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Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: March 24, 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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Pittsburgh Penguins V. New Jersey Devils

The Devils are a pretty decent hockey team fighting for a playoff spot, but they don’t stand a chance against this Penguins’ team. Not only are the Devils ranked 29th in GF/60 on the road (1.77), but Pittsburgh is ranked 1st in both GF/60 at home (2.98) and shots for per sixty (SF60, 35.8). The Penguins will be an expensive option to roster, but they literally are impossible to fade tonight.

Let’s make this conversation short, shall we? The Penguin’s top line of Chris Kunitz, Patric Hornqvist and Sidney Crosby is the only line I’m willing to pay up for. The rest of their lineup is pretty ordinary, so let’s stick with what we know and go with the big boys.

For some strange reason, Nick Bonino has found himself on the top power play unit at the expense of Kunitz, which isn’t a bad thing, but it ruins the Crosby-Kunitz stack many of us were hoping for. If for some reason you decide that you want to fade this game, at least roll with Bonino as a single bullet and hope he picks up some points.

As always, Kris Letang is an elite option on this NHL slate. He’s the quarterback of the power play and always finds a way to pick up points. He’s expensive, but in a GPP lineup, pay up for him!

Finally, Marc-Andre Fleury is the cash game goalie of the night. His price tag may convince some of you to fade him, but there are so many value options tonight that there’s no need to go cheap on goaltending. The Devils don’t get many pucks to the net, but there’s no way that team manages to get more than one goal past Fleury.

 Anaheim Ducks V. Toronto Maple Leafs

John Gibson allowing four goals up to the Montreal Canadiens burned most of the DFS universe on Tuesday night, but let’s be honest here folks, even I know that isn’t going to happen a second time. The Ducks didn’t respect the Habs on Tuesday, and even though they suck, you always have to respect your opponent. Anaheim will be ready to face the Leafs tonight, and I expect them to dominate this game from start to finish.

Everyone is going to be on Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry tonight—except me. Don’t get me wrong, both are elite options tonight, but their price tags are a bit hard to swallow. Instead, the line that offers the best value to DFS players is the third line of Ryan Kesler, Andrew Cogliano, and Jakob Silfverberg.

The trio has been unstoppable over the last few games as they continue to put up points in bunches. Kesler and Silfverberg don’t play on the same power play unit, but they will have an above average matchup against Toronto’s super weak bottom six. The best part—the duo will cost you much less than Getzlaf & Perry.

On the blue line, Hampus Lindholm is the best offensive defenseman on this team. Although Cam Fowler is expected to see time on the top power play unit, Lindholm is by far the better defenseman of the two. Depending on which site you play on, Fowler and Lindholm are pretty equally priced. With the news of Shea Theodore being recalled from AHL San Diego, there’s a pretty good chance the youngster gets a chance to step up and play on the top power play unit. That situation is definitely worth monitoring.

 As mentioned earlier, the Ducks burned a ton of people on Tuesday by losing to Montreal, but Frederik Andersen—assuming he gets the start—is a top three option on the night. The Leafs aren’t great at scoring goals, while the Ducks have been one of the best defensive teams since Christmas. The burn may still be fresh, but don’t let one bad experience turn you off Anaheim’s elite goaltending.

Nashville Predators V. Vancouver Canucks

When was the last time Vancouver scored a goal? March 16th is the correct answer. The Canucks have gone three straight games without a goal, and if it wasn’t for Jacob Markstrom’s 47-save performance against the Winnipeg Jets, that game could have easily finished 6-0 Winnipeg. Vancouver is a mess, and even though we all know they are going to score a goal at some point, there’s a pretty good chance that it doesn’t happen tonight.

Let’s start with the forwards. The Predators do a much better job at scoring goals on home ice than they do on the read, so their top two lines are in play tonight. The idea is to always avoid whichever lines plays against the Sedin twins, but at this point; it doesn’t really make a difference.

Filip Forsberg continues to be way too expensive on FD to roster, so the alternative there is to go with the Preds top line of Calle Jarnkrok, Ryan Johansen and James Neal. Neal has had a ton of success over his last ten games—picking up seven goals and adding four assists. The slight problem with a Johansen-Neal mini-stack is they both play on the second power play unit, which means not with Roman Josi and Shea Weber. Forsberg’s price is much more friendly on DK and FanatsyDraft, so a mini-stack of Forsberg-Josi is a little unorthodox, but one that could pay dividend.

