Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: March 31, 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
San Jose Sharks V. Vancouver Canucks
The San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks are facing each other for the second time in the last three days. The Sharks beat the Canucks on Tuesday thanks to a three-goal performance from Logan Couture. It was a relatively close game after the first period, but once San Jose got going, Vancouver had no answer. DFS players should expect a similar game to the one on Tuesday, so load up on as many Sharks as possible!
San Jose’s top line is always a great play, and tonight should be no different. Thanks to Couture’s strong performance, his ownership should be up there, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from rostering him. Couture is joined on a line with Patrick Marleau and Joonas Donskoi. Marleau and Couture make for a great mini-stack in cash games and the duo will cost you much less than Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. That extra salary saved should be used to roster Brent Burns, because you really can’t fade “The Wookie”. All three play together on the top power play and all three should have a pretty nice night.
There’s a good chance that Martin Jones gets the nod for the Sharks, so he instantly becomes the best goalie play of the night. The Canucks have scored three even strength goals over their last seven games, which of course is not good. They’re averaging 2.36 GF/60 on the road—which is 9th best in the league—but no one really expects Vancouver to score more than a goal tonight, except contrarian players. Jones is a safe play, which is what you want in cash games. Roll him out there and don’t sweat it.
Note: Marleau is listed at C on DK, so that could pose a problem when building your lineup. For DK only, Pavelski-Thornton is a better option.
Los Angeles Kings V. Calgary Flames
The Los Angeles Kings are looking to move one step closer to locking up the Pacific Division, while the Calgary Flames are just hoping to get this season over with. The struggles in Calgary have been real, and without Johnny Gaudreau in the lineup, they go from bad to even worse. This matchup will see players with high ownership, but fading this game may prove to be costly by the end of the night.
The great thing about this matchup is there’s really only one line to target, that being the second line of Jeff Carter, Milan Lucic and Tyler Toffoli. No matter how much ice time Mark Giordano gets, he won’t be able to single handedly slow this line down. All three are pretty reasonably priced considering their above-average matchup, and all three can be used in a GPP.
The one small problem that does exist is that Carter and Lucic play on the top power play unit, while Toffoli plays on the second unit. Usually I’m not a fan of mini-stacking players who play on opposite power plays, but L.A’s power play hasn’t been great this season, so it doesn’t concern me. Yes, power play goals and points are nice, but as long as the Kings find a way to score, everyone is happy. If you want to play it safe, Carter and Lucic is the mini-stack to go with, but Toffoli’s price, especially on FD, is still really good considering his production.
On defense, Alec Martinez is the player that stands out the most. His price tag continues to be very reasonable and he’s averaging close to 20 minutes every night. Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty are always great options to consider, but Martinez still offers the best value.
A small part of me hopes Jhonas Enroth gets the start for the Kings just to benefit from his salary relief in comparison to Jonathan Quick, but there’s very little chance of that happening. The Kings are also not great at confirming their goalies before 7:00PM ET, so that makes things even more difficult. Regardless of which goalie gets the call, they instantly become an elite option. Like Vancouver, Calgary can score goals on the road, but if Gaudreau is a no go, the Flames have very little hope of scoring against a strong Kings team.
Minnesota Wild V. Ottawa Senators
The Sens have been a real disappointment this season. They’ve been an above-average matchup for opposing teams all season long thanks to their inability to crack down on scoring chances and shots against. The Wild on the other hand are fighting for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They come into tonight ranked 10th in GF/60 at home (2.47) and 6th in GA/60 (1.89). Considering the magnitude of this game, Minnesota should come out firing from the start and dominate from start to finish.
Minnesota’s top line is one that most people will be targeting, but the third line is where all the value is. Jason Pominville, Erik Haula and Nino Niederreiter are all super affordable and should match up with Ottawa’s bottom six. That alone is enough for me to roster them. Haula isn’t seeing any power play time, so Niederreiter-Pominville is the mini-stack to consider, especially for the folks who roll with Couture-Marleau on DK. Power play time may not matter too much here, so if you need the Haula salary relief, use him as a cheaper option at C.
That being said, Zach Parise has been playing some of his best hockey over the last ten games, scoring six goals and adding three assists in that span. He’s one point short of hitting the 50-point plateau, so if you can afford to fit him into your lineup, by all means do it.
Assuming he gets the start, Devan Dubnyk is a nice play here. Ottawa doesn’t generate many shots on the road and Minnesota doesn’t allow many goals at home. It’s a perfect pairing for players who want to move away from the heavy ownership of LA goalie/Martin Jones.
