Brett TalleyFantasy Hockey

Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: October, 13, 2016

Welcome back to the NHL and, more importantly, to NHL DFS! Christopher Morais and I will be here at The Fix all season long covering the biggest NHL DraftKings and FanDuel slates each week. Each NHL DFS post will highlight the best teams and lines to target along with player rankings for each position.

Normally the full post will cost $1 to access through our Front Office access, but today’s post is free to give you a preview of the kind of content we’ll be providing. So let’s get to it…

Game Breakdowns

Boston Bruins @ Columbus Blue Jackets

There are five teams tonight that are separated from the pack in terms of implied team goal totals in Vegas, and Columbus is one of those teams.

There will be instances in today’s post where I’ll draw on a team’s history from last year to guess at matchups in order to identify the best lines/players to target. But in this instance I won’t even get to that step as the value for Columbus is clearly with their top line centered by Brandon Dubinsky along with Boone Jenner and Cam Atkinson. That trio should remain together on the top power play unit where they’ll be joined by Seth Jones. Some combination of those four would work for a stack. For cash games, the prices on Dubinsky and Jenner are better than those of Atkinson and Jones, so one of those two or the mini-stack is the cash play. Jones’ price on FD is also nice enough to make him a cash option there.

Columbus is a slight favorite in this one, so Sergei Bobrovsky is worth a look as a cheaper option in net. He’s a decent value on both sites but especially on DK.

Montreal Canadiens @ Buffalo Sabres

We obviously don’t have reliable team data to go on at this point due to the turnover that takes place in the off-season and reshapes teams. But we can still look to individual player data and combine that data according to teams players now find themselves on. As an example, I took each of the probable top three lines from each team and averaged the Corsi For Percentage from last year of each linemate to get an idea about the strongest and weakest possession lines. As it turns out, the two weakest lines belong to the Buffalo Sabres, their second and third lines. And they’ll be even weaker tonight after top line center Jack Eichel got hurt in practice on Wednesday and is set to miss a few weeks.

With Eichel out tonight, there’s not much need to worry about matchups in this one, but I’ll still note that Buffalo had a tendency to get their top line on the ice against the opposition’s third line. That means Montreal’s top line has a good chance of seeing nothing but the second and third line of Buffalo. That top line consists of Max Pacioretty, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. All three should remain together on the top power play unit as well. Pacioretty is too pricey for cash use, but he can be used in a MTL1 stack. Galchenyuk and Gallagher are the cash plays with Gallagher being the better value of the two. Andrei Markov should join them on the top power play, and is a nice value on FD.

New York Islanders @ New York Rangers

Vegas has the Rangers tied for the highest implied goal total of the evening. My own little model disagrees with that somewhat, but Vegas cannot be ignored. There’s not a line to specifically target here, but the Rangers do have some nice values to consider. Jimmy Vesey is a decent value on both sites playing on the top line. Pavel Buchnevich is not in the player pool on FD, but he’s a nice value on DK as he should see top six and top power play minutes. And then Brandon Pirri is interesting on DK as he’s priced at the minimum there. He’s expected to center the fourth line but receive top power play work.

Anaheim Ducks @ Dallas Stars

Dallas is unsurprisingly tied with the Rangers for the highest implied goal total of the evening. The obvious guy to target here is Tyler Seguin. He should put plenty of pucks on net, and he’s not ridiculously priced. And were you to play Seguin, Patrick Eaves makes for an excellent candidate to pair with him as he should join Seguin on the top line and top power play while being an excellent value on both sites.

But there’s an argument to be made that you should look to Dallas’ second line tonight. Dallas had a tendency last year, especially late in the regular season, to allow their third and fourth lines to play against the opposition’s second and third lines while allowing Spezza’s line to get plenty of work against depth lines. Seguin was not in the lineup for those late regular season games, so perhaps Dallas won’t match their top line up with the opposition’s top line with this line configuration. But if they stick to last year’s pattern, Spezza’s line could be in a good spot against Anaheim’s weak depth lines.

Spezza plays on the top power play unit where he should be joined by John Klingberg, who is a nice value on FD. Spezza’s linemates, Jiri Hudler and Patrick Sharp, will likely play on the second power play unit. Like Klingberg, Hudler and Sharp are better values on FD, especially Hudler.

Player Rankings

Centers

  1. Tyler Seguin
  2. Mark Scheifele
  3. Brandon Dubinsky
  4. Alex Galchenyuk
  5. Jason Spezza
  6. Brandon Pirri
  7. Paul Stastny (FD only)
  8. Danton Heinen (DK only)

Defensemen

  1. Kris Letang
  2. Aaron Ekblad
  3. John Klingberg (FD only)
  4. Andrei Markov
  5. Seth Jones
  6. Cam Fowler
  7. Nick Leddy

Wingers

  1. Brendan Gallagher
  2. Boone Jenner
  3. Patrick Eaves
  4. Nikolaj Ehlers
  5. Patrick Sharp
  6. Cam Atkinson
  7. Jonathan Marchessault
  8. Nick Ritchie
  9. Jiri Hudler (FD only)
  10. Pavel Buchnevich (DK only)
  11. Jimmy Vesey

Goalies

  1. Michael Hutchinson
  2. Sergei Bobrovsky
  3. Henrik Lundqvist
  4. Cory Schneider
  5. Antti Niemi
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