Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: March 21st

Below I’ve got a discussion of the best matchups and potential stacks of the day followed by cash game rankings for tonight’s 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 the chart I’ll use to explain what you’re looking at.

NHL DFS ex.

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 fifth 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. ‘Pts/Gm’ is a projection derived from my own Marcel-like projection system. 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 ‘zDIFF’ is the projection z-score minus the player’s salary z-score. The zDIFF column is really what we’re looking at.

Make sure to check Twitter for any injury news and line changes, and check Daily Faceoff for starting goalies.

Teams to Target

The best matchup of the day on paper probably belongs to Nashville hosting Buffalo, who is playing for the second day in a row. Matt Hackett should be in net for the Sabres as opposed to the rejuvinated Anders Lindback. The biggest problem with the Preds is that there lines are a mess. James Neal and Colin Wilson are out, so they’ve totally jumbles the lines. Of the five Preds I’d consider using, at least one of them is on all four lines. The only two that are together are Mike Fisher ($4,300, C) and Craig Smith ($4,900, C), so that’s the only pair I’m using. Shea Weber ($6,400, D) is an option on the blue line.

The next best matchup belongs to the red-hot Ottawa Senators who will be hosting the Maple Leafs. The second line centered by Kyle Turris ($6,100, C) had a big night on Thursday, so they’ve seen their prices increase. As a result, I don’t see the value in them. I’d lean toward the first line pair of Mika Zibanejad ($3,800, C) and Bobby Ryan. I like Erik Karlsson ($8,500, D) in this matchup, but I have a hard time paying that price. If you’re looking for a cheap option, Patrick Wiercioch ($3,300, D) plays with the Turris line on the power play and Cody Ceci ($3,400, D) plays with Zibanejad/Ryan.

I’m also going back to the Pittsburgh well again tonight after my Stars kept them in check on Thursday night. The Pens are in Arizona facing the fantasy-friendly Coyotes. With Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist not making the road trip, the Sidney Crosby ($9,000, C) line is really the only option. You could go with Brandon Sutter ($3,900, C) and Blake Comeau ($3,800, W) in a GPP, but the first line is probably preferable. Of Crosby’s wingers, I prefer Chris Kunitz ($4,400, W) to David Perron ($4,800, W) but both are options. Kris Letang ($5,800, D) is an option on the blue line.

After those three top matchups, the next few teams that show up in my  matchup stat are Philadelphia, New Jersey, Montreal and Chicago. With Philly and New Jersey, I just can’t. I swore off Philly on Thursday and I can’t go back. Plus, the value on Giroux/Voracek isn’t great tonight. I could see Wayne Simmonds ($5,300, W) or Mark Streit ($4,300, D) in a stray spot or two, but that’s it. New Jersey played last night and Mike Cammaleri may be out again with an illness, so there’s nothing too enticing there.

As for Montreal and Chicago, I just don’t quite see the value. I think Montreal will get Max Pacioretty‘s line away from the Joe Thornton line plenty, but I just don’t like the prices enough. And the Toews/Hossa/Sharp line is about the only threatening line Chicago has right now, but again the prices just aren’t quite good enough for me.

There are a few other pairs and players I like that are listed in the ranks below.

Player Rankings

Mini-Stacks (cash games)

  1. Mike Fisher/Craig Smith – Nashville Predators
  2. Mika Zibanejad/Bobby Ryan – Ottawa Senators
  3. Sidney Crosby/Chris Kunitz – Pittsburgh Penguins
  4. John Tavares/Josh Bailey – New York Islanders
  5. John Tavares/Kyle Okposo – New York Islanders

Mini-Stacks (GPP)

  1. Mika Zibanejad/Bobby Ryan – Ottawa Senators
  2. Mike Fisher/Craig Smith – Nashville Predators
  3. Sidney Crosby/Chris Kunitz – Pittsburgh Penguins
  4. John Tavares/Kyle Okposo – New York Islanders
  5. Cody Eakin/Tyler Seguin – Dallas Stars
  6. Derek Stepan/Rick Nash – New York Rangers

Defense

  1. Travis Hamonic – $4,100 – New York Islanders
  2. Mark Streit – $4,300 – Philadelphia Flyers
  3. Johnny Boychuk – $4,900 – New York Islanders
  4. Kris Letang – $5,800 – Pittsburgh Penguins
  5. Shea Weber – $6,400 – Nashville Predators
  6. P.K. Subban – $6,400 – Montreal Canadiens
  7. Patrick Wiercioch – $3,300 – Ottawa Senators

