2014 Fantasy Hockey Daily Fix, November 11th
Today is an extremely exciting day in the world of hockey. Draft Kings is bringing all of us an amazing $27 entry fee $50,000 guaranteed tournament tonight on a jam packed night of games — 11 in total. So in honor of tonight’s incredible event, we at The Fix are bringing you an extra special exhaustive coverage look-in to the slate of games.
Let’s get to the picks for today. Don’t forget, if you are a new user to Draft Kings please use this link to sign up!
Buffalo @ St. Louis
Sadly, the biggest favorite on tonight’s slate comes with an extremely high priced goaltending option in Brian Elliott. The Newmarket, Ontario native is of course fairly priced at $8,600, but there’s always a consequence to paying for goalie — especially in GPPs. Obviously, Elliott is the best play tonight but if he doesn’t get a shutout — which he very well could — it will be hard for him to meet the price expectations given his high ownership percentage. I’d say an optimal strategy is to have Elliott in at least 25% of your lineups just in case he does get that shutout.
Now obviously the real prizes from this game are the Blues skaters, in particular the white hot Vladimir Tarasenko ($7,800) and Jaden Schwartz ($5,800). The two are centered by youngster Jori Lehtera ($3,100) — who is a good play as well. The trio have combined for 17 points (Tarasenko – 8, Lehtera – 5, Schwartz – 4) in their last five games. Obviously Paul Stastny ($4,600), David Backes ($4,900) and Alex Steen ($5,400) are in play as a line stack as well, despite their unceremonious combined plus/minus rating of (-7) the past two games. The Buffalo Sabres are a very special brand of terrible, so obviously these three are still solid plays (especially given their light price tags). Finally, it goes without saying that Kevin Shattenkirk ($4,700) and Alex Pietrangelo ($5,100) are in play as well, with Shattenkirk being my favorite of the two, given his penchant for joining the rush and being more aggressive than Pietrangelo.
If you are in a desperate pinch for salary relief, Barrett Jackman ($2,700) and Jay Bouwmeester ($3,400) are in play as well but only under the “anyone with a pulse, on a good team and facing the Sabres” corollary. They are absolutely not advisable selections across multiple lineups, but rather as a “darn, I don’t want to rework the rest of my lineup so I’ll just take this guy” play.
Columbus @ Washington
Welcome to the part of the article which reads: “doth must haveth exposure to Alex Ovechkin ($9,000). Obviously, when trying to win any big GPP, goal scorers like Ovechkin are great places to start. If he’s heavily enough owned and goes absolutely nuts, you can be in a world of trouble without him on your roster. That being said, I’m not paying up for him in many spots tonight mainly because i prefer Tarasenko at $1,200 less, but also because Ovechkin hasn’t been truly up to his old tricks. The Russian sniper has just six goals compared to eight assists and has been held off the scoreboard in six of his past 10 contests — including a game against the horrible Oilers. Granted, it was on the road — Ovechkin has 11 points in eight home games and just three points in six road games.
Not only is this just a “Ovechkin is good at hockey, so you should use him” situation, but the Blue Jackets have lost eight straight games overall and six straight since losing top goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to injury. Over that six game span, the Jackets have given up an average of 4.3 goals per game including seven goals allowed to the Lightning on November 8th. The Capitals sport the league’s second best power-play so in addition to Ovechkin, I really like Niklas Backstrom ($6,000), Troy Brouwer ($5,000), Marcus Johansson ($4,800), Mike Green ($4,800) — this makes for a good GPP power-play stack.
On the goalie side of things, some may be interested in Braden Holtby ($6,800) because of the fact that he’s likely to get a win — and that’s fine, I don’t disapprove of using him — but after a 38 save on 40 shot performance against the Blackhawks last time out, the law of averages suggests we are treated to bad Holtby tonight. After all, he does have a 17 save on 20 shot performance against the Oilers on his recent game ledger as well.