Let’s talk about my second favourite goalie option of the night: Pekka Rinne. The Nashville net minder has had a difficult season, but he’s been extremely good at home since the beginning of the season and the team in front of him tends to play better at home. The Canucks haven’t scored a goal in over 200 minutes of hockey, so if Ondrej Pavelec can pick up a shutout, I expect Rinne to be able to do the same. He’s a bit pricy on FD, but he’s still a cheaper option than Fleury, my favourite play of the night.

Other Options to Consider

Detroit Red Wings V. Montreal Canadiens: Let’s not forget that Montreal is still a terrible team without Carey Price. The Red Wings are fighting for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and Ben Scrivens is confirmed to get the start. Dylan Larkin and Henrik Zetterberg are both very reasonably priced across all DFS sites and should be able to hit their value by the end of the night.

Minnesota Wild V. Calgary Flames: Nicklas Backstrom picked up his first NHL win in over a year against the Canadiens and is now heading back to Minnesota to take on the Wild. Revenge game? Maybe, but let’s not forget that Backstrom is a terrible goalie play on a terrible team. Calgary’s bottom six is exploitable, so Nino Niederreiter, Erik Haula and Justin Fontaine are a line worth considering. Minnesota is battling Colorado for the final playoff spot in the West, so they ABSOLUTELY need to win this game.

Philadelphia Flyers V. Colorado Avalanche: Speaking of Colorado, the Avalanche will be without Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene for the next two games. Who’s going to contain Claude Giroux and company? No one. Giroux, Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds are all options to consider. Their ownership will be low and their upside is extremely high. Philadelphia currently occupies the final playoff spot ahead of Detroit; so expect Philly to come out firing and looking for a crucial two points.

