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 eleven games featuring twenty-two teams, Sunday brings us an unusual eight games. With sixteen teams in action, you should also note that nine of those teams are playing on back-to-back nights (Rangers, Sabres, Predators, Islanders, Canadiens, Lightning, Avalanche, Stars, Bruins). 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 (but in hockey, I weight this contextual factor less than other sports, especially tonight with more than half of the teams in action playing their second game in two days). There are three separate slates on FanDuel: the first starts at 12:30 p.m. Eastern and runs all day, the second starts at 12:30 p.m. Eastern and is the “early only” set, and the last starts at 5:00 pm. Eastern.
Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting prior to game time.
Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders, $9,000 – As the heaviest favorite on the day, the Islanders travel to Buffalo where the Sabres somehow managed to beat a Dallas Stars team that only managed twenty-four shots on goal, but that was enough to put three pucks past Anders Lindback. On the other end of the rink, Jhonas Enroth stopped thirty-eight of forty shots to earn the win. The Isles suffered a tough loss to the Bruins in Boston and are playing less than twenty-four hours later. That said, Halak had the night off and should get the nod this afternoon against the worst offensive team in almost every meaningful statistical perspective. On the all-day slate, Halak is just the ninth-most expensive goalie and may be heavily-owned (as most goalies are who face the Sabres). While Halak has not played great hockey over the last few weeks, he did eek out a tough victory over the Flyers three nights ago after dropping two straight. His price has risen, but Vegas set the moneyline at -244, which is understandable given that the Sabres are last in the NHL in goals per game (1.77 G/GP) and last in the NHL in shots per game (22.8 S/GP). The play here has more to do with the overall chances that the Islanders have to win the game, and with a “win” on FD being weighted so heavily, start Halak in your cash games as he is the most likely netminder to earn the “W” on Sunday in the late slate.
Writer’s Note: As of the publication of this piece, Halak has not been confirmed. If he is not given the nod this afternoon, pivot to one of the cash game targets below.
John Tavares, New York Islanders, $8,400 – Your cash game lineups should start with rostering John Tavares over any other superstar center. The first line and first power play unit center gets to attack the worst defensive (and offensive) power play team in the NHL, and 21 of his season total of 50 points have come on the power play. He and his linemates should take advantage of the porous Sabres defense that gives up the most shots per game in the NHL and owns the worst penalty kill unit in the league. Vegas expects the over/under of 5.5 to hit and the line of Anders Lee, Tavares and Josh Bailey should figure in at least two goals, with one coming on the PP.
Rick Nash, New York Rangers, $8,700 – As the fourth-most expensive winger on the day, Nash is also the top offensive play. With at least one point in four straight games (5 Gs, 1 A), Nash is white hot and his Rangers are on home ice as -152 ML favorites facing a Dallas Stars team that just lost last night to the Buffalo Sabres. The Rangers have won three in a row and scored an average of 4.3 goals per game during those games. In this high-event game where both offenses will be shooting the puck, look for the home team’s first line with Nash, Kevin Hayes and Marty St. Louis to lead the offensive attack.
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators, $6,300 – As of the writing of this article, Vegas has not set the moneyline for the Predators’ game in Florida. And while the scoring may be tight, look for Nashville’s first line of Forsberg, Mike Ribeiro and Craig Smith to put home at least one goal. While this entire line is affordable, invest in Forsberg at just $6.3K as he is the catalyst that sparks his linemates. With at least one point in four straight games and in eight of his last nine games, Forsberg, who also skates on his team’s first power play unit with Mike Fisher and James Neal, should have no trouble scoring that aforementioned goal during the man advantage against the Panthers, who have given up short-handed goals in four straight games coming out of the All-Star break.
Johnny Boychuk, New York Islanders, $5,100 – In what has become a theme for today, rostering another member of the New York Islanders should prove to be profitable. At his current price tag, Boychuk is just the eighth-most expensive D-man on the day, but he is the top overall play against the Buffalo Sabres. Despite his lack of offensive production since returning from the All-Star break, Boychuk has logged heavy minutes on the ice (23:28 ATOI since the ASB) and has averaged more shots on goal per game of any defenseman in the league coming out of the break at 3.87 S/GP. As the fourth-most heavily penalized team in the league, the Sabres, who also have the worst penalty kill percentage, should at least hit their average of 14.3 PIMs/GP. This will give Boychuk more opportunities to see quality ice time during the man advantage to get back on a fresh point streak.
Roman Josi, Nashville Predators, $5,600 – With at least one point in four straight games since the All-Star break (4 As), Josi should have no trouble continuing that streak in Florida today against the Panthers, who have given up an average of 2.5 GA/GP since the All-Star break. Even if Josi cannot continue his point streak, his steady minutes of ice time per game and heavy shot load should allow him to sustain a safe FD point total, which is one reason that his price tag jumped over the $5,000 mark. While the Panthers give up the 11th-most shots per game in the NHL (30.2), the Predators shoot at the third-highest rate per game (32.1) in the NHL. When higher-paced teams face slightly lower-paced teams, the slower-paced (or slower-event) teams usually skate up to the pace of the teams that shoot more and score more. Today, the Preds should move quickly on the Panthers, who certainly play a defensive style of hockey, and the puck will be rushed up ice by Josi (and his defensive pair, Shea Weber) to speed up the game. When Josi is heavily involved in the offense, his puck handling typically leads to points.