[am4show have=’p13;p7;p11;’ guest_error=’Front Office’ user_error=’Front Office’ ]
Dallas @ Arizona
Is there anything more scary in a tournament than not having loads of exposure to Tyler Seguin ($8,500) and Jamie Benn ($6,300)? I think not. Seguin has a very special way of breaking out of one point in four game scoring slumps, and it’s called getting hat tricks. Seguin turned his second trick of the year on Saturday against the Sharks, ceremoniously leaving behind a tough stretch of games against Nashville, Minnesota, Los Angeles and Anaheim. Strangely enough however, his counter-part in crime (Benn) does not have a multi-point effort since October 21st (eight games ago) against the Vancouver Canucks.
The best news about this duo is that they are nearly the same price as Ovechkin + Backstrom, so you can build lineups interchangeably with those two main combos, sprinkled in of course with a lot of Tarasenko and Schwartz. Finally, Trevor Daley ($4,300) is cheaper than he should be, due to that previously mentioned stretch of difficult games. He’s a nice third guy to pair with Benn and Seguin.
On the other side of the coin, Arizona is very annoying to predict for fantasy purposes but the surprising statistic that is Dallas having the second highest goals allowed per game mark, is tough to completely ignore. Super contrarian GPP plays here would be Mikkel Boedker ($4,000) and Shane Doan ($5,100) but it’s hard to forsee a multi-point night from these guys, or anyone on the Coyotes except Keith Yandle ($5,800) — who is entirely too expensive.
San Jose @ Florida
For those of you waiting for a pivot off of the expensive Brian Elliott, welcome to the Alex Stalock ($7,400) show. In my opinion, and in many hockey think tank circles, Stalock is better than Antti Niemi. Stalock brings a .925 save percentage and 2.38 goals-against-average into this contest along with the safety and security of Brian Elliott and a cheaper price tag. Last year, this would be a “load up on Sharks” scenario, but the Florida Panthers are surprisingly the second stingiest even-strength team in the league behind Nashville. The Panthers have allowed just 15 even-strength goals in 12 games.
If this game was in San Jose I’d be splurging on the Sharks a bit here, but this game feels like a fade, other than Stalock.
Pittsburgh @ New York Rangers
Our big goal with a GPP is to find players that are most likely to give us some sort of multi-point performance or at least gives us a floor with some shots on goal. That being said, those of you waiting for some players besides those on St. Louis that give us some salary relief, have to look no further. Brandon Sutter ($4,300) has shown he is capable of multi-point efforts, as he has two of them in his past six games, as has linemate Steve Downie ($3,300). Few cheap players are capable of such performances, and these two make for a nice little combo that can elevate a team built around higher priced players. The final bargain bin option from this one is defenseman Simon Despres ($2,600). His good games have coincided with Sutter and Downie’s, so that’s a very sneaky three-man mini-stack.
It’s hard to build multiple GPP lineups without including Sidney Crosby ($9,200) and Patric Hornqvist ($8,100) in some of those lineups. Hornqvist is a shot taking machine, averaging 4.38 shots per game — which is an incredibly floor of 2.5 Draft Kings points. Hornqvist is probably my second favorite winger tonight behind Tarasenko. Pittsburgh have outscored their opponents 32-8 on their current seven game winning streak, so I’m not all that interested in the Rangers at all.
Edmonton @ Nashville
We wrap our huge preview of tonight’s action up with the team facing the second biggest dumpster fire in the NHL behind the Buffalo Sabres. James Neal ($6,800) is on a tear right now with a 22.6% shot percentage in his last ten games. Neal is an elite scorer on a team that often flies under the radar — mainly due to their sometimes slow style of play. Neal and Filip Forsberg ($6,700) — who is on a five game points streak with five goals and three assists during that span — are an elite combo tonight, and a nice duo to pair with Schwartz and Tarasenko due to all four of their prices. Plus, you can always call it the “Lighter Fluid” lineup — if you get the joke.