Each day I will be providing my recommended player picks for your FanDuel daily fantasy hockey lineups.
My FanDuel NHL Plays will be broken down by player positions, and will include picks for cash games (50/50s/double-ups/head-to-head) and GPPs (guaranteed prize pool tournaments).
Are you new to Daily Fantasy Hockey? Check out these strategies documents first for tips and recommendations to craft your winning FanDuel hockey lineups:
Following a busy Saturday that was filled with twelve games, Sunday brings us just four contests to choose from. With eight teams in action, you should also note that half of those teams are playing on back-to-back nights (Sabres, Red Wings, Stars and Coyotes). If you are trying to choose between two players that you have projected to hit the same point target on a short slate, selecting the player who is not skating on back-to-back nights may be the better selection. The primary games on FanDuel lock at 6:00 p.m. Eastern this evening, so you will have plenty of time to study and set your NHL lineups after football starts. Please note that I will not include the first game of the day featuring the Rangers and Penguins as that game starts five and a half hours before the others. There are games on FD that include this first game, but the GPPs lock at 6:00 p.m.
Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting prior to game time.
Petr Mrazek, Detroit Red Wings, $7,400 – As the heaviest moneyline favorite on the night, the Red Wings play host to a Buffalo Sabres team that is simply playing an awful brand of hockey. The team cannot score (and we can ignore the three they scored on Rob Zepp last night) and they do not shoot the puck often either, as indicated by their league-worst 23.2 S/GP. While both teams played last night, the Red Wings and Mrazek looked fantastic in a 5-2 victory over the Nashville Predators, who were without Pekka Rinne, and the Sabres looked like their typical selves in losing to the Philadelphia Flyers. Sure, Zemgus Girgensons picked up two more goals, but he is the lone bright spot on the team this season. In his winning effort, Mrazek stopped 34 of 36 shots and improved his record to 8-3-1 with Jimmy Howard still sidelined with a groin injury. With a .925 SV% on the season, Mrazek should more than earn his $7.4K price tag, even if the Sabres put up just another 23 SOG against a Wings’ defensive corps that limits rebounds and second chances. The play here has more to do with the overall chances that the Red Wings have to win the game, and with a “win” on FD being weighted so heavily, start Mrazek in your cash games to give yourself the best chance of grabbing that all-important “W.”
Writer’s Note: If Mrazek is not confirmed tonight, pivot over to Corey Crawford. The Wings’ backup, Thomas McCollum, is just $5,000 and is a fine cash game option, but the preferred play is Crawford if Mrazek does not start.
Other Goalies To Target (Cash Games) – Corey Crawford
Other Goalies To Target (Tournaments) – Michael Hutchinson
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks, $7,400 – Your cash game lineups should start with rostering Toews over any other superstar center. With at least one point in four straight games (six assists) and in seven of his last nine games, the Hawks’ first line and first power play unit center should have no trouble reaching his value threshold tonight of 4.35 FDP as he is currently averaging 4.73 FDP during his current point streak. As the second-heaviest Vegas favorite of the night against a Dallas Stars team that plays zero defense, Toews has a fantastic matchup to keep up his current pace. Dallas has a netminder that “earns” wins by giving up three goals regularly, as indicated by their 3.26 GA/GP (third-worst in the NHL) and the Hawks should have no trouble scoring goals. That means the teams’ top center, who skates with Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa on the first even strength line, will lead the charge and will continue his point streak.
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks, $9,600 – At $9,600, Kane is the top overall play at a wing spot on the day, when taking price and projected performance taken into consideration. In constructing lineups for today’s slate, the play seems to be to start with Petr Mrazek (if starting), Jonathan Toews and then add Kane to your core group. The Blackhawks’ second line and first power play unit right winger is the most expensive winger in play. But when the Stars (who own the sixth-worst PK unit and give up the seventh-most shots per game in the NHL) come to town, the proper play is to load up on superstar snipers against them. If this game were on the road for Chicago, you would want to gravitate towards the team’s role players, but with the Stars visiting the Windy City, Kane and Jonthan Toews will rack up points. In what will be a high-event and high-paced game, in which Vegas set the O/U at 5.5 goals (with a -120 to hit the over), roster Kaner and find value at your second RW slot.
Andrew Ladd, Winnipeg Jets, $6,900 – Prior to their eight goal outburst three games ago, Jets skaters typically flew under the radar on most nights. But now that they have scored fourteen goals in their past three games, you must pay attention to their top six skaters in your cash games. Ladd skates on the team’s top line and first power play unit with Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler, and his fantasy production is fairly safe due to the amount of shots he takes and the fact that he creates much of the team’s offense when he’s on the ice. When trying to decide which Jets skater to roster tonight, one item to note is that teammate Mathieu Perreault, who plays on the point on the first power play unit, typically took many of the strong side shots off of passes across from Dustin Byfuglien and up from Ladd. With Perreault likely out with an injury that he suffered two nights ago, Ladd’s role as a sniper on the PP will increase.
Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets, $7,000 – Big Buff is the most expensive defenseman on the board this evening, which makes him a fringe cash play, but outstanding tournament play, and he has all the necessary contextual factors working in his favor. The Jets are -230 ML favorites and with an over/under at 5.5 goals, Vegas set the line to hit the over at -120. With eight points (2 Gs, 6 As) in his past five games, Byfuglien is logging the most minutes of ice time per game in the league. With an ATOI of 27:42 in eight games since the start of the new year, the superstar D-man has recorded a +8 (which is a critical statistic to monitor on FD) and twenty-two shots on goal. Most players will likely fade Byfuglien at 12.7% of the salary cap, but if you find two value forwards, you can squeeze him into your cash game rosters.
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks, $5,800 – The superstar defenseman has seen his price hold steady over the last few weeks due to a string of five poor games from a statistical standpoint, but he should bounce back tonight against a team that is vulnerable to offensive defenseman (as noted by the two points they gave up last night to the Capitals and the five total points they have given up to defensemen over the past four games). When paying up for a defenseman, as I mentioned above, you want to pay attention to his ATOI and on this short slate, Keith should be on the ice more than anyone but Dustin Byfuglien. Back at home against a high-paced and poor defensive team in the Stars, Keith will be asked to quarterback the team’s offensive push. Lineup construction tonight allows you to roster one of the top D-men along with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews if you select a cheap netminder and find value at your second D slot and at least one of your wing slots (e.g., Michael Frolik). But as mentioned above, this game between the Hawks and Stars will have plenty of shots and plenty of goals, and you will want at least three skaters from this game. The Blackhawks, led by Keith at the point, will also attack the Stars penalty kill unit that has given up two short-handed goals in their last two games.