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Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: March 29, 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

The Toronto Maple Leafs are playing their second game in as many nights, and if the first game is any indication of how they will perform tonight, it’s not going to end well. With a win, the Panthers will look to continue to pad their lead in the Atlantic Divison ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning. DFS players with definitely not want to fade this game.

The Panthers have two decent lines, so the key here is to decide which line is worth the money. Florida’s top line should match up with Toronto’s top line, and because Toronto has absolutely no depth whatsoever, the ideal situation is Florida’s second trio. Vincent Trocheck, Jussi Jokinen and Reilly Smith are all great options to consider. Trocheck and Jokinen make for an excellent mini-stack to roll with in cash games.

On the blue line, Aaron Ekblad is Florida’s best offensive defenseman, and yet, most DFS sites have him at a discount. The reason may be because he’s only registered three points in the last ten games, but he’s seeing time on the top power play unit and his matchup against the Leafs is so good that he could very well finish the night with more than one point.

Last but not least, Roberto Luongo is an absolute stud tonight thanks to his matchup. The veteran net minder has been exceptional all season, so I expect him to come out with a win and hit his value. He’s an expensive option, but elite goaltending will almost always help you win a GPP, so there’s no need to fade him tonight.

St. Louis Blues V. Colorado Avalanche

Despite missing both Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon, the Colorado Avalanche found a way to go into Nashville and come out with a win last night. That’s impressive to say the least, but there will be no repeat of that in St. Louis. Duchene and MacKinnon will also miss tonight’s game, and there’s an excellent chance Calvin Pickard gets the start for Colorado. The Blues have had a difficult time scoring goals this season—ranked 29th in GF/60 at home—but this matchup is above average, and there’s no way St. Louis scores only two goals, right?

Everyone is going to go with the Blues’ top line of Jori Lehtera, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko, but that might not be the best option. The line that you should be using is David Backes, Patrik Berglund and Alex Steen. Steen is ready to return from injury and he’s skating on the third line as of yesterday afternoon. What’s even better about this situation is that both Steen and Backes are expected to skate on the top power play unit with Tarasenko, Lehtera and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Their price tags are a bit high for my liking, but the mismatch is just so bad, it’s impossible to ignore. The problem is both Steen and Backes are listed at C, so you’ll need to get creative to fit them into a GPP.

St. Louis goaltender Brian Elliott has been literally unbeatable over his last three starts. He hasn’t given up a goal in over 180 minutes of hockey, and there’s a high possibility that he doesn’t give up one tonight. He’s the most expensive goalie on the board, but with the way he’s been paying lately, why fade him?

Pittsburgh Penguins V. Buffalo Sabres

With their playoffs hopes still not certain, this game becomes a cliché “must win” for the Penguins. With the Sabres playing their second game in as many nights, the consensus is that Pittsburgh should have no problem walking away with two points at the end of sixty minutes.

The Penguins top line anchored by Sidney Crosby will be the line every one should target, but let’s not forget Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel, both coming off of five-point games against the Red Wings on Saturday. There’s an excellent chance that Pittsburgh’s top line matches up against Buffalo’s, which means Bonino and Kessel with get a plus matchup against a very young Buffalo second line. Couple that with the fact that both players play on the top power play with Crosby, and you have yourself a power mini-stack.

Kris Letang is always a great option every time the Penguins are in action, and tonight is no different. The Montreal native is the anchor on the team’s blueline and he’s managed to rack up eight points (4G, 4A) in his last ten contests. He’s an expensive player to roster, but considering how little Bonino costs, you may be able to fit Letang into your lineup.

Player Rankings

Rankings are price sensitive

DraftKings

Forwards

  1. Nick Bonino—Pittsburgh Penguins—$3700
  2. David Backes—St. Louis Blues–$5100
  3. Vincent Trocheck—Florida Panthers–$5500
  4. Sidney Crosby—Pittsburgh Penguins–$8100
  5. Alexander Steen—St. Louis Blues–$6100
  6. Joe Thornton—San Jose Sharks–$5800
  7. Henrik Zetterberg—Detroit Red Wings–$5300

Wingers

  1. Chris Kunitz—Pittsburgh Penguins–$4700
  2. Jussi Jokinen—Florida Panthers–$5500
  3. Phil Kessel—Pittsburgh Penguins–$6700
  4. Kyle Okposo—New York Islanders–$6200
  5. Jaden Schwartz—St. Louis Blues–$5700
  6. Joe Pavelski—San Jose Sharks–$7400
  7. Vladimir Tarasenko—St. Louis Blues–$7300