Goalies (cash games)

  1. Marc-Andre Fleury – $8,800 – Pittsburgh Penguins
  2. Andrew Hammond – $8,900 – Ottawa Senators
  3. Kari Lehtonen – $7,600 – Dallas Stars
  4. Cory Schneider – $8,300 – New Jersey Devils

Goalies (GPP)

  1. Ben Scrivens – $6,800 – Edmonton Oilers
  2. Marc-Andre Fleury – $8,800 – Pittsburgh Penguins
  3. Kari Lehtonen – $7,600 – Dallas Stars
  4. Cory Schneider – $8,300 – New Jersey Devils

Goalies with an asterisk next to their name are second on their team’s depth chart, 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 Daily Faceoff 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.

Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: Picking on Bad Possession Players on Good Teams

When trying to identify the best matchups as we build daily fantasy hockey lineups, we generally focus on the best team matchups. We tend to pick on teams like Buffalo, Edmonton or Toronto because a large majority of the players on those teams are below average possession players. That’s obviously a good strategy, but we can miss out on some good matchups when we immediately players that will be facing teams that are a bad matchup like Nashville or Boston. That’s because most teams don’t have above average possession players from top to bottom. Some do, like the Kings, but most don’t and can provide us with sneaky matchup plays that most daily players will ignore. That makes guys with a bad team matchup but a good individual matchup good targets in large tournaments. Good matchup, low ownership. [Read more…]

2014-15 Fantasy Hockey: Week 21 Waiver Wire

We’re in the final stretch of the season. With only two weeks left before the playoffs, fantasy owners are looking for players who can help carry their team into the playoffs. The waiver wire becomes more and more important this time of year, and finding players with good fantasy value from now until the end of the season becomes even harder. Let’s take a look at which players you should be targeting on the waiver wire this week.

Mark Stone | Ottawa Senators | Yahoo! Ownership—15%

For some reason fantasy owners have forgotten about Stone. The 22-year-old has been exceptionally good since month of January—scoring 26 points (8G, 18A) in 28 games. The sixth round pick in 2010 is skating on the second line with Kyle Turris and Milan Michalek and should continue to provide excellent value for fantasy owners who need a touch of scoring down the stretch. Add him if you still have the chance.

Who I’d drop for him: Matt Moulson (30%), Troy Brouwer (25%), Carl Hagelin (23%) [Read more…]

Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: March 7th

This post covers the nine game slate of NHL contests on DraftKings starting at 7:00 P.M. EST.

Below I’ve got a discussion of the best matchups and potential stacks of the day followed by cash game rankings for tonight’s DraftKings contests. At the bottom of the post I’ve embedded my research chart for the day. Here is just a snippet of the chart I’ll use to explain what you’re looking at.

NHL DFS ex.

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 fifth 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. ‘Pts/Gm’ is a projection derived from my own Marcel-like projection system. 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 ‘zDIFF’ is the projection z-score minus the player’s salary z-score. The zDIFF column is really what we’re looking at.

Make sure to check Twitter for any injury news and line changes, and check Daily Faceoff for starting goalies.

Teams to Target

The best matchups of the day easily belong to Washington hosting Buffalo (who is playing for the second day in a row) and Montreal visiting Arizona.

If Alex Ovechkin ($9,300, W) is back in the lineup tonight, I like him with Nicklas Backstrom ($5,400, C) in both GPP and cash, high ownership percentages be damned. If Ovi sits again, Backstrom and Marcus Johansson ($3,700, C) will work for cash games. If you’re trying to be contrarion but still stick with the matchup, I’d look to the third line combo of Eric Fehr ($3,900, W) and Joel Ward ($3,700, W) for GPPs. On the blue line, Mike Green ($4,500, D) is an option for cash games and also in GPP if you use Fehr/Ward.

