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Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: January 6th, 2016

Welcome to the 2016 version of the machine! As we head through January, challenges still exist. There is still a slight amount of uncertainty and high amounts of volatility at times. The goal is always to delve through the abyss of numbers and circumstances. You would expect nothing less from The Fantasy Fix. When you get right down to it, there are some teams that seem to scream “obvious target.” However, there are inevitably some risk/reward type of scenarios and then ones to possibly run far away from.

As always, make sure to check out LeftWingLock for goalie confirmations and let’s begin. 

Teams to Target

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Let’s look at the five game slate more as an opportunity to see if you learned some lessons from Tuesday’s eight game schedule. The Chicago Blackhawks will be playing the Pittsburgh Penguins but this time in Chicago. For as awful as the guys from the “Madhouse On Madison” play away from home, they are ridiculously stingy in their friendly confines. They are giving up just a meager 1.57 goals per game at home compared to around 3.4 goals a game on the road. That is one heinously insane difference that people will jump on early and often. It does not even matter if the game is against Pittsburgh.

Daily fantasy ownership of Chicago players will be elevated regardless of what happened Tuesday. Tunnel vision often gets locked in by many given these scenarios. They also have 15 wins at home and Corey Crawford’s numbers are so diametrically opposite in his home/road splits that it feels like he really should win on Wednesday night. That difference is over 1.8 goals by the way.

The question is who do you play. It may be a rare case to try out Jonathan Toews in cash games just to see what happens. It is a night to explore the mini-stacks because the expected result may actually be an unexpected one. Home and home games between two relatively high powered teams can yield some nutty outcomes. Then most are just sitting there holding their head and going why didn’t they hedge a little more. It never fails. More on Chicago and Pittsburgh a bit later…

New Jersey is not going to have an easy time in Montreal on Wednesday night. With Brendan Gallagher back, it appears some order has been restored with the Canadiens and while Carey Price is not back just yet, they still only allow 2.16 goals per night at home. Their penalty kill is right around 85% and their offensive numbers are creeping upwards.

The Devils are headed in the opposite direction. Petr Mrazek shut out New Jersey on Monday night allowing just 22 shots where maybe three or four were high danger scoring chances. When a team does not threaten hardly at all like what the boys from Newark pulled, there is a little apprehension of two things. Either there is a boomerang effect or it is the beginning of a longer scoring slump. With Mike Cammalleri’s health a concern (he has missed the last two games), treading New Jersey is like treading in quicksand. Those Devils do play better on the road averaging about a half goal a game more, but Montreal is the team who should be easily projected to have more shots, chances, and probably goals.

Do you try and even gauge what will happen between Carolina and Vancouver or Toronto and Anaheim for that matter? These are nightmares waiting to happen as the Carolina Hurricanes can have nightmares scoring goals. They only have nine goals in their last five contests. Vancouver is not much better and both average a dead even 2.38 goals a game as far as your road/home split respectively. The Canucks are 3-2 despite tallying only seven times in their last five. Both teams possess a below average power play and an almost as below average penalty kill. That sounds like lots of fun.

Then there is Toronto and Anaheim where anyone could expect anything. One good aspect is that the game is in Anaheim. Also consider that the Ducks have given up less than a goal per game over their last five. They have a penalty kill that is tops in the league at 88.6%. The Maple Leafs are an odd team, however. It appears like Jonathan Bernier will start barring some last minute healing cure for James Reimer. Give them credit as they have found a way to win two straight. If Anaheim allows them less than 25 shots, they may be the one team that does not get phased by being curtailed a bit offensively. The line of Rickard Rakell, Corey Perry, and Ryan Getzlaf is one to take a look at. For Toronto, do not forget wherever Leo Komarov may roam. This is the kind of game where maybe there is that one suitable mini stack for GPP’s and then a series of possible cash plays.

