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Daily Fantasy Hockey Strategy: January 27th

flyers
Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux — Credit: Yong Kim, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Below I’ve got a discussion of the best matchups and potential stacks of the day followed by cash game rankings for tonight’s DraftKings contests. At the bottom of the post I’ve embedded my research chart for the day. Here is just a snippet of the chart I’ll use to explain what you’re looking at.

NHL DFS ex.

First the colors. Blue is amazeballs, green is great, yellow is good, orange is bad, red is awful and deep red is no effing way.

The first column that isn’t self-explanatory is the fifth one, the one that is titled ‘z’ to the right of salary. That is how far above or below average the player’s salary is compared to all other players at his position in action today. Then we have ‘OPPz’ which is how far above or below average the player’s matchup is. Quality of matchup is determined with a mix of Corsi against and save percentage of the team the player will be facing. ‘Pts/Gm’ is a projection derived from numberfire.com’s rest-of-season projections. The ‘z’ next to the projection is how far above or below average the projection is compared to all other players at the position in action today. ‘zTOTAL’ is the player’s projection z-score combined with his matchup z-score. And then ‘zDIFF’ to the right of zTOTAL is zTOTAL minus the player’s salary z-score. The zDIFF column is really what we’re looking at.

Make sure to check Twitter for any injury news and line changes, and check Daily Faceoff for starting goalies.

Stack Options

There isn’t really a combination of a great offensive team against an awful defensive team tonight, but the closest thing we have is Philadelphia against Arizona. Philadelphia was a top ten, but not top five, offensive team in the month and a half before the All-Star break and Arizona is a really good, not quite elite, matchup for opposing skaters. Claude Giroux ($7,600, C) and Jakub Voracek ($6,600, W) are priced reasonably enough and should be a part of any Philly stack. If you want to go Philly-heavy on a stack, I’d go with the third line pair of Michael Raffl ($2,900, W) and Wayne Simmonds ($4,700, W) as well. But Giroux/Voracek are the pair for cash games. Whether you’re using one or both pairs of forwards, I’d also throw in Mark Streit ($4,700) who plays on the top power play unit with Giroux, Voracek and Simmonds.

Buffalo is in action today, so of course we have to mention their opponent, the Calgary Flames. If you’re looking for a mini-stack from the Flames, go with the first line pair of Josh Jooris ($2,900, C) and Jiri Hudler ($4,100, W). Jooris is so cheap because he missed a couple of weeks prior to the break and played just one game in his return prior to the break. Normally he’d be $700-$1000 more expensive. If you want to load up on Flames, add the third line pair of Mikael Backlund ($4,600, C) and Mason Raymond ($3,500, W). My defenseman of choice for the Flames is T.J. Brodie ($4,800, D), but it was a tough choice. The Flames have four viable defenseman for fantasy, and choosing which one to use is a bit of a crap shoot. I’m going with Brodie today in part because I like his price the most and in part because he plays on the power play with Hudler. I’ll have some Calgary-heavy stacks, but I imagine Jooris/Hudler alone will be the more popular play and Brodie makes more sense with that mini-stack.

In many ways, Edmonton is very similar to Calgary today. The Oilers, like the Flames, are not a great offensive team, although Edmonton has been around average offensively over the last month and a half while Calgary has been below average. But Calgary has the more favorable matchup, although Edmonton’s matchup with Minnesota is still well above average. I like the first line pair of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($5,400, C) and Taylor Hall ($5,600), but I find it hard to find a second pair of forwards I’m on board with, so I don’t know if I’ll go with an Edmonton-heavy stack. I kind of like Derek Roy/Nail Yakupov, but…meh. Feel free to use Justin Schultz ($4,300, D) with RNH/Hall.

Going the other direction, Winnipeg is a good offensive team who doesn’t have a great matchup against Pittsburgh. But the matchup is only slightly below average and Pittsburgh should be without Crosby and Malkin and possibly Letang and Hornqvist. And Winnipeg isn’t just a good offensive team. They’ve been one of the three best offensive teams so far this year. Once again, I really like a pair of first line forwards, Bryan Little ($5,400, C) and Blake Wheeler ($5,500, W). That’s probably the extent of the Jets forwards I’ll roster, but I could see a Jets-heavy stack with Mark Scheifele ($4,600, C) and Evander Kane ($5,300, W) as well. As for defensemen, I find it hard to justify using Dustin Byfuglien ($7,500, D) at his price tag. If you did go Jets-heavy with both forward pairs, you can add Jacob Trouba ($4,500, D) to that stack. But Trouba doesn’t play on the power play with Little/Wheeler, so only use Trouba if you use Scheifele/Kane.

And then finally there is one other mini-stack I like. Minnesota has a good matchup with Edmonton, so I like Mikko Koivu ($4,800, C) and Jason Pominville ($6,300, W). If you have enough money I’d prefer Zach Parise ($9,000, W) to Pominville, but Parise’s price tag is likely too high.

Price-Adjusted Cash Game Rankings

Center

  1. Josh Jooris – $2,900 – Calgary Flames
  2. Claude Giroux – $7,600 – Philadelphia Flyers
  3. Mikael Backlund – $4,600 – Calgary Flames
  4. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – $5,400 – Edmonton Oilers
  5. Brayden Schenn – $4,200 – Philadelphia Flyers
  6. Mikko Koivu – $4,800 – Minnesota Wild
  7. Bryan Little – $5,400 – Winnipeg Jets

Winger

  1. Jiri Hulder – $4,100 – Calgary Flames
  2. Taylor Hall – $5,600 – Edmonton Oilers
  3. Jakub Voracek – $6,600 – Philadelphia Flyers
  4. Johnny Gaudreau – $4,500 – Calgary Flames
  5. Wayne Simmonds – $4,700 – Philadelphia Flyers
  6. Jason Pominville – $6,300 – Minnesota Wild
  7. Blake Wheeler – $5,500 – Winnipeg Jets
  8. Mikkel Boedker – $4,200 – Arizona Coyotes
  9. Zach Parise – $9,000 – Minnesota Wild

Defense

  1. T.J. Brodie – $4,800 – Calgary Flames
  2. Mark Streit – $4,700 – Philadelphia Flyers
  3. Ryan Suter – $4,900 – Minnesota Wild
  4. Keith Yandle – $5,500 – Arizona Diamondbacks
  5. Dan Boyle – $3,300 – New York Rangers

Goalie

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 Daily Faceoff for starting goalie updates in case I am unable to update the list throughout the day.

  1. Ben Bishop – $8,100 – Tampa Bay Lightning
  2. Michael Hutchinson – $8,300 – Winnipeg Jets
  3. Ben Scrivens – $6,800 – Edmonton Oilers
  4. Calvin Pickard – $7,500 – Colorado Avalanche

Research Chart

You can download the research chart from this Google Sheet page here.

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