Fantasy HockeyFront OfficeJosh Kay

2014 Fantasy Hockey Daily Fix, December 2nd



Another big night in the NHL tonight, hopefully we can find more punt plays like yesterday when we recommended Tobias Rieder and Jiri Sekac!

Rieder was 2.4% owned. He potted two goals and had four shots (12.5 fantasy points!) , and Sekac ( 1.7% owned) potted a goal on one shot.

This article contains a very detailed “Value Plays” section to ensure that we get our value plays right again tonight!

Top Games

Tampa Bay Lightning @ Buffalo Sabres – Start Time – 7:30 PM

I often have trouble going back to the same value guy after a monster performance, due to the variance in sports, however the Sabres have been absolutely horrific against #2 lines all year long. It’s the one constant going right now in sports. Tyler Johnson ( $4,900 ) is now cheaper than he was yesterday, making him a no brainer today in cash games once again. I wouldn’t shy away from stacking this entire line tonight in GPPs. Ondrej Palat ( $4,500 ) and Nikita Kucherov ( $4,700 ). Victor Hedman ( $6,700 ) showed once again yesterday why he is near the very top among defenseman, with three assists. Hedman is the top defenseman on the board tonight, and it’s really not that close.

Steven Stamkos ( $8,700 ) rarely goes two straight games without recording a goal, so expecting him to stretch that streak to three games (with the third being against the lowly Sabres) is a dangerous proposition. Fade him at your own risk.

Evgeni Nabokov ( $6,500 ) gets the start in net tonight for Tampa. He’s a strong cash option against the worst offense in the NHL.

Dallas Stars @ Toronto Maple Leafs – Start Time – 7:30 PM

Tyler Seguin ( $9,000 ) is more expensive than Steven Stamkos, but actually Seguin is the better play since he’s more likely to do the heavy lifting for his team. Stamkos has eight shots on goal in his past four games, and Seguin had nine alone in Friday’s contest against the Minnesota Wild. He and Jamie Benn ( $8,200 ) are always strong plays. When they face the Leafs, they become no-brainers.

James van Riemsdyk ( $6,600 ) is pretty darn cheap. He and Phil Kessel ( $7,200 ) make for a good GPP and cash game combination against a Dallas team that is surprisingly last in the NHL in goals allowed per game ( 3.46).


Jason Demers ( $3,100 ) is listed as on the top power-play unit and #1 defensive pairing line for Dallas. He is upgraded to being a STRONG cash game play. Downgrade John Klingberg.

Philadelphia Flyers @ San Jose Sharks – Start Time 10:00 PM

Claude Giroux ( $8,000 ) is averaging just 4.0 fantasy points per game on the road, compared to 6.1 per game at home, but he and linemate Jakub Voracek ( $6,900 ) still make for solid GPP options. Voracek is worth using in cash games at his lower price. Against a team that fires a ton of shots from the blue line, Flyers blocked shots leader Nick Schultz ( $2,700 ) is an interesting play. He has three blocked shots in each of his past three games. He doesn’t have much upside though, just a guy you can fill in if you have to get creative.

Logan Couture ( $7,800 ) has 5.2 fantasy points per game at home, compared to 3.7 per game on the road. He’s a strong GPP play, as is Brent Burns ( $5,700 ). 

Florida Panthers @ Detroit Red Wings – Start Time 7:30 PM

Henrik Zetterberg ( $6,000 ) and Pavel Datsyuk ( $5,100 ) have been reunited on the same line. This should be the most difficult task young Panthers d-man Aaron Ekblad faces all season. Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Johan Franzen ( $4,600 ) is one of the best line stacks of the night — probably my favorite for cheap. Any three of these guys are strong cash game options as well.

Jimmy Howard ( $6,900 ) is on a three game winning streak coming into tonight. With the Panthers on a back-to-back, I see no reason for that momentum to be halted. He’s the top goaltender on the board tonight due to his price point and expected win.

Niklas Kronwall ( $4,400 ) is the best mid-range defenseman on the board tonight. He’s averaging 3.9 fantasy points per game at home, compared to 1.6 per game on the road.

New Jersey Devils @ Pittsburgh Penguins – Start Time 7:00 PM

This game has been one of those “on the back burner” ones, as we’ve had to wait for important injury news to surface.


In addition, Kris Letang is out for Pittsburgh. If Crosby plays, I like Nick Spaling ( $2,900 ) for value, as he’ll skate with Crosby. Patric Hornqvist ( $7,100 ) should shoot significantly more often if Crosby is out, but I don’t see how this would benefit him — although he would just play with Evgeni MalkinIn any event, Hornqvist is a very strong play tonight. With Letang out, Olli Maatta almost assuredly moves up to the top power-play unit. He’s only $3,900.


Interesting thing to note here, is that the Penguins have recalled forward Scott Wilson from the WHL. While this could mean Crosby is out, it’s important to note that Beau Bennett was placed on IR this morning, so we’ll see how this has an impact on Crosby’s status.

Value Plays:

Tonight is very difficult for value plays. Normally we like to target power-play defensemen for value, and guys playing on top lines (Nick Spaling). However, there just isn’t all that much out there today. If we want to force studs like Tyler Seguin into our lineups, we must do some Yeoman’s work to make that happen in a +EV way. Let’s have a discussion about some players I have not yet mentioned.


Brett Connolly – $2,500 – Winger – Tampa Bay: Connolly potted two goals yesterday, and you know how I feel about chasing performances by non-superstars, BUT this .. to use an overused DFS term “is a good spot” for Connolly against the Sabres. This sudden production does not come without merit, as Valtteri Filppula has been moved to center the third line to give Tampa more improved production from their depth lines. I don’t hate him in cash games. As far as extreme punt plays go, he’s much better than almost all of them based on likelihood of scoring. He’s a fabulous GPP play.

Erik Cole – $2,800 – Winger – Dallas: Cole is a nice play as well because of the team he is facing. Cole sees time on the #2 line next to Jason Spezzaand the Leafs have been horrendous against opposing depth lines all season long. It’s relevant (just like Martin Hanzal last night) that Cole sees more ice time per game on the road. He is getting 13.6 minutes per game on the road compared to just 12.1 at home. I’d use Cole in lineups where you decide to use Stamkos, and Connolly in lineups that you decide to use Seguin, and hope for the best.

Josh Bailey – $2,900 – Winger – New York Islanders and Mikhail Grabovski – $3,200 – Center: This is a decent super cheap value combo for GPPs because Ottawa has struggled all season against depth lines. They have allowed at least two goals from opposing depth lines in each of their past five games. This is probably my favorite cheap combo option of the slate.

Tobias Rieder – $3,200 – Winger – Arizona Coyotes: Rieder was my main recommendation yesterday for the Coyotes against the Oilers and he responded with 12.5 fantasy points at 2.4% owned (surely they were Fantasy Fix readers!). I’m “rieding” him again today against the Flames. He’s the guy in this group that is safe for cash games and GPPs alike. Just don’t expect low ownership again.


John Klingberg – $3,600 – Dallas: Klingberg is seeing top power-play time for Dallas. He faces the terrible Leafs. This is an excellent “spot” for him. Safe for GPPs and Cash.

Danny DeKeyser – $3,200 – Detroit: DeKeyser has really seen a huge boost in ice time lately, and has responded in kind with a point in three of his past four games. Ride him in GPPs tonight.

Olli Maatta – $3,900 – Pittsburgh (already mentioned) .. but I love him tonight, along with Kronwall at $4,400




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