Brett TalleyFantasy HockeyFront Office

Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: November 14, 2015

Below I’ve got a discussion of the best matchups and potential stacks of the day followed by player rankings for Saturday’s 12-game evening slate of DraftKings contests starting at 7:00 P.M. ET. At the bottom of the post I’ve embedded my research chart for the day. Here is just a snippet of an old chart I’ll use to explain what you’re looking at.

10-12 NHL DFS

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 seventh 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’s rest-of-season projections, which I have cut down to a per-game basis and adjusted for matchup. 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.

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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There are five really good offensive teams in action tonight, but only one of them has a very good matchup. The Montreal Canadiens rank fifth in the league in shot attempts (even strength, score adjusted, as are all shot attempt numbers discussed herein) and are tied for first in goals per game. They’ll have the pleasure of facing the Colorado Avalanche who allow more shots against per 60 than any other team in the league. This is a mismatch of the highest order. Load me up on the Habs top line tonight, particularly Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher. Feel free to add Max Pacioretty to that pair in GPPs. And Andrei Markov is an option to be paired with the mini-stack of Plekanec/Gallagher or the whole line in tournaments.

The other really good offensive teams playing tonight (at least from a possession perspective) are Dallas, Los Angeles, Nashville and St. Louis. The Kings are the only one of those teams with an above average matchup, and their matchup is only slightly above average against Edmonton. The prices on Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli are plenty accessible, and it’s hard to ague against that pair. It’s not my favorite play of the night, but they’ve been excellent so far this season.

Moving on to the non-great offensive teams with good matchups tonight, let’s start with the Carolina Hurricanes, who take an above average number of shot attempts per game. They’ll face the Flyers who have allowed the fourth most shot attempts per 60 and sixth most goals this season. The three guys I like most from Carolina are Eric Staal, Kris Versteeg and Justin Faulk. Staal and Versteeg play on different lines, but they do play together on the power play along with Faulk. For that reason I could see stacking all three, but a mini-stack with one of the forwards and Faulk probably makes more sense.

Next up, the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo will host the Sharks who played in Detroit last night. Assuming San Jose starts Alex Stalock on the second half of a back-to-back, the Sabres could be a nice play. The values that stick out there are Ryan O’Reilly, Tyler Ennis and Brian Gionta. O’Reilly and Gionta play on the same line but split up on the power play, while O’Reilly and Ennis join up on the top power play unit but aren’t on the same line. For that reason, this could be similar to Carolina where you just roster one forward from the top PP unit along with a defenseman. In that case, that defenseman should be Cody Franson.

We’ve also go a similar situation with the Canucks who have a nice matchup against Toronto. I like the value a lot on Radim Vrbata and a little on Daniel Sedin, but Vrbata is down on the second line at the moment. They do pair up for the power play, but I don’t like stacking guys who aren’t on the same line. For that reason, I would probably lean toward stacking Vrbata with Alexander Edler, who joins Vrbata on the top power play.

And finally, I can’t help but like Columbus against Arizona a bit. Columbus played last night, but Arizona is an above average matchup thanks to their bad goaltending. Both of Columbus’ top two lines stand out to me as values, but I want to roster the one that will avoid Arizona’s top D pair. In last night’s game at home, the Jackets used the Foligno/Hartnell/Saad line primarily against Pittsburgh’s top line and top D pair. Ryan Johanson and Boone Jenner appeal to me more as a result. They play on the power play together as well and are joined by Jack Johnson and David Savard on the power play. Savard is a bit cheaper, but both he and Johnson would make a nice addition to that mini-stack.

Player Rankings


  1. Tomas Plekanec – $6,200 – Montreal Canadiens
  2. Eric Staal – $5,500 – Carolina Hurricanes
  3. Boone Jenner – $4,000 – Columbus Blue Jackets
  4. Ryan Johansen – $5,400 – Columbus Blue Jackets
  5. Joe Pavelski – $7,400 – San Jose Sharks
  6. Jeff Carter – $6,000 – Los Angeles Kings


  1. Brendan Gallagher (RW) – $5,800 – Montreal Canadiens
  2. Radim Vrbata (RW) – $5,800 – Vancouver Canucks
  3. Daniel Sedin (LW) – $6,500 – Vancouver Canucks
  4. Ryan O’Reilly (LW) – $5,000 – Buffalo Sabres
  5. Brian Gionta (RW) – $3,600 – Buffalo Sabres
  6. Scott Hartnell (LW) – $5,400 – Columbus Blue Jackets
  7. Nick Foligno (LW) – $5,200 – Columbus Blue Jackets
  8. Kris Versteeg (RW) – $4,100 – Carolina Hurricanes
  9. Max Pacioretty (LW) – $8,000 – Montreal Canadiens


  1. Brent Burns – $6,900 – San Jose Sharks
  2. Andrei Markov – $5,200 – Montreal Canadiens
  3. Justin Faulk – $5,700 – Carolina Hurricanes
  4. Alexander Edler – $4,800 – Vancouver Canucks
  5. David Savard – $3,500 – Columbus Blue Jackets
  6. Alec Martinez – $3,200 – Los Angeles Kings


  1. Ben Bishop – $7,600 – Tampa Bay Lightning
  2. Jeff Zatkoff – $7,100 – Pittsburgh Penguins
  3. Reto Berra – $6,700 – Colorado Rockies (GPP only)
  4. Steve Mason – $6,700 – Philadelphia Flyers (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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