Defenseman

  1. Aaron Ekblad—Florida Panthers–$4800
  2. Nathan Beaulieu—Montreal Canadiens–$3200
  3. Brian Campbell—Florida Panthers–$4000
  4. Kevin Shattenkirk—St. Louis Blues–$6800
  5. Brent Burns—San Jose Sharks–$8400
  6. Kris Letang—Pittsburgh Penguins–$7000
  7. Roman Josi—Nashville Predators–$7100

Goalie

  1. Brian Elliott—St. Louis Blues–$8500
  2. Roberto Luongo—Florida Panthers–$8300
  3. Marc-Andre Fleury—Pittsburgh Penguins–$8400
  4. Thomas Greiss—New York Islanders–$7900
  5. James Reimer—San Jose Sharks–$7100

FanDuel

Forwards

  1. Jason Spezza—Dallas Stars–$3000 (Seriously)
  2. Henrik Zetterberg—Detroit Red Wings–$4700
  3. Nick Bonino—Pittsburgh Penguins–$4900
  4. Alexander Steen—St. Louis Blues–$6800
  5. Sidney Crosby—Pittsburgh Penguins–$9800
  6. Vincent Trocheck—Florida Panthers–$7600
  7. Alex Galchenyuk—Montreal Canadiens–$5300
  8. David Backes—St. Louis Blues–$5700
  9. Joe Thornton—San Jose Sharks–$6500

Wingers

 Right Wing

  1. Patrick Sharp—Dallas Stars–$3000 (No joke)
  2. Dylan Larkin—Detroit Red Wings–$4900
  3. Phil Kessel—Pittsburgh Penguins–$7800
  4. Joe Pavelski—San Jose Sharks–$7900
  5. Jaromir Jagr—Florida Panthers–$6000
  6. Vladimir Tarasenko—St. Louis Blues–$8000
  7. Kyle Okposo—New York Islanders–$6200

Left Wing

  1. Robby Fabbri—St. Louis Blues–$5200
  2. Loui Eriksson—Boston Bruins–$5100
  3. Artemi Panarin—Chicago blackhawks–$5900
  4. Jamie Benn—Dallas Stars–$8000
  5. Jussi Jokinen—Florida Panthers–$7100
  6. Max Pacioretty—Montreal Canadiens–$6500

Defenseman

  1. John Klingberg—Dallas Stars–$3000 (That’s right)
  2. Aaron Ekblad—Florida Panthers–$4100
  3. Mike Green—Detroit Red Wings–$4500
  4. Kevin Shattenkirk—St. Louis Blues–$5300
  5. Brent Burns—San Jose Sharks–$7700
  6. Kris Letang—Pittsburgh Penguins–$7600
  7. Roman Josi—Nashville Predators–$5800

 Goalie

  1. Roberto Luongo—Florida Panthers–$9000
  2. Brian Elliott—St. Louis Blues–$9800
  3. Marc-Andre Fleury–$9600
  4. Thomas Greiss—New York Islanders–$8400
  5. James Reimer—San Jose Sharks–$7200

FantasyDraft

Forwards

  1. Nick Bonino—Pittsburgh Penguins–$7400
  2. Robby Fabbri—St. Louis Blues–$7900
  3. David Backes—St. Louis Blues–$10,600
  4. Jussi Jokinen—Florida Panthers–$11,300
  5. Sidney Crosby—Pittsburgh Penguins–$16,800
  6. Vincent Trocheck—Florida Panthers–$11,400
  7. Alex Galchenyuk—Montreal Canadiens–$11,00
  8. Joe Pavelski—San Jose Sharks–$15,400

Wingers

  1. Alexander Steen—St. Louis Blues–$12,600
  2. Jonathan Huberdeau—Florida Panthers–$11,100
  3. Carl Hagelin—Pittsburgh Penguins–$8500
  4. Reilly Smith—Florida Panthers–$9800
  5. Chris Kunitz—Pittsburgh Penguins–$9600
  6. Phil Kessel—Pittsburgh Penguins–$13,900
  7. Artemi Panarin—Chicago Blackhawks–$13,200
  8. Vladimir Tarasenko—St. Louis Blues–$15,100

Defenseman

  1. Kris Letang—Pittsburgh Penguins–$14,500
  2. Aaron Ekblad—Florida Panthers–$9700
  3. Ben Hutton—Vancouver Canucks–$7300
  4. Mike Green—Detroit Red Wings–$10,600
  5. Kevin Shattenkirk—St. Louis Blues–$13,900
  6. Brent Burns—San Jose Sharks–$17,400
  7. Alex Pietrangelo—St. Louis Blues–$12,000
  8. Roman Josi—Nashville Predators–$14,500

 Team G

  1. St. Louis Blues–$17,200
  2. Florida Panthers–$16,900
  3. Pittsburgh Penguins–$17,200
  4. New York Islanders–$16,100
  5. San Jose Sharks–$14,300

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