Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: March 16th, 2016
Welcome to The Fantasy Fix daily fantasy hockey strategy. Below you will find rankings and projections for tonight’s NHL action. Building a winning lineup isn’t easy, so we’ll do our best to guide you in the right direction and help you win some serious cash. With that, let’s take a look at some match-ups you should be targeting tonight.
As always, make sure to check out LeftWingLock for goalie confirmations.
All shot attempt numbers discussed are at even strength and score-adjusted unless otherwise noted.
TEAMS TO TARGET
Winnipeg Jets V. Calgary Flames
The variance is through the roof in this game as Calgary and Winnipeg both know their shortcomings lie in team defense and in net. This means they also have a penchant for giving up power play goals as their penalty kill numbers are both in the bottom third in the league. As we have talked about with value plays, applying them into the grand scheme of pointing to lineup making is a next logical step.
Consider how much one has to spend up first and foremost. This is a time of year where teams start having less to play for. When that happens, unexpected results start to become more and more commonplace. What was seen on Monday against St. Louis was unusual.
Johnny Gaudreau is going to be a play no matter what. He has 51 points in 35 games at home for Calgary. It does not matter that Calgary’s power play converts at 15.7%, what resonates is that the left winger is electric at the “sea of red”. Winnipeg is banged up and may not have Dustin Byfuglien in the lineup. He should play, but how effective will he be after the flu? It’s a great question. Either way, the Jets and their lack of discipline and defensive spacing still haunts them.
Also, Ondrej Pavelec will be in net for Winnipeg against pick your poison for Calgary. Both Joni Ortio and Jonas Hiller have been unmitigated disasters. Combined in their last twenty games started, they have a save percentage of just .894. That just will not get it done. Even though Ortio’s numbers are better, they are a good ways below the NHL average. Both goalies are near the bottom when it comes to goals saved above average and the young goalie has a home save percentage of .876.
This makes players like Blake Wheeler and especially Mark Scheifele very tempting. Scheifele has 16 points in his last ten games which includes nine goals! Wheeler has been a bit snake bitten with 37 shots on goal over that span but the goals will come. Calgary is entertaining but they give up three goals a night and that is hard to ignore given that projections suggest Winnipeg could even hit three or possibly more.
Again, Byfuglien is a risk but maybe more of a cash game play because of the uncertainty how close to 100% he truly is. Pavelec is not safe as no goaltender here is. Mark Giordano has to be considered in cash and even a few GPP lineups just because he has been one of the few Flames that has been pretty good on the man advantage of late.
Vegas has Calgary listed as a hesitant -118 favorite because of the home ice advantage but the reality is the Flames want to show fans something or anything positive for next season. There is pride but pride can also lead to mistakes. The Michael Frolik line will have some intrigue here and is a bit of a wildcard play if people want to attempt to ride the wave. There will be more on this game via Twitter because there are definitely a few loose ends.
Philadelphia Flyers V. Chicago Blackhawks
Lets think about this. The Chicago Blackhawks, despite their recent struggles, still only allow 1.83 goals per game at home. Nobody does it better and even with a few injuries and a tough beat at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings on Monday, little of that changes.
The Blackhawks secret at home is Corey Crawford. All season he has been great in net but at home he is supernatural. With a bit of a slump in his last two starts, Chicago turns to Scott Darling in net. All he has done is stop 119 of 124 shots faced at home. Yes, this is a limited sample size but a 1.09 goals against average and .960 save percentage at United Center is at least worthy of trying to play depending on budget.
It is probably not as wise to play whomever Philadelphia confirms in net for Wednesday. The Flyers are a .500 team on the road and give up 2.88 goals a contest. Their defense is going to get a workout from Chicago’s top six and the Patrick Kane-Artemi Panarin duo may have a little more space to skate. That is important. For maybe the second time all year, Kane’s game has become a bit erratic and teams have figured out to not only be physical but be physical with that whole line while keeping them to the perimeter more often. Teams are determined to not let Kane beat them.
The line to look at may be the Jonathan Toews line. Even they have had their missteps but the potential is there for them not to have to match up against Philadelphia’s top line as often or their checking line. Watch the chess match early.
Philadelphia will have some eyes roaming their way too as Shayne Gostisbehere has to be considered in cash games and even some tournament action. Wayne Simmonds is a rugged player who can cause havoc like a Dustin Byfuglien so he has to be watched also. Simmonds creates space for guys like Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn. It has been implored that Philadelphia needs second tier scoring and on Tuesday it was Michael Raffl who saved the day with two goals. Sean Couturier is a guy to watch. He has to step up as his game has not been right since coming back from injury.
New York Rangers V. Anaheim Ducks
It doesn’t matter whether the Rangers play (home or road), their PDO (on ice save percentage plus on ice shooting percentage) is still well above the league average and among the top three in the league. Their high risk/high reward style of play has backfired a bit of late as they have allowed 18 goals while scoring 16 in their previous five games.
Anaheim can be a tough team to figure out. Their shots per 60 had been plummeting compared to scoring chances but they were still winning games based on timely scoring and goaltending err team defense. It is not their possession numbers as much as they have three scoring lines when you get down to it and a third line that can be excellent on the fore-check and back check as New Jersey found out on Monday night.
