2014 Fantasy Hockey Daily Fix, November 13th
It’s a big night in the NHL with nine games going on, let’s get right to the action. Don’t forget, if you are a new user to Draft Kings please use this link to sign up!
First off, I’d like to apologize to anyone who used Alex Stalock on Tuesday night. He was a late scratch and had officially been confirmed, but sustained an injury between morning skate and game time. It was not announced until after lineup lock. Hopefully you used the Blues and Predators players I suggested, and that any losses you may have had were minimal.
Okay, now on to the games.
Buffalo @ Minnesota:
The Wild come into this game as heavy favorites (-355). It goes without saying that Darcy Kuemper ( $7,000 ) is an across the board goaltender play. A well above average goalie at home against a terrible offensive team at a bargain price is really an amazing gift for us tonight when we create our lineups.
There is an interesting storyline for this game, in that Thomas Vanek ( $4,800 ) gets to square off against his former team. Vanek played with the Sabres for nine years, posting 497 points in 598 games. However, he has developed a reputation for being lazy and unmotivated at times — resulting in this development……
New lines: Zucker-Koivu-Pominville; Nino-Granlund-Coyle; Schroeder-Haula-Vanek (all Gopher); Carter-Brodziak-Fontaine
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) November 13, 2014
This is quite interesting, as not many people will be aware of this, and likely have a lot of exposure to Vanek. Furthermore, Jason Zucker ( $2,900 ) has been moved to the top power-play line as well.
PP Changes: Zucker-Koivu-Pominville-Spurgeon-Suter; Vanek-Granlund-Nino-Schroeder/Fontaine-Dumba
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) November 13, 2014
Zucker is an across the board play following this development. He’s safe for cash and GPP’s alike. He’s best paired with Jason Pominville ( $5,400 ) as a very nice mini stack option.
Another group of players I will have exposure to are Charlie Coyle ( $3,600 ) and Nino Niederreiter ( $3,700 ). These two are very fast and very talented and will give the Sabres absolute fits all game long. The Sabres have especially had a lot of trouble with #2 lines, so this is an elite combination for GPP’s given the price and expected output. I love both for cash games as well, but I much prefer Niederreiter since Coyle is not listed on the power-play.
Winnipeg @ Carolina
Normally I’d pass over a game like this between two bad and unpredictable teams, but I have an inkling feeling about this game being a beacon of contrarian flavored goodness. The Jets will be starting Michael Hutchinson ( $6,300 ) a 24-year-old with just six appearances under his belt. Hutchinson is still a relative unknown, due to sample size, but the early verdicts look pretty darn good. Hutchinson has a career .944 save percentage and a 1.70 goals-against-average, and yes all of these starts have been with the notoriously defensively handicapped Winnipeg Jets. It’s not like these starts have been cakewalks either. “Hutch” notched his first shutout of his young career on November 2nd against the Chicago Blackhawks. His other appearances this year include a relief effort against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and an underwhelming performance against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings. If Kuemper wasn’t so cheap, I’d have a lot of exposure to Hutchinson, and he’s not a bad contrarian play if you love a lineup that you can make with the saved $700.
Let’s talk about the Winnipeg offense for a bit. On Tuesday I faded the New York Rangers because “the Penguins have outscored their opponents 32-8 on their current seven game winning streak”. Well, the Hurricanes are on a winning streak of their own, having gone 5-0-1 in their past six games, with Cam Ward going 5-0-0 in his five starts. Those familiar with me and my work, know that I trust Cam Ward about as far as I can throw him — and to be clear, I cannot throw Cam Ward. The way Ward started off the season (allowing 16 goals through four games en route to a .840 save percentage) it was obvious that the 30-year-old netminder would put up a decent stretch of games to help his save percentage get back to NHL level respectability.
I’m very intrigued by the “I’m going to bet that Cam Ward has not become Henrik Lundqvist“ GPP idea which includes some exposure to the Winnipeg Jets. A line stack of Evander Kane ( $5,300 ), Mark Scheifele ( $4,100 ), and Blake Wheeler ( $5,900 ) is incredibly sneaky, and if they combine for 2-3 goals, it will really set you apart from the crowd because nobody will be on them. Lastly, I think defenseman Jacob Trouba ( $4,700 ) is a good inclusion to this stack since he skates with this trio on even strength and their power-play unit.
Colorado @ New York Rangers:
Rick Nash ( $7,800 ) is heating up again at just the right time, as the lowly Colorado Avalanche lumber to town following their 6-0 embarrassment by the New York Islanders just two days ago. I love a pairing of Nash and Derick Brassard ( $5,100 ) who now centers Nash and Martin St. Louis ( $5,700 ) in GPPs and cash games. Brassard is white hot, having posted 10 points in his past 10 games, including three multi-point performances — and facing the Avalanche is as good a chance as any for this line to continue its hot streak. Kevin Klein ( $3,000 ), while not supplying the power-play ice time you would like from a cheap defenseman, has been blocking shots at an incredible rate. Blocked shots count as much as shots on goal, and provide a very nice and safe floor from a cheap defenseman. The return of Dan Boyle does bump Klein down a bit on the depth chart, so in terms of safety, he’s not really there for cash games, but he’s a viable GPP option on the cheap.
San Jose @ Tampa Bay:
Antti Niemi is widely known as a talented but streaky goaltender, capable of having meltdowns. Niemi has allowed 11 total goals in his past three games, including four against the Florida Panthers. The Sharks have had issues with #2 lines all season long so a GPP line stack of Ondrej Palat ( $5,300 ), Tyler Johnson ( $6,400 ) and Nikita Kucherov ( $4,900 ) is incredibly appealing.
Other Players to Look at:
Mark Giordano – $7,400 – Calgary – Defense
Tyler Seguin – $8,500 – Dallas – Center
Erik Karlsson – $6,600 – Ottawa – Defense