Jokinen.

Winnipeg on the road in Dallas

The Stars have been hemorrhaging goals lately. In their last five games they’ve given up 22 goals, including six in each of their last two games. No team has allowed more goals in that span. They’re not going to continue giving up goals at this rate, but they’re only mid-pack in terms of goals allowed per game for the season, and they play at a pace that will always allow the other team opportunities to score.

Dallas’ top six is full of good possession players, but their depth lines are very exploitable. Dallas likes to match up its top six with the opposition’s top six at home, so Winnipeg’s third line could be in line for some good individual matchups. Since Mark Schiefele returned to the lineup, he has been centering that third line with Mathieu Perreault and Nikolaj Ehlers on his wings. Perreault does not join Scheifele on the power play, but Perrault plays up on the top power play, which makes him a nice option. He and Perreault make for a nice mini-stack. If you wanted to go in on a Jets stack, you could add in Ehlers as well as Dustin Byfuglien.

Player Rankings


  1. Vincent Trocheck – $4,000 – Florida Panthers
  2. Mathieu Perreault – $4,000 – Winnipeg Jets
  3. Jussi Jokinen – $4,600 – Florida Panthers
  4. Sean Monahan – $5,500 – Calgary Flames
  5. Brad Richardson – $2,900 – Arizona Coyotes
  6. Mark Scheifele – $5,100 – Winnipeg Jets
  7. Tyler Seguin – $8,500 – Dallas Stars


  1. Shane Doan – $4,100 – Arizona Coyotes
  2. Reilly Smith – $4,300 – Florida Panthers
  3. Alex Ovechkin – $8,600 – Washington Capitals
  4. Tobias Rieder  – $4,200 – Arizona Coyotes
  5. Johnny Gaudreau – $6,700 – Calgary Flames
  6. Jason Pominville – $4,700 – Minnesota Wild
  7. Anthony Duclair – $3,600 – Arizona Coyotes
  8. Nikolaj Ehlers – $3,400 – Winnipeg Jets
  9. Mike Hoffman – $5,900 – Ottawa Senators


  1. Oliver Ekman-Larsson – $5,600 – Arizona Coyotes
  2. T.J. Brodie – $4,800 – Calgary Flames
  3. Dustin Byfuglien – $6,200 – Winnipeg Jets
  4. Jared Spurgeon – $4,600 – Minnesota Wild
  5. Michael Stone – $4,000 – Arizona Coyotes
  6. Brian Campbell – $3,300 – Florida Panthers


  1. Devan Dubnyk – $7,800 – Minnesota Wild
  2. Antti Niemi* – $7,000 – Dallas Stars
  3. Jonathan Quick – $8,200 – Los Angeles Kings
  4. Louis Domingue – $6,300 – Arizona Coyotes (GPP only)
  5. James Reimer* – $6,400 – Toronto Maple Leafs (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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