From the Canadiens, I prefer their second line tonight. For one, the second line has a better matchup than the first because they’re likely to avoid Oliver Ekman-Larsson. But the first line is also a little weak with Dale Weise ($2,600, W) playing up there. David Desharnais ($4,500, C) is alright, but he and Weise aren’t ideal line mates for Max Pacioretty ($8,400, W). So give me the second line of Tomas Plekanec ($5,000, C), Brendan Gallagher ($5,400, W) and Alex Galchenyuk ($4,100, C). You can use the entire line together in a cash game as well as a mini-stack of Plekanec and either winger. In a GPP I prefer Plekanec/Gallagher. If you use the whole line together in a cash game, I’d look at P.K. Subban ($7,000, D) to give you good exposure to both power play units. If you go with Plekanec/Gallagher in GPPs, you can pair them with Jeff Petry ($2,800, D).

The next matchups I’d pick on would be Tampa Bay hosting Dallas and the Islanders down in Florida facing a Panthers team with Dan Ellis likely in net.

There was a time this season when Florida’s top D pair of Aaron Ekblad and Brian Campbell was a possession monster and a matchup to avoid. But since February started, they’ve been below average from a possession perspective. In their last game against Dallas, they were -15 and -16 in Corsi +/- at even strength. That might have been why the Panthers primarily used their “second” D pair against Dallas’ stout top line. Of course, the second D pair was a combined -24 Corsi at even strength. For that reason, I like the Isles’ stout top line pair of John Tavares ($8,800, C) and Anders Lee ($5,000, C) in both cash games in GPPs. Nick Leddy ($3,800, D) is a good option to pair with them in GPPs.

Despite the good matchup for Tampa, I think they’re only a GPP play. Dallas has been a damn good possession team over the last five-ish weeks. At even strength, they rank fourth in Corsi for percentage in that time frame. If you’ve read my NHL posts this year, you know I liked to pick on Dallas’ D pair of Jyrki Jokipakka and Trevor Daley who were frequently matching up against the opposition’s second line. But Daley is injured and Jokipakka is now playing on the third pair with Patrik Nemeth. I wouldn’t mind trying to pick on that pair, and Tampa is one of the few teams in the league with a third line good enough to consider using in the right matchup. That makes Valtteri Filppula ($4,000, C) and Cedric Paquette ($2,900, C) a sneaky GPP play if you spend big elsewhere.

Aside from Daley/Jokipakka, Dallas’ other D pairs have been playing very well. Their second pair of Jordie Benn and Jason Demers have been absolute beasts possession-wise since February started. Among the 192 defenseman with at least 100 minutes in that time frame, Benn and Demers rank first and third in Corsi for percentage at even strength, respectively. Dallas’ goaltending is so bad that’s it’s hard to rule out any talented players facing them, but I’m actually scared enough of Benn/Demers to avoid the Tyler Johnson line tonight.

The top D pair of Alex Goligoski and John Klingberg has been pretty good from a possession standpoint as well and against tougher competition than Benn/Demers have faced. That D pair plus Dallas’ top forward line were all +15 or better in Corsi +/- at even strength in their last outing against Florida. That quintet figures to see a lot of the Steven Stamkos line, so I’ll have a hard time putting that line in a lineup as well.

I didn’t know it when I started discussing Tampa, but I really don’t like them tonight outside of Filppula/Paquette as salary relief in a GPP. Sorry it took me so many words to figure that out.

Speaking of Dallas’ top line, Jason Spezza ($5,600, C) was +19 in Corsi +/- at even strength in their last game and Jamie Benn ($6,700, W) was +15. Unfortunately for people like me who had a lot of exposure to them, they failed to find the back of the net. However, their failure to score has provided us with another opportunity to roster them because their salaries fell significantly today. On Thursday the pair would have cost you a combined $14,800 but today they’ll only run you $12,300. It may not have shown up on the score sheet, but that pair was dominant together on Thursday and their big price drop is not warranted. I like John Klingberg ($3,800, D) with them in GPPs.

I’m running a little long on word count here, so let me quickly say that I also like the matchup for the Blues in Toronto. Specifically, I think the Leafs are weak on defense down the right side, so I like some center-left winger combos for the Blues. In GPPs I like the upside of David Backes ($5,700, C) and Alex Steen ($5,400, W). Alex Pietrangelo ($5,400, D) can be used along with them. And in cash games I like the value of Jori Lehtera ($2,800, C) and Jaden Schwartz ($5,100, W). Pietrangelo also makes sense with them in cash games to get exposure to both power play units.

