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We bring you the top stories of last night in NHL Daily Fantasy Strategy and help prepare you with today’s matchup previews, analysis, top picks, and sleepers. Let’s get to it.
Well the best story of the night from a DFS perspective was the offensive explosion of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who scored a ridiculous EIGHT goals. Their offense is just firing on cylinders right now, and rookie phenom Cory Conacher stayed hot with two goals and an assist. In the Lightning’s favor was Winnipeg coming in at the tail end of a back-to-back: while they were missing their best defencemen, the Jets just aren’t good enough defensively to begin with. Winnipeg will continue to be a target for us when picking opposing skill players.
You know what they say: revenge is a dish best served cold and on ice, or at least that’s what the Red Wings were thinking last night when they beat the St. Louis Blues after taking an embarrassing 6-0 loss against them to open the season. Zetterberg channeled his inner Thomas Vanek, recording his fifth career hat trick and tying his career-high with five points. Both upstart rookies in this game, Tarasenko for the Blues, and Brunner for the Red Wings, notched an assist apiece and will continue to be solid value plays until their prices rise. Brunner spent most of his time skating on the top line with Zetterberg and Franzen, so that only elevates his fantasy potential.
The Flyers scoring struggles continued, and to make matters worse, Wayne Simmonds left with an injury. I’m going to avoid the Flyers until I see some signs of life. Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson continued his great play allowing just one, and coming out of left field, Carolina backup goalie Dan Ellis posted a shutout, and he’s officially on my “cheap goalie sleeper watch list” for the next time he starts. In more goalie news, Roberto Luongo was brilliant in a win over the red-hot Blackhawks, allowing just one goal and stopping all four shootout attempts following overtime. Blackhawks center Dave Bolland was injured and left the game. He’s a decent value play while centering the 2nd line between Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane, but you’d need to know he was going to play tonight before plugging him into your DFS lineup.
With eleven games on tap, there’s endless fantasy potential assuming all the goalies don’t stand on their heads. Taking a look at the early games first, I like Edmonton to score a few goals against an injury-ravaged Colorado Avalanche team missing four of their top nine forwards. The Avs are one of the most penalized team in the league, and the Oilers boast one of the best power-play units in the NHL. Rookie Nail Yakupov remains a good value, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is underpriced while he looks for his first goal. In the other early games, I like Cody Hodgson and Adam Henrique as value plays centering the top lines of the Sabres and the Devils. If the Penguins decide to play a defensive game again like they did against the Rangers, I want no part of the high-priced guys on either team.
As for the later games, I’m going to point to Vegas to help us out here. Three of those games have an over/under of just five goals, compared to a standard over/under of 5.5. Yesterday, that TB/WPG game had an over/under of 6 for comparison, which is not too common, hence why so many people stacked TB. So I’m not looking to take too many players from the DAL/PHX, LAK/ANA, and NSH/SJS matchups.
I really like the matchup between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Not only has Boston won the previous six matchups with Toronto, they’ve also averaged six goals in each game. Also, Boston is coming off a brutal 7-4 loss at home, while Toronto is on a two-game winning streak that can’t last too long. The problem with the Bruins is their attack is so balanced on their top two lines that it can be hard to pick which guys are going to score. Today I’m going to recommend Tyler Seguin, Milan Lucic, and Patrice Bergeron, in that order. On defense, Chara is always a good play if you can afford him, and Dougie “Fresh” Hamilton is still cheap enough to play for value.
In the other games I like Chicago beating up on Calgary with Hossa and Toews being strong plays. Ray Emery is in net, and Iginla can’t be stopped forever, not to mention his price has dropped. Even though Carolina is on a back-to-back, so is a banged-up Philadelphia team, and I like Jordan Staal to score a few points against a familiar foe along with line mate Jeff Skinner.
Picks of the Night:
G: Tuuka Rask
F: Tyler Seguin
D: Niklas Kronwall
Damien Brunner, as mentioned above, is my top sleeper play of the night. Skating on the top line and facing a defensively weak Columbus team, I think he hits value pretty easily as he is still way underpriced. Cory Conacher probably does not need mentioning, and although the Rangers can be a tough matchup, the Lightning are clicking so well, with Lundqvist still rounding into form, that I think Cory still finds a way to hit value. For defencemen, Justin Faulk returned to action for Carolina and is seeing heavy minutes on the top power-play unit. Dougie “Fresh” Hamilton we mentioned earlier has a soft matchup with the Leafs and is gaining more ice-time for the Bruins.
For a cheap value goalie, I like Cam Ward against a banged up Flyers squad, but only on sites where his price has dropped significantly.
Where to Play Tonight:
Draft Day has the most unique games, with “hit it and split it” target tournaments, a jackpot tourney, and plenty of other games. No freeroll tonight as of yet.
Fan Throwdown is a site with lots of practice games to get your feet wet, and I’m also a fan of their double up games.
Draft Kings has a great nightly freeroll and lots of games at any money level.
Daily Joust has a $250 freeroll today and their format for picking goalies is unique in that you just pick a team’s goalie, so you don’t have to worry about a goalie late scratch, or if a goalie has not been confirmed for that day.
Have fun and good luck tonight!!!