Rankings are price sensitive
- Erik Haula—Minnesota Wild–$4200
- Cody Eakin—Dallas Stars–$4100
- Patrick Marleau—San Jose Sharks–$5600
- Tyler Johnson—Tampa bay Lightning–$5500
- Logan Couture—San Jose Sharks–$5900
- Jeff Carter—Los Angeles Kings–$6300
- Jason Spezza—Dallas Stars–$6100
- John Tavares—New York Islanders–$7500
- Steven Stamkos—Tampa Bay Lightning–$7700
- Joe Thornton—San Jose Sharks–$5800
- Milan Lucic—Los Angeles Kings–$5000
- Ondrej Palat—Tampa Bay Lightning–$5200
- Charlie Coyle—Minnesota Wild–$4800
- Nino Niederreiter—Minnesota Wild–$4500
- Tyler Toffoli—Los Angeles Kings–$5700
- Patrick Sharp—Dallas Stars–$6200
- Joe Pavelski—San Jose Sharks–$7500
- Zach Parise—Minnesota Wild–$7100
- Kyle Okposo—New York Islanders–$6200
- Jason Pominville—Minnesota Wild–$4700
- Alec Martinez—Los Angeles Kings–$4800
- Jared Spurgeon—Minnesota Wild–$4900
- Johnny Boychuk—New York Islanders–$5500
- Brent Burns—San Jose Sharks–$8500
- John Klingberg—Dallas Stars–$6300
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson—Arizona Coyotes–$6000
- Calvin de Hann—New York Islanders–$4100
- Drew Doughty—Los Angeles Kings–$6100
- Roman Josi—Nashville Predators–$7000
- Martin Jones—San Jose Sharks–$7300
- Jonathan Quick—Los Angeles Kings–$8100
- Devan Dubnyk—Minnesota Wild–$8300
- Jhonas Enroth—Los Angeles Kings–$7100
- Ben Bishop—Tampa Bay Lightning–$8300
- Roberto Luongo—Florida Panthers–$8200
- Cody Eakin—Dallas Stars–$4500
- Ryan O’Reilly—Buffalo Sabres–$4300
- Jason Spezza—Dallas Stars–$6300
- Logan Couture—San Jose Sharks–$6600
- Jeff Carter—Los Angeles Kings–$7000
- John Tavares—New York Islanders–$7800
- Erik Haula—Minnesota Wild–$5900
- Nick Bjustad—Florida Panthers–$5200
- Steven Stamkos—Tampa Bay Lightning–$8800
- Joe Thornton—San Jose Sharks–$6700
- Tyler Toffoli—Los Angeles Kings–$6100
- Patrick Sharp—Dallas Stars–$5500
- Patrick Marleau—San Jose Sharks–$4500
- Charlie Coyle—Minnesota Wild–$4600
- Kyle Okposo—New York Islanders–$6100
- Sam Reinhart—Buffalo Sabres–$5200
- Joe Pavelski—San Jose Sharks–$8200
- Milan Lucic—Los Angeles Kings–$5900
- Nino Niederreiter—Minnesota Wild–$5500
- Tanner Pearson—Los Angeles Kings–$4500
- Zach Parise—Minnesota Wild–$7600
- Jamie Benn—Dallas Stars–$8400
- Jonathan Huberdeau—Florida Panthers–$6400
- Alec Martinez—Los Angeles Kings–$4100
- Rasmus Ristolainen—Buffalo Sabres–$3600
- Aaron Ekblad—Florida Panthers–$4000
- Brent Burns—San Jose Sharks–$8000
- Ryan Suter—Minnesota Wild–$4700
- Jared Spurgeon—Minnesota Wild–$4000
- John Klingberg—Dallas Stars–$5600
- Jake Muzzin—Los Angeles Kings–$4600
- Jonathan Quick—Los Angeles Kings–$8300
- Devan Dubnyk—Minnesota wild–$8800
- Martin Jones—San Jose Sharks–$9100
- Roberto Luongo—Florida Panthers–$8800
- Ben Bishop—Tampa Bay Lightning–$10,200
- Erik Haula—Minnesota Wild–$8400
- Cody Eakin—Dallas Stars–$8100
- Nick Bjustad—Florida Panthers–$8900
- Tyler Johnson—Tampa Bay Lightning–$11,400
- Logan Couture—San Jose Sharks–$12,100
- Jeff Carter—Los Angeles Kings–$13,200
- Steven Stamkos—Tampa Bay Lightning–$16,100
- Joe Pavelski—San Jose Sharks–$15,500
- Jason Spezza—Dallas Stars–$12,600
- John Tavares—New York Islanders–$15,500
- Tyler Toffoli—Los Angeles Kings–$11,700
- Nino Niederreiter—Minnesota Wild–$9200
- Patrick Marleau—San Jose Sharks–$11,700
- Milan Lucic—Los Angeles Kings–$10,400
- Kyle Okposo—New York Islanders–$12,800
- Zach Parise—Minnesota Wild–$14,700
- Patrick Sharp—Dallas Stars–$12,900
- Jamie Benn—Dallas Stars–$16,400
- Jared Spurgeon—Minnesota Wild–$10,100
- Alec Martinez—Los Angeles Kings–$9800
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson—Arizona Coyotes–$12,300
- Brent Burns—San Jose Sharks–$17,400
- John Klingberg—Dallas Stars–$13,000
- Drew Doughty—Los Angeles Kings–$12,400
- Victor Hedman—Tampa Bay Lightning–$12,300
- San Jose Sharks–$14,300
- Los Angeles Kings–$16,500
- Minnesota Wild–$16,800
- Florida Panthers–$16,600
- Buffalo Sabres–$15,200
- Carolina Hurricanes–$13,900