Player Rankings

Center/Winger Mini-Stacks (Cash)

  1. Tomas Plekanec/Alex Galchenyuk – Montreal Canadiens
  2. Nicklas Backstrom/Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals
  3. Nicklas Backstrom/Marcus Johansson – Washington Capitals
  4. Tomas Plekanec/Brendan Gallagher – Montreal Canadiens
  5. John Tavares/Anders Lee – New York Islanders
  6. Jori Lehtera/Jaden Schwartz – St. Louis Blues

Center/Winger Mini-Stacks (GPP)

  1. Nicklas Backstrom/Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals
  2. John Tavares/Anders Lee – New York Islanders
  3. Jason Spezza/Jamie Benn – Dallas Stars
  4. David Backes/Alex Steen – St. Louis Blues
  5. Tomas Plekanec/Brendan Gallagher – Montreal Canadiens
  6. Tyler Johnson/Ondrej Palat – Tampa Bay Lightning

Defense

  1. John Klingberg – $3,800 – Dallas Stars
  2. Alexander Edler – $4,100 – Vancouver Canucks
  3. Nick Holden – $3,000 – Colorado Avalanche
  4. Alex Pietrangelo – $5,400 – St. Louis Blues
  5. Mike Green – $4,500 – Washington Capitals
  6. Jeff Petry – $2,800 – Montreal Canadiens
  7. Nick Leddy – $3,800 – New York Islanders

Goalie

Goalies with an asterisk next to their name are second on their team’s depth chart, 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 Daily Faceoff for starting goalie updates in case I am unable to update the list throughout the day.

  1. Brian Elliott – $8,000 – St. Louis Blues
  2. Carey Price – $9,500 – Montreal Canadiens
  3. Michal Neuvirth* – $7,900 – New York Islanders
  4. Andrei Vasilevskiy* – $6,800 – Tampa Bay Lightning
  5. Michael Hutchinson* – $7,100 – Winnipeg Jets
  6. Semyon Varlamov – $8,200 – Colorado Avalanche

Research Chart

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

2014-15 Fantasy Hockey: Trade Deadline Coverage

Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

 Christopher Morais

It’s that time of year again folks. The trade deadline is here and many NHL teams are still looking to improve their teams for a long post-season run. There has been quite a bit of action leading up to the deadline, and I’ll break all that down for you, along with instant analysis of breaking trades during the day. Let’s take a look at some of the important deals that have already happened.

Detroit Red Wings Trade:

  • Mattias Backman—D
  • Mattas Janmark—F
  • 2015 2nd Round Pick

 Dallas Stars Trade:

  • Erik Cole
  • 2015 3rd Round Pick

With the health of captain Henrik Zetterberg still in the air, Erik Cole is definitely a much-welcomed addition to the team. Cole should fit into Detroit’s top six and will be counted on to produce on a regular basis. Fantasy owners who need a small boost offensively should look to add Cole, but don’t expect him to be a point-per-game player from now till the end of the year.

New York Rangers Trade:

  • Anthony Duclair—F
  • John Moore—D
  • 2016 1st Round Pick
  • 2015 2nd Round Pick

Arizona Coyotes Trade:

  • Keith Yandle—D
  • Chris Summers—D
  • 2015 4th Round Pick

This deal is my favorite pre-trade deadline trade. The Coyotes got their man in Duclair, who had instant chemistry with teammate Max Domi at the World Juniors back in December. Arizona will for sure look to see if that chemistry will continue in the NHL but one thing is for sure—they got a ton in return and should be happy with this deal.

The Rangers paid a big price to get Yandle, and only time will tell if it was worth it. The 28-year-old will help an already good Rangers defense become even better, and he will be asked to contribute as much offence as possible. He only has four goals this year, but for fantasy owners looking to target a defenseman to help them push for a playoff spot, I would look no further than Yandle.

Chicago Blackhawks Trade:

  • 2015 1st Round Pick
  • Klas Dahlbeck—D

Arizona Coyotes Trade:

  • Antione Vermette

There’s no question with the recent injury to Patrick Kane, the Hawks were in desperate need of a top six forward. Vermette will probably take Brad Richards spot on the second line with Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad and that should help increase his fantasy value by quite a bit. The Blackhawks will need the pending UFA to help out offensively with the absence of Kane, and I expect him to put up anywhere from 10-15 points from now till the end of the season. The 32-year old is only 29% owned in Yahoo! leagues and is an excellent add moving forward.

