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Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: March 17, 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 matchups 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

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Florida Panthers V. Toronto Maple Leafs

Sure, the Toronto Maple Leafs have won two games in a row, but I’m more than confident in going back to the well and stacking any team that plays against them. The Panthers travel to the ACC, hoping to end the Leafs winning streak. It’s been an incredible season for the Panthers, as they look to add to their division lead and lock up first place in the Atlantic.

Let’s start with the top line of Jonathan Huberdeau, Jaromir Jagr and Aleksander Barkov. The trio has been Florida’s best line all season long, and they should have another productive night going up against the Leafs’ weak defense. It’s rare that anyone will suggest this, but stacking Huberdeau/Jagr may be the way to go in cash games. With so many good options at center tonight, neither Barkov or Vincent Trocheck offer great value at their price tags. If you really want to go with a center-winger stack, Barkov/Jagr would make the most sense.

On the blue line, Aaron Ekblad is the defenseman to own and should be plugged into every lineup. The kid has been exceptional all season long, and for some strange reason, his price tag is still very reasonable, especially on FD. Brian Campbell is another option worth considering if you want to fade the high Ekblad ownership, but comparing their production and price tag, I’ll pay a little more for the reigning Rookie of the Year.

Last but not least, Roberto Luongo is always a great option every time he takes to the ice. He’s expensive, but if you’re looking for a goalie with the best chance of picking up a win, he’s your guy.

San Jose Sharks V. Arizona Coyotes

The Sharks love to burn DFS players, but it’s no secret that they’re a better team on the road than they are at home. Mike Smith and the Coyotes picked up a huge win in Edmonton on Tuesday thanks to a 44-save shutout by Smith. Don’t be fooled by that performance though—Smith hasn’t played meaningful hockey in over two months and the Sharks are a well oiled scoring machine.

Speaking of well oiled machines, Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski are the best options of the night. Sure, Pavelski is still listed as a C on DK and will cost you an arm and a leg to roster, but his ability to put the puck in the net is second to none on the team. Thornton is having himself another great season, and both together are virtually unstoppable. Even if Oliver Ekman-Larsson returns to the lineup, both San Jose forwards are still top five options.

If you can’t find a way to fit both Joes in your lineup, San Jose’s second line of Melker Karlsson, Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi is an option to consider. The downside with this line is that Couture plays on the top power play unit, Donskoi plays on the second unit, and Karlsson isn’t seeing any power play time. It’s not ideal, but the trio will cost you much less to roster than the first line, so there’s that to consider. If you want to mini-stack the line, Couture/Donskoi is the best option.

If there’s one defenseman everyone should be trying to fit into their lineups, it’s Brent Burns. Again, he’ll cost you an arm and a leg to roster, but Burns has been so good this season that it’s hard to say no to him, especially with a matchup this good. I’ll be spending the majority of my day trying to fit Pavelski, Thornton and Burns into one lineup. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

Assuming he gets the start, Martin Jones is the second-best option of the night. His price tag is starting to get up there, but on DK he’s still priced below 8K and the Sharks team G on FantasyDraft is priced below 16K. Arizona is a middle-of-the-pack team when it comes to scoring goals at home, but it’s very unlikely that they score more than two goals in this contest.

Detroit Red Wings V. Columbus Blue Jackets

The Red Wings are in desperate need of some wins, so expect them to come out hungry against a below average Columbus team. Detroit is averaging just under two goals per sixty on the road—good for 22nd in the NHL—but the Blue Jackets are ranked 26th in GA/60 at 2.63. Because of this, games mean much more to the Red Wings, and I’m giving them the edge in this one.

Most DFS players will roll with Detroit’s top line of Justin Abdelkader, Henrik Zetterberg and Dylan Larkin, but the secret weapon for the Red Wings is on the second line. Anthony Mantha made his NHL debut Tuesday against the Flyers and had himself a decent first game, finishing with four shots on goal in 14 minutes of ice time. A mini-stack of Mantha and Pavel Datsyuk is definitely the way to go, considering Mantha is minimum price on FD and FanatsyDraft (note: as usual, FD hasn’t added Mantha to the player pool yet, so Tomas Tatar-Datsyuk is the best mini-stack option).

There aren’t many options when it comes to picking a Detroit defenseman to roll with, but Mike Green is definitely the best option. He’s seeing time with Datsyuk/Mantha on the second power play unit and is worth using if you can’t fit Burns in. His price tag is a tad inflated, but he still remains an above-average play for tonight.

Other Options to Consider

  • Minnesota V. New Jersey Devils: Minnesota is league average when it comes to scoring goals on the road, but the Devils are ranked dead last in the NHL in GF/60 at home (1.62). Devan Dubnyk is an excellent option because of New Jersey’s inability to score goals.
  • Pittsburgh Penguins V. Carolina Hurricanes: Let’s make this section real short: use Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Patric Hornqvist in a GPP and call it a night. Throw in Kris Letang if you want to go full Penguin.