Player Rankings

Rankings are price sensitive

DraftKings

Forwards

1.     Nick Bonino—Pittsburgh Penguins–$3500

2.     Erik Haula—Minnesota Wild–$4100

3.     Dylan Larkin—Detroit Red Wings–$5100

4.     Sidney Crosby—Pittsburgh Penguins–$8200

5.     Brayden Schenn—Philadelphia Flyers–$5600

6.     Ryan Johansen—Nashville Predators–$5200

7.     Ryan Getzlaf—Anaheim Ducks–$6600

 Wingers

1.     Jason Zucker—Minnesota Wild–$4100

2.     Chris Kunitz—Pittsburgh Penguins–$4800

3.     Anthony Mantha—Detroit Red Wings–$3000

4.     Jakob Silfverberg—Anaheim Ducks–$4900

5.     Tyler Toffoli—Los Angeles Kings–$5400

6.     James Neal—Nashville Predators–$6000

7.     Corey Perry—Anaheim Ducks–$6400

8.     Filip Forsberg—Nashville Predators–$6800

 Defenseman

1.     Hampus Lindholm—Anaheim Ducks–$4600

2.     Aaron Ekblad—Florida Panthers–$5000

3.     Roman Josi—Nashville Predators–$7000

4.     Oliver Ekman-Larsson—Arizona Coyotes–$6100

5.     Shayne Gostisbehere—Philadelphia Flyers–$6100

6.     Kris Letang—Pittsburgh Penguins–$7000

7.     Noah Hanifin—Carolina Hurricanes–$3700

 Goalie

1.     Marc-Andre Fleury—Pittsburgh Penguins–$8300

2.     Pekka Rinne—Nashville Predators–$8100

3.     Frederik Andersen—Anaheim Ducks–$7900

4.     Sergei Bobrovsky—Columbus Blue Jackets–$6800

5.     Martin Jones—San Jose Sharks–$7500

6.     Steve Mason—Philadelphia Flyers–$7600

7.     Petr Mrazek—Detroit Red Wings–$7800

 FanDuel

 Forwards

1.     Henrik Zetterberg—Detroit Red Wings–$5200

2.     Nick Bonino—Pittsburgh Penguins–$4100

3.     Ryan Johansen—Nashville Predators–$6600

4.     Sidney Crosby—Pittsburgh Penguins–$10,100

5.     Ryan Getzlaf—Anaheim Ducks–$7700

6.     Alex Galchenyuk—Montreal Canadiens–$5600

7.     Erik Haula—Minnesota Wild–$5400

8.     Claude Giroux—Philadelphia Flyers–$8100

Wingers

 Right Wing

1.     Charlie Coyle—Minnesota Wild–$4500

2.     Dylan Larkin—Detroit Red Wings–$5000

3.     Patrick Sharp—Dallas Stars–$5300

4.     James Neal—Nashville Predators–$6700

5.     Jakob Silfverberg—Anaheim Ducks–$6200

6.     Wayne Simmonds—Philadelphia Flyers–$7200

7.     Corey Perry—Anaheim Ducks–$7100

8.     Phil Kessel—Pittsburgh Penguins–$6900

Left Wing

1.     Calle Jarnkrok—Nashville Predators–$3900

2.     Nino Niederreiter—Minnesota Wild–$5300

3.     Taylor Hall—Edmonton Oilers–$6000

4.     Brayden Schenn—Philadelphia Flyers–$6800

5.     Filip Forsberg—Nashville Predators–$8300

6.     Patrick Marleau—San Jose Sharks–$4600

Defenseman

1.     Josh Manson—Anaheim Ducks–$3400

2.     Seth Jones—Columbus Blue Jackets–$4000

3.     Aaron Ekblad—Florida Panthers–$4100

4.     Hampus Lindholm—Anaheim Ducks–$4800

5.     Shayne Gostisbehere—Philadelphia Flyers–$5300

6.     Roman Josi—Nashville Predators–$5500

7.     Kris Letang—Pittsburgh Penguins–$7300

8.     Ryan Suter—Minnesota Wild–$4500

Goalie

1.     Marc-Andre Fleury—Pittsburgh Penguins–$9700

2.     Pekka Rinne—Nashville-Predators–$8800

3.     Sergei Bobrovsky—Columbus Blue Jackets–$7900

4.     Frederik Andersen—Anaheim Ducks–$9300

5.     Devan Dubnyk—Minnesota Wild–$8100

6.     Steve Mason—Philadelphia Flyers–$8500

FantasyDraft

Forwards

1.     Nick Bonino—Pittsburgh Penguins–$7100

2.     Cody Eakin—Dallas Stars–$7900

3.     Erik Haula—Minnesota Wild–$8200

4.     Ryan Johansen—Nashville Predators–$10,700

5.     Henrik Zetterberg—Detroit Red Wings–$11,100

6.     Brayden Schenn—Philadelphia Flyers–$11,700

7.     Sidney Crosby—Pittsburgh Penguins–$17,000

8.     Ryan Getzlaf—Anaheim Ducks–$13,600

 Wingers

1.     Anthony Mantha—Detroit Red Wings–$6000

2.     Nino Niederreiter—Minnesota Wild–$8800

3.     Jakob Silfverberg—Anaheim Ducks–$10,300

4.     Chris Kunitz—Pittsburgh Penguins–$9900

5.     Tyler Toffoli—Los Angeles Kings–$11,100

6.     James Neal—Nashville Predators–$12,500

7.     Wayne Simmonds—Philadelphia Flyers–$14,000

8.     Filip Forsberg—Nashville Predators–$14,000

9.     Corey Perry—Anaheim Ducks–$13,200

Defenseman

1.     Hampus Lindholm—Anaheim Ducks–$9400

2.     Aaron Ekblad—Florida Panthers–$10,200

3.     Shayne Gostisbehere—Philadelphia Flyers–$12,400

4.     Roman Josi—Nashville Predators–$14,500

5.     Kris Letang—Pittsburgh Penguins–$14,500

6.     Oliver Ekman-Larsson—Arizona Coyotes–$12,400

 Team G

1.     Pittsburgh Penguins–$16,900

2.     Nashville Predators–$16,500

3.     Anaheim Ducks–$16,100

4.     Columbus Blue Jackets–$15,100

5.     Philadelphia Flyers–$15,400

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