Keep in mind that Corey Perry is very dangerous with six goals and four power play goals in the last nine games. Stacking a power play unit one with as many parts is not a bad idea given the Rangers are still in the bottom five on the penalty kill at 77.2%. They are also weak on the right side ranking in the bottom third and as low as 24th in fantasy points per game allowed to right wingers. That may make Jakob Silfverberg a thought as well. The key is to pick on the penalty kill and draw penalties. If Anaheim does that, they will take the two points home.
New York only wins if they can use their speed and slide under the heavy checking that Anaheim uses. Please note that Rick Nash has been moved up to the first line along with Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello. This may still be the line that gives Anaheim the most headaches. A slightly more contrarian play may be the Derek Stepan line. Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast will be flanking the center at the start. They have shown some chemistry in practice and have provided a little success over parts of the last two games.
Again, it should be a wild and crazy night on the balanced slate. Something different we may do is list some value plays on Twitter so keep an eye out for that.
Rankings are price sensitive
- Rickard Rakell — Anaheim Ducks — $4700
- Alex Galchenyuk — Montreal Canadiens — $5100
- Paul Statsny — St. Louis Blues — $4600
- Mark Scheifele — Winnipeg Jets — $5900
- Sean Monahan — Calgary Flames — $5900
- Matt Duchene — Colorado Avalanche — $6600
- Claude Giroux — Philadelphia Flyers — $7200
- Corey Perry — Anaheim Ducks — $6300
- Linden Vey — Vancouver Canucks — $3000
- Patrick Maroon — Edmonton Oilers — $3300
- Michael Frolik — Calgary Flames — $4200
- Jaden Schwartz — St. Louis Blues — $5600
- Mats Zuccarello — New York Rangers — $6100
- Patrick Kane — Chicago Blackhawks — $8500
- Tyson Barrie — Colorado Avalanche — $5800
- Tyler Myers — Winnipeg Jets — $4500
- Mark Barberio — Montreal Canadiens — $2900
- Shayne Gostisbehere — Philadelphia Flyers — $6000
- Ben Hutton — Vancouver Canucks — $4000
- Mark Giordano — Calgary Flames — $7300
- Scott Darling — Chicago Blackhawks — $7900
- John Gibson — Anaheim Ducks — $7600
- Robin Lehner — Buffalo Sabres — $7500
- Jake Allen — St. Louis Blues — $7700
- Ryan Miller — Vancouver Canuvks — $7000
- Ryan O’Reilly — Buffalo Sabres — $4400
- Paul Statsny — St. Louis Blues — $5300
- Alex Galchenyuk — Montreal Canadiens — $6100
- Mark Scheifele — Winnipeg Jets — $7300
- Sean Monahan — Calgary Flames — $7600
- Claude Giroux — Philadelphia Flyers — $8100
- Connor McDavid — Edmonton Oilers — $7900
- Ryan Getzlaf — Anaheim Ducks — $7700
- Blake Comeau — Colorado Avalanche — $4400
- Mats Zuccarello — New York Rangers –$5900
- Michael Frolik — Calgary Flames — $4800
- Blake Wheeler — Winnipeg Jets — $6800
- Corey Perry — Anaheim Ducks — $7000
- Patrick Kane — Chicago Blackhawks — $8100
- Mikkel Boedker — Colorado Avalanche — $4300
- Daniel Sedin — Vancouver Canucks – $7100
- Chris Kreider — New York Rangers — $5600
- Taylor Hall — Edmonton Oilers — $6300
- Johnny Gaudreau — Calgary Flames — $8300
- Artemi Panarin — Chicago Blackhawks — $6600
- Mark Barberio — Montreal Canadiens — $3400
- Ben Hutton — Vancouver Canucks — $3600
- Rasmus Ristolainen — Buffalo Sabres — $3600
- Tyson Barrie — Colorado Avalanche — $4500
- Shayne Gostisbehere — Philadelphia Flyers — $5400
- Mark Giordano — Calgary Flames — $6600
- Scott Darling — Chicago Blackhawks — $7800
- John Gibson — Anaheim Ducks — $8100
- Ryan Miller — Vancouver Canucks — $8300
- Robin Lehner — Buffalo Sabres — $7300
- Jake Allen — St. Louis Blues — $9200
- Mikael Backlund — Calgary Flames — $8500
- Rickard Rakell — Anaheim Ducks — $9300
- Paul Statsny — St. Louis Blues — $9200
- Alex Galchenyuk — Montreal Canadiens — $10,600
- Mark Scheifele — Winnipeg Jets — $12,100
- Connor McDavid — Edmonton Oilers — $14,600
- Nathan MacKinnon — Colorado Avalanche — $13,900
- Chris Kreider — New York Rangers — $8800
- Michael Frolik — Calgary Flames–$8400
- Jaden Schwartz — St. Louis Blues — $11,700
- Jarome Iginla — Colorado Avalanche — $9900
- Jordan Eberle — Edmonton Oilers — $11,700
- Corey Perry — Anaheim Ducks — $13,200
- Patrick Kane — Chicago Blackhawks — $17,600
- Ben Hutton — Vancouver Canucks — $7700
- Mark Barberio — Montreal Canadiens — $5600
- Tyson Barrie — Colorado Avalanche — $12,000
- Rasmus Ristolainen — Buffalo Sabres — $11,900
- Shayne Gostisbehere — Philadelphia Flyers — $12,300
- Mark Giordano — Calgary Flames — $14,900
- Buffalo Sabres –$15,200
- Vancouver Canucks –$13,900
- Anaheim Ducks –$15,800
- Chicago Blackhawks –$16,600
- St. Louis Blues –$16,500