Player Rankings

Ranking are price sensitive

DraftKings

Forwards

  1. Brad Richards—Detroit RedWings–$3500
  2. Nick Bonino—Pittsburgh Penguins–$3200
  3. Dylan Larkin—Detroit RedWings–$5200
  4. Vincent Trocheck—Florida Panthers–$5300
  5. Pavel Datsyuk—Detroit RedWings–$6200
  6. Joe Thornton—San Jose Sharks–$5800
  7. Joe Pavelski—San Jose Sharks–$7400
  8. Henrik Zetterberg—Detroit RedWings–$5500
  9. Aleksander Barkov—Florida Panthers–$6400
  10. Sidney Crosby—Pittsburgh Penguins–$7900

Wingers

  1. Anthony Mantha—Detroit RedWings–$2500
  2. Joonas Donskoi—San Jose Sharks–$4100
  3. Jonathan Huberdeau—Florida Panthers–$5500
  4. Tomas Tatar—Detroit RedWings–$4900
  5. Ondrej Palat—Tampa Bay Lightning–$4900
  6. Chris Kunitz—Pittsburgh Penguins–$4800
  7. Jaromir Jagr—Forida Panthers–$5600
  8. Patric Hornqvist—Pittsburgh Penguins—$6800
  9. Nikita Kucherov—Tampa Bay Lightning–$6500

Defenseman

  1. Aaron Ekblad—Florida Panthers–$5100
  2. Mike Green—Detroit RedWings–$4900
  3. Brian Campbell—Florida Panthers–$4000
  4. Danny Dekeyser—Detroit RedWings–$3500
  5. Brent Burns—San Jose Sharks–$8400
  6. Anton Stralman—Tampa Bay Lightning–$4800

Goalie

  1. Roberto Luongo—Florida Panthers–$8200
  2. Devan Dubnyk—Minnesota Wild–$7500
  3. Martin Jones—San Jose Sharks–$7500
  4. Marc-Andre Fleury—Pittsburgh Penguins–$8400
  5. Petr Mrazek—Detroit edWings–$7900

FanDuel

Forwards

  1. Nick Bonino—Pittsburgh Penguins–$3800
  2. Patrick Marleau—San Jose Sharks–$4700
  3. Henrik Zetterberg—Detorit RedWings–$5400
  4. Joe Thornton—San Jose Sharks–$6600
  5. Aleksander Barkov—Florida Panthers–$6700
  6. Pavel Datsyuk—Detroit RedWings–$6500
  7. Vincent Trocheck—Florida Panthers–$7200
  8. Sidney Crosby—Pittsburgh Penguins–$9800

Wingers

 Right Wing

  1. Joonas Donskoi—San Jose Sharks–$3700
  2. Reilly Smith—Florida Panthers–$5600
  3. Jaromir Jagr—Florida Panthers–$6000
  4. Joe Pavelski—San Jose Sharks–$7800
  5. Nikita Kucherov—Tampa Bay Lightning–$6300
  6. Tyler Toffoli—Los Angeles Kings–$5600

Left Wing

  1. Justin Abdelkader—Detroit RedWings–$4500
  2. Tomas Hertl—San Jose Sharks–$5000
  3. Tomas Tatar—Detroit RedWings–$5300
  4. Jonathan Huberdeau—Florida Panthers–$6500
  5. Chris Kunitz—Pittsburgh Penguins–$6300

Defenseman

  1. Danny Dekeyser—Detroit RedWings–$3300
  2. Mike Green—Detroit Redwings–$4400
  3. Aaron Ekblad—Florida Panthers–$4600
  4. Brian Campbell—Florida Panthers–$4100
  5. Brent Burns—San Jose Sharks–$8200
  6. Anton Stralman—Tampa Bay Lightning–$4800
  7. Marc-Edouard Vlasic—San Jose Sharks–$5200

Goalie

  1. Devan Dubnyk—Minnesota Wild–$7800
  2. Roberto Luongo—Florida Panthers–$8400
  3. Martin Jones—San Jose Sharks–$9000
  4. Marc-Andre Fleury—Pittsburgh Penguins–$9700
  5. Petr Mrazek—Detroit RedWings–$8700

FantasyDraft

Forwards

  1. Nick Bonino—Pittsburgh Penguins–$6400
  2. Dylan Larkin—Detroit RedWings–$10,700
  3. Vincent Trocheck—Florida Panthers–$11,000
  4. Pavel Datsyuk—Detroit Red Wings–$12,800
  5. Joe Pavelski—San Jose Sharks–$15,400
  6. Henrik Zetterberg—Detroit RedWings–$11,400
  7. Joe Thornton—San Jose Sharks–$12,100
  8. Aleksander Barkov—Florida Panthers–$13,300
  9. Sidney Crosby—Pittsburgh Penguins–$16,400

Wingers

  1. Anthony Mantha—Detroit RedWings–$4700
  2. Chris Kunitz—Pittsburgh Penguins–$9800
  3. Tomas Tatar—Detroit RedWings–$10,300
  4. Jonathan Huberdeau—Florida Panthers–$11,400
  5. Reilly Smith—florida Panthers–$10,300
  6. Jaromir Jagr—Florida Panthers–$11,600
  7. Ondrej Palat—Tampa Bay Lightning–$10,200
  8. Justin Abdelkader—Detroit RedWings–$10,400
  9. Nikita Kucherov—Tampa Bay Lightning–$13,500
  10. Patric Hornqvist—Pittsburgh Penguins–$14,000

Defenseman

  1. Aaron Ekblad—Florida Panthers–$10,500
  2. Mike Green—Detroit RedWings–$10,000
  3. Brian Campbell—Florida Panthers–$7700
  4. Anton Stralman—Tampa Bay Lightning–$9800
  5. Brent Burns—San Jose Sharks–$17,300
  6. Kris Letang—Pittsburgh Penguins–$14,500
  7. Danny Dekeyser—Detroit RedWings–$6900

Team G

  1. San Jose Sharks–$15,200
  2. Minnesota Wild–$15,500
  3. Florida Panthers–$16,600
  4. Pittsburgh Penguins–$17,100
  5. Detroit RedWings–$16,200

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