Florida Panthers Trade:

  • 2015 2nd Round Pick
  • 2016 3rd Round Pick (Conditional)

New Jersey Devils Trade:

  • Jaromi Jagr—W

Jarmoir Jagr is on the move again, this time to South Beach. The Panthers are looking to make a playoff push, and Jagr brings talent and veteran leadership to a young team. If you’re a Jagr owner this is great news—as the Panthers offensive is better than anything New Jersey has done this season. In his second game with the team, the 43-year-old skated with youngsters Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov recorded two points on three shots. He may be fading into the sunset, but Jagr is still good enough to help the Panther, and fantasy onwers, make a push for the post-season.

Trade Deadline Watch

 I’m not saying all these players get traded, but there will be interest and it wouldn’t surprise me if they did move.

 

  • Phil Kessel—Toronto Maple Leafs—Cap hit: 7yrs/8M per season
  • Jordan Eberle—Edmonton Oilers—Cap hit: 4yrs/6M per season
  • Jonathan Bernier—Toronto Maple Leafs—Pending UFA
  • Mike Green—Washington Capitals—Pending UFA
  • Jeff Petry—Edmonton Oilers—Pending UFA
  • Tyler Bozak—Toronto Maple Leafs—3yrs/4.2M per season
  • Marek Zidlicky—New Jersey Devils—Pending UFA
  • Chris Stewart—Buffalo Sabres—Pending UFA
  • Alex Stalock—San Jose Sharks—1yr/1.6M per season
  • Michal Neuvirth—Buffalo Sabres—Pending UFA
  • Michael Del Zotto—Philadelphia Flyers—Pending UFA

Breaking Trades:

 Boston Bruins Trade:

  • 2015 2nd Round Pick
  • 2016 2nd Round Pick

Tampa Bay Lightning Trade:

  • Brett Connolly—W

 It looks like Boston has decided to make a push for the playoffs. Connolly is a blue-collar worker who will help fill out that bottom-six for the Bruins. The price was a bit high for my liking, but its that time of year, and every team wants as much as the can get for a player. This trade doesn’t have very much fantasy value and Connolly still isn’t worth adding in any fantasy format.

Tampa Bay Lightning Trade:

  • Radko Gudas—D
  • 2015 1st Round Pick
  • 2015 3rd Round Pick

Philadelphia Flyers Trade:

  • Braydon Coburn—D

The Flyers are a seller this year and they aren’t wasting anytime moving players for draft picks. Coburn is off to the highest scoring team in the league and that is definitely a good thing. The 30-year-old defenseman won’t wow anyone with his offence, but he will help make the Lightning a better defensive team. The former 8th overall pick in 2003 still isn’t fantasy relevant, so there’s no reason to add him now.

Montreal Canadiens Trade:

  • 2015 2nd Round Pick
  • 2015 5th Round Pick (Conditional)

Edmonton Oilers Trade:

  • Jeff Petry—D

Edmonton once again is a seller at the trade dead line. The Habs acquire a good defenseman that will help them make a long playoff run. Petry is not going to be asked to go out and put up points, but he will help add another layer to an already very good defense. The 27-year-old isn’t fantasy relevant, and he won’t be move forward. If you owned him before the trade because you were desperate for help on the blue line, you can pretty much drop him now and look for someone else to take his place.

Montreal Canadiens Trade:

  • 2016 5th Round Pick

 Buffalo Sabres Trade:

  • Brian Flynn—F

My Montreal Canadiens are keeping Trade Deadline day alive with another trade. This trade really has no fantasy implications, but it’s a depth move that will help the penalty kill become even better.

Arizona Coyotes Trade:

  • Zbynek Michalek—D

St. Louis Blues Trade:

  • Maxim Letunov—F
  • 2015 3rd Round Pick (Conditional)

St. Louis becomes a better team by adding Michalek to their team. With Kevin Shattenkirk out, the 32-year-old will help solidify the back end for the Blues and should be a nice fit with veteran defenseman Barret Jackman when he comes back from injury. The Czech native won’t help anyone fantasy wise, but at best it allows players like Andrew Campbell, Brandon Gormley, and Connor Murphy to get more ice time down the stretch for the Coyotes

San Jose Sharks Trade:

  • Andrew Desjardins– F

Chicago Blackhawks Trade:

  • Ben Smith–F

Another great depth move for both teams. Again, both players aren’t really fantasy relevant, both they with help their respective teams fill out their bottom-six. Smith, who is under contract till the end of next season at a cap hit of 1.5M, has recorded nine points (5G, 4A) in 61 games this season. Desjardins has recorded six points (3G, 3A) in 56 games this season.

