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Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: February 6th

pens
Source: Vincent Pugliese/Getty Images

Normally I start these posts off with the same canned explanation of the player value chart that is usually included at the bottom of the post. But I’m not including a value chart in today’s post because I didn’t get home from the Stars-Lightning game until 11:00 p.m. and the chart takes forever to do. However, I also didn’t include it because I’m beginning to wonder how useful it is and whether it is worth the time it takes to create. Lately I’ve found that my analysis hinges much more on team-versus-team matchups and trying to identify which games will be best from which to choose players. Once I identify the teams I want to target, I normally use the value chart to help me pick players from those teams.

But the value chart has a bit of a flaw in that it skews towards mid-priced players and doesn’t favor the studs. So I often ignore the “bad value” grades that expensive players usually have otherwise I won’t come close to the cap in my lineups. So for today, and maybe for awhile, I’m going to eschew doing the value chart. It takes like three hours to create, and I’m not sure it’s adding all that much. If the chart is a tool you were a fan of, let me know on Twitter (@TheRealTAL) and I’ll consider bringing it back.

Make sure to check Twitter for any injury news, and check leftwinglock.com for starting goalies and line combos.

Stack Options

There are no big favorites according to Vegas today, but St. Louis, New Jersey and Chicago are the biggest favorites of the day all at around -150. But I have reservations about stacking them heavily. The Blues and Blackhawks are good offensive teams, but they are both on the road and playing teams that are only slightly above average matchups for opposing skaters. New Jersey is at home and has the best matchup of the day against Toronto, but New Jersey is arguably the worst offense in the league outside of Buffalo and almost certainly the worst offense in action today. All that said, I simply can’t come up with two forward pairs from those teams for team-heavy GPP stacks. However, I do like a forward pair or two from a couple of those teams, and they’re ranked below.

Moving past the biggest Vegas favorites, there are a few teams that are candidates for team-heavy stacks. The first is Washington who will host Anaheim. Washington is a top ten, but not quite top five, offensive team, and Anaheim is a somewhat above average matchup for opposing skaters. Plus, the game is in Washington and Anaheim is traveling tonight to Washington from Nashville. Although too expensive to use in cash games, I like the pair of Alex Ovechkin ($9,500, W) and Nicklas Backstrom ($7,500, C) when combined with a cheaper pair of third lines forwards, Eric Fehr ($4,100, W) and Joel Ward ($3,700, W). If your budget allows for it, John Carlson ($5,600, D) is an option anytime you have Ward in a lineup as those two play on the second power play unit together.

I also think the Pittsburgh at Calgary game has the potential to see some goals. The safer play is probably Pittsburgh because the Flames are a better matchup for opposing skaters than the Penguins are. I love Chris Kunitz‘s price ($4,800, W), and it allows you to roster Sidney Crosby ($8,900, C) because their combined price is reasonable. That’s the cash game play. If you want to go Pens-heavy, you can also go with Evgeni Malkin ($8,600, C) and Patrick Hornqvist ($6,500, W). On the blue line I like Paul Martin ($3,200, D), but he doesn’t play on the power play with any of those forwards I just listed. Kris Letang ($8,300, D) plays on the PP with them, but I can’t stomach his price.

The Flames are a riskier play. I do like Johnny Gaudreau ($4,700, W) quite a bit, so I’ll be rostering him with his center, Sean Monahan ($5,300, C). To go Flames-heavy with a stack I’d also use Mikael Backlund ($4,500, C) and David Jones ($3,500, W). But as I’m typing it I’m having a hard time imagining using all four of those forwards together. On the blue line I really like Dennis Wideman ($4,700, D) who plays on the power play with Gaudreau/Monahan.

Price-Adjusted Cash Game Rankings

Center/Winger Mini-Stacks

  1. Sidney Crosby/Chris Kunitz – Pittsburgh Penguins
  2. Jonathan Toews/Marian Hossa – Chicago Blackhawks
  3. Evgeni Malkin/Patric Hornqvist – Pittsburgh Penguins
  4. Sean Monahan/Johnny Gaudreau – Calgary Flames
  5. Travis Zajac/Patrik Elias – New Jersey Devils
  6. Eric Fehr/Joel Ward – Washington Capitals

Defensemen

  1. Dennis Wideman – $4,700 – Calgary Flames
  2. Marek Zidlicky – $3,300 – New Jersey Devils
  3. Alex Pietrangelo – $5,000 – St. Louis Blues
  4. Brent Seabrook – $4,300 – Chicago Blackhawks
  5. John Carlson – $5,600 – Washington Capitals
  6. Ian Cole – $2,500 – St. Louis Blues

Goalies

Goalies with an asterisk next to their name are second on their team’s depth chart, so don’t count on them playing. Any players in bold have been confirmed as the starter for the day. And players with a line through their name will not be starting tonight. Make sure you always check LeftWingLock for starting goalie updates in case I am unable to update the list throughout the day.

  1. Michael Hutchinson – $7,800 – Winnipeg Jets
  2. Cory Schneider – $8,600 – New Jersey Devils
  3. Corey Crawford – $8,100 – Chicago Blackhawks
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