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).
Daily Fantasy Hockey Primer: 2014-15 Season
Winning Strategies for Cash Games (head-to-head, 50/50s)
Winning Strategies for GPP Tournaments
Advanced Tips for Winning by Utilizing Vegas Odds and Line Combinations
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Hockey Research and Strategy Tools
Following a busy Saturday that was filled with thirteen (yes!) games featuring twenty-six teams, Sunday brings us a slate of just four games. With eight teams in action, you should also note that five of those teams are playing on back-to-back nights (Blues, Bruins, Coyotes, Rangers and Canucks). 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. While there are two slates on FanDuel today with the first set locking at 12:00 p.m. Eastern, the primary slate locks at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.
Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks, $5,000 – With Eddie Lack getting the start (and playing well yesterday), Markstrom will between the pipes tonight against the Coyotes. Vegas has the Canucks as the largest favorite on this short slate for good reason as they have won five of their last seven games while the Coyotes have lost sixteen of their last seventeen games. Moreover, the Coyotes are averaging the second-fewest goals per game in the NHL, just ahead of the Sabres, at a clip of just two scores per contest. Whenever you roll out a minimum priced goalie, you always have some risk, and that is the case here with Markstrom as he has faced just six shots this season, but if he faces the Coyotes’ average number of shots per game (29.4 S/GP) and earn the win, he will more than succeed value . The play here has more to do with the overall chances that the Canucks have to win the game. With a “win” on FD being weighted so heavily, start Markstrom in your cash games as he is the most likely netminder to earn the “W” on Sunday. That said, if you do not feel confident hinging your lineups on a min-priced goalie, look to the cash game plays below.
Other Goalies To Target (Tournaments) – Jake Allen
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, $8,400 – Your cash game lineups should start with rostering Stamkos as well as one of his linemates, Alex Killorn or Ryan Callahan. Of course, if you are stacking a line in your GPP lineups, grab this whole line (or swap in Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin, who play with Stamkos on the power play, to differentiate yourself further). The power play trio is the preferred play today, or, grab Stamkos and Callahan in your cash games. As a lineup construction tip, in cash games, you should grab two skaters from a line just in case the line does not hit. As the second-most expensive center on today’s slate, Stamkos comes into the game in Tampa having scored at least one goal in two straight games and in three of his last four games, in which he also registered twelve shots. In a game with a Vegas moneyline set at -155 in favor of the Lightning, look for the home team to put up three goals past Tuukka Rask, as Vegas does have the over set at -120 to hit. There is a risk that the Lightning will earn a few minuses in this game as the Bruins will score, but the risk is minimized for the Stamkos line as they should be matched up against the Bruins third line as much as possible.
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues, $7,500 – The top overall wing play today is the Blues’ second line right winger, who skates with Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz, and is underpriced at $7.5K this afternoon given his outstanding season at just 23 years old. With four points in his last four games (2 Gs, 2 As) and ten points in his last ten games (4 Gs, 6 As), Tarasenko is also averaging 3.67 shots per game on the season, and more importantly given FD scoring, is fifth in the NHL in plus/minus with a +30 rating. The Red Wings have struggled in their most recent road trip having dropped three of four games and they have similarly struggled at home in the month of March in giving up an average of 3.43 goals per game on home ice. They have also been giving up an inordinate amount of shots per game during their last road trip (35.75 SA/GP), a figure that is approximately seven shots more per game than they had been giving up on the season. This indicates that while the Wings have attempted at opening up offensively, they have sacrificed their defense. With a 14.0% shooting percentage, look for Tarasenko to put a puck in the net if he can hit his average of recent shot production.
Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks, $6,300 – With at least one goal in two straight games and with a total of three points in his last three games, Sedin is the top value play at left wing this afternoon. At just $6.3K, you are hoping for at least a goal or two assists on top of a handful of shots. You will receive that from the first line and first power-play unit right winger, who skates with Henrik Sedin and Alexandre Burrows during even strength time and with the same duo on the NHL’s league average best power play unit that will take on the league’s fifth-worst penalty kill unit (78.5% PK rate). The play with Daniel has to do with the fact that the Canucks will simply out-finesse an awful hockey team with poor puck control. While both the Canucks and the Coyotes both in the bottom ten in the NHL in average shots per game, this should be a fairly slow-paced game, but look for the Canucks’ top line to put two pucks in the net.
Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning, $5,800 – The Lightning’s top defenseman may be the second-most expensive D-man on the slate, but this is for good reason. With at least one point in two straight games (1 G, 3 As), Hedman is one of the hottest blueliners in the NHL right now. In a game that Vegas expects to hit the over of 5.0 goals, this should be a high-event hockey game with both team shooting the plus thirty plus times on net and Hedman, who is averaging 1.67 shots per game over his last five games (and 1.96 S/GP on the season), should surpass his average shots per game and will continue his point streak against a Bruins team that has dropped five straight, and is often vulnerable to opposing offensive defenseman who lead their team’s offensive attack like Hedman.
Alexander Edler, Vancouver Canucks, $3,900 – In what has become a theme of today’s article, anchor your lineups with another member of the Canucks. With three points in his last three games, Edler is the top value play at defense and will quarterback (along with Radim Vrbata) the Canucks’ power play unit that will get a crack at the NHL’s fifth-worst PK unit. As the 26th ranked team against opposing defensemen, the Coyotes are particularly vulnerable to offensive-minded defensemen that have an affinity for shooting the puck. With an average of four shots per game over his past three games, Edler fits that mold and should have no trouble continuing his point streak.