Detroit Red Wings Trade:

  • 2016 3rd Round Pick (Conditional)*

* If the Wings go to the Eastern Conference final, add a 5th round pick in 2015. If they go to the Stanley Cup final, a 5th round pick goes back to Detroit and the 3rd round pick for New Jersey becomes a 2nd.

New Jersey Devils Trade:

  • Marek Zidlicky—D

There was no shortage of rumors that has the Red Wings looking to add a top four defenseman, and the name that kept coming up was Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Zidlicky is a great pick up for the Wings and should be able to contribute to their offense. He brings the ability to move the puck, and on a veteran team like Detroit, he should have no problem fitting in. The 38-year-old has 23 points (4G, 19A) in 63 games this season, and he shout get a boost moving to a much better offensive team. The Czech native is owned in 27% of Yahoo! leagues, so fantasy owners who want to take a risk on Zidlicky can add him, but don’t expect more than 5-10 points from now till the end of the season..

New York Islanders Trade:

  • 3rd Round Pick (Conditional)

San Jose Sharks Trade:

  • Tyler Kennedy—F

Kennedy is heading back to the East. The Sault Ste. Marie native is going to help out the Islanders bottom-six, but isn’t going to see an increase in his production down the stretch.

Pittsburgh Penguins Trade:

  • Robert Bortuzzo—D
  • 2016 7th Round Pick

St.Louis Blues Trade:

  • Ian Cole—D

It may be a minor trade, but this one works out well for Pittsburgh who will get an NHL defenseman with a bit more experience and who can help solidify the bottom two pairing. Bortuzzo is heading to St. Louis as a player who didn’t see a lot of game action recently and probably wont see much more. He’s a big, tough defenseman who can play physical and will probably be the team’s 7th or 8th defenseman heading into the playoffs.

Colorado Avalanche Trade:

  • Karl Stollery—D

San Jose Sharks Trade:

  • Freddie Hamilton—F

To be honest, I have no idea who these two players are. It’s a minor deal with no fantasy relevance.

New York Islanders Trade:

  • Chad Johnson—G
  • 3rd Round Pick

Buffalo Sabres Trade:

  • Michal Neuvirth—G

This trade may just be a depth move for the Islanders, and a confirmation that Buffalo is doing everything possible to finish last, but it actually have fantasy hockey relevance! For fantasy owners who scrabbled to pick up Neuvirth after the Jhonas Enroth trade (myself included), if you still need goaltending help, Chad Johnson is the guy to go pick up now! Don’t get me wrong, he’s not an above average goalie, heck he’s barely an average goalie on a good team, but if you need volume starts, Johnson is going to get them, because Anders Lindback isn’t a better option. If you’re relying on any of these goalies to help you get into the playoffs, it’s not a good thing, but I just finished adding Johnson as I’m writing this, so take this risk now and see where it goes.

New York Islanders Trade:

  • Cory Connacher– F

Vancouver Canucks Trade:

  • Dustin Jeffrey—F

Connacher is barely an NHL guy anymore, so this trade is more of an AHL depth trade than anything else. I don’t expect to see him on a NHL or fantasy hockey roster anytime soon

Columbus Blue Jackets Trade:

  • Jordan Leopold—D

Minnesota Wild Trade:

  • Justin Falk—D
  • 2015 5th Round Pick

The 34-year-old Leopold is heading to Minnesota as a pure rental to help boost their defense to make a run for the playoffs. The 44th overall pick in 1999 had no fantasy value to start with, and still has none. He has three points (1G, 2A) in 25 games this season and has played five games since the beginning of 2015. The Minnesota native is heading home, and will bring some veteran leadership to a good hockey team.

New York Islanders Trade:

  • David Leggio—G

 Arizona Coyotes Trade:

  • Mark Louis– F

 Another minor league deal with no fake hockey relevance.

