Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: March 22, 2016
Below I’ve got a discussion of the best matchups and potential stacks of the day followed by player rankings for Tuesday’s 10-game evening 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 an old chart that I’ll use to explain what you’re looking at.
First the colors. They’re on a graded scale from green (good) to red (bad) with yellow as the midpoint.
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.
Lines to Target
Marcus Johansson’s line on the road in Ottawa – Ottawa is a nice matchup as they allow the third most unblocked shot attempts per 60 and have average-ish goaltending. And they really lack depth, which a deep scoring team like Washington can exploit. Ottawa’s third line centered by Scott Gomez is a very weak possession line, and Johansson’s third line should get that matchup most of their shifts. Johansson plays on the top power play unit, and his wingers, Justin Williams and Jason Chimera, skate on the second power play unit. At even strength, the line skates with Dmitry Orlov who is also on the second PP unit. As has been the case with Caps all year, they’re generally better values on FD than DK.
Leon Draisaitl’s line on the road in Arizona – Arizona’s top six has some decent possession players, but their third line is below average in that regard. That third line has matched up with opposing second lines in recent home games, so Draisaitl’s line should get that matchup while Connor McDavid’s line has to deal with Martin Hanzal. Arizona often tries to cover up their third line with Oliver Ekman-Larsson, but the stud blue liner remains injured. Draisaitl and Taylor Hall play together at even strength and on the power play, where they’re joined by Andrej Sekera. All three are good values on both sites.
Claude Giroux’s line on the road in Columbus – Philly is my kryptonite, so it pains me to ever write them up, especially when they’re playing for the second night in a row as they are tonight. But Giroux’s line has been one of the best in the league lately with a league leading eight goals in their last ten games, including three in their last three games. They likely see Boone Jenner’s line, which is the preferable line for opposing skaters to match up with from Columbus’ top six. Giroux is joined at even strength and on the power play by Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn, with Shayne Gostisbehere being the D-man to own in Philly. Gostisbehere remains a ridiculous value on FD, but he’s also a decent value on DK where the Philly fowards are priced a bit better.
Victor Rask’s line home to Buffalo – Buffalo’s top six is actually a decent possession group (assuming Jack Eichel plays tonight), but their third line is mediocre. Rask’s line likely sees some of Eichel’s line and the third line, while Jordan Staal’s line likely draws Buffalo’s tougher top line. And if Eichel were to sit again tonight, Rask’s line would see a lot more of Buffalo’s “third” line which would act as their second in that event. Rask skates with Jeff Skinner and Phillip di Giuseppe, who both skate on the second power play unit while Rask skates on the top unit. They’ll be joined at even strength by Jaccob Slavin, who plays on the top power play unit with Rask. Everyone is a better value on FD with the exception of Skinner, but the other three are good enough values on DK to be played there as well.
Jeff Carter’s line on the road in Minnesota – Assuming Carter centers LA’s second line, he and his line mates are in play tonight. I say ‘assuming’ because toward the end of LA’s game last night he was skating with Anze Kopitar some on the top line. To add to the uncertainty, who knows who will join Carter on the second line if he does indeed center it. The best guess is that Dustin Brown and Kyle Clifford skate with him again, but LA’s lines have been a movable target of late. But that second line should have a good matchup against Minnesota’s third which consists of possession beast Nino Niederreiter and two bad possession players with Jason Pominville still injured. We probably get no update on LA’s lines since the played last night and are unlikely to have a morning skate. But I’ll probably throw Carter in a lineup or two just to have exposure. It would be sweet if Tyler Toffoli skated with him given Toffoli’s value on FD, but don’t hold your breath.
Artem Anisimov’s line home to Dallas – And when I say Artem Anisimov’s line, I mean his wingers, Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin. Chicago tends to match lines up evenly at home, which sucks because Dallas’ third line is the one to pick on. But that second line is far more likely to see some shifts against Dallas’ third than Jonathan Toews’ line. Kane and Panarin continue to be affordable on FD, so they’re an option there.
Here are positional rankings for tonight’s slate. Once again, the colors are on a graded scale from green (good) to red (bad) with yellow as the midpoint.
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. Please keep in mind that the projections and values in the chart below are based on matchups on the team level, not on an individual level. So if you see a name in the discussion section above or the rankings above and they have a good value grade here, then they’re a solid play.