St. Louis and Colorado have the makings of being another wild and crazy game. The Paul Stastny blood that runs through it will be intense. Both teams have a sense of urgency as the Blues have lost four of their last five and Colorado is still trying to climb back into the playoff race in the West. Also, note that there have been a huge jumbling of lines and that Gabriel Landeskog is still separated, for now, from Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene. Again like we said with the Blues, just expect more shaking of the lines. Ken Hitchcock has a pretty darn good power play and one of the best snipers in the league in Vladimir Tarasenko and yet they struggled once more in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators on Monday night. They were leading 2-0 early on and looked in cruise control. This could be the same type of game while searching for who plays left wing on Colorado one and who winds up on power play one in St. Louis being key questions as you consider plays.

Rolling The Dice

Pittsburgh and Chicago seems destined to ride closer to the under on Wednesday but just in case remember to try and sneak Chris Kunitz in your lineups. He has basically almost become a cheap flier. As for the money line in the game, expect it to teeter around even into the early morning then begin to tilt a bit towards Chicago.

St. Louis and Colorado are almost dead even because of the extreme potential for variance. This game could hit the under for both teams or hit the over for both. Value plays are possible there and with the Carolina-Vancouver tilt, that is, if you dare to go brave with the Canucks and the Hurricanes. Maybe the twins known as the Sedins have a mini stack potential. Even with Carolina, pinching around a Victor Rask/Kris Versteeg mini stack to try and steal value is a high risk move that may pay off.

Toronto and Anaheim is the wild card even with Anaheim favored at around -175 on the money line. Again Toronto line two and Anaheim line one appear to be the plays in this one with possibilities of stingy goaltending. John Gibson kind of has a tenuous grasp on the 1A goalie slot for the Ducks right now. Some may look toward Hampus Lindholm as an intriguing back door play on your blueline. It is truly the game that can go either way even with every indication being that the under winds up hitting. Not everything happens as expected according to what Vegas thinks.

Okay, let’s quickly look at some rankings.

Player Rankings

Rankings are price sensitive

 Centers

  1. Artem Anisimov –$4600 — Chicago Blackhawks
  2. Leo Komarov –$4300 –Toronto Maple Leafs
  3. Rickard Rakell — $4000 — Anaheim Ducks
  4. Peter Holland–$3200– Toronto Maple Leafs
  5. Evgeni Malkin–$7700—Pittsburgh Penguins
  6. Sidney Crosby — $7100– Pittsburgh Penguins
  7. Nathan MacKinnon –$6800—Calgary Flames
  8. Tyler Bozak –$4300- Toronto Maple Leafs
  9. Ryan Getzlaf –$5700— Anaheim Ducks

Wingers

  1. Patrick Kane—LW–$8800—Chicago Blackhawks
  2. Brendan Gallagher—RW–$6300—Montreal Canadiens
  3. Corey Perry –RW–$6600–Anaheim Ducks
  4. Jannik Hansen —RW–$3900— Vancouver Canucks
  5. Daniel Sedin–LW–$6500–Vancouver Canucks
  6. Blake Comeau –LW–$3200-Edmonton Oilers
  7. Phil Kessel —RW–$6700— Pittsburgh Penguins
  8. Kyle Palmieri —RW–$5000—New Jersey Devils
  9. Andrew Desjardins — LW–$2900– Chicago Blackhawks
  10. Andreas Martinsen — LW — $2600 — Colorado Avalanche

Defenseman

  1. Tyson Barrie–$5200—Colorado Avalanche
  2. Duncan Keith—$5900—Chicago Blackhawks
  3. Nathan Beaulieu –$3000—Montreal Canadiens
  4. Kris Letang–$5900– Pittsburgh Penguins
  5. Justin Faulk – $6400– Carolina Hurricanes
  6. David Schlemko – $2900 – New Jersey Devils
  7. Sami Vatanen – $4800 – Anaheim Ducks
  8. Chris Tanev – $3200 – Vancouver Canucks

Goalie

  1. John Gibson–$6800–Anaheim Ducks
  2. Mike Condon — $7300 — Montreal Canadiens
  3. Jacob Markstrom — $6600 — Vancouver Canucks
  4. Corey Crawford–$8100—Chicago Blackhawks
  5. Semyon Varlamov — $7500 — Colorado Avalanche
  6. Jake Allen — $7600 — St. Louis Blues
  7. Cam Ward — $6500 — Carolina Hurricanes

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