Toronto Maple Leafs Trade:

  • Olli Jokinen– F

St. Louis Blues Trade:

  • Joakim Lindstrom—F
  • 6th Round Pick (Conditional)*

* Can become a fourth-round pick in 2015 if the Blues reach the Stanley Cup finals and Jokinen plays a role in it

Jokinen may actually get the chance to play in the playoffs again! The 36-year-old has played a total of six playoff games in 17 NHL season, and it was no secret that jokinen was not happy to leave Nashville earlier this year. It’s going to be interesting to see where the Veteran fits in with the Blues, but that wont affect his fantasy value and he still remains a player you don’t need to own on any roster.

Montreal Canadiens Trade:

  • Joey MacDonald—G

 San Jose Sharks Trade:

  • 7th Round Pick

Minor league deal with no fake hockey relevance.

Montreal Canadiens Trade:

  • Jack Nevins—F
  • 2016 7th Round Pick

Buffalo Sabres Trade:

  • Torrey Mitchell—F

Bergevin has been a busy man today adding depth to the team. Mitchell will help fill out the bottom-six for the Habs and should see some time on the penalty kill. The 30-year-old forward has 13 points (6G, 7A) in 51 games this season.

Pittsburgh Penguin Trade:

  • Simon Despres—D

Anaheim Ducks Trade:

  • Ben Lovejoy—D

Lovejoy is heading back to Pittsburgh. The 31-year-old is going to bring some maturity and veteran leadership to a very good Pittsburgh team. He’s not going to rack up the points—scoring only 11 points in 40 games, but he’s a reliable defenseman that will help the Penguins moving forward.

Minnesota Wild Trade

  • 2017 2nd Round Pick

Buffalo Sabres Trade:

  • Chris Stewart—F

The Sabres continue to unload players to anyone who’s willing to talk to them. Speculation was strong that Stewart would be traded before the deadline, but the price was believed to be too high for most teams. The Sabres didn’t get their wish of a prospect and a 1st round pick for him, but a 2nd round pick is pretty fair and it is a good move for both teams. It’s still unclear where the 27-year-old will play, but I expect him to be a bottom six player for the wild, thus hurting any fantasy value he has left. I would be okay with dropping him now.

Calgary Flames Trade:

  • Sven Baertschi—F

Vancouver Canucks Trade:

  • 2nd Round Pick

It’s not just a minor league deal, but Baertschi has no value this season for fantasy owners or the Canucks. He’s a long-term project at best, and maybe he gets a shot to play with the Canucks on a regular basis, but right now his game is just too inconsistent.

Colorado Avalanche Trade:

  • Maxim Talbot—F

 Boston Bruins Trade:

  • Jordan Caron—F

 The Boston Bruins got some depth by adding a Stanley Cup champion to their team, and Colorado get a young player in return. This trade becomes really nice if you’re a Alex Tanguay owner, who’s been playing on the teams third line with John Mitchell and Dennis Everberg. The hope here is that Tanguay will move up to the second line and play with Matt Duchene and Jarome Iginla, boosting his fantasy value up again. For a player with 40 points (16G, 24A) this season, why he’s on the third line is beyond me. Let’s hope that Roy gets it right this time.

Anaheim Ducks Trade:

  • Rene Bourque—F
  • William Karlsson–F
  • 2015 2nd Round Pick

Columbus Blue Jackets Trade:

  • James Wisniewski—D
  • 2015 3rd Round Pick

This is probably the biggest deal we will see all day. The Ducks get a very good player in Wisniewski, who can help with his vision and power play expertise. The main piece going back to Columbus is rookie William Karlsson—who has three points in 18 games this season. The Blue Jackets are in a rebuild mode, or should be in the coming years, and adding a talented player like Karlsson is a great return. The only player with real fantasy value is wisniewski. The Veteran defenseman is going to see a lot of power play time and I expect him to play with youngster Cam Fowler. The Ducks are a much better team than the Blue Jackets and the 31-year-old should see both his plus/minues and point totals increase from now till the end of the season.

Anaheim Ducks Trade:

  • Eric Brewer—D
  • 2015 5th Round Pick

Toronto Maple Leafs Trade:

  • Korbinian Holzer—D

Both players are depth players that shouldn’t make a big splash from now till the end of the season.

Anaheim Ducks Trade:

  • Mat Clark—D

 Colorado Avalanche Trade:

  • Michael Sgarbossa—F

 Minor league deal with no fake hockey relevance.

Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: Why You Shouldn’t Care About Home/Road Splits

With only a three game NHL slate tonight, I won’t be playing DFS or doing my normal daily picks write up. But I can’t stop thinking about hockey. I love hockey. So today I’m turning my attention to a more general issue of daily fantasy hockey strategy: home/road splits for individual players. [Read more…]

2014-15 Fantasy Hockey: Week 19 Waiver Wire

We’re in the final stretch of the season. With only a few weeks left, fantasy owners are looking for players who can help carry their team into the playoffs. The waiver wire becomes more and more important this time of year, and finding players with good fantasy value from now till the end of the season becomes even harder. Let’s take a look at which players you should be targeting on the waiver wire this week.

Andrew Hammond | Ottawa Senators | Yahoo! Ownership—8%

If you were to ask me two weeks ago who Andrew Hammond was, I would have had no clue. The 27-year-old rookie has been stellar filling in for both Craig Anderson (hand) and Robin Lehner (concussion), and should continue to see the majority of the starts for Ottawa moving forward. Goaltending depth is almost impossible to find at this stage of the season, and even though the B.C native isn’t a long-term solution, Hammond has proven he can play with the big boys. The Senators have a tough schedule this week—playing Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Jose—but for fantasy owners it comes down to which goalie on the waiver wire has the best chance of picking up a win every game. That’s Hammond. Add him with confidence this week until either Lehner or Anderson comes back from injury.

Who I’d drop for him: Jhonas Enroth (32%), Darcy Kuemper (28%) [Read more…]

2014 Fantasy Hockey: Week 18 Waiver Wire

We’re in the final stretch of the season. With only a few weeks left, fantasy owners are looking for players who can help carry their team into the playoffs. The waiver wire becomes more and more important this time of year, and finding players with good fantasy value from now until the end of the season becomes even harder. Let’s take a look at which players you should be targeting on the waiver wire this week.

Cody Eakin | Dallas Stars | Yahoo! Ownership—3%

It was not a good week for the Dallas Stars. They managed to lose both Patrick Eaves and Tyler Seguin for an extended period of time, and with their playoff hopes fading, it seems like the season is basically lost. Cody Eakin is going to have time to show the Stars what he’s capable of doing. The 23-year-old has 23 points (10G, 13A) in 53 games with a plus-4 rating and 104 SOG. Dallas is crazy thin at center, so the Winnipeg native will see lots of time on the first line with Jamie Benn. For fantasy owners looking for some help up front, the 85th overall pick in 2009 can definitely increase his point total while Seguin remains out of the lineup. He may not stay on the top line for long, but for now he’s worth adding until the Stars become healthy again.

Who I’d drop for him: Mikhail Grabovski (11%), Andrew Shaw (13%), Curtis Glencross (12%). [Read more…]

Who Won the Evander Kane Trade?

The Winnipeg Jets didn’t waste anytime moving winger Evander Kane out of town. The Buffalo Sabres and Jets came to a 7-player trade agreement that saw Kane and Zach Bogosian go to Buffalo in exchange for Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, two up and coming prospects, and a first-round pick. The question now becomes this: did the Jets get enough back for Kane, or did the Sabres give up just enough to get what they wanted? Let’s take a look at each piece of the trade and decide who came out the winner. [Read more…]

2014 Fantasy Hockey: Week 17 Waiver Wire

Photo Credit:Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

Photo Credit:Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

Week seventeen in fantasy hockey is starting, and some players are emerging as must-own players in many leagues. Finding players on the waiver wire is essential to winning a fantasy hockey, and for replacing injured players, either for the short-team or long run. Let’s take a look at which players you should be targeting on the waiver wire this week

Cam Talbot | New York Rangers | Yahoo! Ownership—40%

Talbot became a must-add player last week when the Rangers announced Henrik Lundqvist would be out about four weeks with a neck injury. The undrafted goaltender has a 5-5-2 record this season along with a 2.28 goals against average (GAA) and a .918 save percentage (SV%). The 27-year-old will see the majority of the starts and should help fantasy owners who are desperate for a starting goalie. It’s a short-term solution, but in deeper-format leagues starting goalies are non-existent. Pick him up now if he’s still available.

Who I’d drop for him: Petr Mrazek (41%) [Read more…]