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Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: April 2, 2016

Now that April Fools Day is over, you can feel confident to believe things you see on the internet again. And if you’re a DFS player, you came to the right place.

We have a solid 11-game slate this evening, and several favorable match-ups on the board that could be exploited for a big night in fantasy hockey.

Let us get right to it…

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

Tampa Bay at home against New Jersey

The Lightning are still chasing the Panthers for the top spot in the Atlantic, while the Devils have totaled just six goals in losing three of their last four games to fall seven points out of a postseason spot with four remaining. Basically, the Devils had the smallest possible glimmer of hope to make the playoffs, and have instead crumbled. There’s not much left for them to play for, in a game where the Lightning seem very desperate for a win. Also, Tampa took the only other meeting this season by a score of 4-0.

For the Lightning, everything starts and stops with Steven Stamkos. He has scored in each of the last three against the Devils, and has eight goals on 42 shots in his last 14 games. I like a stack that includes his linemate Alex Killorn — he sees time on the first power-play unit with Stamkos as well — and also Ryan Callahan, who has 16 points in his last 14 games against the Devils. Throw in Odrej Palat, who has five points in his last two against New Jersey, and you have yourself a solid stack. Keep Ben Bishop at the top of your list of goaltenders; he has gone 11-3-1 with a 1.67 goals-against average in his last 15 starts.

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Florida Panthers at home against Montreal 

Sticking in the Sunshine State, the next best stack option tonight is the Panthers. This isn’t an overly exciting match-up on paper — Montreal has been playing a little better recently — but Florida has quietly been one the hottest goal-scoring teams in the league the last month. Their 3.58 goals per game since March 7 is tied for the second-best mark in the league in that span. Conversely, Montreal will be without two of their best defensemen: PK Subban and Nathan Beaulieu.

For Florida, linemates Jonathan Huberdeau, Jaromir Jagr and Alexsander Barkov each have points in four straight games and should see the more favorable line matches at home in this one. If you’re taking Florida, that’s your go-to line to pick.

Pittsburgh at the New York Islanders

If you want to get in on some early action, this is the game for you. Sidney Crosby has been the hottest player in the NHL for the last two months. He has 20 points and 57 shots in his last 15 games. But the HBK line — Hagelin, Bonino, Kessel — has been absolutely on fire. They’ve combined for eight goals for and only one against in their last five games together, which is unreal production. If you can fit those three with some combination of Crosby and/or Kris Letang from the backend, absolutely do it.

Notes:

The Rangers are hosting the Sabres at home, though the Sabres haven’t been that awful as of late. I’d consider this game, but there are simply much better match-ups to choose from on this day.

The Blue Jackets have been the worst team in the league over the last ten games. Unfortunately, the team they’re playing today, the Carolina Hurricanes, have been almost as bad.

The Red Wings look good on paper today against the Maple Leafs, but don’t fall into this trap. The Leafs are 6-4 in their last ten, and playing decent hockey while doing so, while the Wings have basically fallen apart. It would be wise to fade this game.

The Capitals won’t be worth overpaying for today, especially considering the Coyotes play much better at home.

I always like the Oilers when they’re at home against another terrible team from Canada. If you need some cheap spare parts today, look to Edmonton.

PLAYER RANKINGS

Center

1.) Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning

2.) Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins

3.) Alexsander Barkov – Florida Panthers

4.) Jussi Jokinen – Florida Panthers

5.) Nick Bonino – Pittsburgh Penguins

6.) Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers

Winger

1.) Phil Kessel – Pittsburgh Penguins

2.) Jaromir Jagr – Florida Panthers

3.) Ondrej Palat – Tampa Bay Lightning

4.) Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals

5.) James Neal – Nashville Predators

6.) Nikita Kucherov – Tampa Bay Lightning

7.) Carl Hagelin – Pittsburgh Penguins

8.) Filip Forsberg – Nashville Predators

Defense

1.) Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks

2.) Kris Letang – Pittsburgh Penguins

3.) Victor Hedman – Tampa Bay Lightning

4.) Mark Giordano – Calgary Flames

5.) Shea Weber – Nashville Predators

6.) Erik Karlsson – Ottawa Senators

Goalie

1.) Ben Bishop – Tampa Bay Lightning

2.) Marc-Andre Fleury – Pittsburgh Penguins

3.) Roberto Luongo – Florida Panthers

4.) Steve Mason – Philadelphia Flyers

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